No faith in this team? Lol, I've said multiple times over the last couple of weeks that I feel they can win a wildcard game with the home crowd behind them, which I think would make the season a smashing success given all of the injuries and relative youth. Do I think that they can go into Denver/New England and a win a divisional game to put them into the AFC championship? No, I don't think that will happen. So I guess that if "having faith in them" is only quantified by believing that they are a top four team in the entire NFL, then no I don't guess I have faith in them.......
Yes, we played 8 really good weeks of football, followed by 4 bad ones which came immediately after losing one of the greatest receivers in NFL history who was a security blanket for our young QB. It's not as if we just inexplicably got off track for no reason. We got off track in large part because we lost an elite offensive threat and there is simply no one on the roster who can replace him. Sure there are other factors (O-Line, play calling, decline in defense) that messed us up, but the injury to Wayne is by far the worst thing to happen to the team this season. It's no coincidence that the quality of play IMMEDIATELY went downhill after that. To beat an elite team on the road in the divisional round, I feel that we need an elite high quality playmaker outside of the QB. We don't have one. We always had Harrison or Wayne (often both) in the Manning years, and we had Wayne with Luck from last year until the first half of this season. I like T.Y's speed, but he just doesn't yet have the ability to consistently get open in sticky situations.
Some injuries are too much to overcome. The Pats have the greatest QB-head coaching duo in NFL history, yet look at how pedestrian that offense looks when you take the elite Gronkowski out of the equation. So yes, I do feel that our AFC Title game/Super Bowl hopes died the day Wayne got hurt. I'd love nothing more than to be proven wrong.
I just don't see much evidence for us getting back on track yet. It's going to take more than garbage points in Cincy and a home win against a 2 win Texans team to convince me. If we put up a decent performance in KC (not saying we have to win), then maybe I'll start to become a believer in improvement. But since the Wayne injury, the team has done nothing but beat AFC South teams while getting beat by everyone else. I don't have a "what have you done mentality" mindset. I'm looking at 7 games worth of evidence since the Denver game. It's been the same theme over that period: win against the South, lose badly against everyone else.