What I think are thinking, or should be thinking, at the four team headquarters of the AFC South Monday afternoon. The “should be” part is a new wrinkle we may adopt for teams coming off losses ...
We got through a month without Brian Cushing at 3-1 and sit atop the division. It’s a nice place to be, and we should feel good about it. We’ve shown we can handle all sort of different situations, and so a month in it’s reasonable to feel like we have graduated to the next level. But we know stuff like that can come apart quickly. We’ve got two tough home games before our bye now, and we need to be at our best to beat the Giants and Chiefs. Hopefully a week off helped Andre Johnson and he’ll be ready to factor into both of those game. And maybe we found a safety to work with Bernard Pollard in Troy Nolan.
To his credit, Jim Caldwell got more into the rationale behind the questionable timeout that benefited Jacksonville. Our players are go-to-work, no-nonsense guys so they don’t need to hear about it. We don’t care a great deal about outsiders who wonder about accountability for such a questionable move. But it’s reasonable to expect him to flesh it out. Peyton Manning is playing great and we’ve wasted some of it. We’re 0-2 in the division. It’s nothing we can’t work out of, and we’ve always got a sense of urgency. But we really need to get on track here because the schedule gets brutal in November.
Man, it’s amazing what one big day can do. This place is completely energized and fired up. If we’d lost we’d be hearing about coaching and quarterback changes. It just goes to show a couple blowouts shouldn’t be viewed as any bigger than a standard loss. It is a concern, though, that guys talked about feeling stressed in the losses and getting back to having fun against the Colts. Why do we need reminders like that? Shouldn’t we know how to operate? We need to focus better, and we absolutely have to go win at Buffalo to build momentum heading into a Monday night home game against Tennessee.
Even we have to admit we were overly conservative Sunday. How did we mistake a four-point lead for a 14-point lead? Vince Young may be limited in our eyes, but it’s time to snap out of our stubbornness with him and do better at creating situations where he can make more plays. The offense only had 19 second-half snaps and that doesn’t cut it. The 12-3 Denver advantage in first downs after halftime was a big part of that and has to be rectified. Jeff Fisher and his staff have been outdone by Mike Tomlin and the Steelers and Josh McDaniels and the Broncos in the span of three weeks. It gets harder to believe in a plan when that happens.