#360view: Who can beat the Patriots? Right now, it’s tough to tell

Jay Asser 09:00 30/09/2015
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Juggernauts: New England Patriots.

The NFL season is only three weeks old, but the contenders have begun to separate themselves from the rest of the pack.

At this point, we have seven undefeated teams – four in the NFC and three in the AFC – and four winless teams with little chance to reach the playoffs.

Here are takeaways from Week 3, beginning with one of the teams sitting at 3-0.

Another shot at perfection

Again, we’re only three games into the season and already there’s been talk of the New England Patriots possibly going through the regular season without picking up a loss.

They’ve certainly looked dominant and there are parallels to the 16-0 campaign of 2007 when Brady and the offence took it to another level following the Spygate vitriol.

Brady has been even more surgical to start this year, but to win all 16 games again, the defence will be just as necessary, and this unit isn’t as strong as the one from 2007.

Right now, it’s hard to imagine anyone in the regular season beating this juggernaut, but there’s a reason why going 16-0 is historic.

Carr’s the star in Oakland

If you did a double take when looking through the standings and seeing the Oakland Raiders at 2-1, I can’t blame you. But these aren’t the Raiders who have been regular bottom-feeders.

Knock on wood but Oakland might actually have its answer to a franchise quarterback in Derek Carr, who’s been very impressive in back-to-back weeks leading the team to wins.

Carr showed signs in his rookie year last year, but it might be as simple as giving him the weapons, which he now has with Amari Cooper and Co.

It must sting some for Oakland knowing they gave up on Carson Palmer, who’s now on fire in Arizona, but Carr’s emergence might be the first long-term hope the Raiders have had in a long, long time.

End of a unwanted streak

The Kansas City Chiefs lost to the Green Bay Packers, but at least they finally broke their streak of 18 consecutive games without a touchdown to a wide receiver.

Newcomer Jeremy Maclin broke the drought – which had sort of a cult following among NFL fans – late in the third quarter when Alex Smith finally decided to feed his best outside threat.

Kansas City signed Maclin in the offseason for a reason, knowing full-well they need more production from the receiver position.

Unless they start utilising Maclin more, we could see a similar streak begin once again. We’re already at one quarter now.

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