Early this morning, as I was watching my daily allotment of Sportscenter highlights, I paid special note to a segment about the new and improved Toronto Raptors. The commentators made some quip about the Raptors being one of the hottest teams in the NBA, and then made sure people knew he was serious. He explained that "This young raptors team has finally gotten over the confidence hurdle, and they now know/believe they can beat any team on any night." For the first time in as long as I can remember, the Raptors have a team that looks to make a decent playoff run. Have they had similar talent in the past? Probably not as good as they've got now, but they've been close. Are there better teams talent wise who are playing worse? Absolutely. And whats thh difference? Is it confidence? In the NFL, there is a popular phrase that reads: "Any Given Sunday" which supposedly means that any team in the NFL can beat any other team in the NFL because the talent drop off from team to team is so minimal. Earlier this year I seriously doubted this. Could the Raiders this year have beaten the Chargers if they had played 10 timmes? Or the Colts? I doubt it. But I guess you never know. And what happens if they do beat them? Like after the Texans beat the Colts? How much confidence does that instill in a team? And what is the result? These questions got me thinking about our team and our future. In 2005, about midway through the season, you could tell the team had quit. The players didn't trust each other, the coaching staff, or even their own abilities. And it showed on the field. We lost all the close ones or we gave up so early we didn't ever even have a shot. I think 2006 was a confidence building year. Kubiak was trying to instill the "Any Given Sunday" mentality in our players. And I'd like to believe that the Colts game proved to be the pinnacle of that. We, the media jokes of the NFL, beat the superbowl XLI champions. And we beat them by putting in a solid, tough as nails, grind it out performance So what does this mean? Maybe we'll be one of those turnaround teams that seem to shine randomly come out every year. How do you explain the chargers going from the #1 pick to playoffs, or the Saints from 3-13 to NFC championship game? Maybe its confidence in yourself, yoru team, and your system that gives the guys that extra little push. Maybe it means that next year we will see our team fight from start to finish. Maybe we'll see our team start to actually win those close games decided by one or two scores. I don't know, but its the offseason, there isn't much to talk about, and I just thought I'd share my little optimism with everyone. We beat the superbowl champs last year. We've seen what happens when we play within our systems strengths. We can beat anyone.