He's knocked on the door a few times, but Matt Ryan might finally have busted through to super elite quarterback status.
He had been close the past two seasons, throwing for a combined 57 touchdowns against just 21 interceptions and completing close to 62% of his passes, but Ryan has risen to the next level in 2012.
Ryan moved Atlanta to 4-0 on Sunday and has now completed 72% of his pass attempts this season and has thrown for eight touchdowns and only one interception.
Those are Drew Brees-like numbers.
On Sunday, Ryan threw for 369 yards and three touchdowns, lighting it up despite being sacked seven times.
Carolina gave him the ball back on his one-yard line with about a minute remaining on the clock.
With no timeouts, Ryan hooked up with Roddy White for 59 yards.
A pass interference call and a couple of short completions thrown by Ryan set up the game-winning field goal.
Yes, Ryan has great threats to throw to in White, Julio Jones and Tony Gonzalez, among others. But that doesn't mean they're responsible for making him look good.
He'd look good regardless. They are just helping him appear unstoppable at the moment.
JOHNSON SHOWS FLASHES OF OLD
In a marquee matchup against 2010 NFL rushing champion Arian Foster and the Houston Texans, 2009 rushing champ Chris Johnson finally flashed his old form on Sunday.
Johnson rushed for 141 yards -- he had compiled just 45 yards on the ground all season coming in -- his most since early last December.
It wasn't enough -- Houston pummeled Tennessee -- but Johnson's resurgence had to be encouraging for a Tennessee franchise that had been wondering what had happened to the one-time superstar.
Since signing a large contract extension following a lengthy holdout, Johnson, aside from a few outliers, has been a shadow of his former self.
Against a solid Houston defence though, Johnson moved the chains with powerful running, outplaying Foster, who ran for 85 yards.
From the start (Johnson rushed for 13 yards on is first carry of the game) it was clear Johnson was on his game.
The trick now will be building on the performance.
Johnson only managed even back-to-back 60-yard rushing games twice last season and topped 100 yards just four times.
He could be working with Matt Hasselbeck instead of Jake Locker, since Locker needs an MRI after hurting his shoulder again.
CHARLES' MISTAKES COSTLY
Fortunes can change quickly in the NFL.
Kansas City running back Jamaal Charles knows that as well as almost anyone.
Charles went from a promising young star to an injured player missing almost an entire season due to injury.
Then, last week, he proved he was all the way back by rushing for 233 yards against New Orleans.
Sunday, things went bad for Charles again. Though he had two touchdowns -- one on the ground, one in the air -- his mistakes cost the Chiefs in a loss to San Diego.
Usually sure-handed (he has never had more than two fumbles in a season) Charles fumbled twice, losing the ball both times.
He wasn't the only culprit in the loss -- Matt Cassel kept throwing to the other team, Eric Berry kept taking bad penalties-- but his mistakes were costly.
When Takeo Spikes took the ball away from him on the Chiefs 5 with Kansas City trailing 10-0, the Chiefs went from possibly getting back in the game to putting themselves all but out of it when San Diego added seven more seconds later.
His second fumble wasn't nearly as costly and his later touchdowns at least gave the Chiefs some hope, but the early fumble put the game out of reach.
GREG THE LEG
It's pretty rare for kickers to become stars, but St. Louis' Greg Zuerlein has become one of the NFL's rookie stars.
They call him "Greg the Leg" and for good reason.
Last week, Zuerlein booted a 56-yard field goal against Chicago that was just one yard shy of the club record.
On Sunday, Zuerlein put his name in the Rams' history books, with two kicks that beat previous record-holder Jeff Wilkins.
Zuerlein hit four field goals in a 19-13 win over Seattle, including a 58-yarder and a 60-yarder.
Also known as "Young G.Z." -- what kicker has ever had even one nickname? We told you this guy was different -- the 24-year-old went to two different colleges and hit 23-of-24 field goal attempts in 2011.
The sixth-round pick has found life in the NFL just as easy. He is now
12-for-12 on the season including an astounding 3-for-3 from 50 yards or more.
Considering how average the Rams are offensively, suddenly Zuerlein is one of the more valuable players in the league.
"Right now, our kicker is the MVP of the season," said running back Steven Jackson afterwards.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Zuerlein has connected from 74 yards out at practice, so maybe next week he'll ratchet things up yet another level.
REALITY CHECK FOR WILSON
Russell Wilson was a good story heading into the season.
Diminutive, unheralded rookie quarterback picks up starting job over guy who got a free agent payday from Seattle.
Well, this chapter of the story could be nearing an end.
Matt Flynn might have to start earning that $19.5 million U.S. contract soon.
Wilson is discovering that the regular season is quite a different experience compared to the pre-season, where he starred in earning the starting gig.
Yes, Seattle is 2-2, but really the team was gifted a win by the replacement refs and should be 1-3.
Wilson threw three picks Sunday in what was easily the worst game of his career.
He played very well in Week 2 against Dallas, but has been average gusting to far worse than that in his other three outings.
Marshawn Lynch is carrying Seattle's offence, Wilson has merely been along for the ride.
That's not good enough, especially if he starts turning the ball over as he did on Sunday. If this continues for a couple more weeks, it would be stunning to see Wilson remain Seattle's starter.
Not with Flynn waiting in the wings.