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No time for talk of records


Paul Posluszny doesn't want hear about records this week.

And to be more specific, the Jaguars' middle linebacker doesn't want to hear about how the opponent is 0-9 – as if that somehow had anything to do with the game, or the Jaguars' prospects in it.

Sure, the Indianapolis Colts are winless. And in fact, they're the only team in the NFL without a victory this season.

But as Posluszny and others around the Jaguars see it, after what happened in the first eight games, another team's issues good or bad mean little. While the Jaguars did good things during the first half of the season, more than enough went wrong, too.

And when you're four games under .500, there sure aren't any easy games.

"Who do we think we are?" Posluszny said as the Jaguars (2-6) prepared to play the defending AFC South Champion Colts (0-9) at Lucas Oil Stadium in downtown Indianapolis Sunday at 1 p.m.

"We're 2-6. It's not a battle of a very successful team versus one where we can try to sleep on this game. Not at all. It doesn't matter than they're 0-9. We're 2-6.

"It's not like we have a great record, and they're a still a competitive team – with stud players."

Such was the theme around the Jaguars this week:

The Colts, a team that won seven AFC South titles in the last eight seasons, may be without four-time Most Valuable Player Peyton Manning, and they may have lost their last three games by a combined 96 points. But they still have talent.

They still have five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Reggie Wayne, and they still have four-time Pro Bowl center Jeff Saturday. And while Pro Bowl tight end Dallas Clark won't play this week, they still have two of the NFL's best defensive ends, Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis.

And mostly, they're still the Colts, a team the Jaguars have played 18 times since the 2002 inception of the AFC South. Though the Jaguars have won just five of those meetings, the games typically have been close, and memorable.

"It's a very important game, because it's a division game, No. 1," Jaguars linebacker Clint Session said. "We're desperate for a win."

The Jaguars last season beat the Colts in Jacksonville, 31-28, on a 59-yard field goal by Josh Scobee, before losing to the Colts in Indianapolis, 34-24, in December.

"Obviously it's a rivalry game no matter what the records are," Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew

said. "They kind of took it to us the last couple of years.  It's another game for us to get back where we want to be. It's kind of a one-game season for us right now, really.

"We had a horrible first half, we've got to figure out a way to turn it around."

Jaguars cornerback Rashean Mathis said the Jaguars and Colts are similar in one critical area, that in a sense their records are deceiving.

The Jaguars, despite losing six of their last seven games before last week's bye week, had a chance with a victory over Houston shortly before the bye to pull to within a game of the division-leading Texans. They lost that game after being within a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

The Jaguars also missed chances to win in narrow losses at Pittsburgh and Carolina, and at home against Cincinnati.

While the Colts have lost their last four games by double digits, Indianapolis led Tampa Bay in the fourth quarter of a prime-time loss in early October. They lost at home to Pittsburgh the previous week, 23-20. A week after the loss to the Buccaneers they led Kansas City throughout before losing a 17-point lead at home in a 28-24 loss.

"We have our own issues going on here, in this locker room and our team," Mathis said. "We're concentrating on us trying not to fall further. We're not worried about any other team, and how many games they've won. We know it's any given Sunday, and anything can happen. They've been in some close ballgames that they could have won and we've been in some close ballgames that we could have won as well."

Mathis this week said no matter the Jaguars' record – and whatever the public perception of the team's playoff hopes – the players remain focused on not only winning Sunday, but turning the second half of the season into a successful one.

"You're looking to turn your season around, and they're doing the same thing," Mathis said. "They're desperate. We're desperate."

Said Posluszny, "The first half of the season is over with and it wasn't what we wanted it to be. We feel like this first game of the second half we can go out and play really well, play fast, get a win and see if we can turn it around. We need to win this game. We need to start out on the right foot."

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