It has been a truly eventful week one of National Football League action. Whether there was a particular player or team that impressed or disappointed, there’s going to be plenty of overreactions after just one week of games. Our group of writers will team up to discuss the biggest week one overreaction in this week’s roundtable.
Associate Sports Editor
The Pittsburgh Steelers may need to enter the Caleb Williams sweepstakes
If we’re talking about overreactions, this truly may be one of the top choices. Pittsburgh got obliterated at the hands of San Francisco, and frankly, it never felt close. Not only did the tough Steelers defense get picked apart at the hands of Brock Purdy, but Kenny Pickett had an abysmal start to his season with two interceptions and 232 yards. But, does that mean that the Steelers should start to tank or that their season is lost? I certainly don’t think so. With what the young Pickett has shown thus far in his career, and even with Diontae Johnson slated to miss a few weeks of the season, I have faith that Pickett and the Steelers have some massive positives on the horizon.
Brian Gutekunst is the best general manager in the NFL
In 2020, Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst stunned football fans everywhere by selecting quarterback Jordan Love in the first round of the NFL draft. Gutekunst seemingly gets ridiculed for every early-round draft selection he’s made as general manager for the Green Bay Packers; yet, every pick that is routinely criticized by Packers fans almost always pans out into a significant roster piece. Gute’s unpopular decision to draft a quarterback in the first round and undergo a significant youth movement with the roster was on full display in Green Bay’s 38-20 road victory over the Chicago Bears in week one. While a handful of first-round picks had great games, no performance was bigger than Love’s as he finished with 245 yards and 3 touchdowns in the victory. The scariest part about Green Bay’s win over the Bears is that the average age per player on the roster is 24.9 years old, which is the youngest since the 2017 Cleveland Browns. If Jordan Love is the latest of many recent successful draft picks by Gutekunst, this core of youth could be a problem for years to come.
Tyreek Hill will win MVP
It’s easy to overreact to a line like Hill’s, but that’s exactly what we’re here to do. Hill exploded for 215 yards on 11 catches and a pair of touchdowns against the Chargers, which are exceptional numbers. Yes, it will be nearly impossible to keep up at this pace for a season, but if he can even come close to matching that production, it’ll be hard to keep the MVP trophy out of his hands. Another major factor will be keeping Tua Tagovailoa healthy. Injuries have been a problem of his since he came into the league, and whether he’s able to deliver passes to Hill will play a role in whether he’s able to keep up those numbers. If not, he’s still going to be an exceptional receiver, but the production likely wouldn’t be enough to warrant MVP status.
Puka Nacua will be the Los Angeles Rams’ WR1 by Week 8
Football fans have probably heard about Jaxson Smith-Njigba, Quentin Johnston and Zay Flowers because they all got selected with consecutive picks in the first round of the NFL Draft back in April. Nacua, a fifth-round pick out of Brigham Young University, may have more receiving yards than all of those rookies combined by Week 18 in January. In his NFL debut against 2022 Comeback Player of the Year Geno Smith and the Seattle Seahawks, the rookie wide receiver caught 10 passes for 119 yards as the Rams walked out of the Emerald City with a 30-13 win. That performance, good for 21.9 points in a fantasy PPR league, already makes Nacua a major receiving threat for a Los Angeles team currently without 2021 Offensive Player of the Year Cooper Kupp. Although he has the least experience among healthy Rams receivers, the BYU product will not be a one-game wonder. It might just be a one-game overreaction, but Nacua will be a sleeper pick for Offensive Rookie of the Year by season’s end.