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Repeated routs are taking psychological toll on Titans

Chicago Bears v Tennessee Titans Getty Images

You know how to tell when things are going poorly for your team? When the local newspapers are quoting as many psychologists as football players.

John Glennon of the Tennesseean took an interesting look at the Titans’ recent skid, which has seen the team destroyed week after week.

Last week’s 31-point drubbing by the Bears was the latest in a series, as the Titans have lost five times by at least 20 points in nine games. Only one of their losses has been by fewer than 20, that the overtime loss to the Colts.

When you get blown out you start questioning because obviously a lot more went wrong,” Titans guard Steve Hutchinson said.

Or, from a clinical perspective:

“It’s more of a blow to the ego and psyche and team morale,” sports psychologist JoAnn Dahlkoetter said. “It also says a lot about momentum. When a team thinks it’s losing, there can be that sort of giving-up attitude. That’s the kind of thing that can be turned around, but I think it’s tougher when it happens over and over again.

“You’re asking yourself, ‘This is the way things have been going, so is it the way things are going to keep going?’ ”

It appears they might, as the Titans are bucking the trend of close games throughout the league. Through Week Eight, 67 games were decided by eight points or fewer, the most in league history.

Only 22 games league-wide have been decided by 20 or more, and the Titans are responsible for five of those, when no one else has more than two such beatings on their resume.

“It’s really not that hard on you if you really care and are really passionate about the game,” Titans wide receiver Damian Williams said. “But probably the hardest part is just to keep working. Sometimes it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

“The main thing is you just have to refocus. Every time you come out and take that field, you’ve got to refocus — whether it’s a practice or the very next down, whatever the case may be.”

Taking one snap, one game, one day at a time is a lesson straight out of any counseling handbook — or coaching manual — and the Titans clearly need to master the small steps first.

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7 Responses to “Repeated routs are taking psychological toll on Titans”
  1. webehighrollin says: Nov 9, 2012 3:24 PM

    Routs – a. A disorderly retreat or flight following defeat. b. An overwhelming defeat.

    I guess you could apply that to the Titans as well, but I’m pretty sure you mean routes?

    Anywho, Stay classy Seattle!

  2. mpnieland says: Nov 9, 2012 3:35 PM

    “Routs – a. A disorderly retreat or flight following defeat. b. An overwhelming defeat.

    I guess you could apply that to the Titans as well, but I’m pretty sure you mean routes?”

    No, I’m preeetty sure he meant routs. See definition b.

    The word routes would make the headline still make sense, but would imply that the routes the receivers run repeatedly are causing psychological distress. If you read the article at all, you’d realize how stupid that is.

  3. j0esixpack says: Nov 9, 2012 3:53 PM

    You think?

  4. ajtexans says: Nov 9, 2012 4:15 PM

    “I’m pretty sure you mean routes?”

    Sincerely, I’m tired of loosing.

  5. nfloracle says: Nov 9, 2012 4:29 PM

    Loosing?

    Surely, you mean tired of losing?

    That’s how we feel in Carolina with Cam and the Panthers. We’re sick unto death of losing!

  6. ajtexans says: Nov 10, 2012 3:21 AM

    oracle … humor. get some.

  7. wikipediasaidso says: Nov 10, 2012 8:25 AM

    Chris Palmer is telling people to chill because after all, it’s not like this coaching staff took over a playoff team.

    No, Chris. You took over a team that had a disastrous situation at QB (you are WAY better off there now), not to mention a terminally ill offensive coordinator, and even that team only posted 20-point MAX losses twice. One of those was when they had to go on the road and start an in-over-his-head rookie 6th round QB out of Florida Atlantic because he was the last QB standing.

    At least Jerry Gray is not trying to blame this publically on lack of talent to work with. You both should be getting more competitive results with the talent you have, because the roster is not THAT bad.

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