TB : It was a good game. I thought defensively we played great. Offensive line played great. We ran the ball. We made a few big plays in the passing game, which we needed. It was a good game. We played hard; we expected to play hard. It was a tough win. It was a good week of practice and we took advantage of some turnover opportunities that we got. We also didn't take advantage of a few that we got as well, so I think we can use it as something to build on and try to move forward in the next week against a very good team.
Q : How much did your play action help you?
TB : It was great. When you're running the ball, you can use that play action. We scored on the one to Brandon [Lloyd]. We had a few other pretty critical plays trying to fake the run and you can get some great separation on the defense when that happens and we did a good job of that.
Q : Brandon has taken some heat locally saying that you won’t go over the middle and that you’ve been trying to force him the ball at times. Can you talk about his production tonight?
TB : He had a great game, made some real critical plays and catches. I have a ton of confidence in him. I’m not worried about that – going over the middle. He made some other big plays, one on the pass interference that got called back. He made another big play coming across the middle. I have a lot of confidence in Brandon. He did a great job.
Q : You were particularly demonstrative after you ran for that first down. What was going on there?
TB : I don't run too often, so I’ve got to show them that I can still do it a little bit. I was pretty fired up at that point. That was a big moment in the game. I’m happy we got the first down.
Q : Who are you trying to show?
TB : All the rest of the people out there – the opposing defenses that say I can’t run and won’t move out of the pocket. At least there’s a little bit of a threat there. Not a big threat; I’m not like RGIII there or anything, but I can make a first down.
Q : How far has this team come from being 3-3?
TB : That's a good question. I think we’re trying to make improvements. We started really fast [with] three touchdowns in the first four possessions, and then go four possessions without doing anything. We made a couple big plays that really helped us, something that we really haven’t done a ton of this year. But when you make big plays in the passing game, it makes up for a lot of errors. We’ve got a great football team coming in on a short week for us, so we’ve got to put everything into this one next week.
Q : More importantly, how is your little girl?
TB : She’s doing very well, thank you.
Q : How about her big brothers? Are they excited?
TB : They’re very excited, yeah. They’re very excited. It’s been a great week. This is a great way to end it.
Q : Is this a statement game?
TB : Well, it was a big game because they were 11-1, leading the AFC and we had to see where we’re at, see where we match up against the better teams in the league. We lost to Baltimore, who’s winning their division; we beat Denver, who’s leading their division; and we beat the Texans, who are leading their division. It's always good to win these games, certainly Monday night – we’ve played in a lot of big games here – but Monday night in December is an important one for us and we came out ready to go.
Q : Is it a personally motivating factor when another team gets as much attention and praise leading into a game as the Texans have been getting?
TB : Well, they deserve it. They’re a good team, so they deserve a lot of the credit. They were 11-1 and 11-1 for a reason. They’ve made a lot of really big plays at important times. We did a good job executing early. Our defense really kept us in there the whole game offensively and allowed us to miss a few opportunities and still go out there and score some points. It’s stuff we can build from, learn from, and then we have to play our best game next week playing against a great football team.
Q : How do these kinds of wins impact your teams going forward, especially if you face them again later this year?
TB : I'm not sure. We’ll see if we play them again. It would obviously mean a lot if we did. It was just a good win. I don’t want to make more of it than it really is. It was a very good opponent, we played them at home on Monday night, had an extra day to prepare, I thought we took advantage of it and we played a pretty good football game. I think there are still things we can do better and hopefully we do do them better because we're going to need to play almost a perfect game next week.
TB : Our defense is playing with a lot of confidence and offensively, we feel like we can move the ball. We feel like we can put points on the board. We’ve done that consistently throughout the season. Our defense has shown us they can really get the ball to us and play some complementary football and I thought we did that for the most part tonight.
Q : Do you feel like it's all coming together now?
TB : Well, it needs to come together now. This is the perfect time for it. We can’t wait any longer than this. We’ve got three games to play – the three most important games of the year.
Q : If you had an MVP vote, who would you give it to?
TB : I don’t have that vote.
Q : If you did, though?
TB : If I did? That's a hypothetical. We don’t answer hypotheticals at the Patriots. [Bill] Belichick would stand up here and say, ‘You moron. Why would you answer a hypothetical question like that?’ and I sit right there and he doesn’t have to look very far.
Q : Donté Stallworth says the only difference he can see in you from the last time he played here five years ago is more wrinkles.
TB : Oh really? He’s probably right. It’s called kids, marriage, a few losses over the last five years. Those will add some grey hairs and some wrinkles.
Q : But is your game the same as it was five years ago – as good as it ever was?
TB : I hope I can keep making improvements. I don’t think I’m perfect out there. I think I’m still trying to work on my mechanics and technique and read the right coverages and use my time to prepare each week effectively and be a great leader for this team. Those are things I certainly don’t take for granted. It's a responsibility I really take and understand and I expect to the best every time I'm out here for this team. I’ve been around for longer than anyone else on this team. I’ve been around some great teams and I can see the attitude of great teams. I can see the work ethic of great teams and that’s what I try to encourage. That’s part of my role as a leader, as a captain, as a veteran, as a quarterback. I try to show up every day and encourage the younger players who haven’t been a part of those [teams], so hopefully we don't have to go through growing pains. [They] can listen and say, ‘Wow, Tom, you are right. You’re not just screaming at me for [no] reason.’
Q : By the time your daughter is aware of what you do for a living, you’ll probably be retired. What game would you show her on tape?
TB : There have been some fun ones. I like the snow ones; I like those ones. We need some snow around here in December; it’s not supposed to be 60 degrees and perfect conditions in December in Foxborough.
Q : But not a Super Bowl? Not this one?
TB : I don’t know. Hopefully there are some wins to come.