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Week 11 of the NFL season sure had its surprises. The Detroit Lions were the first team to win a game down 10-plus points in the final five minutes of regulation this season (teams were previously 0-84) and the Cleveland Browns had a thrilling victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in a classic AFC North defensive slugfest. 

For the first time since 1969, both the Browns and Lions won at least seven of their first 10 games to start the season. If you throw in the 7-3 Jacksonville Jaguars, it's the first time ever that all three of the Browns, Lions and Jaguars each won seven of their first 10 games. Of the four teams to never reach the Super Bowl (Lions, Browns, Jaguars, and Houston Texans), they are a combined 28-12. 

This has been a wild season, which makes deciding what's real and what's not even more daunting. So, which of Sunday's takeaways are overreactions and which are reality? Let's take a look.

Browns will make the playoffs

Overreaction or reality: Reality

There may not have been a team in the NFL that needed a win more on Sunday than the Cleveland Browns. As if playing the Pittsburgh Steelers wasn't difficult enough without their starting quarterback -- after Deshaun Watson was lost for the season this week due to injury -- Dorian Thompson-Robinson was looking to avenge a disaster of a first start (he found out he was starting against the Ravens an hour before game time and threw three interceptions). 

Thompson-Robinson was far from perfect (24 of 43, 165 yards, no touchdowns, interception), but he led the Browns on a game-winning drive in the final 1:18, setting up the game-winning field goal. Not including spikes, Thompson-Robinson was 4 of 4 for 39 yards on the final drive -- backing up a top-two defense that is more than good enough to get Cleveland to the postseason. 

Thanks to the win, Cleveland is two games up on Indianapolis and Cincinnati for the final AFC playoff spot, and 1.5 games over Buffalo. The Browns are currently the No. 5 seed in the AFC, a half game behind the Baltimore Ravens for the AFC North lead. 

Playing only two teams currently over .500 the rest of the way, the Browns should be a playoff team -- even with Thompson-Robinson at quarterback.

Daron Bland is the defensive player of the year 

Overreaction or reality: Reality

Bland continued his dominant season in the secondary with his fourth interception return for a touchdown on the season, tying Eric Allen (1993), Jim Kearney (1972), and Ken Houston (1971) for the most in a single season in NFL history. His touchdown was part of a dominant defensive effort for the Dallas Cowboys in Sunday's blowout victory over the Carolina Panthers, as the unit allowed just 187 yards and 10 points. 

Bland is having one of the best coverage seasons in recent memory, as opposing quarterbacks targeting him are completing just 43.1% of their passes for 231 yards with one touchdown to six interceptions for a 17.5 passer rating. 

While it's very difficult for defensive backs to win defensive layer of the year, Bland's coverage stats show he's worthy of the honor. Bland has scored as many touchdowns as Travis Kelce! Myles Garrett and teammate Micah Parsons have their cases, but Bland deserves some consideration for the award. 

Bland's only pass touchdown allowed was against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 9, his worst game of the year. He's been dominant against everyone else. 

Brandon Staley should be fired this week 

Overreaction or reality: Reality

How many of these bad losses are the Chargers going to endure? Los Angeles has lost two consecutive games to NFC North opponents, each by one score. The Chargers fell to a packers team on Sunday that had lost five of six heading into the game -- and the one win was against a quarterback who currently isn't on the team they beat (Brett Rypien, Los Angeles Rams). 

The Chargers have five losses by three or fewer points this season -- nobody else in NFL has more than two. They are the first team to lose five of their first 10 games by allowing a game-winning score in the final three minutes of regulation or in overtime since the 2000 San Diego Chargers. They have 14 losses by three or fewer points since 2020 -- the most in the NFL.

The late-game situations could be blamed on Justin Herbert (29-30 as a starter), but the problems are way above him. This is Staley's third season as the head coach and the same problems persist, as the Chargers fall further out of the AFC playoff race. 

It's time to move on from Staley. Perhaps the Chargers can have a late-season spark with another coach. Ask the Las Vegas Raiders how that's working out. 

Ron Rivera should be fired this week 

Overreaction or reality: Overreaction

Losing to the New York Giants twice should be a fireable offense, especially for a team that's set to begin a rebuild with a new head coach and front office (thanks to new ownership). The Commanders are 4-6 and just aren't a playoff team, confirmed by the two poor losses to a Giants team that can't get out of their own way (the Giants scored 20-plus points for the first time since Week 2). 

Why won't Rivera get fired this week? The Commanders play the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving, a short week with no opportunity for an assistant coach to devise a game plan or place his footprint on the roster. It's just irrational to make a drastic change on a short week. 

Perhaps after the Thanksgiving game there will be a change, but not this week. 

Bills will make the playoffs 

Overreaction or reality: Overreaction

Sunday's win over the New York Jets was impressive, yet the Bills will have to do more than crush a team that has almost no offense and benched its quarterback for poor performance. Buffalo has a very tough schedule ahead, traveling to Philadelphia, hosting Kansas City following the bye and hosting Dallas over the next three games. All three are Super Bowl contenders and the toughest stretch for any team in the NFL (Eagles, Chiefs, and Cowboys have a combined 22-6 record). 

The offense was very promising in Joe Brady's debut, as Josh Allen threw for 275 yards and three touchdowns (the Bills had 393 total yards). There are plenty of positives to take from this game, but the Bills are still a half game behind the Pittsburgh Steelers and Houston Texans for the final playoff spot. 

Bottom line: Buffalo has to go 2-1 in its next three games to have a good shot at the postseason. 

Jets shouldn't go back to Zach Wilson

Overreaction or reality: Reality

Benching Wilson in the third quarter was a long time coming, especially since Aaron Rodgers' backup has been dreadful throughout the year. After going 7 of 15 for 81 yards with a touchdown and an interception (57.9 rating), the Jets had enough as they decided to give Tim Boyle a shot.

Boyle wasn't good either, completing 7 of 14 passes for 33 yards and an interception (26.5 rating). But he was going into the game for mop-up duty in a blowout. Perhaps a full week with the first-team offense will help someone waiting for the Jets to finally end the Wilson experiment.

Garrett Wilson had two catches for nine yards. The Jets didn't convert a single third down and had 155 yards of offense. Zach Wilson has completed 59.2% of his passes with 6 touchdowns and 7 interceptions with a 73.8 rating this year ... this, after two years of horrible football.

The Jets can't go back to him, no matter how poor the alternative might be. Time to move on.  

Brock Purdy is the league MVP

Overreaction or reality: Overreaction

Hard to argue against Purdy's case for league MVP after Sunday's performance, one in which we went 21 of 25 for 333 yards and three touchdowns, no interceptions, and a perfect 158.3 passer rating. That's just another strong performance for Purdy, who vaulted his way back into the MVP conversation. 

Purdy leads the NFL in passer rating (115.1) and yards per attempt (9.7) by a wide margin. He has the second-highest yards per attempt by any quarterback through 10 team games since 1950 and the highest passer rating in a two-game span (157.3) by any quarterback in league history. 

It's fair to put Purdy in the conversation for MVP, but there are plenty of candidates for the honor. Purdy isn't the MVP through 11 weeks, but he certainly belongs in the conversation. Leading the 49ers to a comeback victory down eight-or-more points in the fourth quarter will raise his stock -- it's something he nor his head coach have done yet.