CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - The receivers' routes are crisper. The quarterback's passes are more accurate. And the running backs are getting through the line cleaner.
The 41-38 overtime loss to Green Bay Mar. 30 still turns the stomachs of the Cedar Rapids Titans. The Blizzard handed the Titans their first loss of the season. The defeat also generated intense concentration this week in Cedar Rapids.
"We've really been mentally sharp in practice, which is huge," Titans running back Laron Council said. "I think we're ready."
The Titans (4-1) travel to Chicago (3-2) for their second road game of the season. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. More than a month has passed since Cedar Rapids' last road game, which also was in Chicago.
In that match-up, the Titans returned home with a 6-point win. The game wasn't as close as the margin dictates. The Titans build a 44-21 lead, only to see the Slaughter make a late run in the fourth.
Council and Company expect the effort they began the game with to last 60 minutes.
"I actually it makes us play a little better as a team," Council said regarding the road game. "It's kind of a thing, we're in a foreign territory and it's just all we have out there is ourselves so we kind of play a little bit harder and the team kind of gels a little more."
The Cedar Rapids offense will be looking to rekindle the chemistry it had in the previous four games. Green Bay held the Titans to 41 points, tied for a season low. The last time Cedar Rapids scored 41 points came home against Chicago.
This trip to the Windy City marks the third time the two have met. Each team has played six games. It's a familiar foe, but after a loss to a winless team, the Titans just want to return to the field.
"Guys are itching to just get back out there," Council said. "We know we didn't play as sharp and as physically like we're accustomed to playing. So guys are just anxious to get back out there and get another win under our belt."