Good stats, but another defeat
In his third diary entry, Drayton Florence reflects on the frustration of starting the season 0-3.
When we took the field wearing our powder-blue throwback jerseys on Sunday, we felt like it was our day. The feeling in the locker room was no different than the previous two games. We were excited about playing and we just wanted to go out play our game and break into the win column against the Ravens.
If you look at the stat sheet after the game, the outcome might surprise you. We gained more yards than Baltimore (389-249) -- and our offense kept the ball for more than 35 minutes. But as anyone knows, games are not won on the stat sheets and we lost to the Ravens 24-10.
Jamal Lewis had a good game for them and we did our best to try and stop him. But as a whole, I think the defense had a good game.
I talked about being frustrated last week and the statistics reinforce what I am talking about. We played well enough to win the game, but we didn't. We're improving with each game. From a player's standpoint the improvement is more gratifying if you get a win.
One thing I noticed is that we were competitive. We didn't get dominated and the difference between winning and losing is as simple as one or two breaks going our way and we win the game. But the breaks didn't go our way. You can't think about things that almost happened, you can only work on making them happen to benefit your team. The only way I know to break out of a losing streak is to work harder in practice, do the mental homework in meetings and don't quit. We're a reflection of coach (Marty) Schottenheimer and we'll definitely work hard and not quit.
I heard somebody on television describe us as the best 0-3 team in the league. Well, I'd rather be known as the worst 3-0 team than the best 0-3 team. Unfortunately, we're 0-3 and that means we've got to keep working and stay together.
I've heard stories about team's self-destructing when they lose a few games in a row. I'm here to report that we're still together as a team and Coach Schottenheimer and the rest of the staff have kept us focused on the main goal: to win football games. If a team shows its true identity when it faces adversity, than our identity is one of 53 guys who refuse to quit and are determined to win football games.
It's on to Oakland for us to face the Raiders. Yes, it is a big game for us for a couple of reasons: We're facing one of our main rivals and it is a game in our division. They've got an explosive offense and we have to play well to get a win. Hopefully this is the week that the hard work pays off for us with a victory.
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