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What we're not overreacting to after Week 4

Half of the league is miserable every Tuesday. With so few regular-season games, every loss feels like another piece of evidence proving that your favorite team just isn't very good.

This column is here to tell you that the sky isn't necessarily falling. (Or that it's early to break out the champagne.) Here are the storylines we're not overreacting to after Week 4:

Rookie quarterback play: EJ Manuel is the belle of the ball in Buffalo after his second home win. Some Jets fans are losing their minds after Geno Smith's poor play in Tennessee. This is life with a rookie quarterback.

There really wasn't that much separating the two rookies this week. Manuel made a handful of nice plays, but he also missed a lot of throws in only 22 attempts. He had two interceptions and two fumbles. Smith is going to throw in some awful games, especially with so much on his plate and so little help around him.

The biggest difference between the two players: Coaching. Manuel is being put in a position to succeed.

The entire AFC North: Much like the NFC East, the teams in the AFC North don't need to sweat their slow starts because of the lackluster competition. The Browns can stick around this race because of their defense. The Ravens have a ton of improving to do on offense, but there is reason to believe they can pull it off. Perhaps Cincinnati has the most to worry about, because their quarterback is so clearly holding them back. But the Bengals lost four in a row at midseason last year and still bounced back.


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(Steelers fans, on the other hand, can react however they please until their team wins a game.)

Miami's return to Earth: A lot of teams are going to get blitzed in the Superdome. The Dolphins had too many sloppy mistakes to keep up with the Saints in New Orleans, but they made correctable errors. Miami is not a team built for track meets.

Washington's defense: Redskins fans are thinking playoffs again after their win in Oakland. Let's see how Jim Haslett's defense holds up when they aren't facing Matt Flynn, Rashad Jennings and Khalif Barnes, shall we?

Atlanta's 1-3 record: The Falcons can't afford to build a bigger hole, but no one-win team has played better. They lost at the last second to three teams with a combined record of 11-1. There is a serious lack of playmakers on defense, but the offense should put up a lot of points when Roddy White is finally healthy.

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