Titans Put Loss Behind Them; Set for Jaguars Saturday

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A compressed week in the NFL tests a body's ability to repair itself from the rigorous physical challenges of a Sunday.

A disappointing loss, like the one that Tennessee suffered at Indianapolis, also requires mental recovery. The Titans watched the film from Sunday's loss on Monday, like they regularly do each week, but coach Mike Munchak had players watch it again Tuesday with their position coaches.

Tennessee (7-7) hosts Jacksonville (4-10) Saturday at LP Field in its home finale and began installing plans for the game Tuesday, which is normally the players' day off. It is irregular for players to watch the film twice in a week, but the thought is that it will be cathartic as the Titans try to rebound and win their final two games of the season.

"I think it was a tough hurdle to get over in terms of the game we lost and how we played," quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said. "I think Coach Munchak did a good job coming in and I guess it was Tuesday that we met and kind of giving it to us a little bit and made everybody watch the film again with their (position) coach even after we started preparing for Jacksonville just to make sure (of) areas where we need to get corrected, get better, get critiqued."

Hasselbeck missed practice last week with a calf injury he suffered against New Orleans on Dec. 11. He started and completed 27 of 40 passes for 223 yards but threw two interceptions in the 27-13 upset by the previously winless Colts.

Hasselbeck practiced fully each day this week and is expected to start against the Jaguars. Hasselbeck said players are recovering physically and mentally to prepare fully for Saturday.

"I think one other thing that was talked about was getting over it," Hasselbeck said. "Sometimes big wins are tough to get over and sometimes big losses are tough to get over. That's the nature of the situation with that game. That was one that hurt and really killed the vibe, or killed the energy that we had going in the building. It was going to be important for us to focus and move forward."

Receiver Damian Williams said the replay of the game film was hard to watch because several scenes — missed opportunities — kept recurring in his mind.

"You sit at home, you replay everything in your head. 'I could have done this. I should have done this. Man, I could have caught that ball. It was third down, that could have changed everything.' But at the end of the day, there's nothing you could do about it but learn, so if you go in with that mindset that you have to learn and get better, then it kind of eases the pain a little bit."

Williams caught two passes for 15 yards against the Colts, a departure from the two previous weeks where he had 62 receiving yards against the Bills and 62 more against the Saints.

Tennessee's offense struggled to make significant gains on first downs against a "Cover 2" defensive scheme that the Colts used.  The Titans gained fewer than 3 yards on the opening play of nine of their 14 possessions Sunday. Munchak, offensive coordinator Chris Palmer and Williams all blamed the deficiency on a lack of execution. The Titans expect the Jaguars to use a similar defensive scheme on first and second down, Palmer said.

"We've just got to go out there and do our job," Williams said. "Last week I think our biggest pitfall was just mental errors. We were in the wrong spots, making bad reads, just simple stuff that we could control. I think that once you control the things that you can control, the rest of it falls in place."

Munchak said the hangover from a difficult loss can affect how a team prepares during the week, but the Titans have responded with two good practices and put forth good preparation during meetings this week. Tennessee must win Saturday if it wants to keep alive its chance of seizing the final Wild Card berth in the AFC playoffs.

"I don't think it will affect how things go on Saturday, but I think it affects your week, especially in this time of year when you are running out of, 'OK, we will have to make up for that.' You are running out of, 'We will get that one back,' because you only have a couple left. I think it's harder as the season goes on to let go of those things. I think obviously as a pro you can't let it affect how you play on Saturday. It won't. I don't believe that it will take us down for Saturday, we know how important Saturday is, it's our whole season now."

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