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Call it AFC Rebuild


At some point during the first half of Monday night's game between Indianapolis and Pittsburgh, an undeniable thought registered in this reporter's head.

The Colts are rebuilding, too. And so are the Titans. If the expansion Texans didn't have to build first before they could rebuild, the AFC South would be more aptly named the AFC Rebuild Division.

If you watched the Colts against the Steelers, you saw absolutely nothing from the current AFC South leaders to give you any reason to believe they are division-title worthy. The Colts are soft on defense and their "Big Three" on offense struggled to score 10 points.

Tony Dungy is in the act of rebuilding the Colts defense and the team's overall philosophy of operation. They have miles to go.

Meanwhile, the Titans are clearly an old, capped-out team that may not even have begun their rebuilding process.

And the Texans are an expansion team.

Yeah, this is a really bad division, but somebody's got to win it. One of these four teams must represent the AFC South in the NFL playoffs. Why not the Jaguars?

We spent the whole summer debating whether this was a rebuilding year or a playoff-contention season. Well, why not both? Obviously, this is a rebuilding year for the Jaguars, but if everybody else is in a similar state of necessary repair, then why shouldn't the Jaguars be that team from AFC Rebuild that gets that extra road trip at the end of the season?

Did you see something in the Colts John Madden didn't see? That's a division title team? No way.

It can just as easily be the Jaguars, but they must repair these aspects of their team before they can be considered worthy of the title of "Best of the Worst."

• Everything begins with stop the run. The Jaguars' 26th ranking in run-defense is disastrous for a team that has spent the 13th and ninth picks of the last two drafts on defensive tackles.

• Pick a flavor. Is this Mark Brunell's and Jimmy Smith's team, or is this Fred Taylor's team? Right now, Tom Coughlin's obsession for balance is restricting his team's ability to express its true personality.

• Rush the quarterback. Had that responsibility been assigned solely to Tony Brackens?

Don't expect a quick fix, but that's OK because this is going to be a long year. After what I saw Monday night, I can't imagine anyone running away with the AFC Rebuild title much before Dec. 29.

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