Is the Baltimore game a warning from a top tier team or was it a "scheduled loss?" Short week, travel several time zones and play at Baltimore where losing is not an unexpected result. When we lost 1 game to Dallas in overtime I thought we were for real. But this game gives me pause. And here is why looking at the schedule and circumstances.
It's been argued by WZers and media types that we did play somebody. But did we? Wins vs. the Bengals, Eagles, Lions, Bucs and Giants were often pointed to as "good teams" we beat. Are they?
~ Eagles 4 - 7.
~ Bucs 4 - 7.
~ Lions - started 5 - 0 and have been dropping games ever since. Really imploded around the time we played them and after. Ok we can claim this one if we want. They were good when we played them. But they haven't been good lately. So how good are they?
~ Giants - Yup we beat them. But we resorted to onside kick trickery at home and could barely get them off the field after several 4th downs. IMO they are perfectly capable of beating us in a rematch.
~ Bengals - good record but a ROOKIE QB. Albeit a good one.
The Seahawks and Cardinals are a joke. And the Seahawks gave us a good game remember if not for 2 Ted Ginn returns that bailed us out. The Browns and Redskins are simply not good teams.
So look at who beat us.
~ Cowboys - a good team. Beat us passing all over the field. Looked like an unstoppable offense vs. us.
~ Ravens - a great TOP TIER team IMO. Completely abused us. Manhandled us all over the field. If we spent any more time on offense they would have had 15 - 20 sacks. Utter domination at the line of scrimmage. Far worse than the score IMO. A game that gives even the most rabid homer some pause and concern.
If I had to do a power ranking right now I would put it like this.
1) Packers - Would abuse us badly.
2) Saints - If we get behind no way to catch up. And we would get behind vs. them.
3) Patriots - Far superior IMO.
4) Ravens - Any worse abuse than this and you file assault charges...
5) Steelers - Vastly underrated by the WZ and media. This team is for real.
6) 49ers. Just my opinion.
I think the Texans and Bears have too many injury concerns at QB to be considered serious contenders. I'd put the Cowboys and Giants about even with us. Almost right on par. The Cowboys beat us. And we barely beat the Giants with onside kicks and all. IMO they are capable of beating us. I think Atlanta is about on par with us. They are definitely capable of beating us on a given sunday.
8) New York Giants
I don't think those teams are far behind us. Capable of beating us too. One of them did.
I think we played one super elite top tier team and they abused us all over the field. It was far worse than the score in the physical matchup. I'm glad we are better. But I don't think we are as top tier as we think. Our offense is not capable of coming from behind. And if we get down in the playoffs I don't see much come from behind capability to keep the season alive. I'm glad we are better than we used to be. But we may not be ready yet for the big time. I agree with the argument that the Ravens and Steelers are the true test. Even if we split those, win out and go 14 - 2 I would start to believe again. If we lose that, get abused, win in NFC West matchups and go 13 - 3 I'm not sure how good we are?...
[ Edited by SanDiego49er on Nov 29, 2011 at 5:44 AM ]