The last thing that you want to do responding to a two-game losing streak is to make more of it than what it is. Obviously, you want to make sure that the streak stops at two, but obsessing over the losses won’t help you win your next game. You just have to prepare and execute better the next time out, and correct mistakes in your game along the way.
Head coach Mike Tomlin tries to ensure that his team has a steady hand throughout the ups and downs of the season, or as he likes to call it, the emotional rollercoaster, which according to him, you do not want to ride. That message gets through to his players.
“I think we’re a very even-keeled group. You can never really get too high, you can never really get too low, because you’ll get humbled both ways in this league”, T.J. Watt told reporters on Friday. “You always have to have a short memory, from play to play, game to game, week to week, things like that”.
You respond to a loss differently than you do to a win, needless to say, but you also more directly respond to how you play, and that is generally irrespective of wins and losses. You can still have mistakes and win, or play well in a loss in which things simply do not go well. The important thing is knowing who you are and what you’re capable of.
“We feel very confident with the guys in this locker room, and I’ve said that every week after wins and losses”, Watt said. “We just have to go out there and put together a complete game, and like I said before, we’re definitely capable of playing better football, and that’s the plan for Monday”.
Truth be told, Monday’s game should be an easy one, on paper. The Cincinnati Bengals even with first-overall pick Joe Burrow under center were not a very good team—they have just two wins and a tie on the season—and now they’re not even sure if their backup will be available.
You can’t focus on your opponent in a situation like this, however. It doesn’t matter how good or bad they are or what they do or do not do well. You have to bring your own game to the table and make sure you’re executing it.
Watt wasn’t interested in narratives heading into this game, even ones pass around by his own head coach. When asked about the need to play more physically, he said, “I just think we have to play better overall, all three phases. We’ve just got to play a lot better football, and we’re more than capable of playing better football”.