The tale of the good, the not as good, and the how come they're good?

Streeter Lecka - Getty Images

How come the good NFL teams are good, and how'd the bad ones get that way?

With the current loss-languishing going on with some of last year's top team (Re: Eagles, Patriots and Packers - even though they were robbed against Seattle on MNF), the NFL world is kind of on tilt right now. There are three undefeated teams in the NFL at the moment: The Atlanta Falcons, Houston Texans, and the - gulp - Arizona Cardinals. While many write off the "Arizona Phenomenon" as nothing more than Buffalo 2011 Part Deux, the presence of the other two teams isn't easy to explain either.

The Atlanta Falcons have some great tools. there's really no denying this, or is there? Yes, the tools are evident on offense, but on defense they don't really inspire much awe. So they intercepted Peyton Manning on a dark and stormy night in Atlanta not long ago, but the replays of those passes shows they owed Peyton a game ball, and not so much their secondary. Yes, Julio Jones and Roddy White are a great pair of wide receivers, but the Falcon's offensive line marginal at best. As weeks go by, we'll see Sam Baker return to being Sam Baker. Then we'll see Matt (Ice) Ryan melt, and start having blind bombs down the field again...

The Houston Texans are kind of solid, but their position depth is thinner Calista Flockhart on a thirty day food fast. I'm sure I'm not the only one who swears they hear a ticking injury bomb when we see Andre Johnson take the field. Then there's Arian Foster - Oh he of twitchy hamstring fame. I love to see him play, but he's kind of like a big build up in a movie to a perceived great moment to come, only to have Ben Tate appear as the credits roll saying everyone died...

Arizona is the most shocking of this whole lott, and if you say you aren't stunned by their performance so far - You Are Such a Liar! Their defense ended last season with some great outings, but that's not the unit that's troubling me. This will be the second year in a row a team - without a quarterback - that has flourished in the NFC West. In fact, I'm pretty sure in the next few years, the NFC West will outlaw the position altogether. They'll be called "Game Managers", and they'll roll their eyes when a wide receiver runs more than ten yards down field...

This season has seen quite a few "up is down" moments already. Faux-pundits will tout league wide parity as the root cause, while others will place an asterisk on this season because of replacement officials (See the Green Bay - Seattle game). This last excuse may have foundation though. When Cortland Finnegan comes out in FAVOR of the replacement referees because they "let defensive backs play the game", something's up. The thought that many of the great wide receivers of last year may have become spoiled by the heretofore "hands-off" of the regular rules and referees gains some credence. If the NFL ever signs a deal with the NFLRA, and the regular refs take the field, we could see either record numbers of pass interference calls, or pass catching numbers that will boggle the minds of NFL fans.

Whatever happens next this season, I'm willing to bet the 3-0 group I mentioned earlier doesn't stay that way long. I'm pretty sure at least one of the group won't make the playoffs, and the other two will exit the post season faster than I left a movie theater last weekend after eating a particularly bad burrito.

But this is the NFL, and anything can happen. Except a Miami Dolphins - Indianapolis Colts Super Bowl this year; that can't happen... If it does, I'm going to take some ancient Mayans far more seriously...

After the break, a couple of pics from Acme Packing Co. thread last night after their game

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via images.bluegartr.com

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via sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net

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via cdn1.sbnation.com


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