Oakland Raiders safety Charles Woodson is no stranger to the Detroit Lions. Nor is he a stranger to playing big games on the big stage.
En route to the Defensive Player of the Year Award, Woodson turned in one of the better defensive performances you're ever going to see as he became the first NFL player (since sacks became an official statistic in 1982) to record two interceptions, a pick six, a sack and a fumble recovery in the same game when he posted all of those on Nov. 26, 2009 in the Green Bay Packers' win on Thanksgiving Day.
Woodson said that familiarity with a division opponent accounted for his success against the Lions.
"You play them a bunch of times, when you play a team a bunch of times, it's more opportunities against that individual team, that's what it is," Woodson said.
The Raiders currently sit a 4-5, part of a logjam with several 5-4 and 4-5 teams in the AFC Wild Card picture. Woodson said tomorrow's game against the Lions is critical for the Raiders.
"We're trying to make the playoffs, we're keeping our focus on that," Woodson said. "Every game we play from here on out the rest of the season is a playoff game in my opinion. So, we gotta win."
If the Raiders are going to make a run for the AFC West or an AFC Wild Card spot, they are going to have to mount a significant winning streak. Woodson says focus will be key.
"It's just a focus thing, it's going in every game and understanding your role on the team, understanding your responsibilities on the team, and what you have to accomplish and each and everybody paying attention to that fact that you have to do your job," Woodson said. "If we're able to do that we can start stringing some wins together."