Nolan's teams did this too. Start decent, blow the season in the middle with a losing streak, play your way out of the postseason, then play well against crappy teams at the end (usually with nothing to play for) and get us excited about next year. Repeat.
Notice how Matt Leinart lit up Tennesee when we couldn't, or that we scored 20 points against a lousy Jax defense, the Bears debacle? Sorry, I'm not buying this as some turnaround, just more of the same we've seen the last decade or so.