posted this in a couple places, wanted everyone to see it
If I could put my professor spectacles on for a second...
Here's another way to look at this, guys. Imagine the performance of this football team as a sine wave. We'll assume the function is centered along the x-axis, which is our normal level of play. What we are concerned with here is the amplitude of the function--how far above and below our baseline our performance fluctuates.
In 2011, we had a very consistent team. By this I mean we were generally stable week-to-week in our level of performance--we occasionally dipped below our normal quality of play (Baltimore, Arizona) but not very far, and never lost any game more than 10 points. Conversely, when we needed to elevate in the playoffs it wasn't there.
Starting in 2012, we started to see a very large variance in the quality of our play from week to week. We laid eggs in Minnesota, against New York and St. Louis, and in Seattle. Our poor performances were really, really poor. But on the flip side, when we were good we were transcendently good--take wins in New England and in the playoffs versus Green Bay and Atlanta. The Super Bowl may have been the most illustrative microcosm of this phenomenon, in that we played waaaay below our talent level in the first half and were unbelievable in the second.
We are undeniably a very dynamic team. But I submit that the price of this dynamism, of this ability to play at that very high level at times, is that we also swing very far in the opposite direction, so that when we are not good, we are very not good.
So, fellas, let's take this with a grain of salt and as solace that we will be okay. Nothing is necessarily broken...it's a long season, and we all know how good we can be.