The second Sunday of the NFL season offered no shortage of opportunity for outrage. Kickers are useless! Ties are dumb! The Browns will literally never win again!
But while all of those things may well be true, here at Overreaction Monday, we like to look at a slightly bigger picture -- and to be a little bit more optimistic.
So without further ado, our weekly rundown of what we saw in Week 2 that was real and what wasn't.
The Rams are the clear favorites in the NFC
Sean McVay's bunch is 2-0 and has outscored its opponents by a combined score of 67-13. Meanwhile on Sunday, the Eagles lost, the Saints barely beat the Browns and nobody won the Vikings-Packers game. The only NFC team that has looked better than the Rams so far is the Bucs, and we'll get to them in a second.
Graziano's verdict: OVERREACTION. The Rams are a monster team on paper, so such a mighty-looking start could serve to confirm any preseason belief you might have had that they're Super Bowl-bound. But the two teams they've beaten -- Oakland and Arizona -- look as if they could be among the very worst in the league. We'll find out about the Rams soon, as their schedule gets pretty nasty-looking starting next week. Check back again in about six weeks on this.
Saturday: Mahomes picked the Steelers apart
Jeff Saturday reacts to Patrick Mahomes' six-touchdown performance against the Steelers and finding the right player in each situation.
Patrick Mahomes will break Peyton Manning's record of 55 touchdown passes in a season
Mahomes is off to a nuclear start, with 10 touchdown passes in two games putting him on pace for an 80-touchdown season. Twenty-six percent of his completions and 18 percent of his attempts have resulted in touchdowns. And the Chargers and Steelers, the teams he has beaten, profiled as two of the tougher games on Kansas City's schedule.
Graziano's verdict: NOT AN OVERREACTION. Simple math, folks. The kid has to average only 3.2 touchdowns a game the rest of the way. Sure, Monday is just his 23rd birthday, he has started only three games and he's bound to throw at least one interception at some point this year. But is it crazy to think that a player with Mahomes' talent, his creative head coach and his array of dazzling passing-game options could keep putting up big numbers? The way the Chiefs' defense looks, this won't be his last shootout.
The NFL should get rid of ties
Two weeks, two ties so far. Bad pace. Think of the havoc this will play with all of the December playoff-scenario calculations!
Graziano's verdict: OVERREACTION. I don't see what the big deal is about a tie. Soccer has ties and retains immense, worldwide popularity. Life goes on. Fact of the matter is you're supposed to win the game in regulation, and if you don't, you get 10 bonus minutes to figure it out. And if you still don't win, then you kind of don't deserve to, right? This game is hard enough on the players' bodies. Can't ask them to play all day until it's settled. And besides, I kind of like what it does to the playoff scenarios. Gives it a little texture. So keep the ties. Nothing wrong with 'em. Nothing to see here.
Saturday says Fitzpatrick can steal Winston's job
Jeff Saturday explains that Ryan Fitzpatrick is not afraid of the big stage and can keep the starting job if he keeps it up.
Ryan Fitzpatrick should get to keep starting for the Bucs when Jameis Winston gets back
Yes, we did one just like this last week, but that was before Fitzmagic dropped his second 400-yard game in as many weeks, this time against the Super Bowl champs. Young Pat Mahomes isn't the only one on pace to break Manning's touchdown record this season. Old Man Fitz is currently on track for 64.
Graziano's verdict: NOT AN OVERREACTION. Changing my answer! There's one game left on Winston's suspension, and if Fitzpatrick goes for 400 yards and four touchdowns again next week against the Steelers (who aren't playing the best defense right now, by the way), there's no way the Bucs don't start him in Week 4. Even if he gets "only" 300 and two touchdowns, if the Bucs win, why make a change? It's not as if Winston is missing time due to some bad break or injury, right? What Fitzpatrick has done so far is well beyond any reasonable expectation, and there's a worthwhile conversation to be had about who deserves the job in Tampa Bay.
The Bengals are the favorites in the AFC North
Cincinnati is 2-0 -- a game ahead of a Ravens team it just beat and a game and a half ahead of the Browns and Steelers, who have yet to win. They have a monster defensive line and a lot of fun pieces on offense, and there are quite a few players on this team who remember going to the playoffs five years in a row.
Graziano's verdict: NOT AN OVERREACTION. Not having starting running back Joe Mixon for a game or two will test the Bengals, especially since their next two are on the road in Carolina and Atlanta. And they need to get/keep that offensive line healthy. But (A) who doesn't?, and (B) who else in that division scares you right now? Everyone expects the Steelers to bounce back, but what if they don't? There's a lot of volatility in that locker room, and if things are going to go bad there, they could go really bad. No sign of Le'Veon Bell and a road game coming up against the offensive juggernaut that is the FitzMagic Bucs ... opportunity is there for someone. Why not Marvin Lewis' widely overlooked bunch?