Beware the Splinters is Salute Magazine’s weekly sports column, authored by Sports Editor Dustin Brown. The column will be a weekly look at something that has ruffled the feathers of Mr. Brown or is just a topic he feels he needs to rant about or discuss.
Humans are reactionary creatures, and sports fans are a type of human that can be irrational in arguments and how they react to games on a weekly basis. There is nothing wrong with being this way but it can become a nuisance — mostly laughable actually — as games and fantasy players rise and fall throughout football season.
The first week of the National Football League regular season is not over yet because of the doubleheader on Monday Night Football. But that hasn’t stopped the overreactions from reaching midseason form. There are plenty of examples of this, but here are a few teams and fantasy football players that have revolved around the most overreactions this past weekend.
It all started on Thursday night when the Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots. The Patriots lost 42-27 and the reactions went from “Oh my god, what is wrong with Tom Brady?” to “Kareem Hunt is a man among boys!” While both of these statements seem to have some legitimacy to them — and Rob Gronkowski did not look healthy — it is only a one-week sample size.
The Thursday night game will likely be the biggest game that fans overreact to because of the teams involved, but here are some others that had fans pulling their hair out.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans
This was supposed to be an easy win for the Texans, as J.J. Watt led the team out to win one for the Hurricane Harvey sufferers. That plan was quickly turned on its head, as Jaguars rookie running back Leonard Fournette (26 carries, 100 yards, one touchdown) had a solid outing and the Jags defense looked like the Legion of Boom.
However, the game also proved that the Texans’ quarterback situation is a wreck with no end in sight. Rookie Deshaun Watson is likely going to be thrown into the fire in Week Two, but is speculation at this point.
Atlanta Falcons at Chicago Bears
A lot of early reaction to this game was that it would be a blowout because of all the questions surrounding the Bears. But Chicago showed up, and the Falcons could not move the ball as easy as was expected. Tight end Austin Hooper showed his athleticism on an 88-yard touchdown pass from Matt Ryan, and the Falcons defense held the Bears on the goal line with time running out. Yes, the Falcons will be fine, and let’s hold off on the Bears for now.
New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys
Ezekiel Elliott won his injunction and was able to play in Week One for the Cowboys. He had a decent game, with 24 carries for 104 yards and five receptions for 36 yards. But he was unable to find the end zone against New York. The biggest overreaction in this game surrounded the play of Giants quarterback Eli Manning. He did not look good in the Sunday Night Football match up, and the Giants continued their yearly struggle of having any resemblance of a running game.
Manning might have two Super Bowl wins over the Patriots, but the past few years have proven that he is unable to be a consistent quarterback without a running game and a decent offensive line. His performance against the Cowboys was one that wasn’t normal though, as he tends to perform well against Dallas. He was without Odell Beckham Jr. though, and that ended up being too much in the Giants 19-3 loss in Dallas.
There were plenty of surprises throughout the first NFL weekend, but the reactions outweighed the performances on the field. As the season continues, reactions will be up and down but a bigger sample size of games will add legitimacy to fans’ reactions over the next 16 weeks of the season.
What were some of the overreactions that you saw or heard throughout the weekend? Leave them in the comments below!