It’s Overreaction Monday so let’s get started with 15 of them from Sunday:
1. OK, Missouri, show me. Show me why the Chiefs or the Rams have a ghost of a chance of making it to the playoffs … because they don’t. Yeah, I know, it’s only one week, but it’s not too soon to count these two out for January. The Rams don’t have a quarterback or a prayer. They play in the NFC West, which means another year in the ground-floor apartment. But the Chiefs? I said it before the season, and I’ll say it once more with feeling: Kansas City is going backward. The Chiefs lost too many people in the offseason, lost Derrick Johnson and Mike DeVito Sunday and don’t have enough playmakers on offense. Add it up, and what do you have? Fork, please. Since they started 9-0 a year ago, the Chiefs are 2-7, including the playoffs.
2. Either players got the memo or officials were told to throw a lot fewer flags. My guess: It’s Door No. 2. There were an average of 14.2 penalties accepted in Week One — or three fewer than the first three weeks of preseason. Referee Terry McAulay’s crew was the unofficial champ, walking off 21 calls in the San Francisco-Dallas game.
3. Never bet the Raiders in 1 p.m. kickoffs when they’re in the Eastern Time Zone. Going back to 2009, they’re 0-14.
4. Dallas will finish last in the NFC East, won’t win more than six games and coach Jason Garrett will be the first coach fired.
5. I’m selling my RG3 stock. Whatever Jay Gruden is trying to do with the guy, it ain’t working.
6. Sorry, Chicago, but the Bears may be no threat to Green Bay. If you can’t beat Buffalo at Soldier Field, you’re in trouble — and don’t tell me about injuries. They happen, OK?
7. Of course Andy Dalton looked good. It isn’t January.
8. That loss doesn’t shake my faith in Indianapolis as the team to beat in the AFC. In fact, it reinforces it. I like how the Colts responded after falling behind by 24, and I love how they pushed Denver to the mat … in Denver, no less. Most visiting teams wilt there in the fourth quarter. The Colts didn’t.
9. Now I know why Josh McCown spent most of his career as a backup. Mike Glennon, start warming up.
10. Looks like Mike Tomlin was right about Markus Wheaton.
11. Relax, 49ers’ fans. Playing Dallas is like playing against air. Your team should’ve won big … and it did. The real test won’t come until Sept. 28 vs. Philadelphia.
12. Finally, New England has competition in the AFC East. In fact, the Patriots find themselves in last in the division today for the first time in … well, it hasn’t happened under Tom Brady … and beware of Buffalo, people: Winning in Chicago was huge, though it probably tells me more about the Bears than the Bills.
13. Yes, Seattle is better now than the team that won Super Bowl XLVIII, but the Seahawks won’t win a second straight Lombardi Trophy. In fact, they won’t even get there. Their biggest obstacle: History. Not including the Seahawks, not one of the last eight Super Bowl winners won a playoff game the following season.
14. So Pittsburgh is 1-0. The Steelers didn’t beat Cleveland as much as they escaped the Browns, and that’s not good. If there’s a problem it’s defense. There’s not enough of it. After Cleveland … Cleveland, for crying out loud ... gouged them for 24 points and 288 yards in the second half — at Pittsburgh, no less — the Steelers should be concerned.
15. That was a good win for the Jets, but let’s not get carried away. There are no more rookie quarterbacks on the schedule. Not yet, at least. So what? So Rex is 8-3 vs. rookie passers.
FIVE HALL-OF-FAME PERFORMANCES
1. Houston DL J.J. Watt. He had two tackles, one sack, one fumble recovery, one blocked pass and one blocked extra point.
2.Jacksonville WR Allen Hurns. Who? He had 101 yards and two TDs in the first quarter. I knew I should’ve drafted this guy in the first round of my FFL.
3. Philadelphia coach Chip Kelly. Whatever he sold his team at halftime I want some of it. The Eagles outscored Jacksonville 34-0 in the second half.
4. Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger. He’s now 18-1 vs. Cleveland, including 10-0 at Pittsburgh.
5. Atlanta PK Matt Bryant. He nails a last-second field goal of 51 yards to tie the game; then hits a 52-yarder in OT to win it. It was the first time in Bryant’s career he produced two field goals of 50 or more yards in one game.
FIVE HALL-OF-SHAME FIZZLES
1. Baltimore QB Joe Flacco. The more you see him the more he looks like an ordinary Joe. Since signing that megabuck deal last year he’s thrown 20 touchdowns, 23 interceptions and is 8-9. Flacco never looked worse than at the end of the first half Sunday when he wasted the last eight seconds looking for a target before getting sacked. Result: He cost his team three points. Flacco was booed, and he should have been.
2. Dallas QB Tony Romo. OK, so he’s coming off back surgery, but don’t tell me his mistakes are something new. They’re simply more reasons why Dallas never should have given this guy a monstrous contract. Romo is a mistake waiting to happen, and he had three big ones in the first half Sunday — all of them interceptions, including one in the end zone. “He is so reckless with the ball,” said NBC’s Rodney Harrison. “If I’m a teammate of him I’m very disappointed … It gets old.”
3. New Orleans defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. When you score 34 you should win. What in the world happened to last year’s fourth-ranked defense? I’ll tell you what: It hemorrhaged 568 yards, the second-worst performance in New Orleans history, and the most-ever passing yards (445 net) — all in regulation play.
4. Tampa Bay guard Logan Mankins. He didn’t even last a half with his new team before getting hurt. Maybe the Patriots made the right move after all when they got rid of him and his contract.
5. Kansas City quarterback Alex Smith. He’s always been a quarterback who can take care of the football, but that’s not what happened Sunday. In short, he stunk, with three interceptions.
ON THE HALL-OF-FAME RADAR
1. Oakland DB Charles Woodson. His 57th interception led to Oakland’s first score, and, yeah, he’s going to Canton. The resume speaks for itself.
2. San Francisco RB Frank Gore. He just passed 10,000 yards rushing for his career, and Aikman is right: He’s been, as he said, “an underappreciated guy for his career.” Could he make it to the Hall? Maybe … but not likely. Is he better than Ricky Watters? Roger Craig? They’re not in, and Gore probably won’t be, either. Nevertheless, his career numbers are impressive.
3. San Francisco TE Vernon Davis. He produced his 54th and 55th career TDs, and while it’s too early to talk about his chances he will wind up in the conversation. Unfortunately for Davis, tight ends typically wait to get in. Kellen Winslow was the earliest, and he didn’t make it until his third year of eligibility.
4. Indianapolis WR Reggie Wayne. Cris Collinsworth and Al Michaels took turns referring to him as “a future Hall of Famer,” but that’s debatable. Former teammate Marvin Harrison should make it, and maybe in 2015. But Wayne? Maybe not. In his first game since tearing knee ligaments last year, he led the Colts with nine catches. That’s the good. The bad? He couldn’t make a play on the Colts’ last snap — failing to get separation from Denver rookie Bradley Roby, who batted down Andrew Luck’s pass.
5. Baltimore WR Steve Smith. No, he’s not the big-play threat he once was, but tell that to Cincinnati. Smith led the Ravens with 118 yards in catches and tied the game with an 80-yard TD. He’s a long-shot for the Hall, but the longer he goes on, the more he puts himself in the conversation.
THIS WEEK’S HALL-OF-FAME NOMINEE
Atlanta QB Matt Ryan. Hall-of-Fame quarterback Troy Aikman told us on the TOF radio show that Ryan was a guy who caught his eye, and you just saw why: He completed all by 12 of his 43 passes for 448 yards and three TDs in the overtime upset of New Orleans.
THIS WEEK’S HALL-OF-FAME PLAY
A.J. Green’s 78-yard TD catch. He can catch. He can run. He can juggle. And he did all three on his game-winning TD catch with just under five minutes left to pin the first loss on the Ravens in September under John Harbaugh. “Just taking that next step to being a great team,” said Green. Maybe. But first things first: How about winning a playoff game?
THIS WEEK’S HALL-OF-FAME NOTE
Second-half fizzles by Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. Not only were they outscored 40-7 in the second half, they were a combined 16-for-40 for 132 yards, with no touchdown passes and five sacks. Brady lost and is 6-7 in his career in Miami. Manning won and joins Brett Favre as the only quarterback in league history to beat all 32 teams.