top of page

Overreaction Tuesday - Six more for SF

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. 

Note: the Week 15 version of “Overreaction Tuesday” will be the last of the 2023-24 season. 


Week 15 - December 14 - December 18, 2023

Los Angeles Chargers 21 (5-9) @ Las Vegas Raiders 63 (6-8) 

Overreaction: The Chargers have given up and are now the worst team in the NFL. On Thursday night, the Chargers trailed 42-0 at the half and it was 49-0 before they scored a point. The next day, Head Coach Brandon Staley was finally fired after surrendering 63 points to a Raiders team that was shutout just five days earlier. It was the final straw of what was a tumultuous tenure as the team's head coach. Now, Los Angeles is without a permanent head coach and a quarterback in Easton Stick who really struggled against the Raiders. Stick will be the starter for LA’s last three games with Justin Herbert out for the season. The Chargers have home games against the Bills and Chiefs and a trip to Denver in-between. They’ll be significant underdogs in each remaining game and will likely finish near the bottom of the AFC. 


Minnesota Vikings 24 (7-7) @ Cincinnati Bengals 27 (8-6) - OT

Overreaction: Of these two teams, it’ll be the Vikings, not the Bengals, that end up in the playoffs. To close out the season, Minnesota is at home against the Lions and Packers before finishing out the year on the road against the Lions. For Cincinnati, they are on the road against the Steelers and Chiefs before coming home to host the Browns Week 18. The Vikings looked like the better team for much of the Saturday game in Cincy, but the Bengals pulled it out in OT despite numerous chances by the Vikings to close it out. With the Vikings in desperation mode and playing its next two at home against big-time rivals, I expect U.S. Bank Stadium to be rocking in games Minnesota has to have. Meanwhile, Cincinnati will be without star receiver Ja’Marr Chase for at least this weekend’s game against Pittsburgh, and it could be longer. The Bengals likely have to win each of their last three games to make the playoffs, so even if they can avenge their loss earlier this year to the Steelers over the weekend, is Jake Browning capable of going to Arrowhead without his best receiver and getting the win? The Vikings will make it, the Bengals will not. 


Pittsburgh Steelers 13 (7-7) @ Indianapolis Colts 30 (8-6) 

Overreaction: Pittsburgh is done and will miss the postseason. What happened to the Steelers? After the Week 11 loss to Cleveland, Pittsburgh fired Offensive Coordinator Matt Canada and promptly put up their best offensive game the following week in a win over Cincinnati. Since the win in Week 12, however, the Steelers have lost three straight, including two losses to three win teams, and have scored 10, 18, and 13 points, respectively during that span. With three games to go, the Steelers’ easiest part of the schedule is in the past. Mike Tomlin needs his team to win at least two of the last three to make the postseason; they host Cincinnati before back-to-back road games to end the year at Seattle and at Baltimore. Unless they steal a game they aren’t supposed to, Pittsburgh, which was 7-4 just a few weeks ago, will miss the playoffs. 


Denver Broncos 17 (7-7) @ Detroit Lions 42 (10-4) 

Overreaction: With Denver’s winning streak in the rearview mirror, the Broncos will miss the playoffs after all. It’s been a rollercoaster season at Mile High, with the Broncos starting 1-5 before winning six of seven games and now floundering against Detroit on Saturday night, losing 42-17 in a game that wasn’t even that close. This team has given up 70 points to the Dolphins and held the Chiefs to under 10, has lost to the Jets, but beaten the Bills, and has an aging quarterback who has been spectacular at times and awful at others. With three games to go, Head Coach Sean Payton’s team likely has to win out, and they might. The Broncos host the Patriots and Chargers before what could be a pivotal Week 18 game against the Raiders. However, the inconsistency over the last three weeks has led me to believe that Denver’s magic is in the past and will end up out of the AFC playoff picture once it’s all said and done. 


Chicago Bears 17 (5-9) @ Cleveland Browns 20 (9-5) 

Overreaction: I’m not sure he’ll win it, but Kevin Stefanski should be the Coach of the Year. The Browns have played four different quarterbacks this year, losing starter Deshaun Watson for the year and have still won back-to-back games with Joe Flacco as the starter. In addition, they’ve lost two safeties, the starting running back, two tackles, and a defensive tackle for the season. In short, there is no team that has been hindered by injuries more than Cleveland. And yet, Head Coach Kevin Stefanski has his team 9-5 with three games to go and a likely wildcard spot on the horizon. Most recently, the Browns overcame a 17-7 deficit to come back and defeat the Bears on Sunday. To close the year, Cleveland has road games at Houston and Cincinnati with a home game against the Jets in-between. With how resilient the Browns have been despite the amount of adversity they have faced, this will be a team that will be a very tough out in the AFC playoffs. 


Tampa Bay Buccaneers 34 (7-7) @ Green Bay Packers 20 (6-8) 

Overreaction: Once the Buccaneers win the NFC South, are we sure they can’t win a Wildcard game against whoever finishes second in the NFC East? Tampa Bay has won three straight games and sits atop the NFC South with three games to go at 7-7. With three games left, the Bucs host the Jaguars and Saints before a Week 18 road trip to Carollina. It’s simple; if the Buccaneers win the next two, they win the division. If they do, they’ll likely play host to whichever team finishes second in the NFC East as the conference’s top wildcard. With both Dallas and Philadelphia coming off disappointing losses, it feels more and more possible that the NFC South champ, specifically if it’s Tampa Bay, could definitely take out the Cowboys or Eagles and crash the Divisional Round of the NFC playoffs. 


Houston Texans 19 (8-6) @ Tennessee Titans 16 (5-9) - OT

Overreaction: If it’s not Kevin Stefanski, DeMeco Ryans should win Coach of the Year. The Texans were one of, if not the worst team in the league last year, finishing 3-13-1 and finished near the bottom in offensive and defensive efficiency. Then, the team hired DeMeco Ryans from the 49ers, drafted CJ Stroud second overall and Will Anderson third overall in some very aggressive moves that have paid off tremendously. Houston is one of three AFC South teams at 8-6 with three games to go and in prime position to win the division. CJ Stroud has been the best rookie in the league and will win Offensive Rookie of the Year, and the team still won at Tennessee on Sunday with Case Keenum at QB and Stroud in concussion protocol. If Stroud comes back this week against Cleveland, I like the Texans to not only finish strong over the final three games, but to steal the division from the Jacksonville Jaguars. 


New York Jets 0 (5-9) @ Miami Dolphins 30 (10-4) 

Overreaction: Even with Aaron Rodgers fully healthy this year, the Jets would have been underwhelming and missed the playoffs. The Jets’ problems go much deeper than the quarterback play of Zach Wilson, who has been sacked 46 times behind an offensive line that has given up the most sacks in the NFL. If the Jets had Aaron Rodgers standing behind that line, would he have made a 30 point difference in the loss to Miami on Sunday? What about teh 26 point loss to the Bills or the 21 point loss to the Chargers or Dolphins? The Jets play horrible complimentary football, there’s no doubt. The defense is on the field a ton due to an inept offense, but the roots of the problem are much deeper than quarterback play. With the Jets eliminated from playoff contention for the 13th consecutive season, we’ll have to wait another year to see if Rodgers’ presence alone is enough to make the difference between making vs. missing the playoffs. 


Kansas City Chiefs 27 (9-5) @ New England Patriots 17 (3-11) 

Overreaction: The Patriots should keep Bill Belichick as head coach, but take away his General Manager position. New England is about to have its third losing season in four years since losing Tom Brady as the starting quarterback. Bill Belichick is a legendary coach, but has lost a significant step in evaluating talent and has flopped on too many picks to retain the title of general manager, regardless of whether he stays a Patriot for next season or not. Clearly, he is still a tremendous coach, specifically on the defensive side. Assuming the Patriots have a top five draft pick in 2024 (currently in-line for #2 overall), they can take a young quarterback, get better skill guys to surround the rookie, and get healthy on defense for next year. However, I believe the team will only turn things around next year if all of those things happen plus Belichick gives up his general manager position. Will he? 


New York Giants 6 (5-9) @ New Orleans Saints 24 (7-7) 

Overreaction: Despite a tumultuous season, the Saints are right there with the Buccaneers for the NFC South title. New Orleans has played one of the easiest schedules in the NFL and has perhaps the least-impressive resume of any team that is .500 or better. The Saints have wins over the Titans, Panthers twice, Colts, Bears, and Giants. That’s six wins against teams that are below .500 and a 1-5 record against teams over .500. And yet, as unimpressive as the Saints have been at times, they are right in the mix for a playoff spot, but only if they win their division. Currently, New Orleans and Tampa Bay are both 7-7 and play each other in Tampa Week 17 in what will likely be the division championship game for all intents and purposes. The Saints have not been spectacular, but they have a chance if they can start playing their best football at the right time. 


Atlanta Falcons 7 (6-8) @ Carolina Panthers 9 (2-12) 

Overreaction: Desmond Ridder will not be on the Falcons next year. Sunday was rock bottom for Atlanta, as the Falcons lost on the road against the one win Panthers after scoring just one touchdown. In the second half, Atlanta had the ball just three times, punting on the first drive and turning it over on the second before mounting an 11 play drive to the Carolina 18 before Desmond Ridder threw an interception. From there, the Falcons defense, which dominated the day, collapsed at the worst possible time. The Panthers marched on a 17 play, 90 yards drive that took the remaining 7:35 off the clock, setting up the game-winning field goal from 23 yards away to win. The Falcons loaded up on defense in the offseason and have used a top 10 draft pick on a skill position in each of the past three NFL drafts. And yet, they cannot figure it out on offense and refuse to play complimentary football. Keep Head Coach Arthur Smith on the radar as a coach that could very well be on the lam as the season comes to an end. 


Washington Commanders 20 (4-10) @ Los Angeles Rams 28 (7-7) 

Overreaction: The Rams are going to be the NFC Wildcard team that nobody wants to see. Every year, there’s the proverbial ‘team that nobody wants to see.’ In the AFC, that is the Buffalo Bills, but they might not even make it to the playoffs. In the NFC, that team is the Los Angeles Rams. LA has won four of five, with the lone loss coming on the road against the 11-3 Ravens in OT. They’ve scored at least four offensive touchdowns four games in a row and have three very winnable games to close out the year. The Rams host the Saints on Thursday Night Football this week, play at the Giants next week, and close out the regular season on the road against the 49ers, who will very likely be resting starters having already locked up the NFC’s top seed for the playoffs. If LA has to go to Philadelphia or Detroit for a playoff game, wouldn’t you have a hard time picking against this red hot team? 


San Francisco 49ers 45 (11-3) @ Arizona Cardinals 29 (3-11) 

Overreaction: The 49ers are going to win their next six games and win the Super Bowl. Ravens, Commanders, Rams, two home playoff games, and the Super Bowl in Las Vegas; that is all that’s left for Kyle Shannahan’s team to lift the Lombardi Trophy. Since dropping three straight games in October, the 49ers have won six games in a row by 12 points or more, led by the resurgence of Deebo Samuel at wide receiver, two MVP candidates in Brock Purdy and Christian McCaffrey, and a defense that has been dominant throughout the season. This week, we may have a Super Bowl preview as the Ravens head to Santa Clara to challenge the 49ers. If San Francisco takes out Lamar Jackson’s squad, they’ll be a win over the Commanders away from clinching the top seed in the NFC. From there, the trip to Las Vegas would be nearly guaranteed, needing just two home wins to get there. 


Dallas Cowboys 10 (10-4) @ Buffalo Bills 31 (8-6) 

Overreaction: This Cowboys team will not break the streak and get to the NFC Championship game. The Dallas Cowboys have been a ‘will they or won’t they’ team all season, dominating lower teams and struggling against some of the league’s best. They avenged the loss to Philadelphia last week with a 20 point win over the Eagles, but came back in Week 15 and lost to Buffalo by 21 and have now lost their three biggest road games by an average of 19 points. Guess where they’re going to have to win three games to get to the Super Bowl? Yep, the road. The path to Las Vegas for Dallas will likely involve winning on the road against Tampa Bay, Philadelphia, and San Francisco. Sure, they could get hot and do that, but evidence would suggest they will not and once again miss out on advancing to the NFL’s final four once again. 


Baltimore Ravens 23 (11-3) @ Jacksonville Jaguars 7 (8-6) 

Overreaction: The Jags are pretenders and might not even win the AFC South. Jacksonville is 6-6 in games played on U.S. soil, having won its two games in London over Atlanta and Buffalo. However, the Jags have lost all of their biggest games and they’ve all been at home, the latest on Sunday Night Football where Jacksonville once again failed to score more than 7 points in a huge game against a top team. In Week 2, the Jaguars lost at home to Kansas City 17-9. In Week 10, coming off the bye, they lost to San Francisco at home 34-3. Then on Sunday, they lost to Baltimore 23-7. Whenever Trevor Lawrence and the Jags take on a top defense, they not only lose, they crumble. Now, with just three games to go, Jacksonville is one of three AFC South teams at 8-6. If they win out against Tampa Bay on the road, Carolina at home, and Tennessee on the road, they win the division. However, if Houston or Indianapolis wins out and Jacksonville does not, the Jags will not win the division and may miss the playoffs altogether. 


Philadelphia Eagles 17 (10-4) @ Seattle Seahawks 20 (7-7) 

Overreaction: The Eagles are very fortunate to be 10-4, but their luck has run out. Philadelphia has a good team, there’s no question about it. They have also been on the receiving end of some significant fortune throughout the season. In the win over Dallas, there were multiple plays the Cowboys could have made at the goal line that would have been the difference. In the win over Kansas City, Marquez Valdez-Scantling had the game-winning touchdown reception in his grasp with moments left and dropped it. In the win over Washington at home, Ron Rivera elected to not go for two to win the game, sending it to OT where Philly won. Against Buffalo, the Eagles were second best for most of the game and watched the potential game-winning touchdown pass in OT from Josh Allen fall incomplete because Gabe Davis turned the wrong way in the endzone. All to say, Philly has won some close games this year, which is the sign of a good team. Now, however, they have lost three games in a row, falling to San Francisco by 23, Dallas by 20, and Seattle in a heartbreaker by 3. The Eagles now head home to host the Giants and Cardinals before playing the Giants again Week 18 and they’ll need all three to win the NFC East. At this point, the question is less about the division and more about San Francisco. Can anyone in the NFC, or in the NFL for that matter, beat the 49ers?


bottom of page