They call it Overreaction Monday for a reason, and that reason is that no matter what happened to your team yesterday, good or bad, has suddenly become the complete and indefensible truth that will without a doubt dictate the entire season. Did you team look great? 19-0, here we come! Did your running game struggle? Cut the entire RB staff right now! Are you pleased with your team's secondary play? Interceptions galore, every week! It's easy enough to do, at the end of the day; after months upon months of speculation, phony analysis, and wondering exactly what is going to happen, it only makes sense that we take whatever actual, tangible stats that show up on the board and just run with them.
And if you're a Patriots fan, much of what you're hearing on this Overreaction Monday isn't as rosy as we may be used to. Quite the contrary; if you didn't know any better, it would be easy to say that there's more or less no reason to even bother watching anymore. Time to mail in the season, everything is awful, and all of our championship hopes are dashed like a schooner against a rocky cliff on a moonless, foggy night.
Well fear not. All is not lost. No need to buy into the OM hype. Just stay here at the Pulpit, and all will be well. Here are a few of the more common overreactions that I'm hearing, and what I'd like to think is at least a little bit of reason to think otherwise.
The Patriots are done. I'm actually extremely happy to hear this one, as I don't feel that it's officially football season until my fellow AFC East fans start proclaiming the demise of the Patriots. And while I will admit, based on yesterday's performance, the anti-Patriots nutjobs have much more fodder than they usually do at this incredibly early point in the season, forgive me if I'm not pulling the plug just yet.
Tom Brady is finished. I'm hearing way more of this than I thought that I would, even from people not making comments on internet message boards. Is this where we're at right now? Is every time the Patriots lose a game going to be a surefire sign that it's over for Tommy B? Are there going to be a small band of Patriots fans calling for Jimmy G? I certainly hope not, but that appears to be the case right now. Come on, people; let's take a step back here. Maybe we should wait until Brady has had more than a second and a half to throw the ball before we decide to toss him to the curb.
Rob Gronkowski is a shell of his former self. Gronk looked rusty out there, no doubt about it. There were a few plays where he and Tommy B weren't on the same page. He dropped a few he probably should have caught. But that's expected, to be honest. He hasn't played in a football game since early December. Let's cut him a little bit of slack here.
Bill Belichick should have never traded Logan Mankins. Would having Mankins yesterday have helped? Probably. Would it have made all the difference in the world? I doubt it. The entire line got absolutely dominated yesterday, no matter where they lined up. There was pressure up the middle, through the gaps, and over the edge. Guys were coming in completely unblocked. The Dolphins were able to get into the backfield only rushing three and four. There was just nothing about the offensive line play that leads me to believe that they magically would have been a stone wall if Mankins was in there. You can try to make a case about guys taking the lead and being on the same page and all that stuff, but I have a hard time believing that having Mankins out there would have kept Brady upright for longer than two seconds.
This offensive line is terrible. They sure played a terrible game, I'll give you that. But we all knew that the O-Line was a work in progress, and it would take some time for them to gel. Now granted, I don't think that anybody was expecting THAT poor of a performance (props to the Miami front four as well), but there's literally nowhere to go but up from here. So let's not call for a wholesale clearance just yet.