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Here's a mailbag to tide you over while we wait on a full day of AFC South action.
I'm going old school, driving to Indianapolis this morning. Hope to get there in time to position myself in front of several TVs to track Packers-Titans, Jaguars-Bengals and Texans-Vikings and will provide semi-Rapid Reactions with some impressions after those three wrap up. I have Sirius in the car if I need a backup plan.
Then I'll talk to you a bunch from Lucas Oil Stadium as the Colts play another game that looks to qualify as must-win against the Patriots.
On to the mail, which I invite you to send any time by clicking here. It's Titans heavy as I am getting loads of Titans mail and not hearing much at all from Jacksonville.
Russ in Nashville writes: Paul, I haven't thrown a question your way in a couple of weeks, so here's one I've been pondering. Kerry Collins has been getting quite a bit of press as of late. He was on Tirico yesterday, Dan Patrick show today, etc... How much of a factor do you think Jeff Fisher's comments when he installed Kerry Collins are playing into his performance? To paraphrase Fisher, he essentially said "as long as we're winning, he'll be starting." Now, I don't think anyone took that to mean that as soon as they lose he'll be bounced. However, he has seemed so motivated to push this team to come from behind in wins against Baltimore and Indy... it sure feels like he doesn't want to leave it up to chance. If they can keep on winning, he'll keep starting, setting himself up for a potentially lucrative contract elsewhere after the season (a la Jeff Garcia and the Bucs). No one's really broached the contract year talk much with Collins as a real motivator, but could that be really what we're seeing?
Paul Kuharsky: I appreciate players who work hard to do well and succeed due to their current contract -- because it's their job -- not to build the case for their next contract. And I think that's the case with Collins here. Sure, he was put into a great situation and wants to make the most of it -- it's to everyone's benefit in both the short run and long run...
Even if the Titans go on to win the Super Bowl with Collins under center, my guess is the best situation he will find for himself is a chance to compete for the starting job somewhere, perhaps starting out as the favorite. (That could be in Nashville, I don't think the Titans have any solid idea of what they will do at quarterback beyond this season.) I can't picture many teams giving Collins big dollars and years and anointing him their unquestioned starter. But there is a lot that has to unfold between now and then.
Marion from parts unknown writes: ALthough I dont always agree with what you say about the Colts on NFL.com's power rankings, I did enjoy your article "Window of oppurtunity,not of Colts issues" very much, but I must remind you that we still have eight games to play! :)
Paul Kuharsky: They are not going to win the division. I'm hardly alone in saying that, they are saying that. I just said on the radio in Indianapolis that the Colts are very much alive in the AFC wild-card picture. A lot of teams are. Hope you meant ESPN.com power rankings, because I'm definitely not supplying any commentary for the ones on NFL.com.
Bill in Hilham, Tenn writes: Just read your column on the Colts. I am really looking forward to the Colts-Pats game Sunday. I forgive the espn tv commentators for having no math skills, but your bio says you went to Columbia. The Titans are 7-0. The Colts (et al) are 3-4. Each has played 7 games. Mathmatically, they must be in an even ratio to each other. The Colts trail the Titans by 4 games in the win column, and by 4 games in the lost column. So just where is this "4 and one half" stuff coming from? About 50% of the stories I have read repeat this error. I suggest are the erroneous commentators be sentenced to studying baseball standings for goofing this up.
Paul Kuharsky: The half comes from the head-to-head result. If the Titans lost their next four and the Colts won their next four, the Titans would still have them on a tiebreaker because of Monday's result. And Tennessee has the same thing with Houston and Jacksonville. For one of them to get in front of the Titans, they'd have to actually be a game better in the standings because if they are tied, they lose out.
But all three of those teams play the Titans again, of course ...
Ben in Houston writes: Andre Johnson just had one of the best months by a WR in the history of the NFL. I'll bet we don't hear a peep about it from the AFC South blogger because it wasn't done by Justin Gage or Brandon Jones. It's understandable that you love the Titans and are completely biased, but when the best player in the NFL this season plays in the division that you blog for, you might want to mix in a mention of him.
Paul Kuharsky: Sorry you missed this.
Andre Johnson is great. He's the best receiver in the division right now. By a lot. But I can't write about him every day or week.
As for Gage and Jones, you caught me. I'm head over heels for them and all the Titans receivers. I mean, what's not to love?
Mike from part unknown writes: You are a moron, the only reason the colts lost that game was again bad officating. pass interference on 3 and 9, whatever!!!! talk about a blown call!!!! funny how no one looks at the 2 horrible calls made against them on the same drive....what has this league come to that games are won by horrible calls!
Paul Kuharsky: I am amazed at how the officials are out to get the Colts. A large percentage of Colts fans who write to me seem to think the team would be 7-0 if it's not for the refs, who are clearly out to get them.
Think about a friend of another team complaining about the officiating after every loss and using it as an excuse constantly. Isn't it a bit unbecoming? San Diego's loss in Denver, that was on the officials. Titans over Colts, not so much.
Paul Kuharsky: I've gotten a few notes about the number of posts per team, so this is a good occasion to offer a little context. If you count up Monday through Friday (barring a Monday or Thursday game) you're going
to get roughly the same number per team. But if I'm at Colts-Titans like I was Monday or at Patriots-Colts like I will be Sunday, then the numbers that day are going to skew big time to that team or those teams. I'd hope that's understandable. I can only be at one game at a time.
Monday wound up being Titans-heavy because the team won. Might they be getting written about because they are 7-0 and the best team in football?
I made a mistake on Andre Davis. I added a correction to that post.