Jacob in Syracuse writes: In your chat you stated when asked about AFC South rankings that the Colts’ talent level compared to Jaguars was ridiculous. Now I don't necessarily disagree with your assessment, but I do think it's kind of harsh. Aside from the obvious defeats at QB, WR, TE, and DE of course. Could you specify at what positions they have Jaguars beat in your opinion? I’m just curious.
Paul Kuharsky: Wish you’d left your email address. I always like to respond first that way.
You concede four positions groups. If I break it down on that level, the Colts win by a ridiculous 9-3-3.
Indy wins: QB, TE, WR, DE, LB, CB, S, K, P
Jacksonville wins: RB, OT, DT
Draw: Interior OL, PR, KR
And that’s giving the benefit of the doubt to talented Eugene Monroe and Eben Britton, who have more upside than Charlie Johnson and Ryan Diem, and to Tyson Alualu and Terrance Knighton as a rookie and second-year guy, respectively.
The Colts are far deeper.
Andy from Fillmore, IN writes: Mr. Kuharsky, I figured I'd pass along a positive comment about your blog. I like the fact that you don't play homer with the Titans even though they clearly should be your favorite as you have followed them the longest. I like your work and often check it daily for a new tidbit on the AFC South. As far as the Peyton bashing that recently went on, I think people quickly forget that the Colts were nothing (aside from the miracle that Jim Harbaugh lead the Colts to) before Mr. Manning came into the league. Winning tons of championships would be nice, but the excitement the Colts bring every year is priceless. Keep writing, I for one will keep reading and enjoying. Andy
Paul Kuharsky: Thanks, and please call me Paul.
But I am confused about why I should be a Titans fan. Knowing a team best as a writer/reporter/analyst/blogger doesn’t make it one’s favorite. I grew up in New Jersey rooting for the Giants. If anything they should be my favorite. But I have been a sportswriter longer than I was an NFL fan, and traded rooting for writing long ago. I know some readers find it hard to imagine that disconnect, but trust me, it's not difficult and we all have it.
Except Matt Mosley over at the NFC East Blog, that Cowboys lover.
Mark Froehlich in Atlantic Beach, FL writes: Paul, always enjoy the blog, I'm a little surprised by your take on special teams. Arguably the defining play by your Tennessee Titans was by special teams (and won the game for them). Vinatieri kicks have won championships (which by the way, didn't the colts acquire at some point? I wonder why if they undervalued special teams?). I hope the Jags get what they're looking for in Kassim Osgood. I just don't think it’s wrong to try to improve that phase of the game.
Paul Kuharsky: I don’t think they are unimportant. But the Colts have proven you can win with bad ones. And the Browns have proven you can lose with good ones. (See this.)
I crushed the Titans for their lack of solutions after Chris Carr left.
Still, the idea that they are a third of football is simply inaccurate, but trying to improve them isn’t bad. If I’m the Jags, I’d rather have a receiver, a safety or a cornerback than a great special teams guy.
Ty in Ft.Worth, Texas writes: Paul, love the blog man keep it up. Anyways it seems that whenever I watched the Colts play they, for the most part, came out of the gate and scored a opening drive touchdown moving the ball very efficiently with that. Though for the rest of the game they have trouble moving the ball and only win by a small margin. This didn’t happen in every game (i.e. second game vs. Jax) but why do you think this happens to the Colts offense?
Paul Kuharsky: Thanks Ty.
The Colts were seventh in points per game, outscored teams by 109 points and won games by 34, 22, 21, 17, 12, 10 and 8. It’s not a league where the Super Bowl representative from a conference wins every week by two TDs. They were 14-0 in regular season games that counted and you were dissatisfied?
If you didn’t like the close wins, imagine how the opponent felt about the close losses.
Irvin Stuart in Indianapolis writes: Loved your comments to the Peyton Manning critic earlier about Peyton's post-season performance. Loved your comments even more to the recent no-name, no-place critic. I enjoy your column and I check it multiple times a day. You are up-to-date, fair and responsible. Thanks for your efforts.
Paul Kuharsky: Coming soon, All-Manning Mailbags.
On that note, I will head to vacation! (Details Monday.)
Thank you, and everyone, very much for reading and taking the time to write.