From House Enterprise, and inspired by Rich Eisen, I’m introducing “Overreaction Tuesday.” Every Tuesday throughout the NFL season, I will overreact to what I deem the biggest storyline to come from the prior weekend’s games across the league, that includes Thursday, Sunday, and Monday.
In the NFL, the stories and narratives change every single week. The bottom line is that it’s a long season (five months from Week 1 to the Super Bowl to be exact) and we don’t know how it’s going to end. All we can do is overreact to the most recent data, so let’s do that.
Week 11 - November 16 - November 20, 2023
Cincinnati Bengals 20 (5-5) @ Baltimore Ravens 34 (8-3)
Overreaction: Cincinnati’s season has come to an abrupt end. For the second time in four years, Joe Burrow has suffered a season-ending injury. This year, it likely ends any chance the Bengals had at a Super Bowl run. Burrow suffered a torn ligament in his right wrist in the second quarter of Thursday’s loss to the Ravens. A play after he suffered the injury, Burrow somehow completed a pass that went for a touchdown to give Cincinnati the lead. From there, however, he went to the sideline in pain and could not throw a football or even properly grip one. Enter, backup quarterback Jake Browning. Browning has never started an NFL game since entering the league in 2019 as an undrafted free agent. That will change next weekend as the Bengals take on the Steelers in Cincy. Unfortunately, with Burrow out, the Bengals shot at getting back to another Super Bowl, or even making the playoffs, have likely fallen to the wayside.
Pittsburgh Steelers 10 (6-4) @ Cleveland Browns 13 (7-3)
Overreaction: The ‘Kenny Pickett franchise quarterback’ clock is ticking. This is an understatement. The statistical comparisons that continue to come out about Pickett are baffling. For example, it’s now true that Giants third-string quarterback Tommy DeVito has more career games with multiple passing touchdowns than Pickett. The Steelers QB has thrown just 6 touchdowns and 4 interceptions this year. In Sunday’s loss to Cleveland, Pickett threw for just 106 yards with his longest completion going for 14 yards while his average was below 4 yards per completion. On the year, the only starting quarterback with fewer yards per completion is Zach Wilson. He cannot throw it down the field and is the reason the Steelers ceiling is not higher. If Pittsburgh was below .500, Pickett very well may have been benched by now. As it stands, the Steelers are still in the playoffs, not because of its quarterback, but in spite of him.
Chicago Bears 26 (3-8) @ Detroit Lions 31 (8-2)
Overreaction: The only reason I’m hesitant about the Lions? Jared Goff is their quarterback. For much of Detroit’s 31-26 comeback win over the Bears on Sunday, Goff looked like his old Rams self. The Lions QB threw interceptions on each of their first two drives and a total of 3 for the game, finishing 23/35 for 236 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 3 interceptions. With under 4 minutes remaining, Detroit trailed 26-14. To close the game, the Lions went on a 17-0 run, including back-to-back touchdown drives led by Goff to take the lead before the defense sealed the win with a safety. It was a huge comeback win, there’s no question. The Lions have their best record through ten games since the 1960s, but I am still so hesitant about considering them a legitimate Super Bowl contender. If Goff plays like that in a playoff game against Philadelphia, San Francisco, or Dallas, there is no way Detroit would pull off a comeback win like they did against the lowly Bears. Detroit has struggled with some of the NFL’s mid-tier to lower-tier teams, including the Chargers, Raiders, and now Bears. There’s no doubt they’ll be playing in the postseason come January. When they do, they’ll only go as far as their quarterback can take them.
Los Angeles Chargers 20 (4-6) @ Green Bay Packers 23 (4-6)
Overreaction: Yeah, Brandon Staley is a dead man walking as the Chargers head coach. LA has six losses this season; five of them have been by a combined 14 points. They have lost by 3 four times, including their last two games against Detroit and Green Bay. On Sunday, dropped passes were prevalent on offense while the defense, where Staley calls the plays, gave up a scoring drive to Jordan Love’s Packers at the worst possible time. Following last year’s blown 27-0 lead in the playoff loss to Jacksonville, paired with a 4-6 start this year, Staley is firmly on the hot seat. Their next three games are at home against Baltimore, on the road against New England, and back home against Denver. If they don’t get all three, they are in deep trouble to miss the playoffs. If that happens, Staley is most assuredly not coming back as the head coach. A hard pill to swallow for a team that could’ve hired Sean Payton had they made this move following a blown four possession lead in the postseason.
Las Vegas Raiders 13 (5-6) @ Miami Dolphins 20 (7-3)
Overreaction: Just as the Lions are limited by their QB, the Miami Dolphins will only go as far as Tua Tagovailoa takes them. Tagovailoa still ranks 3rd in the NFL in passing, but has spent most of the season at the top. In the game against Las Vegas on Sunday, he threw for 325 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception, but was often reckless with the ball and could have easily thrown four or five INTs. Miami’s high-flying offense that put up 70 in a game earlier this season has now been held out of the endzone in two of the last four halves of football it has played, including the game against the Raiders. Fortunately for Tua and the offense, Miami’s defense held the Raiders scoreless in the second half, while kicker Jason Sanders knocked through two field goals to extend the lead. With the AFC looking more and more wide open, the Dolphins will surely be in the picture come the postseason. However, whether or not they can ride their current wave to the Super Bowl remains to be seen.
New York Giants 31 (3-8) @ Washington Commanders 19 (4-7)
Overreaction: Ron Rivera is another current NFL head coach who is likely in his final games at his post. The Washington Commanders have lost four of their last five games, with the only win coming against New England. In that span, they have also lost twice to the New York Giants, who are 2-0 against Washington and 1-8 against everyone else. Head Coach Ron Rivera is in his fourth season as head coach has yet to have a winning record. In fact, in his career, Rivera has only put together three winning seasons out of his 13 as a head coach, and hasn’t had one of his teams finish over .500 since his Panthers finished 11-5 in 2017. With new owner Josh Harris in town, and now a franchise quarterback in Sam Howell, the opportunity is there for Harris to go with a fresh start at the head coaching position. If Washington were winning, that’d be one thing. But as it is, they aren’t, and it all starts with coaching. Change is coming in Washington, perhaps sooner rather than later.
Dallas Cowboys 33 (7-3) @ Carolina Panthers 10 (1-9)
Overreaction: Even though he’s in his first season, Panthers Head Coach Frank Reich is on the hot seat. It’s rumored that Reich did not want to select Bryce Young with the top selection of the 2024 draft, rather he wanted his team to take Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud. If that’s true, it looks like Reich was right. As it stands, it’s been said that Panthers Owner David Tepper was adamant that the team select Young, and what the owner says goes. Currently, Young is 27th in the league in passing yards while Stroud is 2nd. Young has thrown 9 touchdowns and 8 interceptions, while Stroud has thrown 17 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. More importantly, if the story of the head coach and owner being at odds about which QB to take and the owner being seemingly incorrect, that could strain an important relationship in the building between owner and coach. If Reich isn’t all in on the ‘franchise QB,’ Tepper could very easily find someone who will be, and replace the new head coach just one season into his tenure.
Tennessee Titans 14 (3-7) @ Jacksonville Jaguars 34 (7-3)
Overreaction: The days of Derrick Henry dominating the league are a thing of the past. It wasn’t so long ago that Henry was single-handedly leading his team to an AFC Championship game and running over the league, literally and figuratively, week in and week out. Those days appear to finally be over. The 29 year old is finally starting to feel the wear and tear of being an NFL running back and has put so many miles on his legs that he was bound to slow down sooner or later. And yet, as I say that, he is still 6th in the league in rushing. However, over the past two weeks, he’s amassed two of his three lowest rushing totals this season, rushing for just 24 yards on 11 carries two weeks ago, and just 38 yards on 10 carries in Sunday’s loss to Jacksonville. The addition of rookie RB Tyjae Spears has taken away some of Henry’s workload, but even when Derrick is getting the ball he has seemed a step slower than years past. With the Titans at a 3-7 record and likely out of the playoff picture, this could be it for Henry in Tennessee altogether.
Arizona Cardinals 16 (2-9) @ Houston Texans 21 (6-4)
Overreaction: If the season ended today, CJ Stroud is the MVP. The Houston Texans have already doubled their win total from a season ago and there are still seven games to go. The main reason, besides the new Head Coach DeMeco Ryans, is undoubtedly the first round draft pick, CJ Stroud. The QB from Ohio State is putting together a season that even the most optimistic Stroud enthusiasts could not have imagined. Stroud is currently 2nd in the NFL in passing (behind Sam Howell, who has not yet had his bye and leads by 76 yards), 3rd in yards per completion, 10th in touchdowns, and has thrown the 2nd fewest interceptions among all starting quarterbacks (Russell Wilson). Most importantly, his team is winning, and they’re doing it because of him. Houston has now won three games in a row, including four of their last five after a 2-3 start. Over the three game winning streak, Stroud’s passing yardage has been 470, 356, and 336, respectively, with two game-winning drives in that stretch, and 8 touchdown passes. Given what the Texans were a year ago and what they are now, Stroud not only has the Offensive Rookie of the Year award all but locked up, but should also be a serious candidate for the league’s Most Valuable Player award.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 14 (4-6) @ San Francisco 49ers 27 (7-3)
Overreaction: The 49ers are so back. Over the past two weeks coming out of their bye, San Francisco has given up just 17 total points while putting up 61. The defense is humming once again and the offense looks diverse and prolific, with quarterback Brock Purdy spreading the ball around to the myriad of weapons at his disposal, while running back Christian McCaffrey continues to dominate on the ground. McCaffrey currently leads the NFL in rushing, amassing 134 more yards than anyone else, and is 3rd in the league in rushing touchdowns with nine. Through the air, Purdy is 6th in the league in passing, just ahead of Patrick Mahomes, and is tied for 7th with 18 touchdown passes and just 5 interceptions. Meanwhile, the 49ers defense ranks 5th in the league in total defense, is giving up the fewest points per game of any team in the NFL (15.7 PPG), and is tied for 2nd in total takeaways (19). San Francisco may have to go on the road for an NFC Championship game, but they look like the most complete team in the league at the moment.
New York Jets 6 (4-6) @ Buffalo Bills 32 (6-5)
Overreaction: It’s time for literally anyone else to play quarterback for the New York Jets. I wrote that sentence on Sunday night and on Monday the Jets announced that Zach Wilson has been replaced by Tim Boyle as the starter. This comes after Wilson’s 7/15 game against the Bills where he threw for 81 yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception before being replaced by Boyle late in the game, who promptly came in and threw an interception of his own. For weeks, Head Coach Robert Saleh has said that Wilson gives the Jets the best chance to win. And while I do still believe that, at this point, you have to throw someone else in the game and see what happens. In his career, Boyle is 73/120 for 607 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 9 interceptions. On Friday, he’ll get his first start for the Jets against Miami in a nationally televised game on Amazon Prime. It still might get worse before it gets much better in New York.
Seattle Seahawks 16 (6-4) @ Los Angeles Rams 17 (4-6)
Overreaction: I said this last week, and I’ll say it again; the Seahawks are going to miss the playoffs. Seattle has now lost two of its last three, including a 37-3 drubbing against Baltimore and this week's latest loss against the Rams, as LA completed the season sweep of Seattle. Looking ahead at the Seahawks next four games, they play vs. San Francisco, @ Dallas, @ San Francisco, and home vs. Philadelphia. They’ll be heavy underdogs in all four of those games, and if they lose all of them they’ll drop to 6-8 on the year with three games to go, likely needing to win all three against Tennessee on the road, Pittsburgh at home, and Arizona on the road. To me, it looks like the current position Seattle has in the playoff picture is very much up for grabs.
Minnesota Vikings 20 (6-5) @ Denver Broncos 21 (5-5)
Overreaction: This miracle run by Denver is going to propel the Broncos into the postseason. As a Chiefs fan, I watched KC start the 2017 season 1-5 and not only make the playoffs, but win its first playoff game in nearly 20 years. Now, I see what Denver is doing and there are clear similarities. In Week 3, the Broncos lost to the Dolphins by 50. Two weeks later, they lost to the Jets and the following week they lost to KC. Since, they’ve won four straight, defeating the Packers, Chiefs, Bills, and Vikings to get back to .500 at 5-5. They’ve done so by forcing turnovers. The Broncos have 19 takeaways on the year, which is tied for 2nd in the NFL. They’ve also done a phenomenal job at taking care of the football. Quarterback Russell Wilson may not be the reason Denver is winning, but he is also not the reason they are losing, as he leads the NFL with just 4 interceptions this season. Upcoming, Denver hosts Cleveland before playing three straight road games against Houston, LA Chargers, and Detroit. If they can just split those four games and get to 7-7 for the home stretch against New England, the Chargers, and Las Vegas, they’ll have a very legitimate chance to sneak into the playoffs.
Philadelphia Eagles 21 (9-1) @ Kansas City Chiefs 17 (7-3)
Overreaction: The Chiefs wide receivers are officially a real problem. The Kansas City Chiefs receivers have dropped a league-high 26 passes this year. In fact, 21% of Patrick Mahomes’ incompletions this season have been drops, the highest rate in the league by far. In Monday night’s game against the Eagles, Chiefs receiver Justin Watson had a team-high 11 targets, of which he caught 5 for 53 yards and a touchdown, while having multiple crucial drops. Across the NFL, only four other receivers had that many targets in Week 11: Tyreek Hill, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Adam Theilen, and Nico Collins. Not exactly similar company to Justin Watson. Beyond that, the Chiefs haven’t scored a second half point in any of their last three games and have scored the fewest second half points of any team in the NFL this season. And yet, despite the amount of issues they have on offense, Kansas City was still in position to beat the Eagles and are still 7-3 and in line for the #1 seed in the AFC. Forget ‘turning the offense around.’ If KC can just catch the passes that hit receivers in the hand and stop turning the ball over in the redzone, they will be fine. In fact, if they had done that up to this point in the season, they’d likely be 9-1 or even 10-0. As it stands, the performance Monday night against the Eagles was very similar to what I saw against the Lions in Week 1. The difference? This was Week 11 coming out of the bye week, where Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes thrive. And yet, the same problems that were there three months ago remain today.
Week 11 Teams on Bye:
Atlanta Falcons (4-6)
Indianapolis Colts (5-5)
New England Patriots (2-8)
New Orleans Saints (5-5)