I think it might come down to who has the final better record, the Colts or Ravens. Reason being is that Patrick Queen is his chief competition. Since the positions don't directly compare, and the Raven's D by media default is more respected than ours historically, I would be concerned if they finish with a better record and/or playoff seeding, especially since we already lost to them at home. But I hope you're right. He's been fantastic and perhaps may get votes for All Pro.
You missed the purpose and argument of Dan's post, and that is that he thinks we should bring Rivers back. The strawman part only occurs concerning that point. Our actual record and Rivers part in it isn't up for argument. It "is" rather than being an argument. It is simply a statistic, a fact and not open for debate.
The "strawman" argument is that we will need Rivers again NEXT YEAR. The "strawman" portion concerns assuming our only alternative options would be the same as this years options were, in the future. If Ballard decides there is a better option for next year, then you'd have to argue THAT specific (and completely unknown) option versus Rivers. To do otherwise is a "strawman" argument.
Your logic is wrong on so many levels. That is not a straw man argument at all as far as I can tell.
You are actually making a straw man argument by taking what Dan said and exaggerating it.
He said we could be 5-5 without PR, not that we would be.
Another distortion of logic in your post is that Ballard would have to feel that his option was better. That is wrong. It's a non-sequitur. What if Brady stayed in NE and Rivers signed in TB? If Ballard thought PR was the best, then he would have to sign someone he thought was worse.
Teams do not always get to sign who they think is better option. In FA, the FA decides who is his best option, not the other way around.
Now if you are talking about beating KC in the playoffs, I don't think this team or any other is legitimately good enough.
But are you freaking kidding? The last few weeks have proven that we are good enough to compete Supe. Winning is not guaranteed, but surely it's pretty obvious that we are competitive with the best teams.
I didn't know if we were or not and was skeptical before Baltimore, but we've competed pretty well against them and since them.