[caption id="attachment_18465" align="aligncenter" width="496"] Michael DeMocker / The Times-Picayune[/caption] For all the speculation and number-crunching everybody puts in throughout the offseason to try and guess how the coming season will turn out, it's just plain impossible to predict some things. These are the events that have had myself (and no doubt many others) scratching my head and a look on my face that can only be described as the 'Confused Pug'. New Orleans Saints After the offseason from hell which included head coach suspension, lawsuits and a big old standoff with Drew Brees over his contract, it's safe to say nobody expected a stellar season from the damaged Saints. But after three rounds the Saints look like an entirely different team to the offensive powerhouse we saw in the 2011 season. The defense for the saints is struggling to stop, well, anything and the Drew Brees-driven offence that broke records last season is not performing well enough to register wins. At the end of round three the Saints stand 0-3, the same win record as the team that is, let's face it, generally considered somewhat laughable -- the Cleveland Browns. The difference between the 2011 Saints and the 2012 Saints is a huge surprise. Arizona Cardinals week 2 win over Patriots If you predicted this one you either a) were kidding and acted like you weren't when it actually happened, or b) can see into the future. Who would have thought coming into this season that the Cardinals, ranked usually 30/31/32 in most power rankings before the season, would only take two games to bring down 2011 Super Bowl contenders with only four yards going to Larry Fitzgerald. The Cardinals beating the Patriots and only using Fitzgerald once is a colossal surprise. Green Bay Packers offense It's usually the offense of the Packers that gets the majority of the attention with elite QB Aaron Rodgers leading the way. But so far this season It has been the Packers' defence that has been the point of focus, and with good reason. Clay Matthews is having an absolutely stellar season and boy are the Packers lucky in that regard. The offense that was so potent with its pass game last season has struggled this season and it showed during week 3 against the Seahawks. The offensive line at times may as well have not been there, allowing eight sacks in the first half alone. With an elite QB and recievers that in previous seasons have shown they are able to make big plays, the only thing stopping this formerly potent pass offense from staying that way is the protection Rodgers is getting. Now for a team that is so QB-reliant, this is a terrible number and until Rodgers gets decent protection he will be far less likely to make game-changing plays. If you're going to have a franchise QB, you need to protect him for both effective play and the prevention of possible injuries (there's not exactly a wealth of talent lined up to take Rodgers' place). Granted, the Packers should have won week 3 but even if they had, there was only one TD from them, hardly what you'd expect from the same side that was offensively outstanding last season. The Packers offensive woes is a big surprise. Michael Vick No real surprises in his actual game per-se, but the real surprise is that Michael Vick has not been sidelined yet from injury as everybody predicted. Small surprise. Replacement refs "I think everybody is overreacting, how bad can they be?" - Me, preseason. Boy how wrong I was. It started off with just a couple of questionable calls, then as season went on we ended up at the Packers-Seahawks game which came down to a hail mary pass in the final seconds that was obviously intercepted. One ref calls a TD, the other calls interception, and then all hell breaks loose. It's generally accepted that refs will make the occasional bad call, but if they are going to do so, the least they could do is all make the same bad call. I don't think anybody expects the replacement refs to be incredible, but when blatantly wrong decisions decide a game like they did in this game, it's obvious the NFL needs the real refs back. For a game this large, with wins, jobs and many other things at stake, you can't go using refs that are doubling up as year 8 Geography teachers or Real Estate agents (not to demean the fine work of Geography Teachers and Real Estate agents, I just doubt how well they fare as NFL refs). The fact that the NFL, a multi-billion dollar company yet still refusing to pay the real refs and having these guys decide games? Utterly baffling. Massive surprise. What do you think? What has surprised you this season?