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Week 7 in the NFL had a lot more questions than answers -- unless it was an NFC East team (the division went 3-0 on the afternoon). The Tampa Bay Buccaneers continue their freefall, losing to a Carolina Panthers team without Christian McCaffrey and playing a third string quarterback. The Green Bay Packers lost to a Washington Commanders team starting a backup quarterback. 

Two Super Bowl contenders might miss the playoffs, as both have a losing record through seven games. The New York Giants are 6-1 and the Dallas Cowboys are in third place of their own division at 5-2. What is going on in the NFC? 

This week has plenty of overreactions, but are they legitimate? 

Todd Bowles won't last the season as Buccaneers head coach

Overreaction or reality: Overreaction

Tom Brady is under .500 this late in a season for the first time since 2002. The Buccaneers just scored three points against a Panthers squad that is one of the worst in the NFL. A team that just traded Christian McCaffrey and started PJ Walker scored 21 points against a once-vaulted defense -- a unit Bowles runs. 

Bowles earned the opportunity to coach the Buccaneers after Bruce Arians retired, but was it the right move? This stint looks reminiscent of his New York Jets tenure, but Bowles has far more talent now.

The NFC South is bad, so Bowles deserves the opportunity to right the ship. Tampa Bay is fortunate this situation isn't worse -- although the Tom Brady drama and the inconsistent offense and defense is pretty bad. 

The Packers will miss the playoffs

Overreaction or reality: Reality

Here's an early look at the playoff standings. The Packers are 2.5 games behind the Minnesota Vikings and already lost the tiebreaker to them. With a 3-4 record, Green Bay is currently 10th in the NFC playoff standings. 

At this point, the best way the Packers are going to make the playoffs is via the wild card. The Giants have the first wild card spot at 6-1 and the Cowboys have a spot at 5-2. The seventh seed currently belongs to the Rams at 3-3 -- and they are remarkably inconsistent. 

The Commanders, Falcons, 49ers and Commanders are alive at 3-4 in a crowded NFC of mediocrity. There's no guarantee Green Bay will make the playoffs -- even with Aaron Rodgers

Daniel Jones deserves another year as the Giants starter

Overreaction or reality: Reality

What has Jones done to lose his job? Sunday was another efficient performance for the Giants quarterback, who went 19 of 30 for 202 yards with a touchdown (94.0 rating). He also rushed 11 times for 107 yards and a touchdown in another victory -- not turning the ball over. 

Jones has completed 66.7% of his passes for 1,223 yards with six touchdowns and just two interceptions (90.8 rating), along with rushing for 343 yards and three touchdowns. The Giants are 6-1 and winning because Jones isn't turning the football over and leading them to comeback wins (he has five game-winning drives this year). 

Jones is making his case to start in 2023. 

The Cowboys are the second-best team in the NFC

Overreaction or reality: Reality

The only team in the NFL that is better than the Cowboys in the NFC are the Eagles, who beat them in Week 6. The Giants can't state that case because the Cowboys beat them in Week 3. Minnesota has an argument at 5-1, but the NFC North isn't as strong as the NFC East -- and the Vikings get the Cowboys in November. 

Through seven weeks, Dallas is the second-best team in the conference. Dak Prescott is back (19 of 25, 207 yards, touchdown, zero interceptions) and the defense is dominant, forcing five Detroit turnovers. The Cowboys are a force to be reckoned with. 

The Titans will win the AFC South

Overreaction or reality: Reality

A season sweep of the Colts and up 1.5 games on Indianapolis with the tiebreaker. Jacksonville doesn't appear to contend for the division title and Houston is one of the worst teams in the league. Mike Vrabel's team is heating up as the Titans are the class of the division. 

Whether the Titans can compete with the conference's best is another story, but a playoff berth is very likely after just six games. The AFC South is theirs to lose. 

Joe Burrow has the Bengals back amongst the AFC's elite

Overreaction or reality: Overreaction

The Bengals still have some work to do in order to compete with the Chiefs and Bills, but they're getting closer with Burrow playing at a high level again. Burrow went 34 of 42 for 481 yards with three passing touchdowns and zero interceptions (138.2 rating) in Sunday's blowout win over the Falcons as the Bengals are 4-1 in their last five games.

Over that five-game stretch, Burrow has completed 71.2% of his passes for 1,560 yards with 13 touchdowns to just one interception. He's playing at an elite level and is getting Cincinnati back into the conversation amongst the AFC's best. 

The Bengals are close, but they aren't there yet. They will get to play the Chiefs and Bills later this year and enter the conversation. In an open AFC behind Buffalo and Kansas City, Cincinnati can state its case for No. 3. 

Gus Edwards will lead the Ravens to the AFC North title 

Overreaction or reality: Overreaction

Edwards had an excellent debut for the Ravens, rushing for 66 yards and two touchdowns and giving Lamar Jackson a break rushing the football (Jackson only had 10 carries). What was puzzling is why the Ravens didn't give Edwards the ball late in the fourth quarter (Justice Hill and Kenyan Drake took the carries). 

The Ravens were being patient with Edwards and preserving him, but he's their best option right now. He won't be the reason Baltimore wins the AFC North, but he'll play a major role -- if the Ravens let him over the second half of the season.

With J.K. Dobbins out, Edwards is the guy. Let the "Gus Bus" ride. 

JuJu Smith-Schuster is the Chiefs' No. 1 wide receiver

Overreaction or reality: Reality

If the Chiefs actually designate a No. 1 wide receiver, it's Smith-Schuster, who is showcasing his role in the offense over the last two weeks. Smith-Schuster had seven catches for 124 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's win over the 49ers, one week after having five catches for 113 yards and a score. 

That's 12 catches for 237 yards and two touchdowns over the last two games -- 19.75 yards per catch. The Chiefs have a playmaker to complement Travis Kelce and its Smith-Schuster. He's the go-to wideout. 

Kenneth Walker is the Offensive Rookie of the Year

Overreaction or reality: Overreaction

With Breece Hall's injury, Walker has a case to win this award. The Seahawks running back has been explosive since Rashaad Penny's injury, rushing 44 times for 265 yards and three touchdowns in his two starts (6.02 yards per carry). Counting the last three games, Walker has 52 carries for 353 yards and three touchdowns (6.79 yards per carry). 

Walker still has some ground to gain, but it's a long season and he's going to have plenty of opportunity. Walker may be running for 1,000 yards this season in this offense. 

So who's ahead of Walker? Hall has 80 carries for 464 yards and four touchdowns (5.8 yards per carry) along with 19 catches for 218 yards ad a touchdown (11.5 yards per catch). That's 681 yards from scrimmage and five touchdowns in seven games. Dameon Pierce has 508 rushing yards and three touchdowns (4.8 yards per carry) as teams stack the box to slow him down. 

Walker keeps up this pace, he gets the award. He does have some work to do. 

Josh Jacobs is a top three RB in the NFL 

Overreaction or reality: Reality

Jacobs had another banner day for the Raiders, carrying the ball 20 times for 143 yards and three touchdowns against a Texans defense that was simply no match against him. That's the third consecutive game Jacobs has 20-plus carries for 140-plus yards and a touchdown -- as the Raiders are 2-1 in that stretch. 

Playing just six games, Jacobs has 111 carries for 633 yards and and six touchdowns (5.6 yards per carry). He's third in the NFL in rushing yards, eighth in yards per carry amongst running backs, and tied for second in running touchdowns -- with one fewer game.

Jacobs is definitely in the top three at his position. 

The Jets won't make the playoffs without Breece Hall

Overreaction or reality: Overreaction

An ACL injury is not the news the Jets wanted to hear, as New York is 5-2 and riding off the explosiveness of how well Hall has played to start his career. Their playoff hopes are not lost with Hall out, as Michael Carter will be called upon to help out the running game. 

The Jets still have a strong secondary, playmaking wide receivers and a good offensive line. They're fifth in the AFC standings and up at least two games on the final AFC playoff spot. The Jets can get by without Hall, but it will be more difficult.