What I think they're thinking

November, 16, 2009
11/16/09
12:41
PM ET
What I think they are thinking in the headquarters of the four AFC South teams Monday…

Houston Texans (5-4)

We are rested, relaxed and ready. And we’ll need all of that to be at our best for our one national TV appearance of the season. Until our playoff game, we mean. The Titans ran all over us back in Week 2. The rematch is a giant deal. We’re way better defensively than we were then, and we’re eager to get our hands on Chris Johnson to show everyone. "Monday Night Football" at Reliant Stadium in Houston with the chance to boost our record to 6-4 and bolster our position heading into the last six weeks of the regular season is huge. Play poorly and it’s all a lot of people are going to know about us.

Indianapolis Colts (9-0)

If a good team wants to risk handing us the ball on its 28-yard line with the game on the line late, we’re not going to apologize. Of course we’ve got a high-powered offense and you won’t ever find us trying such a thing. A lot of people figure the Patriots would hand us our first loss. And we didn’t play well for a good share of the game, but showed resiliency and took advantage of a big break when it arrived. We’ve got control of the AFC but things can change quickly and the Bengals are just two games off the pace. We’ve talked a lot about the stuff we still need to improve at, and the coaches will have an easy time reminding us this week with that film to watch. A trip to Baltimore will be tough, but we catch them on a short week.

Jacksonville Jaguars (5-4)

Two wins in a row for just the second time all season. It’s always nice to win in New York, and to do it with Maurice Jones-Drew carrying much of the load and making the smart, unselfish play at the end makes it that much sweeter. We’re only a game off a playoff record right now, and we know there’s hardly anybody out there that figured we’d be over .500 this late in the season. The Bills come to Jacksonville next and look to be a great matchup. They don’t stop the run, and we like to use MJD as much as we can. Week to week consistency isn’t our only issue though, it’s half to half, too. So one thing we’ll focus on is playing equally well before and after the half.

Tennessee Titans (3-6)

Don’t look now, because we may be gaining on you. If only we could have figured some of this stuff out earlier, we could be in the mix for something a lot more significant than a .500 record. This running back of ours is really something, huh? See how in the win over Buffalo we didn’t only key our run game around him but our passing game, too? What a luxury we have there. Vince Young as a threat on the ground certainly helps Chris Johnson’s cause, but it’s a much bigger benefit in the other direction. But Young’s confidence is another great thing we have going for us now as we start to draw up a plan for revenge against the Texans. It’s a home game for our owner, and we all know how hard it is to sweep a division foe.

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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