Ain't no overreaction like a Week 1 overreaction, cuz a Week 1 overreaction packs a whole offseason's worth of irrational panic or exuberance.
I think that's how the song went, but I don't remember, and I'm not looking it up because this column isn't about research. It's about reaction. A specific kind of reaction. OVER-reaction.
Oh yes, that's right. It's Overreaction Monday. Week 1 style. Which is especially nutty.
See, the problem with Week 1 is that it carries with it so many of your hopes and dreams. Your team hasn't played a real game in as many as eight months. You've sat through coaching searches, the combine, free agency, the draft, OTAs, minicamps, training camps and the abhorrent sporting blight that is preseason NFL games. You've imagined what your team would look like. If it doesn't look that way, or if this game's problems look like last year's problems, you're going to worry your worst fears are coming true. That's how small sample size gets ya.
Conversely, if your team looks fantastic in Week 1, it's tempting to strut into work Monday morning in your Flacco/Peterson/Mahomes jersey and spend your morning online booking flights and hotels for the first week in February.
We're here for you.
Presenting five ridiculously declarative, Sunday-based statements that might or might not be overreactions -- complete with which we think they are:
James Conner can do everything Le'Veon Bell can do while Bell is out.
The Steelers said they would give Conner the same reps they always give Bell, and doggone if they didn't do just that: 135 rushing yards and two touchdowns, plus five catches for 57 yards? That reads like a Le'Veon line right there.
Graziano's verdict: OVERREACTION. Here at Overreaction Monday, we're big on needing to see a guy do it again before believing it. Conner will get a chance to Le'Veon-it-up again next week against a beatable Chiefs defense, but what makes Le'Veon special is the ability to do this stuff every week. We'll say this, though: If Conner keeps this up, he could convince Bell to hurry on back to Pittsburgh sooner than planned.
The Chiefs' offense is even better with Patrick Mahomes at QB.
Alex who? Andy Reid's decision to ship Alex Smith to Washington after his best season and replace him with untested second-year man Mahomes got off to a nuclear start as the Chiefs beat the Chargers for the ninth time in a row. Rinse, change quarterbacks, repeat.
Graziano's verdict: NOT AN OVERREACTION. The Chiefs went as far with Smith as he was going to take them, and Mahomes' laser arm adds an electrifying something that honestly does offer this Chiefs offense a chance to operate at an even higher octane level. No, I don't expect him to have 16 interception-free weeks. Yes, I believe there will be times when he looks like a lost kid out there. But when your goal is to get past the Patriots in the AFC before Tom Brady retires, you have to elevate the ceiling at QB. Reid took the restrictor plate off an already-fast race car.
The Saints are back to being a terrible defensive team.
Remember the 2014-16 New Orleans Saints? No, of course you don't. They finished 31st, 31st and 27th in total defense those three years and went 7-9 in all three of them. Then they took that ranking up to 17th in 2017 and went 11-5. Drew Brees only needs an average defense to make the Saints a contender. But the New Orleans defense would have to climb Kilimanjaro to get from Sunday's performance to average. You give up 417 yards and four touchdown passes to Ryan Fitzpatrick in 2018, you've got to look in the mirror.
Graziano's verdict: OVERREACTION. The Saints have playmakers up front and on the back end on defense, and last year's group was a key component to the team's success. I say the Saints just played their worst defensive game of the season and will finish around the middle of the pack again. Which, as we've established, should be enough for Brees, Mike Thomas and Alvin Kamara to get them back into the playoffs. However, this does bring us to our next topic.
Ryan Fitzpatrick will keep the Buccaneers' starting QB job after Week 3.
Bucs starter Jameis Winston is suspended for three games to start the season, and we all assume he'll start as soon as he gets back. But what if Fitzpatrick averages 417 yards and four touchdowns a game and the Bucs are 3-0 when Winston gets back?
Graziano's verdict: OVERREACTION. The reason a guy like Fitzpatrick is 35 and on his seventh team isn't because he can't play. It's because he has never been able to SUSTAIN high-caliber play for a long period of time. A good backup quarterback is usually a guy you can count on to help you win while the starter is out for maybe three or four games, but not for much more than that. Fitzpatrick's magnificent beard is pictured in the dictionary next to "backup quarterback." But hey, everybody thought the Bucs would start 0-3 without Winston, right? Fitz already has done his job.
The Bills are the NFL's worst team.
Sheesh, they're going to have to run Buffalo's 47-3 season-opening loss to Baltimore through a couple of different laundry cycles to get the stink out of it. The Bills had 153 total yards, possessed the ball for just 24:46 and became the first team this season to make a quarterback change.
Graziano's verdict: NOT AN OVERREACTION. Yeah, the Bills made the playoffs last year, but I continue to contend that they didn't mean to. Remember when Sean McDermott benched Tyrod Taylor for Nathan Peterman while they were still in contention, then unbenched Taylor when the coach figured out how important that was to a fan base that hadn't seen a playoff game in 17 years? Yeah, McDermott is working on building a long-term thing here, and this always felt like a step-back-to-take-a-step-forward season.