We have the talent to be 7-2 after nine games.

The way our defense is playing--fast, confident, well-rounded, adapting to circumstances--gives us a chance to get to 7-2. If our defense continues to improve, to the point where it is scoring points as well as denying points to opponents, then 7-2 is very doable.

The way our offense is playing--plodding, uni-dimensional, predictable--will keep us from being 7-2, or even close. Each team we play will have more game film on our 2021 offense to study. Our predictable play calling, our obvious tendencies, our maddening refusal to adapt to punish defenses for overloading and risk taking, will become a bigger handicap with each passing game. If we return to a balanced offense that is adaptable enough to punish teams for excessive blitzing, loading the box, etc., our offense can help get us to 7-2, as well. If our QB once again becomes a positive factor in our offense, either by effective passing (200 yards+, low interceptions) or by being a second realistic running threat, 7-2 looks a lot more achievable. The changes needed on offense may be the mindset of our OC and /or HC, or they may be personnel. Maybe both. But without something changing meaningfully on offense, it is hard to see how we get to 7-2. Ultra conservative, grind it out, predictable one-back running plays on 75% of all plays, wasting the clock and ignoring hurry-up "transition" type opportunities, changing up p[lays to RUTM into loaded boxes (after absurdly checking the sideline three times), zero adaptability to exploit defensive risk-taking, vanilla calls that place zero "stress" on the decision-making of LBs and safeties, just isn't going to cut it. That form of offense is a recipe for capitulation in any and all games in which we fall behind by more than 10 points. And we will fall behind sometime in the next five games, guaranteed.

Special teams? Theoretically they could help us get to 7-2, but for now I am just hoping for a "neutral" effectL do no major damage. We have actually started to try to return a few punts, with good results largely. Who knows?** Maybe our punter will flip the field one of these days **...