Performances are relative. And more often than not, they're comparable to the most recent effort.
What can pass off as credible on one day can easily be derided on others.
It just depends on circumstance.
It would explain why many people would have been reasonably happy with the Canaries' display against Stoke last Tuesday night despite City having ultimately suffered a 1-0 defeat.
Because the 1,800 or so supporters that made the trip to Coventry three days earlier, or those that had simply followed the action by website, radio airwaves or newspaper would have realised that Norwich just didn't compete that day.
Against Stoke though, it's fair to say that they did.
But there's no need for anything analogous when judging the game at Bramhall Lane this weekend, because when you get down to the bare bones of it there's no denying that Sheffield United fully deserved their victory.
They created plenty of goalscoring opportunities; they enjoyed more possession than Norwich; they were generally much more potent as a team.
For their part City could rightly point to an opening half in which they did show positive attacking intent, and one in which they crafted a couple of decent opportunities of their own.
Needless to say though that given that the manner in which they have acquitted themselves in front of goal lately, whenever a chance did present itself it was inevitably squandered.
If the first-half could be viewed as being a fairly evenly contested affair though, the hosts certainly had a firm grip on the second period, with the game ultimately being settled in four minutes of defensive madness from Norwich.
If it was disappointing that a failed clearance allowed Billy Sharp to put the Blades in front, then Matt Kilgallon being gifted the freedom of the six-yard box to send a thumping header past David Marshall to double United's lead was nothing short of defensive suicide.
That killed the Canaries stone dead, and with all the fight having been sucked from City, it all fell flat.
Realistically, you'd have to look at Norwich's performance yesterday and indeed those in recent weeks and say that they have to be doing much more in games.
Because make no mistake, it's not solely down to this woeful inability to put the ball in the net as being the reason why the Canaries are now very much back in a relegation dogfight when barely a month or so ago there was talk of them making the play-offs.
No, let's knock that one on the head straight away.
Because the standard of their play in general hasn't been good enough either.
Norwich have undoubtedly lost their momentum. They've lost their spark and they've lost their defensive doggedness – as well as their creative ability.
What it all does mean though, is that the visit of Colchester to Carrow Road on Saturday now takes on a massive significance, and it's a game that Norwich simply have to win in order to keep the teams in the relegation places at arm's length.
The fact that it's against a team rooted at the bottom of the table and nailed-on certainties for the drop is irrelevant really, because for City to get the result they so desperately need right now they are going to have to rediscover some of the things that lifted the into the top half of the table not so long ago mighty quickly.