It has been a hard week for Buffalo Bills quarterback J.P. Losman.
The Bills' one-point, playoff-elimination loss to Tennessee on Sunday sticks in his throat, and there seems like nothing he can do to get it out.
"I still have nightmares the last three nights," Losman said. "I can't stop thinking about the plays that we missed in this last game in particular, but all season. And what brought us to this situation where we had to win these last two games. Why? Why couldn't we pick two other games earlier this season that we pulled out? So, those situations have just been eating, eating away at all of us right now. But it's going to be up to us if we're going to do something about it."
The Bills close their season in Baltimore on Sunday, and they have a chance to finish with a .500 record. That would be a nice accomplishment for a team that nobody expected to be any good this year.
That's little consolation to Losman right now.
He's not interested in talking about how much he has improved from last season. He's not taking comfort in the fact he has guaranteed himself the starting job for next season.
"Regardless of what anyone was saying in the beginning of the year, we never believed that stuff," Losman said of low preseason expectations. "We don't listen to that. So we really felt we were a contender. We really felt that we should've won that first game (at New England), the third game (against the Jets), whatever. We can go down the line with how many games that we felt we were close and should've won."
Losman is not one to hide his emotions. Reciting cliches is not his style when he's discussing a subject that matters to him. He offered a glimpse into his intense competitiveness during a 10-minute session with the media.
Asked about the positives he takes from the season, he pondered a few seconds:
"I don't know what is the politically correct answer to say," he responded. "I don't know what anybody's going to say, but I tend to dwell on the bad things. . . . I was depressed the last three days."
"Don't call me, don't talk to me; I really don't want to talk to anybody about anything right now," he said, referring to his attitude earlier this week. "I play to win this game, to go to the playoffs. I want to feel the environment."
Satisfaction obviously is not a feeling that comes easily to this guy. That's probably a good thing for an NFL quarterback, a job that requires an obsessive drive to succeed.
"Like I've said, the last three days, the night-dreaming, the day-dreaming, it's not about the good plays, it's about the bad plays," Losman said. "I can remember my last high school game. I can remember my last college game. And it's not the good plays, it's the bad things. What could I have done to be a better player?"
Losman can't get over the fact the Bills had a first down on the Titans' 33 with 1:56 to go and could not manage another first down, which would have produced a decisive field-goal try.
"I just think about the last drive," he said. "There were 1, 2, 3, 4 plays in a row. We had four downs to get something accomplished and we didn't. And I don't know if we took it too easy, like we just knew it was going to happen. When we went on the field, and especially with the return that we got, and especially after the way the first play from scrimmage went (a 19-yard gain), it was over. The game was over in my head. It was . . . we thought it was going to happen. But learning those situations, taking every play one play at a time, is what I personally should have done."
Losman thinks he rushed the snap count on the third-and-5 play from the Titans' 28. Tennessee got pressure up the middle, and a hurried Losman pass went incomplete.
"I probably shouldn't have rushed it and went on 'Go,' " he said. "I probably should have went on one. I've been having bad thoughts about that one. That was the third-down play. And various other plays, what have you. There were some opportunities there that were just blown. It's very, very frustrating."
Losman said he is determined to learn from his mistakes quickly.
"When the season is over and I take my week or two vacation, when I come back, it will be all on the negative plays," Losman said. "Focusing on everything that went wrong first, fixing that first, and once we fix those, definitely encouraging the positive, the 'Oh, that was great.' Those are the good things. But those are expected. Make the good throw. Step up in the pocket. Those are expected. Now concentrate and eliminate those bad plays. And that's pretty much the focus."
One thing Losman will not be doing is watching other teams in the NFL playoffs.
"No, I probably won't watch one playoff game," he said.