Where have I seen this before... Too soon?
There's just way too much to consider right now when talking about this team, but for now, let's try to gain some perspective. As it would happen, the Titans have a winning record. That's good, right? Of course it is! As of now, their only two losses have come to the defending AFC Champs and a divisional opponent on the road. The last one there was pretty much inexcusable, but hey, we all lay an egg every once in awhile. The important thing is that they bounced back nicely with the biggest win of the year. If anything, this is the defining moment of the season thus far. If the Titans lose the Ravens game like they're "supposed to", it's game over and we're staring 1-4 in the face going into a bye week. In a year of unfair twists and turns, things have had a way of balancing themselves out.
The first to fall was Peyton Manning. As much as the Colts playing doormat for everyone makes me happy, I'm kind of secretly bummed that Manning is going out this way. I'm also not so secretly bummed that this leads the Colts right to the gates of Heaven with the number one overall pick. One down year in between over two decades of awesomeness. Guess some teams have all the Luck (SEE WHAT I DID THERE???). So while the Colts may be back on their feet faster than we thought possible, the rest of the residents of this hellhole have to suffer in the depths of uncertainty. It doesn't get much easier when you strip the Titans and Texans of two of their best players for the rest of the year. The only reason it hasn't happened to Jacksonville yet is because they simply have nothing of value to lose. Turns out, the football gods just aren't interested in sacrificing Rashean Mathis or whatever.
What this firestorm of injuries and ineffectiveness has created is a crazy, mixed up division akin to the NFC West where there are no division winners, only division non-losers. You don't win the AFC South this year, you survive it. This is a war of attrition, last man standing wins. It's kind of like "let's just take the best player off of every team and let 'em go at it." While the star power is absent, the resulting affect has been entertaining to say the least. While the playoff hopes of the Colts and Jaguars are pretty much faded from reality, the opportunity to forge a new power struggle has presented itself. This is the year where the road game against Houston really matters. The two basement dwellers are, from the looks of it, only in it to play spoiler at this point, and really that's all they can ask for at this point. The Colts are not making the playoffs. That's a fact. I'd bet my house on that. However, they can very easily prevent the Titans and/or Texans from making it with an emotionally charged upset win at home. So even when they're bad they're screwing us over, fantastic.
I don't have any crunched numbers for you this fine Tuesday morning, but from a purely non-mathletic standpoint, this thing is still very much up for grabs and is easily the most entertaining the division has been in years.