I mean ... did you SEE the final play of the Dolphins-Patriots game?
If you didn't, please, go watch it. I'll wait right here.
Greatest play ever, amirite??
OK, so maybe that's a little bit much. Tough to rank it with plays like the Music City Miracle and the Minneapolis Miracle, which won playoff games. Or even plays like the David Tyree helmet catch, which helped keep alive an all-time Super Bowl upset. Context matters, and this Week 14 regular-season magic trick didn't crush the Patriots' hopes or ensure the Dolphins of anything.
It was just amazing, is all. How often do you see the multi-lateral, end-of-game desperation play work? Ever? All that was missing was a commentator yelling, "The band is out on the field!!!"
Besides, it's OVERREACTION MONDAY, after all, so why not open up by wondering if that play was the greatest of all time. It probably wasn't, but it had the kind of epic feel we look for in this weekly breathless exercise. And it leads nicely into our first reaction of the week:
Tom Brady has won his last Super Bowl
Sure, it took a miracle for the Miami Dolphins to beat the New England Patriots on Sunday, but the Patriots still allowed 412 yards of Dolphins offense and is now 3-4 on the road this season. In their four road losses, they've allowed an average of 31.25 points per game, and if you average out all seven of their road games, they're being outscored by an average of 25-23 away from Foxborough this year. They trail the Kansas City Chiefs (whom they beat head-to-head) by two games in the race for the No. 1 seed, and at this point they're far from assured of a first-round bye.
Graziano's verdict: OVERREACTION. I completely believe the Patriots need to lock down that No. 1 or No. 2 seed in order to feel good about their chances of getting back to the Super Bowl this year. And while I understand they beat them, it's hard to imagine this New England defense holding down the Chiefs' offense (or, heck, even the Chargers' offense) in a road playoff game. But I'm not ready to bet against Brady -- not after seeing his connection with Rob Gronkowski roar back to life Sunday. Miami is always a tough spot for Brady and the Pats, who should be able to shrug off Sunday's loss -- as long as it doesn't keep them on the road too much in January.
The MVP award is a two-man race between Aaron Donald and Patrick Mahomes
Donald went into Sunday night's game leading the league with 16.5 sacks and on pace to challenge Michael Strahan's single-season sack record. But only two defensive players -- Alan Page and Lawrence Taylor -- have ever won the award, which usually goes to a quarterback. Mahomes led the Chiefs to an overtime victory over a very game Baltimore Ravens squad and is up to 43 touchdown passes already with three games to go. The 43 touchdown passes already tie Drew Brees' 2012 season for the eighth-most ever, and the 53 for which he's on pace would be the second-most ever in a season, behind Peyton Manning's 55 in 2013.
Graziano's verdict: NOT AN OVERREACTION. Sure, we could be sitting here Thursday night after a huge Chargers upset saying it's Philip Rivers and not Mahomes. But at the moment, Mahomes looks like the clear leader for the award unless (A) he slips up at all in the final three games and (B) Donald does indeed set that sack record from an interior defensive line position. Brees is making a compelling case himself, as is Donald's teammate Todd Gurley. But Donald and Mahomes are separating themselves as truly exceptional here in the latter part of the season.
John Harbaugh is off the hot seat
The Ravens' three-game win streak ended Sunday in Kansas City, but it didn't go quietly. The Ravens became the third team this year to hold the Chiefs under 30 points, joining the Denver Broncos and, somehow, the Arizona Cardinals. They held them to just 24 in regulation. If you're judging a coach by what he does to save a lost-looking season and whether his players continue to play hard for him when it looks like his job is in jeopardy, Harbaugh is making a strong second-half case to stick around.
Graziano's verdict: OVERREACTION. As close as Sunday was, and as much fun as Lamar Jackson has been, Baltimore is still one of four 7-6 teams vying for what appears to be just one available AFC wild-card spot (though they are only a half-game behind the suddenly reeling Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC North). They play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at home, the Los Angeles Chargers on the road and the Cleveland Browns at home to close out the season. Solid chance to go 2-1, but no sure thing. And if the Ravens miss the playoffs, that'd make it four years in a row. And given the expectations the Baltimore organization has for itself and the feeling around the team heading into this season, I still think four playoff-free seasons in a row mean Harbaugh would be working elsewhere in 2019. (But I do think it'll be as someone's head coach.)
Amari Cooper was the most important acquisition by any team this season
The Dallas Cowboys' trade-deadline acquisition just about put the NFC East on ice with his circus catch to beat the Philadelphia Eagles in overtime. It was Cooper's 10th catch of the game (for 217 yards) and his third touchdown. In six games as a Cowboy, Cooper is averaging 6.7 catches, 107 yards and one touchdown per game. The Cowboys are 5-1 in those six games and hold a two-game division lead over Philadelphia and Washington.
Graziano's verdict: NOT AN OVERREACTION. Look, the Cowboys' defense has been good all year. Cooper has nothing to do with that. And fundamentally, they still want to grind out yards with Ezekiel Elliott and control the clock the way they did for most of regulation Sunday. But before they got Cooper, they had no downfield threat in the passing game that scared anyone. Think what it has done for the team's confidence to know they have someone to whom they can go in the passing game to make a big play for them. Even on the weeks when Cooper doesn't go off for huge numbers, he's a factor. The Cowboys have plenty of flaws, and if Zack Martin is out for a while it's hard to see them making much noise in the playoffs. But it's pretty clear now they're headed there.
The Steelers will miss the playoffs
Pittsburgh lost to the Oakland Raiders on Sunday. The Raiders. The team that has spent the past eight months looking as if it wanted to get rid of enough players so it wouldn't even have 11 to start on game day. Pittsburgh has lost three games in a row now and is playing without James Conner, who was helping them forget about Le'Veon Bell. They hold a half-game lead over Baltimore in the AFC North, and there are three teams that have the same record as Baltimore and are out for a wild-card berth. Pittsburgh's final three games are at home to the Patriots, in New Orleans and at home to rival Cincinnati. And did I mention they just lost to the Raiders? The Raiders!?
Graziano's verdict: NOT AN OVERREACTION. If the Steelers lose their next two very losable games, they would be 7-7-1 and could need a Week 17 victory over Cincinnati to even have a chance of getting in. Remember the Bengals knocking the Ravens out of the postseason in Week 17 last year? Think they wouldn't just love doing that to the Steelers? Pittsburgh has to come up with a way of beating the Patriots and/or the Saints if it wants to avoid an embarrassing collapse.