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The Strong Report: Getting Over a Loss

Mack talks about how he deals with losing football games.

You never feel good with a loss, especially the way we lost. It will be one that will stick with me for a while. We had opportunities in that game to play better. We could have taken advantage of those moments that obviously would have influenced the outcome of the game. Instead, we weren't quite there for some reason.

You've got to go out there and perform on Sunday to peak at the right time to win those games. We prepare all week for those moments. We're a well-coached football team, so we just have to play better from the opening kickoff through the fourth quarter.

There's no way to explain some of the things, like (my illegal procedure penalty in the first quarter). I wouldn't say it was a lack of concentration. I was just trying to get off the ball. It's no excuse for it. Nobody goes out on the field wanting to jump offsides. It's one of those things ... it's the one play I wish we could have back. But you can't get those plays back. Those woulda, coulda, shouldas can drive you crazy. That's football. You have to move on and not let it happen again.

So I don't hang my head about it whatsoever. That's something I refuse to do. I won't hang my head and beat myself up over it. That's what you go through every week in football in some way, shape or form. It's like life. Things happen. You've got to pick yourself up and go to the next situation. I thought I played fine the rest of the game.

Part of it is being realistic. You can look at last year. We won four games on last second field goals that could have gone either way.  We could have lost those games and not even been in the playoffs. And on the other hand, we were so close to being in the NFC Championship game again. Football is just like that. You win one that in all honesty you didn't play well enough to win; then you turn around and lose one that you look up at the scoreboard and shake your head, "How did we manage to lose that one?" It isn't how you get there; it's only the result that matters, and most of the time if you do things the right way you'll come out with a win.

We just didn't get it done on Sunday. The only thing we can do at this point is use it as a learning experience and not repeat the same mistakes next week or the rest of the season. That's the reason why you play the games on Sundays. That's the reason you have film. That's the reason you have coaches – to get coached up. That helps you to go out and perform in the next game. That's all you can do.

Getting off to a better start, we just have to play the way we play – whether it's the first half, second half or whatever part of the game. We have to go out there to play hard, give it our best, and let the chips fall where they may. We can't go out there trying to gauge people or anything else. Not that saying that explains what we're doing, but we've just got to have a sense of urgency every week ... all of us.

Every play is very precious and can be the difference in a game. That's how close most of these games are. You don't get them back. It's always about us ... not them. It's about how you perform when you go out there, and you can't allow the other guys to dictate that. You draw things up, but sometimes they don't turn out the way they are on the board.

So you've got to overcome that. You've got to be a player, and let your natural football instincts take over. We all have that. You can't go out there thinking a whole lot. We know the plays and the formations. We know what to do. You can't be on your heels.

We've got to be attacking the whole time and take the game. That's all we have to do to get back on track and it begins when we get back on the field Wednesday for practice.

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