OK, 49ers fans. Your team is unbeatable and takes a lot of momentum, so it's time to panic. Wait, what?
Let's take it back a little.
Recent history has been unfriendly to teams that wear the mantle of the "last unbeaten team." It's been 13 years since the last losing team went on to win the Super Bowl the same season as the 2006 Colts. In the years since, five teams lost the Super Bowl, two missed the entire postseason, and the rest were given early departure in the playoffs.
As pointed out by Andrew Siciliano the most recent examples are quite awful.
Last season, Aries was stoned by the Patriots in Super Bowl. The year before, the Chiefs finished once in the postseason after allowing Marcus Mariota to catch a pass from his day. The Vikings missed the playoffs after being the last unbeaten team in 2016, while the Panthers fell to the Broncos in Super Bowl in 2015.
Now, the 49ers are the only team with an undisputed record. They are 8-0 and look like the cream of the NFL crop this season. They also face one of the toughest schedules the rest of the way, with six of their last eight games being against teams with a winning record. That includes the Packers, Ravens, Saints, Rams and two games against the Seahawks.
Oh, and the last time the 49ers were the only undefeated team left? It was 1990. They started 10-0 and later lost to the Giants in the NFC Championship after a critical strike by Roger Craig.
Panic Index : Really, there's nothing to worry about. The 49ers play well and get healthier. Today's story does not work in their favor, but many teams have won the Super Bowl the same year they last lost. In fact, this has happened six times in the 1990s.
Besides, who wouldn't want to be in this position and not, you know, all the losing teams? The 49ers can't handle the pressure of being the best team in the league as best as possible, and hope the ghosts of the last playoffs don't haunt them.
The Patriots' offense is somehow breaking out now.  Tom Brady is slowing down. Yes, he is still the man who can win the Super Bowl in his 40s or throws perfect backs to his back when called upon, but no longer poses as a top quarterback. His passer-by rating goes down every season after his Deflatgate rematch, dropping from a pristine 112.2 in 2016 to just a decent 93.1 in 2019. His 3.9% touchdowns are the lowest in his career .
There are external factors to play here as well. Brady is missing two main components of his offensive line with left-back Isaiah Wynn and center David Andrews and both of the injured reserve (Wynn will be completed later in the season). His receiving corps was spread throughout widespread distribution until 2019 first-round pick N & # 39; Keal Harry was out on the field. Rob Gronkowski is spending his Sundays as part of the show. His running game averages just 3.3 yards per carry.
All this was conspired to make the once-dreaded crime in New England a fairly average unit. This was good in the first half of the season thanks to the soft schedule, but it could be a glaring shortcoming in the much tougher November-December sheet.
The defense, as ridiculous as it may be, has some problems to contend with as well. The Patriots are so focused on destroying adversary offenses that a handful of prepared enemies have found a way to carve out midfield left vulnerable to escape. Mark Ingram made it last week with 115 yards on 15 carries. Frank Gore only needed 17 runs to reach 109 yards back in Week 4 – and since then he has not had more than 60 yards in a single game. Nick Chub ran 6.6 yards per carry in his 131-yard performance in New England.
If this group gasps, do the ducks have insulting chops to continue? They did not go through Week 9 against the ravens.
Panic Index : Brady's awareness slipped noticeably behind a flickering offensive line in 2019, and he makes it out with easy omissions:
That said, he's Tom Brady. Doubt your own peril.
The Vikings can't beat any team with a pulse
We have reached the middle of the season and we are starting to learn more about which teams are real and which are not. One of those teams still on the jury is the Minnesota Vikings, who sat 6-3 in the first nine weeks of the season.
After a rocky start to the year, Minnesota settled. There are games against the Cowboys and Broncos in the next two weeks before bye shortly before Thanksgiving.
Everything was created for the postseason start for the Vikings, except – well – at the moment they only beat bottom feeders.
Only one of the Vikings wins was over a team that currently has a record winner. This is Philadelphia, which is barely there, beating the Bills and Bears in the last two weeks to climb to 5-4.
When Minnesota played the Packers in Week 2 – a team that could actually do damage in January – Kirk Cousin threw two interceptions and struck out twice, one of which was recovered by Green Bay. When the Vikings beat the Chiefs in Week 9, they lost 26-23, although Patrick Mahomes was still sidelined with a knee injury.
This is a problem for the Cousins who preceded his arrival in Minnesota:
It is difficult to trust the Vikings as a legitimate contender when they self-destruct whenever a playoff team is on the move.
Panic Index : The Cowboys are also not exactly a jungle, with four of their five wins being against losing teams. The Vikings Still Have a Gold Opportunity to Meet in 8-3 Weeks
Even if the Vikings are fighting a slightly tougher schedule in December – including games against the Seahawks and Packers – they were created to make the playoffs and then who knows what will happen. Doubting their chances of actually winning everything is fair.
The Packers have never looked worse this season.
In the words of Aaron Rodgers, this week the Packers ate a modest pie. They may have listened to their own hype a little too much and were not prepared to go into Sunday's game against the Chargers.
LA entered the game at 3-5, while Green Bay went into 7-1. Los Angeles was a pure underachiever, but Shane Steichen called it a great game in his debut as the Chargers offensive coordinator. It wasn't just insult.
They held the ball a little less than 36 minutes, had no three-and-outs and more than doubled the Packers' yards (442 on 184). The big show about Los Angeles came to earth. Melvin Gordon, who is slowly starting to work this season, spans 109 all-purpose yards and two notches. Austin Eckler added 70 rushing yards.
In defense, Melvin Ingram and Joey Boza teamed up to harass Rogers, firing him three times a day when the Packers' offense could do nothing. In fact, Green Bay had just 84 yards after the first three quarters and Rogers didn't even throw a touchdown until he had six minutes in the game. Rogers had the fifth lowest passing game of his career (among the games in which he played all fours) with just 161.
With a few big games ahead – against the Panthers and 49ers – the Packers can't afford to play that way again, not when they are in a heavy race to the north of the NFC.
So the big question for the Packers is whether it was just one-time stinkers, or whether the Chargers illustrated exactly how to beat Green Bay,
Panic Index : Strictly speaking, the answer is probably a little of both. Sometimes teams lay an egg. The Chargers have also done exactly what teams need to strive to beat Green Bay: they drop the ball, push Rodgers and keep the football out of Rodgers' hands.
These three keys are something that every NFL team already knows. The Chargers happened to be executed, while the Packers may have underestimated them a bit. Green Bay will have to focus on stopping the run, but it is still in a very good position. And, if anything, this loss probably served as a wake-up call for the Packers.