FOXBORO, Mass. — If you have Martellus Bennett on your fantasy football team, you probably were disappointed by his three-catch, 14-yard showing against the Arizona Cardinals.
Ask him how much he cares.
Bennett, who earned praise for his work as a blocker in the New England Patriots’ 23-21 win over Arizona, said Wednesday he values the numbers on the scoreboard far more than the ones on his stat sheet.
“A lot of people, they equate how well you’ve done in a game to fantasy football and how many points you scored them,” the Patriots tight end said. “But there’s so many intangible things that go on during the game that most people overlook, except for your teammates. When you go out there, I’m trying to do every single thing that I can possibly do to get a win on the football field and in the real column, not in the fantasy football column.
“So I’m not really worried about it. Whether it’s blocking, pass protection, catching the ball, getting a big first down, whatever it may be — that’s what I’m here for. I’m not really here to catch 1,000 balls. I’ve caught 90 balls and lost a bunch of games. It’s not that fun. Whatever it takes to win, that’s what I’m here for.”
Winning is something Bennett was not accustomed to before his trade to the Patriots this past offseason. The 29-year-old played in just two playoff games in eight seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants and Chicago Bears and has not experienced postseason football since 2009.
The Patriots, meanwhile, have not missed the playoffs since 2008 and have played in each of the last five AFC Championship Games.
“I think it’s just exciting to get a win,” Bennett said. “Especially with all the adversity we faced (in Sunday’s) game, whether it was turnovers, them making plays, us missing opportunities. But (we were) able to stick together and continue to trudge forward and find a way to win the game. Any ‘W’ feels good. We didn’t get back until, like, 7 a.m., but I didn’t even sleep on the plane. I was just so jacked up from winning.
“And winning’s contagious. Losing’s contagious. You start losing, next thing you know, you lose your car, you lose your house, lose your family, lose your job. You’re a winner, then your daughter’s a winner. She grows up to be a winner. I don’t want my daughter to grow up to be a loser, so I’m just trying to win as much as possible in life so that the winning can rub off on her, as well.”
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images