As much as optimism is a rite of passage entering the NFL’s opening week each year, so, too, is the rampant overreaction to the results from Week 1 in the days after.
Here’s a look at some overreactions to Week 1 results:
The Patriots, who lost at Miami last Sunday, are on a downslide.
Not as long as Bill Belichick is the HC of the NEP will the Patriots tumble to irrelevance. Though there certainly are issues to be addressed, Belichick’s teams are notoriously slow starters. Also, the Patriots almost always have trouble at Miami.
The Cowboys are done after the loss of quarterback Dak Prescott in the Sunday night opener.
Firstly, Prescott will be back — hopefully within six weeks or so. Secondly, the Cowboys remain a pretty talented team. Thirdly, the NFC East is perhaps the weakest division in the NFL, so Dallas isn’t likely to fall too far out of the race.
The defending-champion Rams are experiencing the post-Super Bowl hangover and will struggle to make the playoffs.
The Rams lost to a Bills team that may well be destined for the Super Bowl this season with quarterback Josh Allen, who’s an early favorite to win the league’s MVP award. The Rams remain the most talented and well-coached team in the NFC West. Book your playoff tickets.
The Seahawks have moved on seamlessly with Geno Smith having replaced Russell Wilson at quarterback.
Smith has been a backup most of his career for a reason. He’s not an elite quarterback. Though he had a strong game against the Broncos, I’m not a believer that he can be trusted as an every-week starter — though he does have some terrific skill-position talent in receivers DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, and tight end Noah Fant.
Aaron Rodgers and the Packers might not win the NFC North for a change.
Though Rodgers spoke with an elite level of arrogance in the lead-up to this game about his team’s division dominance, don’t believe for a moment that Green Bay’s 23-7 loss to the Vikings means Minnesota is poised to take over the division.
The Packers, don’t forget, lost 38-3 to the Saints in Week 1 last season and went on to win the division with 13 victories. I trust Rodgers a lot more than I do Minnestoa quarterback Kirk Cousins despite the fact that the Vikings’ Justin Jefferson (184 receiving yards and two TDs last week) might emerge as the best receiver in the league this season.
Mitch Trubisky is the long-term answer at quarterback for the Steelers.
Despite the Steelers’ opening win, there are still live Over/Under bets on how many games it’ll be before Trubisky is replaced by first-round draft pick Kenny Pickett. The Steelers beat the Bengals largely because their defense forced five turnovers.
The Bengals are in trouble after their loss to Pittsburgh. Yes, Joe Burrow was intercepted a career-high four times. Even after those turnovers, he threw a game-tying TD pass in the final seconds of regulation, but kicker Evan McPherson’s extra point was blocked, sending the contest to overtime. Remember Burrow is coming off a disjointed summer that included an appendectomy, so a slow start is not completely unexpected. He remains one of the best quarterbacks in the game, and the Bengals remain talented, young and hungry. I still consider them one of the best teams in the AFC.