We considered last week a pivotal game, not a must-win, but pivotal, because it was in the division and it was at home. We thought we were a better team than we put out there record-wise, so just to come out there and execute well against a solid Oakland team was encouraging to everybody.
The best part is it was a total team effort. All three phases played great. To win a championship and to be a championship team that’s what you’ve got to do consistently. Execute well offensively, get three-and-outs defensively and make a play on special teams. We accomplished that against Oakland.
Big game this week. I was just saying, New England is one of the premier teams in this league in modern time. For us to pack it up and go up to Foxborough is going to be a challenge and a test for us. But I think we’re excited. We know that we’ve got to play our best. That’s been our focus this week.
I thought the first time we played them last year, we were winning the game up to the middle of the second quarter, then I think we had three turnovers. We kind of shot ourselves in the foot. We were doing things well, we just can’t have turnovers against a team like this. The second time was just — they had our number. We didn’t play well. I think that still sticks in a lot of guys’ minds, and we know we want to go up there and perform a lot better.
I think our thing is just to make sure we convert on third downs, just put drives together. That keeps our defense off the field. It keeps Brady off the field. It’s all about complementing one another to play our best football.
Now for your questions. Broncosonmine asked what goals I set along the way to reach the NFL. I think starting my freshman year it was just to get better at the skillset as a receiver, then to build off that yearly. Getting faster, getting stronger, running better routes, being more durable. All those things. As you mature, you start to learn and know that that’s what’s going to get you to the league and keep you there. I think those were my goals, just to be a consistent, reliable guy that worked hard.
I saw SWBronco wanted to know exactly what it means when players talk about studying the playbook and what goes into that. For me, studying the playbook is learning every position. Knowing what the protections are, too, because if you know the entire play call within the playbook, you become so much more comfortable. You become a better player for it. For me, I always had a whiteboard, I write down what the call was, make sure I knew what everybody did on the field. That was kind of my style of studying the playbook.
Hope that gave you a little insight. Looking forward to checking back in next week.