- Paul Kuharsky, ESPN Staff Writer
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Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky
What I think they are thinking at headquarters of the four AFC South teams the day after Week 11 games...
Either the turnover message isn't getting through or we don't have the people to execute well enough to abide by it, or both. We protected the ball until the end, but that's not good enough. And nobody outside our headquarters was surprised when the Colts sealed the game with a pick of Sage Rosenfels, but we're compelled to act as if it was unexpected to us.
It would be good if Jim Zorn's Redskins, Mike Smith's Falcons, John Harbaugh's Ravens and Tony Sparano's Dolphins could put together a bit of a losing streak right now. Those guys aren't good for job security here and we don't want owner Bob McNair looking around and thinking a new guy with a new staff could turn things around so quickly here.
Well, here's the streak Tony Dungy's been talking about. No turnovers in three weeks, no losses in three weeks either. Outsiders have been concerned about the production of defensive end Dwight Freeney, who had two sacks in the win over Houston, and receiver Marvin Harrison, who had nine catches for 77 yards and a touchdown.
We're tied for a Wild Card spot and the other three teams that are 6-4 have a lot tougher road the rest of the way -- Baltimore and New England each have four games left against winning teams, and Miami has three. We don't see a winning team until Week 17 when we get our rematch at home against Tennessee.
Well, coach Jack Del Rio gave an honest assessment of our playoff chances now at 4-6 -- "a very remote possibility." We appreciate the candor. We're beyond the ugly demotion of Mike Peterson, a story Del Rio gave life for too long, but are we in line for more moves like the symbolic start Derrick Harvey got over Paul Spicer Sunday in the loss to Tennessee?
Let's hope our scouts are doing careful work looking at offensive and defensive linemen out there, because we need to overhaul and quickly -- not just with rookies, but with some experienced players who can help us get back on course. Though Matt Jones missed Sunday's game with a thigh injury, we guess his suspension appeal worked for us out no matter what happens now -- it kept him in the mix for us as long as we stayed in the mix in the AFC.
This one-game-at-a-time talk is actually working! We've managed to instill this confidence where we don't think anything can throw us off course and we can play our way though anything, and that quality makes us unbeatable as much as anything else. Our guys are willing to bend conventional thinking to fit us -- one player said after the win in Jacksonville that nobody likes an underdog (never mind that people love underdogs and we're not one anymore) and another said the Titans are like Michael Phelps when people were rooting against him sweeping all the gold medals at the Olympics (show us the American who wanted him to get silver and wasn't related to someone swimming against him).
Some people scoffed when we didn't grab any big names in free agency. But Chris Carr represents just the sort of guy we were looking for -- a versatile player who would be able to contribute in multiple areas if -- or more accurately, when -- we needed him. We wouldn't likely be 10-0 without him. The Jets will bring a lot of hype and a lot of eyes, we need to show them the same thing we've shown the first 10 teams on the schedule.