Ok we got swept by Cincy. Big whoop. It was bound to happen. Lets give the Bungles (forever the Bungles!) their due, they out hustled us out there today. Yes it was a big loss, and yes we probably lost the division. There are still plenty of reasons for us to be optimistic about the rest of the season.
For starters, we have a pretty manageable schedule. By no means am I taking from our opponents, but I think we can pull out against Bal, Oak, KC, Mia, and GB the next 7 games. Of course many of you are now saying, "Not if we keep playing like that Sven, our offense has reverted to amateur status, and Ben is playing the way everyone said he would start to for the last 5 years!!"
First off, if you think that, you're an idiot.
Second, history tells us that from time to time, QBs have what are known as off games. Some of you may be worried based on today, but I am not. Ben has 1-2 games a season that have all of us going WTF. It's in his nature or something. Maybe he was up all night with 4-5 horribly normal looking women. Also, Ben has been playing like a God the last few weeks, Min not included, their defense was just plain dominate. Bengals credit, blah blah, Ben made horrible throws and decisions, I lost count of how many wide open, first down receivers Ben would overlook to launch the ball to Wallace. Just a bad day for Ben, who really looked like he was sick or hung over today. If there's one thing Ben is good at doing off the field, its self assessment. I have more then enough confidence our QB will be ready to play the next few weeks coming into the playoffs.
Our playoff chances are not over. One loss to Bal or GB will only set us at 12-4. Not homefield advantage, but still more then good enough for us to get a wildcard. And if Cincy drops the Min and SD games, we are right back in this division thing. To think the team does not realize this is crazy. As long as we make it to the playoffs, we are good. Once were in records matter for nothing.
Our defense is the same group as last year. Troy being hurt is crucial, but it really does not sound too terrible. We'll see. Either way, I thought Carter filled in nicely, though that almost pick would have been a pick with Troy in. Sorry, I needed to get at least one "If we had Troy" to make myself feel better. Credit Cincy for giving Palmer enough time to throw, but credit our D for being in his face all game, forcing him to make bad throws.
Now the real reason we should be happy. We just dropped a huge game. This team thrives on adversity and razor thin margins. This isn't a team that gets dejected after big losses, they get motivated and play with fire. Something I seriously feel has been lacking this whole year. Some sort of spark that makes this team come out to play 100% no matter the opponent. We have that spark. Playoffs are still visible, but they are looking a bit more distant today. I have the feeling we are going to see a team sprinting for the finish line the rest of the way.
I am glad so many of you are coming out positive after this though. Good to know we all take Tomlins advice to heart.
"Dont ride the emotional roller-coaster"
The man will be doing Dick Butkis pep talks when he retires. I put money on it.