After the Chicago game, I didn't think there would be a more exciting, down-to-the-last-second whirlwind of a game, but then there was the Bucs. We knew it was a must-win game, even though our coaches didn't dare utter those words, but we knew that if we didn't win that we wouldn't control our own destiny when it came to the playoffs. It was the perfect backdrop for a very intense, violent, trash-talking game, and that's definitely what it was. My hamstring was bothering me a little bit before Sunday, but once the game started I didn't even feel it. I knew that I was the only fullback we had and that I needed to be on the field blocking for Mike, Jerious, and Matt. Everybody plays through pain in the NFL, and Sunday was my turn. John Abraham, with 3 sacks despite his injury, inspired me to do all I could to help my team.
We didn't play our best game. We had plenty of opportunities to increase our lead, but with interceptions, the almost-touchdown turning into a fumble, and the calls just not going our way ? there was a tension in the air as everyone hoped that these missed opportunities wouldn't come back to bite us. The Bucs came back, but we weren't ready to give up, and neither were our fans. The Georgia Dome was louder than I've ever heard it, and the fans definitely helped us out by throwing off the opposing offense with their noise. We all left absolutely everything we had on the field. I hit every linebacker as hard as I could, I ran every route as hard as I could ? I felt like I had laser beam focus, like in The Matrix. I have a little history with Kato June, who played for the Colts when I was with the Ravens. He's a smaller linebacker, so he's always trying to prove himself against me, and he almost always fails. This was like a playoff game for us, so I made sure to hit Kato as hard as I could on each play. If you watch the film, you'll definitely see him on his back at least 3 times.
We were almost untouchable yesterday ? a wall of black jerseys marching down the field that would accept nothing but positive yardage. When we got enough yards to get that field goal, I was no less excited than winning my high school state championship. I jumped up in the air like a little kid. This is just one of those games that I will be telling my kids about, sitting around the fire, talking about my good ol' NFL days. Even though we didn't play flawlessly, this just shows that if we avoid mistakes and play our best game?I don't think anyone can stop us.