Vinny has a point here, and one that's been bugging me for several days. Nearly everyone in the media's picking the Colts to go to the Super Bowl or close to it. They're also picking the Jags as the "dark horse" Super Bowl contender. Few have expressed any doubt that the Titans will remain a strong team. All three of these teams play each other AND the Texans, obviously...someone's gonna have to lose games.
In a "Contender vs. Pretender" segment with Sean Salisbury early this week on ESPN, I noticed something REALLY unusual in the midst of all this weird Jag-loving going on. Salisbury marked them as "pretender" and said the team has too many holes; he did point out they'll be a contender in 2005. BUT, he also identified the TEXANS as a "contender," saying they'd make the playoffs as a well-balanced, well-coached team with an underrated defense and good offensive talent.
I was torn on this. I agree that the Texans will win more than the pessimists say, but I don't know if 9-7 (or even 10-6!) gets an AFC South team into the playoffs this year. (Or will the AFC South teams beat each other up to the point where it will?) So while I appreciated Salisbury's optimism, I thought it was a bit over the top. Same way I felt about Ditka's *****ic and underinformed negative comments on the Texans a while back. But likewise, media hacks (and rabid fans) can't go around expecting everybody to win 10 games. The math just doesn't work.
I was just grateful to hear somebody say something realistic about Jacksonville. I still fail to see why people think that team can get through this division and all the other strong AFC teams to make it to--uh, home--for the Super Bowl.