USA TODAY US Edition
Overreaction is predictably on schedule in the NFL, starting with Bucs QB Winston “is a bust,”
So your team won its opener. You are thinking about booking Super Bowl reservations.
So your team lost its opener. You are thinking about what it’s going to feel like at 0-16.
There is nothing quite like an NFL Sunday, when the emotional roller coaster swings wildly from one city to the next.
The five biggest overreactions from Week 1:
1 BUFFALO BILLS WILL WIN THE AFC EAST How quickly the Bills’ impressive win against the Indianapolis Colts made so many of us forget about the New England Patriots’ Thursday night win against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Yes, the Bills — and especially new starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor — exceeded expectations, but Buffalo fans might want to hold off on buying playoff tickets until at least after this week’s game against the AFC East’s big dog, the Patriots.
2 SEATTLE SEAHAWKS ARE IN TROUBLE Yes, it is now a legitimate possibility the defending NFC champion Seattle Seahawks could start the season 0-2, after their Week 1 overtime loss to the St. Louis Rams and an upcoming game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. But even if 0-2 happens, it would be foolish to write off the Seahawks this early — not with a still-stacked defensive roster that will only get better when (if ?) safety Kam Chancellor ends his holdout and with an offense that should improve as quarterback Russell Wilson improves his chemistry with new weapons including tight end Jimmy Graham and wide receiver Tyler Lockett.
3 TERRELL SUGGS’ CAREER IS OVER The Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker suffered a torn Achilles tendon in the fourth quarter of the team’s loss to the Denver Broncos on Sunday, and it would be fair to wonder if this is a career-ending injury for one of the NFL’s best pass rushers, because Suggs is 32 and this is his second Achilles injury since 2012. But Suggs recovered from his 2012 injury in record time and even returned to his team by midseason. He won’t be back this season, certainly, but it would be naive to assume that Suggs, whose contract with the Ravens runs through 2018, won’t attack this rehab with similar vigor and make every attempt to return in 2016.
4 PEYTON MANNING’S ARM IS DEAD Just looking at Manning’s passing stats from Sunday against the Ravens is troubling — 175 passing yards, no touchdowns and one interception — but that doesn’t mean his right arm is dead. It’s more a sign he’s still uncomfortable in the hybrid offense he and the Broncos new coaching staff have created and especially uncomfortable playing behind an offensive line that includes four new starters. His passes Sunday had enough zip, and he even overthrew a deep pass in the end zone. What he and the Broncos must fix is timing and accuracy.
5 THE BUCS MADE THE WRONG QB PICK That’s certainly an easy reaction to make after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the No. 1 overall 2015 draft pick, Jameis Winston, were blown out by the Tennessee Titans and the No. 2 pick, Marcus Mariota on Sunday, when Mariota was clearly the better player. But with all rookie quarterbacks, it is unfair to define them by their first game. Mariota is not going to be the NFL MVP, even though he finished his debut with a perfect passer rating, and Winston can’t be ruled a bust. Though Winston struggled and made bad decisions and poor throws in his debut, this Week 1 failure was an indictment on the Bucs as a whole — and especially the coaching staff, which didn’t have the rest of the team ready to help Winston.