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Devin McCourty: One ‘great game’ doesn’t mean Peyton Manning can’t ‘attack you’

10.03.12 at 4:58 pm ET
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Devin McCourty is focused on Peyton Manning this week. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

FOXBORO — After the replacement officials, no one faced more criticism after New England’s 31-30 loss in Baltimore on Sept. 23 than Devin McCourty.

He dropped a pair of potential interceptions and was beaten on the final pass that set up the game-winning field goal.

But on Sunday he redeemed himself with his first two interceptions of 2012.

“As a defensive back, it always feels good to come down with interceptions, that’s what we work hard [at] and that’s really the biggest reward of playing defensive back,” McCourty said. “That’s big, and defensively, turnovers always help.”

Was it just a matter of confidence? Well, yes and no. McCourty said he felt more confident but that confidence is built during a week of good practice – not necessarily during the game.

“For us, it’s each week we want to try to get better,” McCourty added. “We work hard in practice to go out there and perform well on Sunday,” he told reporters on Wednesday. “I think my confidence will start today with going out and having a good practice and just keep building throughout the week.”

In his third NFL season, McCourty knows there can be endless talk about a cornerback’s confidence going into a particular game. He explained Wednesday why all the “confidence” talk can be overrated – especially with an experienced quarterback like Peyton Manning coming to town.

“Because a lot of things we go into the game [with] are determined in practice,” McCourty said. “When we have a good week in practice, when we have a good week studying film, you go into those games confident. Just because you have a great game one week, it doesn’t mean you’re going to go into that next game feeling like no one can attack you. There’s different offenses, you see different guys each week. That week in practice always determines a lot.”

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