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How to Not Overreact to Preseason Results

It’s easy to draw grand conclusions from meaningless games. We’re here to help manage your expectations. 

After six months without football, preseason games leave NFL fans to draw grand conclusions from utterly meaningless results. It’s an easy trap to fall into, but we’re here to help manage your expectations. 

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The situation: An undrafted rookie receiver is gashing defenses for touchdown after touchdown.

What it looks like: Your team has discovered the next Victor Cruz.

What it actually means: Your team has discovered a great gunner for the punt unit.

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The situation: Your team’s aging star gets off to a hot start.

What it looks like: He’s bouncing back. He’ll make three more Pro Bowls.

What it actually means: He’s feeling fresh after spending all spring at his Malibu beach home.

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The situation: Your team’s best player’s contract holdout has stretched into the second half of August.

What it looks like: He’s just maximizing his leverage but he’ll be back when the games start to count.

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What it actually means: He hates the front office and he’s leaving as soon as he can.

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The situation: Your team beat the Patriots.

What it looks like: The dynasty is collapsing and this is the year you guys finally reach the top.

What it actually means: Bill Belichick didn’t want to give anyone any tape to study.

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The situation: Your team was chosen to play in the Hall of Fame game.

What it looks like: Players have an extra tune-up game to get in a rhythm.

What it actually means: Players have an extra chance to get injured on an infamously poor playing surface.

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The situation: Your quarterback broke his leg.

What it looks like: You’re screwed.

What it actually means: You’re really screwed.