Nothing generates as much buzz and excitement as the NFL. Week after week, the intensity continues to be ratcheted up as we race toward the postseason. As usual, several noteworthy headlines emerged from this week’s gridiron action.

Without further ado, here are five overreactions to what we saw in the NFL in Week 12:

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5. The Cleveland Browns are Missing the Playoffs

This might seem less like an overreaction and more like a certainty. The outlook was guarded after Deshaun Watson went down with another injury, but those concerns have been validated after the Cleveland Browns dropped their last two games. 

Through three games without Watson, the Browns mustered just 44 points and 855 yards of total offense. Arguably, the more concerning trend is their defense’s inability to get stops when needed. Cleveland has given up 65 points in dropping consecutive losses, jeopardizing their playoff hopes. 

With several teams waiting in the wings, it’s just a matter of time before Cleveland falls out of favor in the AFC.

4. The Los Angeles Chargers Need a Regime Change

Over the past decade, no franchise has looked as hapless as the Los Angeles Chargers. For years, the sum of the parts has been greater than the whole as the Chargers perennially fail to live up to expectations. That was illustrated in their 6-0 win over the New England Patriots on Sunday. 

Their performance at Gillette Stadium is analogous to their recent track record. Sure, they won, but they looked pretty pathetic in doing so. LA scored six points on 241 yards, getting out-gained and out-possessed along the way. 

It’s time for a changing of the guard for the Chargers. They could walk the eternal path of mediocrity or bring in a leadership/coaching group that can extract maximum value from their current roster. 

3. Mike Evans is a Hall of Famer Nobody Talks About

All Mike Evans has done over the last ten years is take care of business, but nobody talks about it. The four-time Pro Bowler has eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards in every season of his NFL career and is on his way to setting a new personal best in 2023. 

Evans is averaging the third-most yards per game and yards per reception of his career, already recording ten touchdowns. Not only is that a team-best, but it also puts him at 91 touchdown passes since he came into the league and the fifth time he’s hit double-digits. 

The most telling sign of Evans’s dominance is his ability to stay healthy. Despite taking punishing hits week after week and year after year, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers wideout has played in 15 or more games in all but one season. Barring any setbacks this year, that’s an impressive run of longevity. 

Altogether, Evans is a Hall of Famer, and people need to start talking about it.

2. The Kansas City Chiefs Will Enter the Playoffs as a Wild Card

Losses in two of their last three have dropped the Kansas City Chiefs to 8-4 on the season. We’ve seen other squads bounce back from ineffective stretches, but the Chiefs won’t be so lucky. 

Kansas City’s metrics are deteriorating. The Chiefs have seen decreased offensive output, coinciding with defensive struggles. Moreover, they take on three playoff hopefuls over the next four weeks, leaving the Chiefs with no margin for error against desperate clubs. 

Although KC is all but guaranteed a playoff spot, it’s looking more and more likely that it comes on the road. 

1. Jake Browning is the Offensive Rookie of the Year

A few weeks ago, the Offensive Rookie of the Year hardware was assuredly going to C.J. Stroud; however, the emergence of Jake Browning has thrown a few wrinkles in those plans. 

The Cincinnati Bengals’ quarterback has looked like the Offensive Rookie of the Year, albeit in a limited sample. Browning has completed 51 of 63 passes for 581 yards and two touchdowns through two starts. That’s insane. This guy has missed just 12 passes through his first two starts; a benchmark Kenny Pickett typically hits in a half. 

Stroud’s odds of winning the award are increasing, but taking a flyer on Browning to win the award could prove a lucrative endeavor. 

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Thumbnail photo via Cara Owsley/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

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