Nearly three weeks of the 2023 season are complete and like every NFL weekend, this one was something completely unpredictable. Multiple teams with impressive offensive performances, a nearly 13point underdog winning by double digits, an Arrowhead Love Story, and so much more. 

Here is my stock up and down report after another solid weekend of football action. 


High-flying offenses

The Miami Dolphins scored 70 points in an NFL game. Yes, that’s correct — 70 points! It came against the Denver Broncos on Sunday. The Dolphins had 35 at halftime, 56 after one play in the fourth quarter and then two late scores with backups to end the game. Tua Tagovailoa was 16 of 16 in the first half with 206 yards and two touchdowns, one of which was a super cool no-look shovel pass to rookie running back De’Von Achane, who, oh by the way, finished with 233 total yards and four touchdowns. When the Dolphins offense is rolling like this, there’s no defense in the NFL that can stop them. They have too many options, too much speed (See: Tyreek Hill and Achane) and a quarterback who is accurate with a full understanding of the purpose and goal of each play. The Dolphins are the best team in the NFL right now.

The Buffalo Bills struggled on opening weekend, scoring just 13 points in a loss to the Jets. Since then, the Bills have scored 38 points and 37 points over two games, the latter coming this weekend against the Washington Commanders. The Bills’ offensive success is quite simple. If Josh Allen doesn’t turn the ball over, there are not many ways to stop Buffalo. Add into the mix a Bills rushing attack that came to life, and we saw what the full potential of this Bills offense should be. 

Los Angeles Chargers

The Chargers won a football game, their first of the season, after losing the first two of the campaign. The Chargers squeezed by the Vikings 28-24, with Justin Herbert throwing for 405 yards and three touchdowns and zero interceptions. He was fantastic Sunday, looking like the quarterback the Chargers paid to be as one of the best in the NFL. The Chargers won the turnover battle 2-1 and held the Vikings to 4 of 14 on third down … and yet needed a turnover with the Vikings on the six-yard line because Chargers head coach Brandon Staley is not very good at his job. 

Mark Sanchez and Kevin Kugler join Dave Helman to recap the Chargers’ victory over the Vikings

With just under two minutes remaking, the Chargers had the ball on their own 24-yard line needing one yard to convert on fourth down to end the game. The Chargers could have opted to punt, leaving the Vikings with the ball, two timeouts and most of the field left between them and the end zone. The Chargers went for glory by opting to attempt a rush on fourth down. Instead of calling a high-percentage QB sneak or a move-the-pocket pass, they called a fullback dive that ended up being stuffed for no gain. The Vikings got the ball needing 24 yards to win the game. If the Vikings ended the game with a touchdown, Staley was likely in danger of being fired. That would have been three straight losses by three points since blowing a 27-point second-half lead in a wild card game against the Jaguars last year.

Travis Kelce

Travis Kelce is such a big dog he was able to shoot his shot at the biggest pop star in a generation, and that’s how Taylor Swift ended up in a box at Arrowhead Stadium dressed in Chiefs gear while sitting next to Donna Kelce, the famous mom of the Kelce brothers. After Kelce caught seven passes for 69 yards and one touchdown — looking much healthier after the bone bruise he suffered before the Chiefs’ first game — he was seen leaving the team’s family room area with the popstar, only fueling speculation the duo might be dating. Said quarterback Patrick Mahomes of Kelce’s second touchdown in as many games: “I think he wanted to get into the end zone as much as the Swifties wanted him to.” Time will tell if Kelce plays Romeo to Swift’s Juliet. 


Denver Broncos

The Broncos are 0-3 after losing by 50 points to the Dolphins on Sunday. The Sean Payton Era is off to a rocky start and his team just didn’t look inspired to play most of the game. The tackling on defense was nonexistent and the gameplan was awful. Tua Tagovailoa was not bothered all game and the Broncos couldn’t stop the run. While I never like to question the effort of NFL players, you have to wonder how hard his team played in the second half. Russell Wilson looked good at times but the trend of a poor offense in the second half of games continues. That shows me Wilson is much better at the scripted part of the gameplan early in the contest but struggles when it comes to adjusting to plays he isn’t as familiar with (but are in the gameplan) when called later in the game. It seems very likely this will be the only season with Sean Payton and Russell Wilson working together.

Tanking teams

The general public has a misunderstanding about how tanking works in the NFL because it’s done much quieter than in the NBA. In the NBA, teams can choose to sit out their best players, and by not playing them, they are putting themselves in a position to lose that game. The NFL does not work that way. If you’re on the roster, getting paid and healthy, you are playing on game day. If you’re a coach on the staff, you’re coaching the entire week trying to win. Both players and coaches play every game to win. Both parties get glory, and more importantly, money, by winning. The more you win as a player you’re often looked upon more favorably in free agency, and the same goes for coaches. Win and you get better jobs. So to make clear: NFL players and coaches attempt to win every game they play. The way teams tank in the NFL is having a bad roster and/or an awful quarterback. You tank in the offseason with your roster decisions.

That brings us to the Arizona Cardinals, who by all their offseason moves showed all the signs of a team willing to tank. They traded away talented players. They are rolling with an unproven quarterback … and yet on game day, they bust their butts to win games. They finally got their first win of the season against what appeared to be a powerhouse Dallas Cowboys squad on Sunday. Arizona had led at halftime in their previous two games but didn’t close the deal. They did so with style on Sunday. 

Full highlights from Cardinals’ upset Cowboys

Zach Wilson

Let’s get this out of the way: Wilson is not good at playing quarterback in the NFL and if he wasn’t the second overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft he would not currently be starting in the NFL. In Sunday’s loss to the Patriots, Wilson struggled in finishing 18 of 16 for 157 yards and no touchdowns for a 17.9 QBR. The Jets are stuck because of the Aaron Rodgers injury, and I was in favor of them trying Wilson for a few games. But it’s not worth it anymore. Anyone else would give them a better opportunity to win, and potentially give this championship-level roster a chance for success.

I do have some sympathy for Wilson because it was not his choice to be drafted that high. He was clearly not ready or skilled enough for that draft slot, but with being the second pick in the draft comes higher expectations than someone like 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy, who was a seventhround pick. 

Geoff Schwartz is an NFL analyst for FOX Sports. He played eight seasons in the NFL for five different teams. He started at right tackle for the University of Oregon for three seasons and was a second-team All-Pac-12 selection his senior year. Follow him on Twitter @GeoffSchwartz.

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