I won’t lie to you guys. Each week this gets a little tougher. As the NFL season goes on, finding an overreaction that truly qualifies becomes harder. Somehow, you crazy football fans get it done. But I assure you, I will always debunk any and all freak outs. So here we go. Welcome to Week 5.
1. Dak Prescott Should’ve Gone Down At the One
This overreaction caught me by surprise. Scrolling down my Twitter feed and seeing smart NFL people, arguing with Ed Werder that Dak should have taken a knee at the one-yard line instead of scoring. I’m sorry, what?!?! I can understand making Green Bay burn their last timeout. I can even see wanting to give Aaron Rodgers as little time as possible to engineer a comeback (and, oh man, what a comeback it was). But you seriously believe you shouldn’t score when trailing by four? At home? With a sophomore quarterback? Are you serious?
Sure, you get four chances to punch it in from the one with arguably the best O-Line in the league and Ezekiel Elliott. But do you tell them to waste time and try to score at the last second? Do you really risk a fumble that ends the game? What if you only leave Rodgers 25 seconds but he still gets them in field goal range, and you lose in overtime? This right here is the epitome of overreaction. A stupid notion that makes zero sense anywhere.
How about blaming the Cowboys Defensive Coordinator for playing soft Cover 2 on that final drive. Or maybe blaming the guys who didn’t TACKLE AARON RODGERS INBOUNDS on his incredible 3rd-and-8 scramble. You could also just give credit to the MVP of the league for engineering a masterpiece of a game-winning drive.
2. Nice try, DeShone. Next!
I’ve never believed in benching a rookie once he’s the starter. Especially in Cleveland. All it does is hurt the kid’s confidence even more. Once you decide to start a rookie, make the commitment and let them deal with it. Sure it may end up like Ryan Leaf, or David Carr, or Tim Couch. But it could end up like Peyton Manning. Losing to the Jets is not something you want to condone, obviously, but the Jets are playing well and, well, you’re the Browns. Shouldn’t you be used to this?
What I’m trying to say is, I know you’re fed up with not having a franchise quarterback. But you made your bed. Lie in it. Kizer has some serious talent and great upside. When you tell them you have no more confidence after naming him your Week One starter, it never ends well. It certainly doesn’t help that Kevin Hogan is in just his second season. I understand that it is picking your poison right now, but if you believe Kizer is the future, why not ride with him through this? And I swear to God, if anyone tells me Cody Kessler should start I will smack you.
3. OBJ’s Injury Becomes an Excuse for Big Blue
This is a painful (pun intended) one for me to write. The New York Giants season was over before Sunday. Then the injury happened. A broken ankle to Odell Beckham, Jr. was the headliner on a day when Big Blue watched four wideouts, and a number of defensive players get hurt as well. Some will argue that this injury will be a chance for General manager Jerry Reese to excuse the putrid product his team has put on the field. No.
New York is a terrible team with no leadership and, now, no real offensive threat (please come back, Victor Cruz). It starts at the top with Reese’s reluctance to address the offensive holes this off-season. Instead, he chose to try and further bolster an already stout defense. Although you wouldn’t know based on the first five weeks of the season. Last year’s 11-5 record masked the ineptitude of Ben McAdoo as a head coach and the plain lack of an offensive heartbeat. Injuries won’t do that this year.
At worst it will hinder OBJ’s contract talks in the future. At best, it gets Reese dragged out of MetLife Stadium the second their New Year’s Eve game against Washington is over.
4. Big Ben Needs to Retire
This week saw a lot of conversation about the quarterbacks from the 2004 NFL Draft Class. Mainly because Eli Manning & Philip Rivers were turning the Meadowlands into a swap again with their play. But also because Ben Roethlisberger had a TERRIBLE game against lowly Jacksonville. Five interceptions prompted “Big Ben” to even question his ability post-game.
How dare you, Benjamin. Yes, it was a career-high in picks for you. No, you should not have lost 30-9 to the Jags. That doesn’t mean you’re washed up and need to end your great career after the season. Two of those INT’s were a direct result of insanely athletic plays from Jalen Ramsey. The fifth was a forced throw, down big. Can’t blame him there.
Chin up, Big Ben. Go buy Antonio Brown dinner, tell Le’Veon Bell he should have reported for training camp, and get it together. You got Kansas City next week.
5. Not-So-Crazy Overreaction: Jump on the Chiefs Bandwagon
I’ve been holding back on this one for a while. There’s something about an Andy Reid-coached team that just makes me nervous. Still, the only undefeated team left in the NFL can’t be lucky five weeks in a row, right? I really thought the demolition of the Patriots was an overreaction. However, I’m not ashamed to admit I was wrong.
Like I said a couple of weeks back, Kareem Hunt will be the Offensive Rookie of the Year. The additional offensive talent of Tyreek Hill, Charcandrick West, and Travis Kelce are helping Alex Smith live up to the potential 49ers fan hoped for. Plus, the defense is playing well. They are the best team in the NFL and will prove it over the next four weeks. Games against the Steelers and Broncos (at home) plus road contests against Oakland and Dallas should be the toughest stretch. After that, an AFC West title and #1 seed in the playoffs.