NFL off and running

It’s just three weeks into the NFL season, but it has already been a year full of surprises. Teams that should be playing well aren’t, while others have won games they shouldn’t have. The season already has the makings of a feel-good story that could last through the year just like that of the New Orleans Saints last season.

The success of Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers has been truly fun to watch. The Packers have won their first three games of the season and looked impressive in each victory. They took care of the Philadelphia Eagles in week one and easily beat the New York Giants on the road in week two. But in week three, the Packers seemed to have their hands full. The San Diego Chargers, who were a league best 14-2 last season, rolled into Green Bay sporting a 1-1 record.

The 37-year-old Favre somehow led the Packers to comeback victory. After trailing 21-17 about midway through the fourth-quarter, Favre rallied the troops to help them win 31-24. On the day, he passed for an impressive 369 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions.

The slow start of the San Diego Chargers, who are now 1-2, has been one of the season’s bigger disappointments. In their game against the Packers, the Chargers looked flat and lacked the intensity they sported all throughout last season. Behind new head coach Norv Turner, they have already lost as many games this season as they did last year.

The Patriots and Colts are, as expected, at the tops of their games. Both teams enter week four with perfect records. They have once again set themselves apart from the rest of the league. It’s a shame they can never meet in the Super Bowl, since both are in the AFC.

But the Colts’ impressive start to the season is really nothing new. They are 17-2 in the month of September under head coach Tony Dungy. The defending champs seem to be picking up right where they left off last year.

The Steelers and Cowboys have also started off the season with perfect records. Ben Roethlisberger has led the Steelers to wins over teams they should beat with impressive skill. So far this season, he has passed for 563 yards and six touchdowns.

Tony Romo seems to be over last year’s disappointing playoff undoing. He has brought the Cowboys to a perfect record, staking them as an early favorite in the relatively weak NFC. Romo has thrown for 860 yards and eight touchdowns in Dallas’s three victories thus far. The Cowboys went into Soldier field last weekend and handed the Chicago Bears an embarrassing 34-10 loss. The Cowboys should have an easy time in their next two games against struggling St. Louis and Buffalo. They will, however, face the Super-Bowl favorite and always tough Patriots in week six.

The Chicago Bears and Rex Grossman are another one of the other season’s early disappointments. The Bears have started off 1-2 while Grossman has thrown for just 500 yards and 1 touchdown with a miserable six interceptions and a 45.2 QB (quarterback) rating. Backup quarterback Brian Greise, whom Chicago fans have been chanting to be put in for weeks now, will hopefully turn their season around.

As suspected, the Atlanta Falcons are scuffling. Michael Vick’s lack of leadership is clearly felt as Atlanta has dropped their first three games of the year. The shroud of the Vick dog scandal clearly hangs over the team, and against all odds, a success story for them seems very unlikely.

All in all, this 2007 NFL season is off to a good start. There have been a slew of close, exciting matches, as young stars continue to improve and old veterans like Favre have persisted in leading their teams to success.

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