“Good tough, hard nose football game, like we expected it to be. They came out and did a really nice job early in the game and we withstood the storm. We did a nice job on a couple of drives only giving up only three points. We did just enough on offense to put ourselves in position and the plus three turnovers were huge obviously. [S] Antrel [Rolle] made a couple outstanding catches on the ball in very difficult positions and put us in point blank range in the second half. We did have one touchdown but we ended up with two field goals was somewhat disappointing because of where the ball was located. But thank goodness the drive out the end of the game took a lot of the time away in the fourth quarter. Putting the ball on the ground with consistency, with two backs running. I understand [RB] Ahmad [Bradshaw] went over a 100 yards rushing, which is the first time in 43 games where they’ve had a rusher go over 100 yards against them, so that was good today. Very physical front of the 49ers and very physical front for us, hey hurt us with some run through linebacker plays, untimely for us I should say, but we were able to withstand it. When we kicked that last field goal we were up by three touchdowns and that was what I was trying to get done. Very good football game for our team and our kickoff return after the half was huge. It was a momentum changing play, where we came out and we knew what we had to do offensively. They kicked the ball off and we had a super return, [RB] David [Wilson] looked again as if he might go all the way. His return put us in excellent field position and I think that was the drive where we scored the touchdown. So it was the two turnovers where we ended up kicking field goals, but that helped out an awful lot and very positive. It was amazing to me was the third quarter didn’t look like it was ever going to be over. We did get it into the fourth and the long drive at the end of the game used up eight minutes, which was very significant. This also told our sideline and our defensive team that the game was under control and what they would get was one last burst and they did come right back down the field.”
You said motivation was nobody thought you guys could win, the way your team played, what do you proved about what kind of team you guys are?
“Well, we are a good football team and we came out here with great purpose. We had a very good week of practice and players were very excited about playing this game. There wasn’t any doubt about the way we went through our week of practice. There was great enthusiasm, great energy every day and the nice thing was the pounding away of the pencil on the defensive line. I think the defensive line finally decided they were going to come out and play today and they did.”
Can you talk about your offensive line, they haven’t given up sacks in the last three weeks, no penalties today, against this type of defense.
“Well the offensive line for the last two weeks, they want to run the ball well and they did run the ball well last week and this week as well. It is not easy, but we had to keep at it and we did keep at it. You can’t say enough about them, just coming out, the opponent knowing we were going to run the ball and we did very well today.”
You had a bit of a lift when your offense first started going when [WR] Domenik [Hixon] made a couple of catches, what did that do for you guys?
“Well, obviously it gave us a lift because in that it moved the ball down the field and put us in position. He had two outstanding catches throughout the course of the day, one with the comeback on the sideline and the other was contested, they thought the tip of the ball hit the ground, but we didn’t think it did. He comes through for us in clutch situations. [QB] Eli [Manning] is very confident in where he is going to be and he has done an outstanding job. It was good to get [WR] Hakeem [Nicks] back in action today, so he can start to get a better feel of where he is on the field as well. Eli will be more comfortable with him. I thought we had him early on a deep ball or series that did not materialize for us.”
You’ve seen a lot with how your team responds to that underdog title, whatever you want to use with your theme this week. That perception is obviously going to change after a game like this:
“Maybe not, we’re going to make sure. Having played well, understand the circumstance we’re in and don’t let it affect how we prepare in practice and be excited about playing everybody. Here we go now with the division a couple weeks in a row and we certainly haven’t done well in the division.”
Talk about sticking with the running game:
“I think you have to. We have to, we wanted the balance. Someone mentioned no sacks, part of no sacks is because we run the ball. We stayed with it. [QB] Eli [Manning] does a really good job of getting the ball out of his hands too. We had a guy right down the bow at the beginning of the game and he took a pretty good hit, but he did get rid of the ball. It gives us good balance and against a team like that, you have to have that ability to have that balance because if they just tee off against one area, then you have some issues.”
What kind of area do you think [RB] Ahmad [Bradshaw] is in the past couple weeks?
“He has many opportunities to carry the ball and get in rhythm. He and the offensive line have been working together, [FB Henry] Hynoski and the tight ends. [WR] Victor [Cruz] threw a heck of a block down in there in our last drive, coming down on the safety to give us a chance to get some more yards. It takes the whole group. Ahmad is tough, you have to hogtie him to get him down. He does fall forward most of the tie. We did run it in the first time in the second half, we ran the ball in the end zone and that was a big plus for us as well. He’s done well and the offensive line has done well. He’ll give credit to the offensive line.”
The way you guys played today does it remind you have the team you had this past January and February?
“It’s a start in that direction and I think the players will agree with that. We have a lot of work to do.”
How challenged do you think the defense was hearing about no sacks, no sacks?
“How could they miss it? There were many people taking about what kind of jump we were getting and how forceful we were being. I think collectively we made a decision that we didn’t that as their identity.”
How much did mixing up the defensive players today contribute to the game?
“We played a lot of different players in different spots today. We had of lot of combinations to work against, from a personnel standpoint so a lot of people got to play. [LB
What needs to be worked on?
“We need to work on cohesion, consistency. We have keep getting better and we have to continue to keep building on the last couple weeks in terms of the way that we played. The combination again, offensively with balance, defense with the pressure and the interceptions and the turnovers, which were huge. The special teams, with the kickoff return giving us that yardage and we did play well with our coverage teams against very, very good returners.”
The juggling around on the defense, was that unique to their personnel?
“No, it depends on who you are playing against. Every team forces you to do different things we did a nice job of adjusting and adapting to what their personnel combinations forced us to do.”
What did you think of the athleticism on Rolle’s first interception?
“Great catch. It was very good. I was cheering for him to score.”
On [DE Justin] Tuck being in pain a couple times:
“He kept going.”
Cruz came back in, but was it a knee with him?
“I don’t think so. I don’t know what it was, but he got flipped once up on his neck and came back in.”
Is Ahmad okay?
“He was coming in to have something looked at. I’ll have to find out what’s going on there.”