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Overreaction Tuesday - Death, Taxes, and Poor Officiating

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 13 - November 30 - December 4, 2023



Seattle Seahawks 35 (6-6) @ Dallas Cowboys 41 (9-3)


Overreaction: NFL officiating is becoming a real problem. Early in the season, I wouldn’t have said that officiating is making games hard to watch. But after what happened at the end of the Chiefs Packers game on Sunday night and paired with the game on Thursday between Seattle and Dallas, it’s starting to seriously negatively affect games. In the game in Dallas, there were 19 penalties called and three more that were picked up, all of which would have been against the Cowboys. Those 19 penalties accounted for 257 yards with Seattle accumulating one more penalty and three more penalty yards than Dallas. This year, these two teams rank first and second in total penalties against and penalty yardage, so it does make sense that there were a lot of flags in the game. However, the product on the field was nearly overshadowed by officiating. As Al Michaels said on the Amazon broadcast, “Kirk and I will step aside and let Clete Blakeman (the head official) call the rest of this one.” Everyone needs to stop complaining about calls/no calls and let the boys play.

 

Indianapolis Colts 31 (7-5) @ Tennessee Titans 28 (4-8) - OT


Overreaction: Gardner Minshew is going to lead the Colts to the playoffs. Indianapolis is tied for the longest active winning streak in the NFL, having won four straight games after a 3-5 start and losing rookie starting quarterback Anthony Richardson. Since the injury to Richardson, QB Gardner Minshew has shined during the winning streak and had his best game on Sunday, throwing for 312 yards and 2 touchdowns in the overtime victory over Tennessee, including the game-winning touchdown pass to Michael Pittman to end the game. Looking ahead, the Colts play Jake Browning and the Bengals followed by Mitchell Trubisky and the Steelers before finishing the year against the Falcons, Raiders, and Texans. Indy is on the verge of surging into the playoffs and Head Coach Shane Steichen should be a coach of the year candidate if they do make it in his first year at the helm.

 

Los Angeles Chargers 6 (5-7) @ New England Patriots 0 (2-10)


Overreaction: Sunday’s Chargers vs. Patriots games featured zero touchdowns and two coaches who will no longer be the head coach of their respective teams in five weeks. There’s really only one way each coach can save his job at this point. If Brandon Staley can not only lift his team into the playoffs, but win at least one playoff game, he will remain the Chargers head coach next year. I think any other result and he’ll be out of a job. As for Bill Belichick, his team did not allow a touchdown on Sunday. As a defensive-minded head coach, if his defense continues to play lights out, despite a myriad of injuries suffered this season, he’ll make a strong case for himself to stay on as head coach in New England.

 

Detroit Lions 33 (9-3) @ New Orleans Saints 28 (5-7)

Overreaction: New Orleans is one of several teams that will be looking for a new head coach in roughly one month. The NFC South is the league’s most winnable division, with the Falcons currently sitting in first place at 6-6 overall. New Orleans is 5-7, tied in second with Tampa Bay while Carolina sits 1-11 at the bottom of the NFL. Frank Reich has already been fired in Carolina, and it feels like the other two teams who fail to win the league’s least competitive division will be making head coaching changes come mid-January. Dennis Allen is in his second year as the Saints head coach, going 7-10 last year and off to a 5-7 start this year. If his team, which was a preseason favorite to take the division, fails to win it, there’s a good chance he’s out as the head coach.

 

Atlanta Falcons 13 (6-6) @ New York Jets 8 (4-8)

Overreaction: Jets Head Coach Robert Saleh should lose his job for the complete mismanagement of the quarterback situation. Since Aaron Rodgers’ injury four plays into the season, the Jets have started Zach Wilson at QB nine times and have gone with veteran Tim Boyle as the starter the last two games. Now, it’s been reported that Saleh wants to go back to Wilson after back-to-back games in which Boyle failed to throw for 180 yards and amassed 1 touchdown and 3 interceptions while his offense put up 21 points combined. Wilson is apparently reluctant to take back the starting role, leaving the Jets at a crossroads at the games most important position. It’s unclear why the Jets did not sign a veteran QB like the Rams did with Carson Wentz, or trade for someone like Josh Dobbs as the Vikings did. To have a top defense and an offense filled with weapons only to completely mismanage the quarterback position is the fault of the head coach, who should be held responsible for a massive missed opportunity in 2023.

 

Arizona Cardinals 24 (3-10) @ Pittsburgh Steelers 10 (7-5)


Overreaction: The Steelers need Kenny Pickett to have a fighting chance for the rest of the season. The Pittsburgh quarterback, Pickett, sustained an injury early in the game against Arizona and will miss the next few weeks. He was 7-10 passing for 70 yards when he exited the game and the Steelers were in a 3-3 tie late in the first half. From there, Arizona scored 21 unanswered points and throttled the Steelers 24-10 to win just its third game of the season. It was just one week ago that Pittsburgh fired offensive coordinator Matt Canada and then quickly had its best offensive game of the season in a 16-10 win over Cincinnati in which Pittsburgh outgained its opponents for the first time in 2023. Now, they’ll go with Mitchell Trubisky at QB for at least the next couple of games against New England and Indianapolis. The Steelers are on the cusp of a playoff berth at 7-5, but I’m not sure they can get there without Pickett at quarterback.

 

Miami Dolphins 45 (9-3) @ Washington Commanders 15 (4-9)


Overreaction: Tyreek Hill will be the first receiver in NFL history to put up 2,000 receiving yards in a single season. On the year, Hill has 1,481 receiving yards, 299 more than the next best receiver (CeeDee Lamb). He also has a league-high 12 touchdowns this season, two more than anyone else (Mike Evans). The Cheetah is now just 519 yards away from becoming the first receiver in NFL history to have 2,000 receiving yards in a season. With five games to go, he is averaging just over 123 yards per game, putting him in position to achieve history if he can keep up this pace. Miami finishes with games against the Titans, Jets, Cowboys, Ravens, and Bills.

 

Denver Broncos 17 (6-6) @ Houston Texans 22 (7-5)


Overreaction: With the winning streak over, so is Denver’s playoff hopes. Following a 1-5 start, the Denver Broncos miraculously won five games in a row against some of the league’s best teams, defeating the Packers, Chiefs, Bills, Vikings, and Browns to get to 6-5 overall. On Sunday, that streak came to an end, with Denver falling to Houston 22-17. The Broncos trailed the entire game and fell behind by as many as 13, but climbed back into the game and even had a chance to win, with the ball at the Texans 8 yard line with 23 seconds left. QB Russell Wilson had three passes into the endzone to try and take the lead, with the third ending up in the hands of a defender and sealing a victory for Houston. In 2015, Kansas City became the first team in NFL history to start 1-5 and still make the playoffs, needing to win the final ten regular season games to do so. For Denver, they’ll need some help and a lot more wins if they want to repeat the history of their AFC West rival in 2023.

 

Carolina Panthers 18 (1-11) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers 21 (5-7)

Overreaction: Mike Evans belongs in the Hall of Fame. For the tenth straight season, the Buccaneers wide receiver has put up at least 1,000 receiving yards, becoming just the second receiving in NFL history to do so. The only other receiver to do so is Jerry Rice, widely regarded as the greatest receiver of all time; he had 14 consecutive 1,000 yard seasons. Not only has Evans had at least 1,000 yards in ten straight seasons, he’s only been in the league for ten seasons. This year, there is a chance that he’ll end up with his highest ever total. In 2018, Evans finished with 1,524 yards. This year, he has 1,012 and still has five games to play. Perhaps most impressively, the former Texas A&M receiver has accomplished this despite playing with six different starting quarterbacks in ten years. Regardless of whether this is the last time Evans puts up 1,000 yards in a season, he has done enough to end up in Canton at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

 

Cleveland Browns 19 (7-5) @ Los Angeles Rams 36 (6-6)


Overreaction: The Cleveland Browns are in trouble. The Browns are 7-5 overall, having now dropped two games in a row in which the defense gave up 29 and 36 points, respectively. The team does not have a clear identity at quarterback, having now started four different quarterbacks in games this season, the latest on Sunday with veteran Joe Flacco. With five games left against Jacksonville, Chicago, Houston, the Jets, and Cincinnati, it’s hard to see where the wins will come for an offense struggling to put points on the board. Most notably, that defense that has been imposing at times this season does not seem to be traveling well. In Cleveland’s six road games, they’ve given up an average of 30 points per game. Assuming they fail to win the AFC North, where they’re currently two games behind Baltimore, guess where they’ll be playing a playoff game if they do make it? Yep, they’ll be on the road.

 

San Francisco 49ers 42 (9-3) @ Philadelphia Eagles 19 (10-2)


Overreaction: The best team in the NFL is the San Francisco 49ers. San Francisco has overcome its midseason funk and has come out of the bye to win four straight games by double-digits, winning by 31, 13, 18, and 23, respectively. Most impressively, in its two biggest games against Dallas and Philadelphia, the 49ers outscored them 84-29. On Sunday in Philly, San Francisco failed to convert a first down on its first two possessions, and then scored touchdowns on six straight drives to take out the Eagles in emphatic fashion. When the 49ers are healthy and firing on all cylinders, there is not a team in the league that can hang with them. With five weeks in the regular season to go, we have the clearest super bowl favorite we’ve had in years.

 

Kansas City Chiefs 19 (8-4) @ Green Bay Packers 27 (6-6)


Overreaction: Jordan Love is going to lead the Packers to the playoffs. It’s been quite the turnaround season for the Green Bay Packers. Just a few weeks ago, Green Bay was 2-5 and not at all considered as a playoff contender. Now, the Packers have won three straight games, including the last two over the Lions and Chiefs and have positioned themselves to make a playoff push over the final month of the season. The biggest reason why is the dramatically improved play of quarterback Jordan Love. In his first seven games this year, Love threw for 250+ yards just one time. Over the last five games, he’s thrown for 250+ yards four times, including his last four games. During the three game winning streak, Love has not thrown an interception and has thrown 8 touchdown passes, coming against some of the highest competition they’ve faced all season. To close the season, Green Bay takes on the Giants, Buccaneers, Panthers, Vikings, and Bears. They are in prime position to not only make a push for the postseason, but get in and make some noise in January.

 

Cincinnati Bengals 34 (6-6) @ Jacksonville Jaguars 31 (8-4) - OT


Overreaction: This game ended my perfect season of survivor. Jake Browning threw for 354 yards, Brandon McManus missed a 48 yard field goal, Trevor Lawrence got hurt, and a faux holding call in overtime cost the Jags a scoring opportunity. Oh, and Evan McPherson does not miss crunchtime kicks. Can’t win ‘em all!

 

Week 13 Teams on Bye:

  • Buffalo Bills (6-6)

  • Chicago Bears (4-8)

  • Las Vegas Raiders (5-7)

  • Minnesota Vikings (6-6)

  • New York Giants (4-8)

  • Baltimore Ravens (9-3)

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