There were many ways to feel during the Patriots’ astounding Monday night comeback thriller against Buffalo.
Fans tended to go with panicked, relieved, elated, nauseated or some combination of the four. But what were the guys on the field feeling?
It depends who you ask. Obviously, Tom Brady was feeling nothing because he is a robot who does nothing but engineer game-winning drives with two minutes left in the fourth quarter. An 11-point deficit with 2:06 remaining against Buffalo? No problem. Patriots 25, Bills 24. Done deal.
Running back Laurence Maroney had something closer to resembling blood in his veins, and while he acknowledged that it’s hard not to “freak out” at times like that, what’s the point? Does freaking out change the score? No. Scoring touchdowns does.
Randy Moss was somewhere in between the Brady and Maroney extremes. By the time the Patriots had put the game away and sent the Bills packing toward Week 1 devastation, he was just thinking about practice on Wednesday. A practice that would most likely include extra reps and sprints and hours in a dark, cave-like tape room and other forms of torture.
Read more to get inside the heads of Bill Belichick’s 2009 comeback kids.
“Ain’t no point of freaking out. You’re down 11, whether you’re freaking out or not.”
–Patriots running back Laurence Maroney, in the Boston Herald, on his mindset before New England’s comeback over Buffalo on Monday
Q: What were you thinking when you found out they recovered the fumble?
Tom Brady: I was looking for my helmet.
–Patriots quarterback Tom Brady on leading the team to a late fourth-quarter comeback over the Bills
“I’m happy with what we accomplished [Monday], but we’ve got to get back to work on Wednesday. There’s no telling what kind of lashing we’re going to get, but we can take this victory and hang it up.”
–Patriots wide receiver Randy Moss, on NESN.com, on Bill Belichick’s plans for practice after almost losing to the Bills
"On the road back, I've been a burden on my teammates more than anything, and I feel that I owe them."
–Red Sox starter Daisuke Matsuzaka, on Boston.com, after winning in his first start since going on the disabled list in June
"Going from two Super Bowls in Pittsburgh to the winless Detroit team — that's like going from dating Beyonce to Whoopi Goldberg."
–NFL commentator Chris Myers on Larry Foote’s transition from Pittsburgh to Detroit
“Pay me, Rick.”
–A message Texans cornerback Dunta Robinson wrote on his cleats during a Week 1 matchup against the Jets. The words were directed toward general manager Rick Smith, who franchised him.
"Offensively, we just sucked. Let's be honest.”
–Panthers receiver Steve Smith, on ESPN.com, after Carolina’s 38-10 loss to Philadelphia in Week
"Especially here and some other places, they seem timid to make calls. I've heard it from other guys that come in here and say that. That's either because it's a mistake, or they're scared."
–Angels closer Brian Fuentes, on Boston.com, on throwing two borderline called third strikes to Nick Green en route to issuing a game-tying, bases-loaded walk
“The Maple Leafs cordially decline your request.’’
–Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke, to Boston.com, after being reached by telephone and asked whether Toronto was in talks to acquire Phil Kessel
“No, but thanks for asking.’’
–Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli, to The Boston Globe, after being asked if he cared to comment on the Kessel situation
"Let me be perfectly clear. This trade is really about two things. One, it's about a player who did not want to play in Boston. Two, it's about the threat or the perceived threat of an offer sheet."
— Chiarelli, on Boston.com, on his reasons for trading leading scorer Phil Kessel to Toronto on Friday
“I was terrible. I couldn’t get the ball up and they got some bunts down. It was all started by the walk. If the guy gets a single so be it, but to give up a walk always comes back to hurt you.”
–Red Sox reliever Billy Wagner, in the Herald, after taking his first loss of the season against the Angels on Thursday
"I am concerned about Mark because it's happened a couple times and I know he feels extremely bad about it. Pitchers don't have Nintendo controllers in their pocket."
–Yankees manager Joe Girardi, on SI.com, on reliever Mark Melancon, whose mechanical errors have led to four hit batsmen in 16 1/3 innings
“Don’t tell me to be quiet, all right? When I want to talk, I’ll talk.”
–Roger Federer, to an umpire, during his U.S. Open finals match against Juan Martin del Potro
“ESPN's linebackers Tedy Bruschi and Derrick Brooks form a better combination than some NFL teams have.”
–ESPN football insider Adam Schefter, via Twitter, on the network’s analyst team