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Landin’s Lane: Monday NFL Overreactions

Following a wild open to the 2023 NFL season, Week 2 was far from a disappointment.  From the improbable comebacks staged by the Commanders, Giants, and Falcons to the primetime thrillers in Foxborough and Detroit, this week's action produced. 

With another slate of Sunday games in the books, let’s dive into some overreactions and see which statements are overreactions or reality.

The Miami Dolphins are the best team in the AFC. 

The Miami Dolphins are the most complete team in the AFC, and it’s not even close. Through the first two weeks, Tua Tagovailoa has been the best quarterback in the league and should be in the conversation for MVP. Tagovailoa leads NFL quarterbacks in passing yards and has the third-best QBR with 79.0. Don’t forget about the fastest tandem in the NFL either. Both Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle have combined for 419 yards of 466 total receiving yards for the Dolphins. Each combined for three of the four Dolphins touchdowns in the last two games. With a Vic Fangio-led defense has left some to be desired early on, his experience should help the unit improve to elite status by the end of the year. This Dolphins team is not the Dolphins squad of last year, which lost five straight games beginning on December 4th against the 49ers and barely qualified for the playoffs. This is a much-improved team led by second-year head coach Mike McDaniel. The AFC runs through Miami, not Kansas City. 

Overreaction or Reality: Reality 

The New York Jets need to find a veteran quarterback to replace Zach Wilson to make the playoffs. 

Overreaction or Reality: Reality

No, Tom Brady isn’t coming out of retirement and won’t be the saving grace for the New York Jets. Still, they have to find a reliable and competent quarterback in free agency or via trade if the Jets have any chance of scraping into the playoffs. The last time the Jets made the playoffs was in 2010. On Sunday, Zach Wilson threw for a meager 170 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions (38.1 rating), leading to just 10 points against the Dallas Cowboys. Accompanied by one of the best receivers in the league with Garrett Wilson, and a star-studded defense that features Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, D.J. Reed, and Quinnen Williams, the Jets seemingly has the weapons to break the drought. Unfortunately for Robert Saleh, the New York offense has done no justice to the defense and will continue to do so. Since being drafted in 2021, Wilson has compiled a record of 8-15 with the Jets. Wilson has to step up if the Jets want to sneak into the playoffs, but if not, Jets general manager Joe Douglas needs to sign another quarterback to salvage their playoff hopes, with the possibility that Aaron Rodgers returns to the playoffs in January.

Overreaction or Reality: Reality

No current 0-2 team will make the playoffs this season 

Overreaction or Reality: Overreaction 

If the Cincinnati Bengals did it last year, why can’t they and other teams that have started 0-2 this year do the improbable? History does suggest that starting 0-2 is a blow to the season. Since 1990, only 31 of the 270 clubs (11.5%) that began 0-2 advanced to the playoffs. But do we believe that the Minnesota Vikings, Los Angeles Chargers, and the aforementioned Bengals won’t be the topic of conversation in the playoffs? It seems difficult to fathom this notion. 

The Chargers, led by Justin Herbert and offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, have been the second most efficient offense only behind the Miami Dolphins. If Los Angeles can generate more turnovers and make stops easier, it will be smooth sailing for the Chargers. 

Kirk Cousins has been balling out with the Vikings, leading all quarterbacks with six touchdowns. With the addition of Jordan Addison, the Vikings have one of the most promising wide receivers duos in the league with Justin Jefferson. Under head coach Kevin O'Connell last year, the Vikings won nine from-behind victories. He’s created a culture of a bend don’t break mentality, which will help them win games this year.  

 It’s yet again another slow start for the Bengals, but they have the coaching and players to turn this ship around and make another deep run in the playoffs. The Bengals possess one of the most potent offenses in the league, as they had the third-best offense last year. With Joe Burrow under center and the explosiveness of Ja’marr Chase and Tee Higgins, the Bengals have the ingredients to be one of the best teams in the AFC come playoff time. 

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