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Riding the Painted Pony

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PO time is Blood, Sweat and Tears

Winter Wonderland Opens In Hyde Park Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images

If you're like me, you're on a merry-go-round of emotions. Spinning between looking at the reality of being outside of the POs and assuming we’ll just sweep the whole thing.

Depending on if it’s a run play, or a pass play or a play-action pass depending on the wind, which way we're going, the quarter and the jerseys that we're wearing, decides which mood you're in. Omaha rules.

If the wind is blowing from the East, you assume we’ll win throughout, take the 1 and then bring home a fourth trophy.

If the jerseys are white, then you may be thinking, holy moly we're looking at a lot of "Ifs" and maybe a little prayer sent up to the football gods is in order.

All this is fine...until you say or tweet this to someone who's feeling the opposite, at that moment. Especially if your wheel is stuck in the house of pain, and they’re stopped at rainbows and unicorns. Then you're not a Real Fan. As a reference, go here for the Rules of a Real Fan.

The truth is somewhere in the middle. So the wheel spins. Almost the entire team has been here before. They've seen an OL play some horrific ball (this year is a step up), seen a QB lacking the arm strength to make the throws he once did and an offense struggle mightily. Saw a QB change. Twice. Had a defense to save the day.

This team was doubted. They were the underdogs. The outside world couldn't be sold on us. Inside the locker room though, there was BELIEF. The coaches, the players, the office workers. Every day it was drummed into them that they would win. Not just the game that week, but the whole burrito supreme with extra sour cream and guacamole.

Speaking of underdogs, that's exactly what's on the cleats this week of Chris Harris Jr. Don't tell me that doesn't drive them. After last week's loss, these men will be on fiya!

We know we have the same exact issues as last year: a poor QB who flashes just enough to get us by, another who barely played, an OL with issues and a less than brilliant run game. The good news is, we overcame it before and it's that belief, along with our defense, that buoys our carousel horse up.

We look at the other teams in the AFC and think, phfst, all y'all are bad, we got this.

On the days we're going the wrong way, we look at the interior of our DL. We look at our tackles. We look at our QB situation and think, May Day, Red Flag Alert, DEFCOM 1, Code Red, Danger Will Robinson.

Can 3/4 of our defense make up for all the warning signs? Can the offense from quarters 3 and 4 of the KC game combine with the defense’s first half? Play an entire game like that? Do it eight to nine more times? Can the coaches make a game plan that sends Trevor (or Lynch) moving from the first quarter? Get him out of his head? Which in turn helps the OL and run game?

We spin from questions to trying to find solutions like we're head coaches. We muddle and come up with our own answers. Anything to get us around to the next happy spot. I do it, you do it, we all do it. Except maybe Monks. They just go into a trance of accepting all. Ah Ooohm.

My brain doesn't have a trance mode or even a pause button, so I ponder and make deals in my head. Send telepathic messages to Gary. Hmmm, maybe that's why he got a migraine? He couldn't handle all my blondeness. Overloaded his circuits. Sadly, like an addiction, I can't stop. I plot and chart and tabulate. Spin to the next thought.

I used to think Trevor didn't have the arm to make all the throw because he just doesn't throw to whole parts of the field, but I was wrong. He has the arm to make enough of the throws. It's his decision making and processing that's the problem. Give him easy throws to his first read in open windows and he's bang on. Throwing receivers open, knowing coverages is a different story. Right now, can our coaches and receivers help him out? That requires game planning around what he can do and using receivers who can get open.

There's a reason Emmanuel Sanders is doing well. He's the best we have at creating separation and his catch radius is insane. I swear, if you squint real hard you can see little tiny wings poking out of his jersey. Or maybe it’s his He-Manuel Power Sword....by the Power of Greyskull...Back to reality. Use him until teams double cover him, when that happens, have Trevor (or Lynch) target anyone who's open.

Split the backs. Put our TE's on the right side for pass plays. Use Juwan. Help our tackles. Trevor holds the ball too long, we know this, so give our tackles some help. If anyone needs some help, it's them. They need a shot of go juice. Get both to throw the ball away instead of into double coverage. By the Power of Greyskull I command thee, Kubiak, to make it happen. Actually, I’d rather be Captain Picard, ruler of my ship and order my Number One, to Make it So!

The middle of the Dline? Crick has gotten better, so the last two weeks have been an improvement. However, we just gave NE* our NT depth. In return we have an extra long snapper. We just lost a game by a FG. Yes, I rolled my eyes so hard I saw my brain. It's a pretty brain, Orange and Navy colored with some tiny little garnet and gold spears that Chant, aah ah ahaaah Ah ahaaha. Look, there's Renegade and Thunder!

Happy thoughts send the wheel back in motion. We have the best DB set in the league and I'm including all eight. VonWareWolfe have QB’s needing Depends, especially the ones with children. Our linebackers have QB's trying to avoid them.

Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders make refs look at their gloves to see if they’re covered in camel spit. Sunshine makes catches that should qualify him for the circus or the same carnival hosting our carousel.

Who’s got the best Center in the league? We do, baby! Sprinkle in some Devontae Booker, AJ Derby, Virgil Green, a little Michael Schofield and some Max Garcia and we've got a heaping bowl of Jerry Garcia Chunky Monkey. Is it dinner?

Then for some, the wheel spins back into doom because Paxton Lynch will be starting against the Jags in a must win game and we lost Andy Janovich.

I'm going to push the wheel towards the light because Juwan Thompson and Virgil have both played FB. Have they practiced doing this with Lynch before yesterday? Extremely doubtful, but teams that make the POs are ones who can adapt. As far as Pax, he'll have a lot more going for him than he did against Atlanta.

First, he's had eight weeks to get play calling down. Second, he should have a fully healthy Kubiak. Yeah! Third, He will have Virgil, Okung and Stephenson which he didn't before. He had Billy Turner start at RG, Scho move to RT, Ty at LT. Then they moved Scho to LT and Ty to RT. At one point the worst OL of the season. Fourth, he shouldn't have two different play callers swap during the game. Fifth, Jacksonville is struggling. Yes, they're third best at shutting down the pass and have an edge rusher who gets a sack every game; however, Lynch's speed may help decrease those numbers.

Our defense isn't facing Matt Ryan, it's facing Blake Bortles whose mechanics and confidence is rattled. No matter who's the QB this Sunday, if our defense can't stop Jacksonville, we won't stop Brady* even without Gronk. The big question will be next Sunday. Who starts if Lynch looks good? Not going to touch that question because the amount of thoughts that'll generate may spin my wheel off its axis.

Can we make it all the way? Gronk going down sure helps our chances. We were getting the snot beat out of us last November before he was hurt. So, who knows, but I won't be thinking ah oohm because I never learn. Anyone else on this spinning wheel? If so, you're not alone. I will make a pledge, though. If your wheel is in a different house than mine, I'll wait for us to sync up instead of saying you're crazy, that the sky is falling OR unicorns are flying. Go Broncos!