TB: The hard way? It's not planned that way. There's no panic. I don't feel like the guys on the sidelines really panic. I just feel like it's really a matter of execution and we started executing better and we put points on the board. It was a fun day to finish 13-3 and to win our last eight in a row has been really good. We just have to continue to get better and have a good week this week and get ready for our toughest game of the year.
Q: You've thrown for over 5,000 yards this year - 22 miles.
TB: Guys did a lot - catching the ball and running with it. Our passing game has been obviously a big strongpoint of this team. The pass catchers and the blockers have been great and we've run the ball great, too, at times. That's what it takes - a complementary offense. You run it and we throw it when we need to throw it and we can be effective. You have to stay balanced and those guys have done a great job all year doing stuff with it.
Q: Aside from the obvious that winning is the most important thing, what do the individual records that you're piling up mean to you?
TB: I play this game for one reason and it's to win. There's nothing more important to me than that. As a quarterback you do everything you can do to help this team win. When your number is called upon to go out and execute certain plays, that's what you're expected to do. It's not something I think about, it's not something I ever [think], 'Man, I love throwing touchdowns,' or 'I love throwing for yards.' I love winning and that helps me sleep at night.
Q: If you go back to when you were heaving the ball up to Randy Moss against Miami in 2007, is it fair to say that records are on your radar screen?
TB: That's what we determine as an offense is the best thing that we do. You try to play to the strengths of your offense and play to the strengths of the guys that you have. There's no doubt this year that our pass catchers are the biggest strength of our offense. To get the ball to those guys with room to run and space is - whether it's Gronk [
TB: Sure, no question. I think all those guys have opportunities. It's not so much where in our offense we're like, 'Man, this play is designed for this guy.' We're putting our guys in the best spot possible and whatever coverage they run dictates where I start my read. If that first guy is open, he gets the ball. We never predetermine who we're going to throw to. You just drop back and you try to find the open guy.
Q: Is it safe to say you know you can't get down in a postseason game by 17 points and get where you want to be?
TB: I haven't thought about that. It's a 60-minute game and we're trying to put it together for 60 minutes. Some days it's been better than others. I like the way that we answered today. You never want to get down 21-0, but if we do, we do and we have to find a way to battle back.
Q: What has been the common thread in falling behind? It has been five out of the last six games. Are teams doing things early in games that are contrary to what they should and you have to adjust?
TB: It's really lack of execution more so than anything. They're not doing anything special or 'Wow, we weren't prepared for that.' It's just they're executing and we're not. I'd love to be able to see what it looks like when we put together 60 great minutes of football. Today was 45 but it was better than 30 last week, so maybe we're trending toward that.
Q: How have you been able to execute offensively as well as you have without a Randy Moss-type deep threat? I'm not saying you don't have one but not one like that. How are you able to do that without stretching the field very often?
TB: It's just you throw a screen pass and a guy runs for 40 yards or you throw it to Aaron [Hernandez] there and he's making guys miss. A lot of it is what they're doing with the yards after the catch. They're getting open. As a quarterback you just drop back and try to find them. Like I said, they've done a great job with that all year. I have to continue to get better and make better reads and make better throws and hopefully that leads to a win in a couple weeks.
Q: You have proven that you can stretch the field horizontally effectively just as you can vertically.
TB: Sure, but we go vertically into the defense, too, it's not all horizontal. There are plenty of vertical routes. We tried a couple today and we're calling them. If they're deep, we're just going to throw it somewhere else. We're trying to throw it where they're not. If they cover us deep, we're going to throw it short. That play to Aaron [Hernandez] where he caught it and ran down to the two or three-yard line there in the fourth quarter was really a short play - we were trying to throw it deep and they covered us deep so we throw it short and we run for a bunch of yards.
Q: How important is the home field advantage going into the playoffs?
TB: It depends how well we play. I think that's going to be the determining factor on whether we win or lose is how well we execute. It's great playing at home. It's great to have a bye but I think we have to concentrate here this week on what we need to do to play our best football in a couple weeks.
Q: What has Bill O'Brien meant to you as an offensive coordinator?
TB: He's been a great coach and friend. We have a great relationship; probably a very unique relationship in that we communicate all the time. I always enjoy working with him and he's done an incredible job with this team and this offense. He expects nothing less than our best.
Q: He may have opportunities emerging in different spots. Would you miss his tutelage?
TB: I don't know what's going to happen. I hope he's here for a long time and I told him that too.