NFL Week 15 Overreactions and Reality Checks: Bengals No. 1 Seed? One-time jeans? Champions of the Jaguars of the South?

The 2022 NFL season has been full of exciting finishes and unpredictable outcomes, but nothing could top the week 15 game list. This was the first week in NFL history in which three teams completed comeback victories from 17+ points, all of which altered playoff runs.

The Cincinnati Bengals rallied from 17 down to beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, grabbing sole first place in the AFC North in the process. The Jacksonville Jaguars moved within one game of first place in the AFC South with a comeback win over the Dallas Cowboys, helping the Philadelphia Eagles take a three-game lead in the NFC East with three to play. Of course, the Minnesota Vikings clinched the NFC North on Saturday after their 33-point comeback, the biggest deficit ever overcome. in NFL history.

Thanks to comeback victories and exciting finishes in the league, there were plenty of takeaways to go around on Sunday afternoon’s game list. Which are reality and which are overreactions? Here’s a look.

The Cowboys won’t win a playoff game

Overreaction or reality: overreaction

Dallas hasn’t looked anywhere near a Super Bowl-caliber team in recent weeks, needing a late fourth-quarter drive to overcome a one-win win. houston texans In the past week. In Week 15, the Cowboys blew a 17-point lead against the Jacksonville Jaguars lose in overtime.

Forget the NFC East, the Cowboys are three behind the philadelphia eagles in the division with three games to play and the Eagles dominating the head-to-head playoff. All the Eagles have to do is win one game to clinch the division (it doesn’t have to be in Week 16 in Dallas).

Can this team win a playoff game in a month with the way they’re playing? This is certainly not a formula for doing it: playing below average against sub-.500 AFC South teams. But the Cowboys will get the winner of the NFC South in the first round of the playoffs, barring an epic collapse, and despite how they’ve looked the past two weeks, they should beat whichever team it is.

The Jaguars will win the AFC South

Overreaction or reality: Reality

Jacksonville is just one game behind the tennessee titans for the division lead with three games to go, with a head-to-head tiebreaker in hand. The Titans are 7-6 after their loss to the chargers and the Jaguars improved to 6-7 with their win over the Cowboys.

The Titans and Jaguars will meet in Week 18, with Tennessee facing Houston and Dallas before that matchup. Jacksonville faces the new york jets in a short week, followed by Houston, before the end of the regular season.

The Jaguars still need some help, but their road to the playoffs is there. With the way the Titans are playing, this division may be the one Jacksonville loses.

The bengalis will be the No. 1 seed in the AFC

Overreaction or reality: overreaction

This is a bit rushed, even though Cincinnati is one of the best teams in the NFL right now. The Bengals sit in first place in the AFC North, one game behind the buffalo bills Y Kansas City Chiefs for the first seed in the conference. There is a path for the Bengals to get the top seed in the AFC, which comes in week 17 against the Bills.

If Cincinnati wins that game, the Bengals will have the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Bills and Chiefs. Cincinnati still has the job to finish against Baltimore, which finds itself one game away from the division with the head-to-head tiebreaker in tow.

The Bengals need to do a lot to land the No. 1 seed, and they need some help in the process (Kansas City has lost one of its last three games). This can be done, but it is not the most likely outcome.

Patrick Mahomes will break the NFL record for passing yards in a season

Overreaction or reality: Reality

Mahomes has 4,496 passing yards in 14 games, averaging 321.1 yards per game. Peyton Manning holds the single-season record for passing yards with 5,477, so Mahomes needs 982 passing yards in his last three games to break the mark (325.7 yards per game).

This is more than achievable for a quarterback which is why his team is one of the best in the NFL. The Chiefs need Mahomes to play at the MVP level every week, and he delivers. Mahomes needs just 754 yards in his last three games to set the league record for passing + rushing yards in a season (Drew Brees holds that mark with 5,562).

Both records are at stake. Mahomes will get the hardest to pull off.

Jalen Hurts will set the single-season rushing TD record by a QB

Overreaction or reality: Reality

Hurts already has 13 rushing touchdowns this season, in sole possession of the second-most rushing touchdowns in a season by a quarterback in NFL history. The Philadelphia Eagles quarterback needs just one touchdown to tie Cam Newton’s record of 14, two to pass it.

Hurts has three games to go for two rushing touchdowns and the Eagles always seem to let him run the ball inside the 2-yard line. Newton’s mark will be tied, at the very least.

The lions will reach the playoffs

Overreaction or reality: Reality

Yes, this was mentioned last week. This is one that deserves to be revisited after Detroit’s win over the New York Jets, along with the Seattle Seahawks‘ loss this week. The Lions remain the No. 9 seed in the conference thanks to Seattle owning the head-to-head tiebreaker, but Detroit should be, at worst, a half-game behind the Commanders and Giants for the final spot. in the conference playoffs. .

The Lions close with the panthers, Bears Y packers — all teams with losing records. It doesn’t matter who wins between Washington or New York, Detroit getting at least nine wins is a reality now. The Lions may even go 10-7 with the way they’re playing.

Whoever wins between Washington and New York seems poised to grab one of the wild card berths in the NFC playoffs. Detroit seems to be on its way to getting the other one.

Mike Tomlin will finish with a season without losing

Overreaction or reality: overreaction

The steelers avoided having a losing season assured with their victory over the Panthers, improving to 6-8 with three games to play. Pittsburgh needs to win for Tomlin to keep his 17-year streak alive, a task that won’t be easy.

Pittsburgh ends its season with Las Vegas (6-8), Baltimore (9-5) and Cleveland (6-8), with the only road game in Baltimore. The margin for error is small, but the Steelers are also in the playoff race (even if their chances of making the playoffs are slim).

It’s hard to see the Steelers winning, but Pittsburgh can make it interesting.

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