NFL report cards: Cowboys, Patriots not yet failing, but close

Here’s hoping the 1972 Miami Dolphins already have that champagne on ice.

Members of that squad usually have to sweat until at least November before the final undefeated team loses to guarantee Miami remains the only team to have ever completed an undefeated season from start to finish. Only one team this season, Kansas City (4-0), can still challenge that mark.

Mediocrity rather than perfection is the big on-field story through the first four weeks of the 2017 NFL season. There are 13 teams at 2-2. In comparison, there were five .500 teams at this time last season.

Joe Flacco and EJ Manuel is the QB matchup nobody wanted to see this season, so here it is. The Black Hole is a tough trip for the falling black birds. Khalil Mack makes up for Derek Carr’s absence as Oakland’s defense out-slugs that of Baltimore in an ugly game.

Mitchell Trubisky draws his first career start against a tough Vikings defense, and Minnesota might very well get Sam Bradford back. Chicago will still lean heavily on its young backs, while Bradford, without Dalvin Cook, will help open things up again to Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen and Kyle Rudolph. More aggressive trumps more conservative on MNF.

How about we try this: An exceptionally strong offense plus a weak Cheap Gaa Jerseys defense equals … the second-best team in football. New England’s league-best offense, by FPI’s Cheap High Quality Jerseys standards, is 8.6 points above average per game, and 3.4 points better than that of the New Orleans Saints, the second-best offense. That makes up for the defensive issues and then some.

The Patriots will be just fine. No, much better than fine.