Posted by ESPN.com’s Paul Kuharsky
What I think they are thinking in the headquarters of the four AFC South teams this afternoon…
Say this for us -- we can get ourselves into position where we have a real chance to change things going forward. Here we are again, poised to break through and establish ourselves as a contender. It’s time. Let’s go do it. Now. That second half Sunday, where we let Alex Smith bring the 49ers back when we were up three touchdowns, can’t be a bad omen for us. Killer instinct and halftime adjustments are on the list of things we still need to get a handle on, but we can work on those things and others while continuing to win. We are better than the Bills, and there is no reason with a good week of work we shouldn’t be able to go there and win.
This doesn’t get old. We’re rolling and we’re beating up bad teams. We’re showing off our depth and our quarterback can do nothing wrong. Our whole focus right now is on keeping things as they are and staying healthy. That early-season schedule may not have been brutal in terms of the records of the team’s we’ve dispatched, but half out schedule’s been prime time games on the road, and that helps tire you out. Now we’ve got a nice stretch of three at home, and the 49ers, Texans and Patriots may well serve as better measuring sticks than we’ve had so far.
That was a good rest. We’re ready now to get revved up and ready to go. Sure we have some flaws, but we’re convinced we can overcome them, do a couple things well enough and put ourselves in position to win games. So we start the post-bye stretch with a trip to Nashville for a rematch with the Titans, and we can’t be the first team to lose to the Titans. We need big plays, they give them up. Then Kansas City, at the Jets, Buffalo, at San Francisco. That’s not an intimidating month ahead. If we keep grinding, good things can keep happening.
We’re starting from scratch. We got two big distractions late last week. One self-created, when Jeff Fisher calculatingly donned a Peyton Manning jersey at a charity event, one from the outside, when our former GM’s wife blasted Fisher on Nashville radio. Both served to get the focus off players, which was fine with us. Not Fisher’s talked about reviewing the very basics and making changes. So he creates a little suspense and anticipation, which is better than overwhelming dread.