Sports Opinion & Analysis

Welcome Back To Earth

In NFL on September 24, 2012 at 10:13 am

Three weeks ago, before the NFL season began, the Green Bay Packers were supposed to be the best team in football. Their offense was supposed to be better than any defense in the league. Aaron Rodgers was supposed to simply will his team to another Super Bowl berth.

Then, they were handedly beaten by San Francisco.

Since that game the 49ers have been hailed as the most dominant team in the league. Some people were already willing to call the season off, and hand the Lombardi trophy to Alex Smith and Co.

Then, the 49ers lost to Minnesota.

“Was this guy always this good?”

So what does this all mean to San Francisco’s Super Bowl hopes? Or Green Bay’s for that matter?

Absolutely nothing. It’s week three, after all.

Now, if you’re a 49ers fan, you’re upset because your team won’t go undefeated. You’re embarrassed by their performance against the lowly Vikings. That’s understandable. But beside the 1972 Miami Dolphins, how many teams have gone undefeated? The one team that came close, the 2007 New England Patriots, lost only one game, and that was the Super Bowl. Don’t you think Tom Brady wishes he could have gotten that one loss out of the way a little bit earlier?

Worst 18-and-1 season ever.

Look at the last few teams who went on a tear through the early part of the season, only to have a hiccup when the game mattered most. The 2009 Indianapolis Colts didn’t lose a game until late in the year, and it was like that one inconsequential loss threw their whole season out of whack. Same with the Green Bay Packers from last year.

Regardless of who your team is, it never feels good to have them lose a game. But it’s just one game. All of these “experts” who are already counting off the 49ers this morning, saying maybe they’re not the team we thought they were, need to relax. The team might very well not be the team we thought they were, but that can be said about practically every team at one point or another. The Arizona Cardinals have already won more games by week three than most “experts” predicted them to win all year.

That’s why they play the games. If every outcome was decided beforehand, why would we watch?

“I see the Tampa Bay Buccaneers winning the Super Bowl!”

My point is this; just because the 49ers lost to supposedly one of the worst teams in the league, doesn’t mean anything. It’s one game and it’s week three. All teams have off games. This is why “Power Rankings” make no sense after the first game of the season, because no one has a large enough sample set to determine anything substantive at that point of the season. Play a few games first, and then make a judgement call.

(By the way, my Power Rankings will be coming out next week, with rankings coming every four weeks after that)

The 49ers had a bad game, just like the Packers had a few weeks ago. It also didn’t help that the 49ers stepped up to play week one, just like the Vikings did yesterday, but that’s how it goes. If the Packers or Niners play the way they’re supposed to for the rest of the season, see if anyone looks back at those two hiccups and even cares anymore.

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