There is an epidemic in our great country that occurs every fall for about four months. It’s called “Overreactus Americanus” or, more commonly, Monday Morning Quarterbacking. While the symptoms do get better as the NFL season goes on, the first weekend of the year always triggers the worst possible side-effects. I am here as a martyr. Each week, I will give you the biggest overreactions in the league, so you don’t have to deal with this headache. Here is Week 1. You’re welcome.
The Patriots Are Lost
Ok, so this overreaction has been discussed at length already because of the Thursday night opener. But, it’s absolutely ridiculous to think that the defending Super Bowl champions are going to be terrible this year after one game. The overreaction is similar to what we saw in 2014 after the Pats got blown out by, who else, Kansas City. Headlines after that game included that Tom Brady was washed up, Bill Belichick can’t as the coach anymore, etc. Fast forward a few weeks, and those two are hoisting another Lombardi trophy.
Yes, the defense looks out of sorts, but that can be fixed with a few more practice sessions. Most of those guys never played more than a full quarter together in the preseason. Once the communication improves, New England will be fine. The bigger issue is the offense. Without Julian Edelman, the Pats seemed a little out of sorts. Furthermore, with Edelman out it was easy for a talented Chiefs defense to focus on just Rob Gronkowski and Chris Hogan.
The Patriots play in the least competitive division in football. Not only that, but they have the greatest player/coach tandem in league history. While New England absolutely laid an egg on Opening Night, when they raised another banner, there is nothing to worry about. Which brings me to…
Alex Smith is MVP Worthy
Let’s pump the breaks on this overreaction. Alex Smith is a very good quarterback. Andy Reid is a high-quality coach, especially with quarterbacks. However, the performance against New England was an anomaly for Smith. It was just his eighth 300-yard passing game of his career (2005-2017); fourth fewest in NFL history. By comparison, Aaron Rodgers has 50 career 300-yard passing performances in the same time frame. Don’t tell me Alex Smith is anywhere close to the guy I firmly believe wins MVP this season.
One of the things Smith certainly has going for him this year is that the offense is so much more explosive. Travis Kelce, Tyreke Hill, and the rookie Kareem Hunt (who nobody predicted would be that explosive this early) have the potential to overtake the Pittsburgh Steelers as the top offensive trio in the league. But it’s not like Alex Smith is a MonStar who stole the talent of another MVP worthy quarterback.
He also played a Patriots defense that, as mentioned, was severely flawed going into the game. Losing Eric Berry on defense will also hurt Smith because he’ll probably be forced to play from behind a little more this season. Color me impressed by Alex’s opening performance, but I’m not ready to give him top-10 QB ranking yet.
The NFC North in the Most Competitive Division in Football
So the NFC North went 3-1 during the first week, the best record in any division. All three of their wins were also pretty impressive. Even the Chicago Bears loss was solid just because of how close a game it was. Sure, they had three chances inside the 10 to take the lead and watched two passes get dropped; but they did take the defending NFC Champions to the wire.
But the biggest overreaction in all of this is that I’ve seen and heard people claim this division is completely up for grabs. There is only one team that is actually championship caliber, and they were the only one that beat another championship caliber team. Sure the Lions looked good, but the Cardinals defense was always going to be their downfall. They also lost arguably the best running back in the league. I do like the Vikings, and their defense is probably second-best in the North, but the New Orleans Saints are not what they used to be.
Ultimately, this division may come down to the last couple weeks, as it has in recent years. However, the Green Bay Packers showed why they are the runaway champs in the NFC North. Their defense played tremendously against the Seahawks, something that had a lot of question marks, and Aaron Rodgers proved how great he really is.
Jacksonville is for Real
Let’s calm down there Jaguars fans. Yes, your team was awesome on Sunday. A franchise record for single-game sacks for both the team (10) and an individual player (Calais Campbell-4). However, you played the Texans. Even with all the emotional backing of the area following Hurricane Harvey, the team itself was atrocious. I was surprised how well “Sacks”onville played, but not with the game as a whole.
The reason? It’s hard for me to buy into a team after one week when all preseason there were questions about Blake Bortles’ ability to actually play quarterback. Look, I love Leonard Fournette. I think he’s gonna be great for the Jags, but the loss of Allen Robinson with an ACL tear should set straight any delusional Jacksonville fan. Not to mention, Bortles had 125 passing yards on 11-for-21 attempts. [insert puking emoji]
Houston, once they figure out their quarterback situation, will be an ok team. They still will finish third in the division, unless Andrew Luck comes back early. A good performance against a lackluster team equals a “meh” type feeling from me.
The New York Giants Suck (Self-Serving Overreaction)
Full disclosure, I’m a Giants fan. Watching Sunday night’s game was very frustrating. I was annoyed with the play calling, disappointed with the offenses’ ineptitude, and overall just I was just mad. For an offensive coach, Ben McAdoo has no clue what he is doing. When you don’t have your best offensive weapon in Odell Beckham, stupid screen passes don’t do anything. Brandon Marshall was non-existent, and Eli Manning looked more brutal than ever before.
The moronic General Manager, Jerry Reese, did nothing in the offseason to improve their biggest weakness and it showed. The offensive line was atrocious, and the run game was less than noticeable. I’m pretty sure a pee-wee team could have made better holes to run through. New York’s defense was alright, but they were on the field so much that they couldn’t really make a difference.
I picked the Giants to make the playoffs this year. I still believe that because they’ve always found a way to win in spite of themselves. However, I am firmly of the opinion that Jerry Reese will be fired the first day of the offseason. Thanks for letting me vent.
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