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GreekJet

Why is the “letdown” so common in football?

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The Raiders played their asses off against the Chiefs and nearly won last week. This week they go on the road and get their doors blows off against Atlanta. We have seen this story time and again as Jets fans. 
 

What do you think it is? Do players just not work as hard in practice the next week? Can coaches correct this before it happens?

Part of me thinks this phenomenon is why it’s so hard to go 16-0 and 0-16. 

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It was like the Jets and others when they played the NE teams over the years and now when teams play KC. It consumes so much mental especially and physical efforts to play those teams that the next week teams are just spent whether they win the games against those great teams or not. We knocked NE out of the playoffs and then didn't start playing Pitt the next week till the 2nd half killing our chances at the SB in 2010. This happens to many teams and now the Raiders playing a touch but bad record team in Atlanta had the same thing occur to them which happens to many teams. How did the Fins lose last week to Denver?. It looks to fans like these teams lay an egg, but getting either consumed by playing great teams, or like the Fins winning multiple games in a row then maybe being overconfident occurs a lot with teams that are young, don't have great coaching, and do not have good player leadership on the field.

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It happens at all levels of football.  More often than not with "upstart" teams.  Happens less with programs that have a long history of winning.  The amount of preparation week to week is insane to begin with.  Add in a special opponent, there is more in terms of mental, physical, emotional, an extra level of detail, more studying, etc.  Having to reset and forget after the game is over is very hard for teams that aren't used to doing so.  

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Honestly I just think it's human psychology. It's hard to be "up" and equally motivated week in, week out. That's why coaches try to stress stability, approaching every week the same, all we talk about is this week... etc. etc.

It's easy to get your team motivated to play the Super Bowl champs who are a bitter division rival. Harder to get them pumped for a road trip to lowly Atlanta.

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these non conference non divisional games just don't matter as much as the others

the coaches will hold back injured players etc for the big game vs KCC rather than the whatever game against ATL 

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42 minutes ago, GreekJet said:

The Raiders played their asses off against the Chiefs and nearly won last week. This week they go on the road and get their doors blows off against Atlanta. We have seen this story time and again as Jets fans. 
 

What do you think it is? Do players just not work as hard in practice the next week? Can coaches correct this before it happens?

Part of me thinks this phenomenon is why it’s so hard to go 16-0 and 0-16. 

First, players are human. Did you have your “A” game everyday at work this year?

Next, coastal teams all struggle in cross country road games.  Some teams fly out the day before the game. Others go a couple of days early to acclimate. Neither approach seems to change much. Home teams win a lot of games that on paper they shouldn’t.

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Back in the "Legion of Boom" days for the Seahawks, teams who played Seattle would tend to struggle the week after facing them.

Same concept when facing a team like KC.  

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