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This year’s best (so far)

by MATT GORDON Editor-in-chief

   The NFL season is in full swing and five teams have clearly defined themselves as the favorites in their respective divisions and conferences. A few teams are regulars in the top five, but most of the teams are surprises, knocking off the expected top teams and fitting into the list themselves. Here are the top five teams of the first few weeks in the NFL:

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5. New York Giants- The Giants have made a massive comeback after their disappointing week one loss to the Dallas Cowboys. After wins against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Carolina Panthers, the defending Super Bowl champions are set to make another run into the playoffs. The defense has bounced back after a rough week one, where their usual high-flying defensive line got no push against the strength of the Cowboys offensive line. That will be the key for the Giants the remainder of the season. If the defensive line can produce sacks and turnovers, it can disrupt the opposing team’s rhythm and lead to big wins.

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4. Arizona Cardinals- The Cardinals have been the biggest surprise of the season so far. With three big wins against the Seattle Seahawks, New England Patriots, and Philadelphia Eagles, the Cardinals have established that they are a force to reckon with in the NFC. The defense has performed to their fullest, allowing only 210 passing yards and 106 rushing yards a game. After quarterback John Skelton was injured in week one, backup quarterback Kevin Kolb has performed to the best of his ability, with 428 yards and four touchdowns in only two and half games.

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3. Baltimore Ravens- The Ravens have established themselves as a powerhouse in the AFC, even with a surprising loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in week 2. The defense has stepped up as usual, but the offense has really come into its own. Quarterback Joe Flacco has 1269 passing yards and seven touchdowns in four games, with many arguing his spot as an elite quarterback in the league. Running back Ray Rice has 317 rushing yards and three touchdowns, establishing a very balanced offense, possibly the best in the league.

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2. Atlanta Falcons- The Falcons have also been a surprise at the start of the season. With big wins against the Denver Broncos and San Diego Chargers, they are flying high in Atlanta. Quarterback Matt Ryan has established himself as an MVP candidate with 793 passing yards and eight touchdowns, leading his team to an undefeated season so far. Not only is the offense clicking, but the defense has stepped up in big situations, holding off quarterback Peyton Manning and the Broncos late in their week two Monday Night game. The team is pushing for another chance in the playoffs this year, and possibly a shot at the Super Bowl.

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1. Houston Texans- The Texans have performed the best during the first three weeks of the season and are set to make a run to the Super Bowl this year. With wins against the Miami Dolphins, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Denver Broncos, the Texans are undefeated and backed by one of the easiest schedules in the league. The offense ranks in the top five in rushing yards, and the defense ranks in the top five in opposing passing and opposing rushing yards. Quarterback Matt Schaub has 751 passing yards and five touchdowns while running back Arian Foster has 294 rushing yards and three touchdowns. With an explosive offense and shut-down defense, the Houston Texans are poised to do some damage in the league this year.

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