As the election finally came to an end Tuesday night, the Tennessee Titans find themselves still on the campaign trail — the trail to stay unbeaten.
Certainly the Titans are still busy squelching any talk of going 16-0, even after reaching the halfway mark unblemished with Sunday’s 19-16 overtime victory against the Green Bay Packers.
Rather than focusing on a perfect season, the Titans say they are much more focused on simply trying to get their play and execution as close to perfection as they can.
“We don’t think about going 16-0. We’re just worried about the Chicago Bears right now,” linebacker David Thornton said. “Of course, the media, you all will talk about it, but it’s not what we’re talking about in the locker room. We talk about the things we can do to continue improving the team.”
Tight end Bo Scaife agreed with that assessment.
“We don’t really talk about going undefeated,” Scaife said. “We only know one way to play and that’s to play hard and play real long. We want to be the last man standing at the end, so if that means undefeated, that’s what it is.
“I think our motto is we just go out there and play. It doesn’t matter who is in front of us and what our record is. We just go out there and play.”
Thornton was a part of the 2005 Indianapolis Colts, who began the year 13-0 and says the pressure of the zero in the loss column is only a distraction if you make it one.
“It’s not a distraction, as long as you listen to the voice of your leader,” Thornton said. “coach [Jeff] Fisher does a tremendous job of echoing the message that we must continue with what we’ve been doing, stay focused, keep fighting, keep your confidence high and not getting to big-headed or anything like that. I don’t think we have to worry about that with any of the guys on our team.”
Of course, Fisher continues to downplay any talk of the Titans’ win streak, which tied the franchise record with their 11th straight regular-season victory last Sunday.
“We’re not worried about becoming overconfident and all those things associated with that,” Fisher said. “We need to continue to improve to get better so we can win the next game. We have a tremendous challenge this week with the Bears and the things that they’re doing.”
How long the Titans can stay unbeaten and how far this team can go in the postseason certainly remains to be seen. But, as Thornton said, the one thing this team has going for it is that the accountability factor inside the locker room and the organization is high, and that that cannot be underestimated.
“I think every man on our roster realizes we’ve got a good thing going here, and you don’t want to be the one who could possibly be a distraction or cause something bad to happen to a great team,” Thornton said.
Still working: Receiver Justin Gage missed three games with a right knee injury, and since returning to the lineup two games ago, has caught just one pass and dropped a few more.
Fisher, however, said he is not concerned with the receiver, who signed a $14 million extension in the offseason.
“We haven’t done an awful lot in the passing game on the outside,” Fisher said. “Overcoming that injury is difficult, especially in the receiver position but I’m confident he’ll make plays for us and become productive.”