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A month in, AFC South looking different

10/4/2010

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A month into the season, the Indianapolis Colts have matched their regular season loss total from 2009.

At 2-2 they are tied with Jacksonville and Tennessee, a game behind the Houston Texans. But at 0-2 in the division, they are already in a hole in tie-breaking scenarios.

“It’s not what we want to be or what we set out to be, but it’s what we are though,” Peyton Manning said. “We have to find ourselves and find a way to dig ourselves out of a hole. We are in a hole. We’re behind in the division, including two division losses which is certainly disappointing. You have to be able to win on the road, and the 1-2 mark on the road is disappointing. We have to go to work, keep fighting and find a way to get ourselves out of this hole.”

It’d be crazy to suggest at this early stage that the Colts are in big trouble. But the AFC South is used to seeing Indianapolis run out to a big lead.

Now two-thirds of the division has already beaten Indy.

Young players on the Texans or Jaguars who might have looked at them previously and seen some invincibility don’t any more.

A sampling of thoughts on that from Sunday night after the Jaguars’ win over the Colts:

  • Colts free safety Antoine Bethea: “That’s why we play the games, to see who wins. Houston beat us. Jacksonville beat us. We’re 0-2 in the division right now. Nobody ever thought we were invincible, anyway. We’ve got to come every Sunday and play. If not, we’re going to lose.”

  • Jaguars right tackle Eben Britton: “The Colts were always that team where you were like a fingertip away from coming out with a 'W.' I think the last three games we’ve played against these guys we played tough and just couldn’t pull it out. We finally got that done and I think this city deserves it. It’s been a great rivalry and it’s going to continue to be.

  • Colts center Jeff Saturday: “It’s not a good feeling. Two and two is not what you are looking for coming out of the first quarter of your season. We’ve got to make improvements and find ways to win these kinds of games.”

  • Jaguars safety Gerald Alexander: “That says there is a lot of parity in this division, anyone can win. It’s been a long time coming. Just to be in this position we’re in now and to fight to this position we’re in now at 2-2, it’s huge.”