It is interesting to observe the emotional side of football. One of the reasons that football has obtained such a huge following is that the game is high-octane, it’s high energy, fast pace and ultra aggressive, modern-day gladiators for sure. The game is also a game of emotions, and it’s worth examining that emotional side of the game. There are emotional highs that come with winning, as well as the lows of losing, and this emotional rollercoaster plays into a teams psyche and ability to get motivated from week to week. Looking at week one, the Houston Texans played a very emotional game for that franchise. The Colts have been their biggest nemesis, losing 15 of the last 16 to them. They finally exercised that demon and I was really interested to see how they would respond versus the Redskins in week 2. They came out flat and the Redskins seemed to have the game in hand, on the shoulders of a spectacular performance by Donovan McNabb. But in the 2nd half the Texans conjured the necessary adrenaline to come back from a 17 point deficit to win in overtime. One would never have thunk that they could’ve pulled off a comeback from such a deficit, after being emotionally spent following the Colts win.
The Kansas City Chiefs haven’t had much success in recent years, but after pulling off a week one upset against the San Diego Chargers, the Chiefs faced the Cleveland Browns in week 2. The matchup was even for the majority of the game, with the Browns leading 14-10 at halftime. Given the fact that the Browns aren’t a good team by any stretch, players and coaches will tell you that any win in the NFL is hard to come by, and the Chiefs managed to secure 3rd and 4th quarter field goals to win by a final score of 16-14.
The Chiefs and Texans are just two teams that managed to come off of the emotional rollercoaster of week one wins, with a week two victory. Looking at a few teams that came up short after emotional week 1 wins, were the Baltimore Ravens, Seattle Seahawks, Tennessee Titans and Arizona Cardinals. With week one wins versus either divisional or conference opponents, it seemed a bit much to ask these teams to get up for week two, and it showed. The Ravens lost a close one to the Bengals 15-10, the Seahawks and Cards got crushed 31-14 and 41-7 and the Titans were easily handled 19-11 although the score was misleading.
Being an NFL player comes with some huge demands, both physically and mentally, but the emotional side of the game from is rarely talked about, but it plays an integral roll in how a team will perform from one week to another. A team can spend itself one week and not find the energy to get up for the following weeks game, while other teams find a way to muster the energy and enthusiasm to get up regardless of a win or a loss. Injuries happen, it’s an occupational hazard, teams moving in and out of sync and rythm from game to game will happen, but just as important is the mindset and emotions from week to week and the team that can manage the physical, mental and emotional aspects of the game will give themselves the best chance for victory each week.