All or Nothing
Pass or Fail
Right or Wrong
Good or Bad
Pass or Punt
So, the Purple still have a dynamic duo at receiver and their recently extended running back can still do things that few other mortals are capable of.
If the team can ever get consistent quarterbacking, O Johnson would make the offense even more difficult to stop, or even slow down. Yeah, I'm not tossing him on the scrap heap just because Jefferson exploded today.
On the defensive side of the ball, H Smith and Ngakoue made about as many plays as all other members of the unit, combined. Holton Hill almost pushed his way into their atmosphere, but he's a DB for a reason so it ended up just being a PBU. Eric Kendricks deserves obligatory mention but in his first game PB, he wasn't as much of a one-man show today.
And truth be told, the outcome was for the best. With 14 games remaining the best-case scenario would have been 9, maybe 10 wins if every single bounce went the right way for them. That would have put them on the fringes of the playoff group but then they would have been a first game out. I'm not on board with one & done any more.
And the worst-case scenario would have been 8 wins.
With the loss today those possibilities are all but off the table. Winning today is the sort of thing that kept us from drafting Andrew Luck. So if we're going to have a dreadful record (for the first time since 2013, but really 2011) then losing close while the Club quantity of young players on the roster steadily improve is the best possible outcome.
In short, today was the oxymoron known as a good loss!
First things first, it's impossible to have the kind of day that all the main receivers had without the quarterback doing some good things. With that asterisk out of the way, he was bad once again. Say Rudolph doesn't have catchers mitts for hands, then that dime would have just been another non-descript misfire. Likewike, of the 251 yards that he was credited with, many came because the athletes found a way to rack up the YAC. That doesn't take them away from him, but they need to be properly recognized. And really, 251 is an average outing in today's game. Maybe it seems better because of how low he pushed the bar down over the first two weeks but more should be expected.
Beyond #8, the offensive line had another rough day. Cue the stat heads who will have individual ratings exceedingly better than the collective. Don't forget, despite all the grandeur the Titanic still sank. I remain optimistic for improvement by the young linemen but there wasn't much evidence of that today.
And of course, there was the hair-ripper to Kalif Raymond.
In a season that is best if full of losses, it's going to be strange measuring progress, nonetheless 10 - 12 more games like today would be pretty great!