Just three weeks into the season and we’re down to just two unbeaten teams remaining. On the flip side there are two winless teams left too, the Texans at 0-2-1 and the Raiders at 0-3. But let’s stick to the good, the 3-0 teams, the fan bases that have ended every week this season going home happy winners.
What are the chances that the fans of the Eagles and Dolphins will get to ride this happiness all the way to the Super Bowl in Arizona?
Philadelphia Eagles Are the Class of the NFC
There is no reason to think that the Eagles are going to slow down anytime soon, and there are many signs pointing to their long-term success.
For one, this was predicted by many. They were the betting favorite to win their very easy division. Outside of Jalen Hurts, the only good quarterback they have to contend with to win the NFC East is Dak Prescott, and he’s injured.
Two, the numbers don’t lie. The Eagles aren’t a fluke 3-0. The Lions played them tough, as the Lions do to everyone, but Philadelphia destroyed the Vikings and Commanders. They have gained the most yards of any team on offense while giving up the fifth fewest, and at Cold, Hard Football Facts – one of the most complete statistical measurements in the industry – the Eagles dominate.
The Eagles rank second in both Quality Stats Power Rankings and Quality Standings; they rank second in Real Quarterback Rating, and third in Defensive Real Quarterback Rating. And even with all of those gaudy passing rankings they are also second in Offensive Rusher Rating.
This team is built to succeed all season long.
Miami Still Faces Challenges
This isn’t to say that the Dolphins aren’t for real or that they aren’t Super Bowl contenders. But when it comes to paths to the Super Bowl, theirs is far more difficult than that of Philadelphia.
Cold, Hard Football Facts ranks the Miami offense third in Real Quarterback Rating and second in Offensive Passer Rating, but those numbers are largely built from that incredible fourth quarter against the Ravens. And unlike the Eagles, the Miami defense has some real issues that are likely to cause problems down the road.
They rank just 23rd in Defensive Real Quarterback Rating, 28th in Defensive Passer Rating, and 28th in Total Team Yards Allowed.
Let’s also acknowledge that it was some kind of Houdini act to get outgained by the Bills 497-212 and still win the game. That might happen once out of every 20 games, and it will probably never happen again against the Bills and Josh Allen. The reality is that if not for a historic comeback and a bizarre inability by the Bills to score, Miami could easily be 1-2, and we’d be calling their game in Cincinnati a must-win.
The schedule is kind to the Dolphins. They have the Bengals on Thursday and the Vikings two weeks later, but the rest of October features the Jets, Steelers, and Lions, followed in November by the Bears, Browns, and Texans. Then it gets tough – the 49ers, Chargers, Bills, and Packers – and that’s where the rubber will really hit the road.