Monday, December 27, 2010
What I think they're thinking (or should be)
By Paul Kuharsky
What I think they are thinking at headquarters of the four AFC South teams …
Is Gary Kubiak going to get fired? How about Rick Smith? Does a big work week and performance against Jacksonville do anything to help them? Do we care? Does beating the Jaguars and ensuring they are not in the playoffs and don’t finish better than .500 provide much of an incentive for us? No matter what happens, wouldn’t it be nice to walk into the offseason with a win? If we make David Garrard look bad, can we not finish with the league’s worst pass defense? Where should we go to unwind, have a drink on the beach, play a bunch of golf and/or get reacquainted with the wife and kids?
Control, control, control. Considering all we’ve been through, we can’t be unhappy at all with being in a win-and-in scenario in our final regular season game. The Titans will put up a tough fight as they try to ruin it for them. But if Matt Cassel is shredding them, Peyton Manning certainly can. And we were really in control of the entire game when we won on Dec. 9 in Nashville. The run game and the run defense are peaking, and those are awfully good things to be able to say when heading into a game against Chris Johnson and then, we expect, into the playoffs.
It would have been nice to hear Jack Del Rio and Garrard own some of their mistakes from Sunday’s loss. That’s a bad one. And we know people think it won’t be hard for us to go to Houston, fall behind big early and take away any of the suspense over who’s going to win the division. Even on a bad day, we’ve got to be able to beat Washington at home. If we finish 8-8 or 9-7 it’s forward progress in the big picture, but in the smaller picture, we really will have blown it. Will it be enough for Del Rio to survive? For Garrard to hold his spot? We need to not think about that and convince ourselves that the Titans can beat the Colts.
I don’t really fear getting replaced in the lineup for the finale. Maybe I should, because we’ve seen Vincent Fuller, Bo Scaife and Jovan Haye get sat down for at least a game. But look at Justin Gage. He’s good for a drop or two a game and suffers no consequences. I can mail it in like that. This may be Jeff Fisher’s last stand and why should we believe he'd change for it? We’re all in better standing with him here than without him, but are we smart enough to know it? Is there any player on the roster who can stand in the middle of a huddle and tell us why we should think we can win at Indianapolis? Anyone? Anyone? Monday and Tuesday could be a lot more exciting than Sunday.