It looks like the 1972 Dolphins can put the champagne on ice now that the Kansas City Chiefs have suffered their first loss and there are only two unbeaten teams left – New England and San Francisco.
Both have benefited from easy schedules so far so we don’t know how good they are. The odds, though, are that the 1972 Dolphins will continue to be the NFL’s only perfect team. Not the best team, but the perfect team.
Meanwhile, at the bottom of the league, there are four winless teams and four one-win teams. So much for parity. And two winless teams, Miami and Washington, which just fired its coach, will meet in Miami on Sunday with the winner having the inside track on the first pick in the draft.
Washington is trying to win but doesn’t know how. Miami is rebuilding or tanking depending on what phrase you like. Miami still has two games left against the winless Jets and one against winless Cincinnati.
–The Indianapolis Colts exposed the fact that the Chiefs don’t have a good run defense. Firing Bob Sutton didn’t solve that problem. The Colts ran 45 times for 180 yards against the Chiefs just as the Patriots ran 48 times for 176 yards in beating them in the playoffs last year, although the Chiefs would have won if Dee Ford hadn’t jumped offsides to negate a Tom Brady interception. Most teams can’t run that much against the Chiefs because they score so easily and teams have to pass to catch up, but the Colts defense also grounded the the Chiefs’ high-flying offense. The Colts snapped their string of 25 games scoring 25 or more points. The Colts are 3-2 and a contender despite losing Andrew Luck.
–Quarterbacks have won 11 of the last 12 MVP awards, but Carolina running back Christian McCaffrey belongs in the conversation after he shredded the Jaguars defense. He has 866 yards from scrimmage in his first five games, second only to Jim Brown’s 988 in his first five games. Always a good thing to be in the conversation with Jim Brown.
–The Denver Broncos were winless in their first four games with no turnovers. They got three against the Chargers in posting their first victory. Turnovers matter.
–Deshaun Watson showed what he can do when the Texans protect him. He had 426 passing yards, five touchdowns and a perfect 158.3 quarterback rating. Only the third quarterback to have a perfect rating and pass for more than 400 yards and five touchdowns in Super Bowl era. And the 53-32 score of their victory over Atlanta was the first game ever to end in that score.
–Packers running back Aaron Jones became the fourth player since 1950 to post 100 rushing yards, 75 passing yards and four touchdowns in a game in the win over Dallas. The first three were Gale Sayers, Dub Jones of the Paul Brown Cleveland Browns and Shaun Alexander.
–It looks like Falcon coach Dan Quinn won’t get back to a Super Bowl to get a chance to win one after 28-3. With the team falling to 1-4 after the Texans loss, he probably won’t be back next year, much less get to a Super Bowl.
–Dallas started out 3-0 against teams with a 2-12 record but have now lost to the Saints and Packers to fall to 3-2. This puts more pressure on coach Jason Garrett because his contract runs out at the end of the year although owner Jerry Jones isn’t likely to make a change during the season. He has done that only once in 2010 when he fired Wade Phillips and promoted Garrett to the head job.
–Cleveland may turn out to be the most overhyped team of the year as they fell to 2-3 when they were routed by the 49ers in prime time. They got more prime time exposure than they deserved. Baker Mayfield said they aren’t pushing the panic button. With Seattle, a bye and New England coming up maybe they should.
–Cairo Santos was fired by the Titans after failing to make four field goal attempts in a seven-point loss to Buffalo. He missed from 50 and 36 yards in the second quarter and had a 33-yard attempt blocked in the fourth and missed from 53. Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein missed a 44-yard yard attempt at the end that cost the Rams a loss to Seattle but kept his job since he won the NFC title game last January with a 57-yard kick.