It's just the preseason...
One of the biggest problems with the echo chamber that is NFL coverage has always been when the backlash against a topic is so ferocious that the original falsehood begins to be just as true as the points of those fighting against it.
Picture a narrow road with two large ditches on either side. In the middle, truth. On either side, deep down in those ditches are talking heads that demand satisfaction—tempting you to listen to their bloviating as they over-argue points to the extent they can't even believe the tripe coming out of their mouths.
Maybe it's the quarterback who is called elite in one ditch and a bum from the other. Perhaps it's a head coach's decision that is praised as gutsy on the left and foolhardy on the right. It isn't just that the opinions differ, it's the sheer force of said opinions—couched in certainty and rhetoric—makes it almost impossible to navigate the NFL landscape without falling into one of the ditches.
With this in mind, let's talk about what exactly the preseason means. Is it worth getting up in arms over when a team loses? No, of course not. Nor is it really relevant when a team wins. Growing up in Michigan, I will always remember the 2008 Detroit Lions who went 4-0 in the preseason and 0-16 when the games mattered.
What didn't that above paragraph say, though?
It didn't say the preseason doesn't matter at all, or we can't talk about the things that happen in the preseason as anything but a curiosity because it's "just the preseason." No, the preseason does matter to countless players and coaches around the league—it's why it's still around. We can use the preseason as evidence and in forming opinions, even if we do so with a grain of salt.
The winners and losers of this past week are those who have set themselves (or their teams) up for success in the upcoming season and those who have taken a step back for various reasons.