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Published: Fri, October 28, 2016
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

NFL: Confidence Vs Momentum

NFL: Confidence Vs Momentum

There is no such thing as momentum in the NFL. You keep hearing people talk about how momentum can change a team’s entire future, positively or negatively; and often, they make it sound like it can happen quickly, and that any team that is struggling only needs to make the right play happen and suddenly everything changes. Fans, in particular, treat momentum like it is a magic bullet that can transform the NFL spread.

However, most NFL players will tell you that things are not that simple. More than momentum, confidence is what most people are referring to. You need the confidence to perform in the NFL. And most players have more than their fair share of confidence.

You do not need to tell them how amazing they are; they know they have all the talent in the world. However, they are not immune to insecurities and their confidence can always suffer in light of mistakes and failures. 

And often a dip in confidence can affect the entire team. The Broncos could have been a very different team when they went into Denver if only they had made the field goal against the Broncos in Week 1.

However, they failed in that arena, and as such, they were barely the shell of the squad people grew to love in 2015, all because their confidence faltered.

Confidence can have an impact on a micro scale as well as a macro scale. Sometimes individual players simply fail to fall into the rhythm of things. Other times, an entire unit can fail an individual who cannot understand why the team isn’t giving him the opening he needs to do what he has been trained to do.

This is why certain teams seemingly come to life after a brief pep talk from their coach; a select few words can give a team all the confidence they need to keep trying. A turnover is also a great way for entire teams to jump back into form. 

Just look at the Giants/Rams game in London in Week 7. The Giants were down 10-3 at one point; when Landon Collins made an incredible run to the end zone, though, the entire Giants squad was seemingly given a jolt of electricity, and you saw the changes manifest in their defense. 

Last week, it was clear that the Saints still had the worst defense in the league and you could see that they had little confidence in their ability to triumph that day. After all, they were allowing an average of 33 points or more in every game. 

The Chiefs were leading 24-14 in the fourth quarter. The Saints offense was hoping for an opportunity to score a few more points but didn’t think much about their defense’s ability to get that stop. 

At one point, however, during a specific play by the Chiefs (while the Saints were in man coverage), the ball came to Tight End Demetrius Harris and he dropped it. Simple as that action might have been, it was all the Saints needed for their offense to get back on the field. 

They eventually went 80 yards for a touchdown in 3 minutes, all because that one mistake on the part of Harris gave them a boost in confidence. NFL players are only ever as good as they think.

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