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.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
The Saints surprised a lot of people this week with a huge home win against the Seattle Seahawks. Rookie Wide Receiver Michael Thomas might already be the best WR on the roster (no offense to Brandin Cooks), but Sean Payton is going to need to find a way to restore Mark Ingram's confidence after an early fumble benched him for the entirety of the game. Tim Hightower ran for over 100 yards in his stead, and a huge diving interception by NFL journeyman Nathan Stupar helped seal the win for New Orleans, who only saw Drew Brees throw for 265 yards and 1 TD. The Saints remaining schedule is fairly week, and it wouldn't be surprising if they come away with 6-7 weeks from here on out.
Is rookie wide receiver Michael Thomas the best WR on the roster already?
We have been slamming the Panthers #onhere for a few weeks now, and deservedly so. However, the Panthers season is still on life support after a huge home win against the struggling Arizona Cardinals gave them some much-needed momentum. The defense looked like its 2015 version with a 46 yard fumble recovery touchdown by Thomas Davis and a 3 sack (!) performance by DT Star Lotulelei. Even rookie Daryl Worley had a hand on 11 total tackles and a sack this week. The bad news for the Panthers is their remaining schedule is brutal, with LA, KC, NO, OAK, SEA, SD, WAS, and ATL still on deck. The Panthers are going to have to figure out if the season is still worth fighting for, or whether it's time to #PlummetForPeppers.
The Bears have had four prime time games so far this year. FOUR. And the NFL wonders why their ratings are suffering. Anyway, the Bears pulled off an enormous upset over division rival Minnesota Vikings on Monday Night, and they had their rookie draft class to thank for it. Jordan Howard put up over 23 fantasy points on the ground breaking off two huge plays and Leonard Floyd continues to get better week after week, developing his pass rush technique into he repertoire. The Bears are still likely to finish with a Top 5 draft pick this season, but this is exactly what you want to see as a Bears fan in regards to your young talent developing and new additions like Jerrell Freeman and Danny Trevathan gelling. Huge win for Jay Cutler and KCav.
Jay Cutler's wife bodied everyone on Twitter, a free website, after the Bears' fourth primetime game of the 2016 season.
What is going on with the Cardinals? Some weeks they look like the team they are on paper, and then other weeks they look like the Browns. The inconsistency is not going to win Bruce Arians another Coach of the Year trophy, but all he needs to worry about is getting this team into the postseason, which seems to be slipping away by the day. To add insult to injury, it looks like the Cards are going to lose Tyrann Mathieu to a shoulder injury for 3-6 weeks, and Jared Veldheer appears to be headed to IR for the rest of the season. Things ain't looking good in the desert.
This team sucks and it's time for everyone to gtfoh. The team dismissed Offensive Coordinator Greg Olson from his duties this week, which is only a drop of water in the bucket of what it's going to take to remedy this team. The locker room seems to have gone nuclear, with players calling franchise QB Blake Bortles a "basket-case" and fans of Duval deserve much more than this. It seems like Gus Bradley can take a dump on Shad Khan's desk right now and not get fired, so this team seems to be firmly in the mix for yet another Top 5 pick in this draft class. The next 9 games are going to be crucial for Blake Bortles to prove he is the guy and fix his mechanics, otherwise the new Tom Coughlin regime is going to have to ship him to Arizona and look elsewhere for a new QB.
Live look at former future Jaguars Head Coach Tom Coughlin
Two losses in a row and the offensive line is looking like it's going to get Soft Sam killed. It certainly seems like a lot of the invincibility that had gotten this team through the first five weeks of this season has dissipated, and Mike Zimmer is going to need to stabilize the ship if he's going to keep a Green Bay Packers team at bay that's been heating up the last couple of weeks. Jake Long and TJ Clemmings have been train wrecks, but there doesn't seem to be much the Vikings can do at this point to fix it. Although it's not time for Vikings fans to hit the panic button yet, you have to wonder if this team can compete in the postseason with the last ranked running game and no pass protection on the perimeter, regardless of how good this defense is.