NFL Week 7 overreactions and reality checks: Should Tyrod Taylor be Giants' QB1? Are Ravens best team in AFC?

Week 7 definitely didn’t go to plan around the NFL. The Washington Commanders had an opportunity to keep pace in the NFC playoff race and fell to the New York Giants, while the Buffalo Bills were upset by the New England Patriots to lose ground in the AFC East race. 

The Chicago Bears won a game with Tyson Bagent at quarterback and the Cleveland Browns survived a shootout with the Indianapolis Colts. The early games were interesting and the late games were the Patrick Mahomes and Puka Nacua show — until the Steelers came back to steal one in L.A.

There were plenty of quick takeaways from all the action, but which ones are overreactions and which are reality? Let’s take a look. 

Ravens proved they are a legit AFC contender by crushing Lions

Overreaction or reality: Reality

This is an easy one. The Ravens beat the Lions — winners of five straight — by 32 points in what was their most dominant performance of the year. Lamar Jackson looked like an MVP passer again, throwing for 357 yards and three touchdowns (155.8 passer rating) as the Ravens put up 503 yards of offense against a Lions defense that allowed 285.8 yards per game this year. 

The Lions had the No. 1 rush defense and Baltimore was able to generate 146 yards on the ground, only 36 from Jackson. This was a complete performance from the Ravens, who allowed 337 yards and were up 35-0 in the fourth quarter. 

Baltimore is now the team to beat in the AFC North, and clearly one of the Super Bowl contenders in the AFC. The Ravens flexed their muscle this week, showing what Jackson can really do in this offense. 

Ron Rivera won’t last the season in Washington

Overreaction or reality: Overreaction

The Commanders falling to the Giants is a bad look, especially when they couldn’t score in the double digits. The pass defense allowed Tyrod Taylor to complete 18 of 29 passes for 279 yards with two touchdowns (116.9), negating the four sacks the defensive line generated — against a Giants offensive line that was starting their ninth different combination in the last nine games. 

Losing to a Giants team that didn’t score an offensive touchdown in the first half until this week is unacceptable. The Commanders had an opportunity to get to 4-3 and keep themselves in a position for a playoff spot in the conference. Instead, they lost another game to a Giants team that’s easily beatable. 

Will Rivera last the season? Yes, because the Commanders should be in the playoff mix until the very end, regardless of the loss to the Giants (every team has a bad loss). Washington has to finish over .500 for Rivera to keep his job, which remains to be seen. 

Tyrod Taylor should be starting over Daniel Jones  

Overreaction or reality: Reality

The Giants certainly looked better offensively with Taylor than they did with Jones on Sunday, even if they only scored 14 points. They actually had a first half offensive touchdown — their first of the season — and not one but two! Taylor led the Giants offense to 356 yards, their highest total in a game since Week 2.

In Taylor’s two starts, the Giants have averaged 336.5 yards per game. In Jones’ five starts, the Giants offense has only 255.8 yards per game. The Giants offense has averaged only 12.4 points in Jones’ starts and 11.5 in Taylor’s starts, yet the offense has moved more fluently with Taylor. The offensive line has only allowed six sacks in Taylor’s two starts! 

New York isn’t a good football team, but they have a better chance to win with Taylor right now than Jones. 

Giving Bijan Robinson one carry is unacceptable

Overreaction or reality: Reality

Was there a legitimate reason the Falcons gave the No. 8 overall pick in the draft one carry (for three yards) in Sunday’s win over the Buccaneers? Robinson played only six snaps in the first half when he had zero touches.

Robinson admitted after the game he was playing with a bad headache, and head coach Arthur Smith didn’t want to risk it — but why play him at all? Robinson said he he also had a headache last night, so the Falcons had enough time to make a decision on whether or not he would be active. But after not playing all game, Robinson came in late in the game when it was tied, so something doesn’t add up.

Robinson is a special talent and a good running back, but the Falcons are wasting draft capital by not playing him. Nothing made sense about how he was used. 

They got the win on Sunday, but there’s a reason why the Falcons are perpetually at or below .500. 

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