Player Diary: A.J. Feely

Overall this has been a great year for me. I've been relatively happy with the job I've done. Obviously there have been some ups and downs, but whenever you face adversity, I believe it can make you stronger. Going through that whole Seattle week after missing those kicks and coming back strong from that and kicking well the next few weeks shows a lot. I think that always can make you stronger. That's really how I view everything in life.

I've been real happy here in New York and I'm very excited about the opportunity we have here as a team. If you get into the playoffs, you have a chance. A team like ours, that has so many weapons, we can beat anybody. We have to play better than we have lately, and we have to get healthy, but we know we can beat anybody. That's exciting. That's really all you want. That opportunity is right here in front of us. Everything we wanted at the beginning of the year is right in front of us.

We can go all the way. There's no reason that we can't go all the way and even win the Super Bowl. But we have to do a lot of things to achieve that. We have to get healthy and need guys to step up in positions where we have injuries, like at linebacker. We need an unselfish attitude on our team. We can't have guys worrying about getting the ball or not getting the ball. Even the coaches have to be able to not point fingers and get mad about certain things. We have to keep moving forward. We have all the pieces that we need. We're dangerous offensively and we can be real good defensively. I'm as excited as I've ever been on a team going into the playoffs.

Now that it's playoff time, I don't think the game changes all that much, but the extracurricular stuff does a lot. There's a lot more media scrutiny and attention as well as the players and their expectations on themselves. You have to manage all that stuff. But I love the playoffs.

As much as you want the regular season to be all about team, there's always an element of selfishness in every player. You want to do well for yourself and your family and there's a level of concern for your stats. But once you get into the playoffs none of that matters. All that matters is winning. However you win, whether it's ugly, pretty, whether you play well or not, it doesn't matter. All that matters is winning. I love that pureness; it's hard to get in sports. With money and all the other things that cloud the picture, it's hard to get pureness in professional sports. But once you get into the playoffs, all that matters is winning the game.

There's actually less pressure in the playoffs than there is during the regular season. The regular season is so stat-oriented. Once you get done with the regular season, all you have to focus on is winning.

It's a good feeling to have broken the Giants scoring record, but that honestly has a lot more to do with our offense than it does me. Our offense has gotten us into position a lot and scored a lot of points. I think field-goal percentage is a more accurate depiction of whether or not a guy has done a good job. I'm right where I want to be. A great game in Oakland and I'll have had the best year of my career, field goal percentage-wise, as well as points-wise and all that kind of stuff. But honestly all that doesn't matter much to me; I'm not a stats guy. I really don't care about individual stuff.

Obviously, I'd always love to have a higher percentage. The opportunity was there to have a phenomenal year. If I make that first kick in Seattle, you can take away three misses.

That week after Seattle was a great time of introspection for me and also a good time for me to draw strength from my faith. It allowed me to refocus and realize that who I am is not predicated on my success on the field. If you fail on a great stage with great magnitude, there are a lot of repercussions after it – the Saturday Night Live skit, and all that. But it allowed me to again define myself as who I am and not have it defined by football. It was a chance to define myself as a man and not have it be determined by what I do on the football field. Having a challenge and coming through it in a positive way and not allowing myself to get down and not allowing myself to dwell on the misses. I came back strong. You have challenges in life and when you pass that challenge it makes you stronger. So honestly, I'm glad that I went through that time. You look back, you don't want to go through that, but those things can define you. It was a defining moment for me – not so much just for my football career, but for me personally.

One of the things about my character is that I have a very strong trust in God and in His divine providence of where I'm going to end up. In the end, I'm going to end up where He wants me. After that week, I asked myself if I was doing everything I possibly could do to be my best and I was, so I had peace. That's where I was. There were other times in my career where I wasn't at that point. Then you realize and admit that there are changes that you need to make. This year, more so than at any other point in my life, I can look at that situation and say that I'm doing everything the right way and have peace about it.

One of my favorite moments of this season came early on when I caused a fumble in the New Orleans game. I really liked going down there and hitting a guy at the 15-yard line. I saw the reverse coming early and was able to break it up. Before the guy was even out of the end zone, I knew that he was running a reverse because I could tell from the formation that they were in. It was fun, even though I hurt my back on that play. I like getting involved like that. Even in Washington, the guy blocked the kick but I got a good stick in on him. Kicking is my job but going down and hitting someone is where my enjoyment comes from.

I want to be a football player, not just a kicker. There are a couple ways to handle yourself that will lend to that. One is by working hard in the offseason and doing everything that your teammates do. You earn your teammates' respect that way. When you do that and then you have a game like I did in Seattle, they are there for you a lot more than if you were off to yourself or secluded yourself before then. When you're part of the team, the guys will understand that you're going to have a bad game like everybody does. That's really what happened here, which was a great feeling for me, to know that everybody took me in as a teammate.

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