Week 11 in the NFL has come and gone, I break down the biggest overreactions from the week and explain why some may have truth to them.
Overreaction: Jeff Saturday was an awful hire for the Colts.
The hire came as a surprise to the entire NFL world as Saturday’s only coaching experience is from coaching high school football, finishing his last season 3-7. Not a great resume as a coach but Saturday is a two-time NFL all-pro and a six-time Pro Bowl selection. Saturday is regarded as one of the best to ever play the center position in the NFL and on top of that he’s done what seemed impossible for Indy this season and found the run game again.
Under former coach Frank Reich, NFL All-Pro running back Jonathan Taylor only managed 80+ rushing yards one time in 9 games. Taylor missed two games due to injury but never rushed for more than 80 yards since the Colts’ week 1 tie to the Texans in overtime. In Saturday’s two games as head coach Taylor has rushed for more yards than the last 4 games he’s played combined. Racking up 231 yards in two games with Saturday calling the plays.
Taylor and the offensive line are the engines that drive this Colts team. The fact that they disappeared during Reich’s tenure was reason enough to move on from him. Indianapolis still needs to address the receiver and quarterback positions if they are going to improve for next season, but getting the running game back grounds this team and is a great step forward under Saturday’s leadership.
Not an Overreaction: Zach Wilson’s days as quarterback of the Jets are coming to an end.
The former number two overall pick has yet to play up to the level of expectation for the Jets. Wilson is in his second season with the Jets and is continuing in the trend in the wrong direction in his development. For his career, Wilson has a 13-16 TD to-interception ratio with only playing 13 games in 2021 Wilson was sacked 44 times in his first year under center.
His second year as a starter has not been glamorous either as Wilson has missed three games this injury, posting a Touchdown to interception ratio of 4-5, and has been sacked 16 times in the seven games he has played. The defense has shown great strides under head coach Robert Saleh, but as the defense has improved, the offense has taken a step back.
The Jets lost their rookie star Breece Hall who was their most efficient offensive weapon and Wilson has created frustrations in the passing game for the Jets receivers. Elijah Moore has expressed his frustrations in a recent interview when asked about his chemistry with Wilson “I don’t know I don’t get the ball.” Head coach Saleh has not committed to Wilson starting week 12 and is considering all his options going forward for New York.
Overreaction: The Titans are a deep playoff team.
The Tennessee Titans have been a feel-good team for the last several years while Derrick Henry has run over the entire NFL. The problem is they can never get over the hump and have the pieces necessary to make a deep playoff run. The limitation of Ryan Tannehill and the passing game have left Tennessee in an awkward position of “not quite a contender” but also “not bad enough to have a good pic in the draft.”
So where do they go from here? They are running away with the division, but are headed for a collision course with KC, Buffalo, or Miami and their super-powered offenses. Tennessee has the best third-down defense in the NFL, only allowing opposing teams to convert 30% of the time. The defense has carried the offensive struggles of the Titans and forces teams to play how the Titans want, but once they are behind they can no longer rely on the passing attack since A.J. Brown was traded to the Eagles.
The Titans are on the cusp of wasting the greatest running back success we’ve seen with King Henry consistently pushing the 1,000 yards a-season mark. Henry has established dominance on the ground that goes against the new pass-heavy NFL. The Titan’s clock on Derrick Henry is clicking and waiting for Malik Willis to develop may cost them the best years of the running backs career.
Not an Overreaction: The Giants could miss the playoffs.
New York has been a revelation this year, both the Jets and the G-men have defied the odds and had incredible starts to the 2022 NFL season. For the Jets, the writing may be on the wall about Zach Wilson, but for the Giants, they have a chance to see the postseason. Sitting at 7-3 the Giants have played a tough brand of football this year, grinding out wins in the clutch and rediscovering the ground game with Saquan Barkley.
The problem with the Giants is similar to that of the Titans and the Jets. The success of a team in the NFL and its ceiling is based heavily on its quarterback play. The Giants have Daniel Jones, who in his consistently on the injury report due to his heavy involvement in the run game. Jones has yet to play a full season in the NFL after 4 years and until this year New York’s passing attack looked bleak at best. Even today the passing game is in the bottom half of the league, but the way they beat teams is by running the ball and playing defense.
The toughest part of the Giants’ schedule is coming up and after a brutal loss to Detroit, the Giants can’t afford any mistakes with their division as close as it is. The Giants still need to play the Eagles, the Commanders twice, the Vikings, and the Colts. Leaving a real possibility that they only come away with one win in the coming weeks. It would be a gut punch to Giants fans and a failure on the promising start to the rebuild in New York.
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