Three and Out is a weekly ScouTurf feature where we break down which three teams' stocks are dropping like a pass to Will Fuller V and which three are skyrocketing in the power rankings following the previous week of the NFL season.
It's so great when you have a competent running game. This is two weeks in a row now where I haven't heard Dolphins fans pissing and moaning that Ryan Tannehill is trash, and I have Jay Ajayi to thank for it. You probably already heard, but Ajayi has become the 4th player to rush for back-to-back 200+ yard games in NFL history, joining Ricky Williams, OJ Simpson and Earl Campbell. He's been playing so well that he made Arian Foster say "F it" and retire. What is more impressive is that rookie Head Coach Adam Gase now has two wins in a row against very good teams in the Pittsburgh Steelers and division rival Buffalo Bills, but how far can this momentum carry the 'Phins?
Ricky Williams. OJ Simpson. Good company for Jay Ajayi to be around (not off the field, of course).
Sunday was a huge statement game for rookie QB Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles. Although Wentz got off to a rocky start with a couple of INTs, the rookie showed terrific composure and ability to persevere through adversity. Jim Schwartz showed the undefeated Vikings that they aren't the only NFL team with an elite defense, as his unit currently stands in 2nd in the NFL in total yards allowed (1842) and 3rd in points allowed per game (14.7). If they continue this recipe, Wentz won't have to be amazing to get this team far into the postseason, he'll just need to do enough to get his team to 17-20 points per game on offense. Watch out Cowboys, this team is coming in hot this week in a division show down of rookie QBs.
Matt Stafford is a legitimate MVP candidate at this point in the season. Weird, huh? The notion of the Lions offense enjoying addition through subtraction with the retirement of Calvin Johnson was comedic at first, but the numbers support the theory. Stafford isn't using his future Hall of Fame receiver as a crutch, allowing him to be patient through his reads and spread the love among the Lions offense. Also, rookie LT Taylor Decker has played lights out the last two weeks for Detroit, which could be bad news for soon-to-be free agent Riley Rieff. The Lions are just outside looking in when it comes to a playoff spot, but it certainly doesn't help that they have to fight the Packers and the VIkings in their division.
Will this be the outfit Matthew Stafford wears to accept his MVP trophy?
"DAMN IT" - Jay Cutler when Brian Hoyer went down, probably. Cutler seems to be so over Chicago and Chicago seems to be over him, but he's going to have to play the rest of the season because, well, John Fox has really no other choice. The good news for Bears fans? The defense seems to be coming together and you saw a huge step in the development of rookie first rounder Leonard Floyd, who had a monster game against Green Bay on Thursday Night Football this past week. The cupboard is not bare, but you have to think that Chicago will be firmly in the mix for a QB with what looks like a Top 5 pick in the upcoming 2017 draft.
Live look at Jay Cutler when he realized he was going to have to play football for the Bears again this year
After starting the season 3-0, the Ravens have dropped their last four games in a row, and just like last year, the injury bug seems to be biting this team hard. After seeing the inactives list for the Ravens this past week against the Jets, I tweeted out "#Ravens gonna take the L this week I see" and I wasn't wrong. The bye this week comes at an ideal time for this team who needs to regroup and refocus if they are going to remain in playoff contention for the remainder of the season.
LOS ANGELES RAMS
Start Goff, you dolts. I have a theory that Jeff Fisher is a magician of being just barely mediocre enough not to get fired, and every decision he makes is based around what is best for him to remain employed and not what's best for the team. Example - he and GM Les Snead traded up to first overall to draft Goff this year because he knew that handcuffing himself to a rookie QB is a surefire way of buying yourself more time as a Head Coach. He did the same thing in Tennessee with Vince Young. He is deliberately not playing Goff despite Keenum's awful prime time performance in London this past week because he knows he can delay his lease on life if Goff doesn't see the field. "Wait, you can't fire me yet, you haven't even seen what our franchise QB can do yet!" Classic Fisher. Who cares if Goff is bad this year? This team is not making the playoffs so it's important that you let Goff go through his growing pains now instead of next year.