In life, we tend to overreact to things as they happen. Sure, this could be a direct repercussion of the digital and social media era -- where everyone has to have a bold and rambunctious opinion as soon as something happens. But it dates back further than that. People have been overreacting to the present in their everyday lives for quite some time now.
Gee, this new relationship-fling seems a lot better than my last one. Until you’re three months into the relationship and your significant other is paying more attention to their phone than you at dinner. Then, you aggressively bite into a pork-chop and reminisce on better times. Maybe things aren’t as good as I thought.
We’ve all been there: you get word that your favorite band or musician has released a new song. You listen, and all of a sudden the emotion and joy shoots through your veins like a caffeine rush from a 7 a.m. cup of coffee. This is the best song of all time. Until the next day, when the "Ignition Remix" by R. Kelly comes on shuffle and you’re hit with that same jolt again. This is the best song of all time.
You get the picture: we’re all victims of the present.
In sports, too. A quarter of the way through the sixteen-game NFL season and here we are; looking into the deep, dark eyes of overreaction.
The Patriots are terrible. The Jets are good. The Lions are the best team in the NFC North. The Giants are the worst team in football. The Browns are going 0-16. The Chiefs are winning the Superbowl.
These things happen every year, they get highlighted when there’s even the slightest sample-size to draw conclusions from. We must remember; there are still twelve games to be played.
Remember last year? The Vikings were 4-0 through their first four games and The Packers were just 2-2. Then, what happened? The Packers finished at 10-6 and won the NFC North. Meanwhile the Vikings went 4-8 in their last twelve games, missing the playoffs.
Take Matt Ryan and the Falcons for example. Ryan was statistically dominating other teams through-the-air for the first four weeks, while the Falcons were 3-1. No one, including myself, thought his production was sustainable for the entire season. Instead, Ryan won his first NFL MVP and led the Falcons to their first Super Bowl appearance since 1999.
We’re all guilty of overreacting to players, teams, coaches, etc. However, we need to realize that a quarter of the season is not a large enough sample size to make some of the assertions that members of the media make, including myself.
So, what did we learn in week four?
1. The Patriots aren’t done
The year was 2014. The Patriots entered the season as AFC favorites. Through their first four games, they were just 2-2. The shaky-start was magnified in their 41-14 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Most of the media and everyday-football fans thought this was the end of the immaculate Patriot’s dynasty. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick had the last laugh.
The Patriots went on to win ten of their next twelve games to end the year. Did I mention, they won the Super Bowl?
The problem: the Patriot defense. The defense has allowed eleven touchdown passes and only intercepted three. Opposing quarterbacks have posted a 116.5 passer rating against New England. Essentially, they are allowing opposing teams to put up “Tom- Brady- numbers.” The Patriots can’t bank on Brady outscoring teams every week. The Patriot secondary must step up, for things to turn around.
The Patriots are fine, they will win the AFC East again. Sorry Bills. They are still the favorites to go to a second-straight super bowl.
In the words of Aaron Rodgers, “R-E-L-A-X.”
2. Deshaun Watson is the real deal
In my NFL recap last week, I alluded to the fact that Deshaun Watson has the potential to be a star. However, he wasn’t quite there yet. As another week rolled on, Watson continued to take strides toward stardom.
In the 2017 NFL draft, the Chicago Bears traded up to take Mitchell Trubisky number-two overall, passing on Deshaun Watson. Trubisky is slated to start this coming Monday against Minnesota. So, let’s hold the phone for a second. Trubisky could still be really good.
Staying with the 2017 NFL draft, the Cleveland Browns passed on Watson twice in the first round. They took Myles Garrett number one overall. Then they traded down to take Jabril Peppers at 25. All the while, they could have had Deshaun Watson.
In three starts, Deshaun Watson has thrown for seven touchdowns and four interceptions, posting an impressive passer rating of 91.7, leading his team to wins in two of his three starts.
In four starts, Deshone Kizer has thrown just three touchdowns, with a less-than impressive eight interceptions, posting a passer rating of just 50.9. And oh yeah, the Browns are 0-4.
Did the Browns really just pass on another franchise quarterback? Yes, they did.
Watson has the tools around him and offensive-oriented coaching staff to help ease his transition to the NFL.
Led by J.J Watt, Jadeveon Clowney, Deandre Hopkins and now Deshaun Watson, the Texans are poised to win the AFC South and take their talents to the NFL postseason.