Two games. It's only 120 minutes of playing time, but the perception of a team can truly change in a big way in that short of time.
See the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Two weeks ago they were undefeated and actually had the 1972 Miami Dolphins a little scared. Two losses later many are wondering if the 11-0 start was a mirage.
The Steelers' first lost came at home to the Washington Football Team, a loss that was considered an aberration rather than one that exposed who the Steelers were as a team.
Fast forward to Sunday night, when the Buffalo Bills came back from 7-0 down to score 23 straight points on their way to a 26-15 victory over the Steelers that didn't seem that close.
The Steelers looked slow.
Ben Roethlisberger looked old.
The run game didn't work.
The secondary couldn't cover .
These have been some of the team issues for much of the season. Roethlisberger can't drive the football. His receivers don't scare down the field. The offensive line has run-blocking problems. The run game has been nonexistent the past six games.
Is it any wonder the questions about how good this team can be are being heard louder than ever?
The Steelers are down to fourth in my Power Rankings this week, but they sure haven't looked that good in the two losses. They have three games to right things before the playoffs, but, for now, the last 120 minutes of football have changed this team's outlook in a big way.
They are in a free fall, but Mike Tomlin will get this thing turned around. Count on it.
|They aren't blowing teams out, but the offense makes them the team to beat. They face a tough one this week against the Saints.||--||14-2-0|
|They now have the top seed in the NFC, which will make the playoffs tough for the road teams if it holds up. The offense is lethal.||2||13-3-0|
|Josh Allen is proving to a lot of people he's now a star quarterback. This team is legit and can be a Super Bowl team.||2||13-3-0|
|They haven't look good for a while, which is a concern. They do get the Bengals this week to help fix their ails.||2||12-4-0|
|That was a bad showing at Philadelphia. Taysom Hill did some good things in his starts, but they need Drew Brees back. Now.||2||12-4-0|
|They got back on track against a bad Jets team after losing to a so-so Giants team at home. Now they face a tough road game against Washington.||1||12-4-0|
|The offense took advantage of a bad Las Vegas defense in their blowout victory. If they can play like that, they will be a dangerous playoff team.||1||11-5-0|
|They got some revenge against the Patriots and lead the NFC West with three games to go. That defense is outstanding.||1||10-6-0|
|They come off the bye looking much better than they did before it. The defense is back.||2||11-5-0|
|Winning at Baltimore Monday night was huge for this team. The schedule is soft the rest of the way. They are getting it going at the right time.||4||11-5-0|
|The defense fell apart against the Ravens. That can't happen in the playoffs. It's looking like it's a wild-card road for them.||5||11-5-0|
|If Derrick Henry played Jacksonville every week, he'd have a 3,000-yard season. They did play better on defense, which is progress.||--||11-5-0|
|They competed against the Chiefs, but the best thing is Tua Tagovailoa shook off a slow start to get it going late. That's growth.||3||10-6-0|
|That was a big road victory against the Giants. The defense was dominant as the pass rush came alive.||1||8-8-0|
|They can't stop anybody, which is why they fired Paul Guenther. But does it really matter who coordinates that group?||2||8-8-0|
|Their defense is good enough to win the NFC East. They get more dominant by the week on that side of the ball, but here comes Russell Wilson.||5||7-9-0|
|Mitch Trubisky has played decent football since coming back from being benched. The Bears are still alive.||9||8-8-0|
|Is it almost time to sit Cam Newton down? He just doesn't look right. They are done.||2||7-9-0|
|So much for the idea they will make the playoffs. They are done. The defense needs a lot of help.||1||7-9-0|
|That was a terrible showing against the Bears. The defense is horrible. It's on to next year.||3||4-12-0|
|The injuries seem to have finally caught up to this team. They are all but done. The Super Bowl hangover is complete.||2||6-10-0|
|They have to be excited about Drew Lock going forward. His four-touchdown game against the Panthers was impressive.||2||5-11-0|
|The return of Daniel Jones from injury didn't quite work out. The offensive line didn't help him much, but he has to be better.||3||6-10-0|
|Going to Jalen Hurts paid off with an upset victory over the Saints. He gave them some offensive life - and they are still alive.||4||4-11-1|
|They finally won a close game this past Sunday against the Falcons. Will wins in the final three weeks save Anthony Lynn's job?||--||7-9-0|
|It's time to focus on next season. They aren't good enough right now and it's likely going to mean Raheem Morris isn't the full-time coach next year.||4||4-12-0|
|They come off their bye with a bad showing at home against the Broncos. The defense let them down after showing some improvement before the bye.||4||5-11-0|
|They still have some life after beating the Bengals on the road Sunday. At least they showed some fight, which they didn't do the week before.||1||6-10-0|
|They just don't have enough good defensive players to slow teams. It's time to start planning for the new coach.||2||5-11-0|
|They need to start to plan on beefing up the team around Joe Burrow. There are way too many holes.||--||4-11-1|
|The quarterback situation is a mess - at least until next year. Three more games until changes are coming.||--||1-15-0|
|Three more losses and it's a winless season. Will it happen? You bet.||--||2-14-0|