Welcome the another NFL overreaction Tuesday, week 15 saw the greatest comeback in NFL history, records broken and teams’ playoff hopes eliminated. I break down week 15’s biggest overreactions and decipher which have some truth to them.
Not an Overreaction: Justin Jefferson is the best receiver in the NFL.
Justin Jefferson has been electric since entering the NFL but has taken his game to another level in 2022. Jefferson currently leads the NFL in reception (111) and receiving yards (1,623). Jefferson has been a major factor in each of the Viking’s 10 wins and was instrumental in their historic comeback against the Colts, tallying 12 catches for 123 yards and one touchdown, as the Vikings came back from a 33-0 deficit in the first half.
Jefferson has the potential to erupt at any point in the game, having five games with 10+ catches and nine games where he has gone over 100 yards. Jefferson holds the record for most receiving yards by a player in his first three seasons, which was formerly held by Randy Moss. With just nine more receiving yards he will break Moss’s single-season receiving record with the Vikings of 1,632.
Jefferson has almost a 100-yard lead on Tyreek Hill for the NFL leader in receiving yards and has a 300-yard lead over Stefon Diggs who is in third place currently with 3 games left in the NFL season. The question isn’t whether is Jefferson the greatest receiver in the NFL, but whether will he be one of the greatest, if not the greatest to ever play the position.
Overreaction: Jalen Hurts should win the MVP over Patrick Mahomes.
As the regular season winds down eyes are starting to shift to the season awards and it’s currently a two-horse race for NFL MVP and these are their arguments.
Jalen Hurts has had a transformative season for the Eagles, taking them to first place in the NFC, having an MVP-caliber season, and a potentially deep run in the playoffs. Hurts has thrown for 3,472 yards and has a touchdown/interception ratio of 22:5. He has also rushed for 747 yards and 13 touchdowns through 15 weeks. Hurts has led the Eagles to a 13-1 record with their only loss coming at the hands of the Washington (7-6-1) Commanders 32-21. The addition of NFL Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J. Brown has taken the Eagle’s offense and Hurts production to another level in 2022.
Patrick Mahomes lost Tyreek Hill in the offseason and the Chiefs opted for a quantity of weapons over quality. Bringing in Juju Smith-Shuster, and Marquez Valdez-Scantling, and trading for Kadarius Toney in the middle of the season, the Chiefs asked Mahomes to spread the ball around this season and it has paid dividends.
The Chiefs are 11-3 with a questionable loss to the Indianapolis Colts in week three of 20-17, their loss to the Bills in week four was 24-20 and their most recent 27-24 loss to the Bengals have all been one-score losses. Mahomes has thrown for 4,496 yards, (1,000 more yards than Hurts) thrown 35 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions (13 more touchdowns, but more than twice as many pics). Mahomes leads the NFL in passing yards and is 500 yards ahead of the next closest quarterback, he has also rushed for 313 yards and 3 scores.
Mahomes is on pace for 5,551 yards this season and would break the single-season passing record (5,477 yards) set by Peyton Manning in 2013. Mahomes and the Chiefs just secured their seventh straight division title and are fighting the Bills for the number one seat in the NFL playoffs. Mahomes has 1,000 more passing yards than Hurts and more total TDs, but Hurts has the better record and better TD/INT ratio and the number one seat locked up for his team. The award feels like Mahomes to lose with him having the best odds (-225) to win NFL MVP.
Overreaction: Trevor Lawrence was good all along
Trevor Lawrence has had a rocky start to his NFL career. With the failed Urban Meyer experiment Lawrence, who was graded as “the next Peyton Manning” coming out of Clemson struggled mightily in his first season. Completing just 59.% of his passes and throwing for 3,641 yards 12 touchdowns and 17 interceptions Lawrence looked anything like a hall of fame to be QB.
A year later with Doug Peterson at the helm, calling the plays for the Jacksonville Jaguars, they have a real shot to make the playoffs for the first time since 2017. Lawrence has grown in year two but still has room for improvement before he lives up to the monumental expectations and standards he was compared to. Since Peterson has taken over Lawrence improved tremendously, throwing for 3,520 yards, completing 66% of his passes, and having a positive touchdown/interception ratio of 24:7.
In the NFL it isn’t just all on one player, as talented as they are they need the right system and players around them to succeed. Lawrence has had his struggles, but with the Jags trading for Calvin Ridley, it is clear they are all in on Lawrence and his future growth. If the Jaguars win out with three weeks left in the season, they will make the playoffs, Urban Meyer’s tenure as head coach will look even worse, and his legacy will be that he almost wasted a generational talent.
Not an Overreaction: The Lions could make the Playoffs.
The once 1-5 Detroit Lions are on the cusp of a playoff berth just one year into their rebuild. Dan Campbell and his coaching staff have completely transformed the culture of winning for the Lions this season. The Lions at one point had the number one offense in the NFL and the worst defense in the NFL, but since have found a way to win.
The Lions are 7-7 on a three-game win streak and face the Panthers, (5-9) Bears, (3-11) and the Packers (6-8) to close out their 2022 regular season. The Lions have already beaten the Packers and Bears before and would need to sweep both teams this season to maintain playoff contention. Detroit hasn’t swept the Packers and the Bears in the same season since 2017.
The Lions would need some help to sneak into the Playoff. Needing to finish 3-0 down the stretch and have the Washington Commanders and Seattle Seahawks both lose once The Lions could reach the postseason for the first time since 2016. The Seahawks play the Chiefs next so they may get the first domino to fall and the Commanders have to play the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday. There is a real chance for the Lions to control their destiny and make the playoffs this season.
What did you think of these overreactions? were there any that I missed? Comment below and give your feedback on Week 15.
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