Against the Grain: For every Week 1 action, an equal overreaction
Overreaction Monday spilled into the second quarter of Week 2's Thursday night game, when social media declared Peyton Manning’s career over before the whistle had even blown on his pick-six against the Chiefs. Then the Broncos gave up on the lunacy of rolling out their 39-year-old quarterback on passing plays and put him in shotgun, and everything was back to normal.
We do this every year. Last season we wondered if Jimmy Garoppolo should get a chance over Tom Brady in New England and had the Bengals at the top of the Power Rankings after three weeks. But now we’re overreacting quicker and reaching further than ever before. After one week of digesting analysis around the league, these conclusions are self-evident:
The Bills are Super Bowl-bound. Just ask Tony Gonzalez, who predicted as much on CBS this week. Vegas is buying in too: The Pats are just one-point favorites at Buffalo this week. Never mind that the Music City Miracle in 1999 was the Bills' last playoff game. Or that Sports Illustrated put them on the cover after a 3–0 start in 2011 and they finished 6–10. That’s all in the past now that Rex Ryan’s in town and Tyrod Taylor is under center.
All second-year QBs are terrible. It’s one thing to be a rookie and not have the pro game mastered. But if you’re not an All-Pro one game into your second season, it’s time to move on. Turns out Teddy Bridgewater’s Pro Day was actually who he is. Blake Bortles fooled me again in the preseason—who drafts a QB out of Central Florida? Derek Carr is not all that different from his brother David. And Johnny Manziel is short. He was actually adequately sized when he threw that long bomb to Travis Benjamin in his first drive, but he shrunk the rest of the game against the Jets.
The Seahawks are done. If the Seahawks lose to the Packers and fall to 0–2, the odds of reaching the playoffs narrow. Combine that with the numbers for Super Bowl losers and the Seahawks’ mini-run is basically over. Put that big fish they throw around Pike Place Market back on ice because the networks won’t need it for establishment shots come playoff time. Kam Chancellor might as well take the rest of the season off. Tell the 12th man to tone it down to a polite applause because there’s not going to be much to cheer for in the Pacific Northwest.
Rob Gronkowski is the most uncoverable player in NFL history. After his three-touchdown performance against the Steelers, defenses around the League have just given up. Rex Ryan said a defender would have to look like King Kong to stop Gronk. Yeah right, Kong would definitely safety help in that matchup. And Gronkowski is not alone ... tight ends caught a record 22 touchdown last week. Good luck stopping Travis Kelce, Tyler Eifert and Austin Seferian-Jenkins as well.
Some quick-hit overreactions ...
• The Packers don’t need Jordy Nelson. Green Bay can just grab former players off the street like James Jones (3 TDs against the Bears) and thrive. If he goes down, bring back Donald Driver or trade for Greg Jennings. Is Ruvell Martin still in the league?
• Eli Manning can’t win big games. Wait, what? That’s the only thing we know he can do.
These observations may not stand the test of time, or even last until halftime of Sunday's early games. But that’s OK, because next Monday we’re all going to get it right.