I successfully finished my first NFL Europe road trip with a win and a loss. I think I played well with almost 450 passing yards and five touchdowns in the two games. The win two weeks ago against Frankfurt was great. It was the first time that the Berlin Thunder had beaten the Galaxy. It was a huge win for us and for the organization. It was also good for the team morale and it got our confidence going. It was very exciting to get our first win of the season.
As the quarterback you have to be the leader of the team and think I have stepped into that role with that mindset since day one. The 79-yard touchdown drive at the end of the game was a great offensive effort. We started at our own 21 yard line with about five minutes to go and a one point lead. We opened with a slant-and-go and got a huge play out of it. I hit Duane Jones for 33 yards. It took a lot of guts to call that play, but it worked. We were able to drive all the way down the field, milk the clock and cap the drive with a touchdown at the end. It worked out perfect.
This past weekend against the Scottish Claymores, even though I had a good game with three touchdowns, we fell short with a 28-21 loss. I would still rather have wins than great statistics. My performance was OK, but we just didn't click as well on offense. That all starts with the quarterback. Hopefully, we can come back this weekend against the Rhein Fire and get back on the right track and back to .500 on the season.
I am definitely more relaxed in my starting role over the first few weeks of NFL Europe. I think that my goal here is to get more playing time and that is exactly what I'm doing. The more you play, the slower the game becomes and the more comfortable you get. That is what is happening for me.
I don't think the lack of a running game has affected my play in particular. Obviously, teams gear up more for the passing attack against us than they do the running attack since we are averaging only 53 rushing yards a game, which is last in the league. I think more of a running game would definitely help the passing game. We are confident that we are going to get that turned around this week.
It's different not having a back like Fred Taylor or James Stewart around. Those backs are incredible. A guy like Fred can score from anywhere on the field. He can do it all. However, the running game starts with the offensive line, goes to the tailbacks and then goes to me. We always have to make sure we are in a good situation to run in.
We return home after a two-week road trip through Frankfurt and Scotland. We take on the Rhein Fire and I think it's going to be very exciting. Rhein's defense is extremely disciplined. They are a team that will just play their way and if you make a mistake they will hurt you. We have to go into the game patient and efficient, take what they give us, and march the ball down the field.
Adjusting to the starting lineup and to Europe has been a challenge but being without my family for the past few weeks has been very difficult, but we knew it would be. We went into the season with the proper attitude, so I think the family is handling it very well. I miss them terribly, but we will get through this just fine. I know that they are at home cheering my teammates and me on and will be pulling for us for the rest of the season.