The 2019 edition of the National Football League is underway, and after three weeks, there are still seven teams who remain unbeaten. This list includes the obvious in the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs, but also some surprises in the San Francisco 49ers and Buffalo Bills. Mathematically, these franchises have the best chances to make the playoffs, and with wins in week four, albeit aren’t locks, but make great cases to play in January. Regardless, there needs to be some type of hierarchy.
7) San Francisco 49ers: With wins at Tampa Bay and Cincinnati, as well as a recent home victory over Pittsburgh, the Niners haven’t really beaten anyone great. With that being said, they did take down the former two pretty convincingly. Other than their prized starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, however, this team lacks star power. Sure, George Kittle is a top-five tight end, and Deebo Samuel has been making a bit of noise at wideout, but it’s an offense that relies on a lot of guys that haven’t done much at a high level for an extended period of time. The defense also isn’t overwhelmingly tough, and this is probably the 3-0 team that I see losing the most games from here on out, due to a tough schedule.
6) Detroit Lions: The Lions aren’t 3-0 like the rest of the teams on this list, thanks to a tie in week one against Arizona. However, 2-0-1 is still technically unbeaten. With that being said, two straight games against Kansas City and Green Bay will probably take Matt Patricia’s squad off this list quite soon. Matthew Stafford is a proven veteran in the NFL and has good targets in Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones Jr. However, the Lions also play in arguably the toughest division in the entire league, giving this team a lot of work to do before they are seriously considered as a top team in 2019.
5) Buffalo Bills: Call it a hot take, but the Buffalo Bills have a top three defense in football. This isn’t too much of a bold statement, considering this team did rank second in pass defense a year ago. They do this with a band of young defensive studs, such as Micah Hyde and Tre’Davious White. Plus, Josh Allen (and I said this last year too), is proving to be a good option at QB thanks to his toughness on the ground and fantastic throwing power. His decision making has also improved, but maintaining that for an entire season will be the test. With that being said, Buffalo should be on track for its’ second playoff berth in three years.
4) Los Angeles Rams: Maybe I’m just a prisoner of the moment, but something about this team doesn’t seem to be clicking like last season. The Rams skated by against middle-of-the-pack teams in Carolina and Cleveland, and took down a Drew Brees-less New Orleans team in between. Is this team a playoff team and Super Bowl contender? Yes. However, something doesn’t seem right about the offense, and Sean McVay needs to get it under control quickly, because a schedule that includes Chicago, Baltimore, and Dallas all in the second half of the season doesn’t look too fun.
3) Dallas Cowboys: I picked the Cowboys to win the NFC East at the beginning of the season, and I proudly stand by that prediction. Dak Prescott is a top-ten quarterback in this league with talent around him - and boy does he have talent. The trio of Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and Jason Witten has proven lethal, and that doesn’t even include the best offensive line and running game in the league, led by of course, Ezekiel Elliott. Not only does Dallas brag a tremendous offense, but it also boasts a defense that is surefire top six in the NFL. The Cowboys still play the Jets, Giants, and Redskins one time each, giving this team a lock for at least six wins.
2) Kansas City Chiefs: There’s no other way around it: Kansas City has the best offense in the NFL. Patrick Mahomes is the most lethal QB in the game, and when healthy, has the top receiving crew in the country in Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and Sammy Watkins, not to mention the emerging Mecole Hardman. Damien Williams has also been key at running back, allowing this team to get past the loss of Kareem Hunt. Sure, the defense has it’s problems, and needs to be fixed if the Chiefs want to be Super Bowl Champions, but there’s no mistaking how hard it is to beat Andy Reid and this offense.
1) New England Patriots: The Patriots had one of the most lethal offenses in history before Antonio Brown was released. However, they still brag Bill Belicheck, Tom Brady, Julian Edelman, Josh Gordon and a trio of capable running backs. Oh, and more? This may just be the best defense Foxboro has seen in the Tom Brady era, causing the rest of the league to shiver. A 7th Lombardi Trophy may be on its way to Gillette Stadium.
Mat Mlodzinski can be reached at email@example.com. Find him on Twitter @Mlodzinski_15.