COUGHLIN: That’s as disappointing a loss as we’ve had around here in a long time. I think. Not to be overly reactionary or emotional, but to play a very good football team like that, and to have two illegal procedure penalties take us out of field goal range in the first half and have a third down where we are offside creating a 4th-and-3 where they have to kick a field goal, and covering kicks and punts the way we did was terrible, was awful. Offensively, again, for a couple games in a row we didn’t play well. We didn’t appear to be very aggressive. We certainly didn’t have any first downs. I’m sure our time of possession was…They’ve been averaging 35 minutes time of possession coming in and I’m sure they got the same amount today. We didn’t tackle well, we didn’t stop the run well. They surprised me with some of the runs they called in situations you would expect them to be aggressive and throw. We didn’t make them pay obviously with that offside. We wanted emotionally so badly to win the game for obvious reasons, for all our neighbors who are struggling and who need some type of inspiration. Of course, we didn’t provide it for them. We didn’t play well and we are going to have to get this straightened around, some way, some form here, quickly obviously. That was not the kind of game we had planned to play.
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QB ELI MANNING
Q: When you’re up 20-10 and you try to put this game away or score more points to finish this game – are you surprised that that didn’t happen?
A: I knew we were going to have to score more points and we expected to offensively. We’ve been pretty good in fourth quarters at coming back and scoring more and finishing the game strong. Tonight we were in a position – down – with a chance to score a touchdown and take the lead and possibly win the game and we didn’t come through. All night we weren’t as sharp as we needed to be; not efficient in the red zone; not very good on third down. We haven’t been playing our best football offensively in the last few weeks. Our defense has been playing great, but tonight it finally caught up with us.
Q: You talked about the offense in the last few weeks and now only two offensive touchdowns. What is it you see that you guys are not doing that you did earlier in the year?
A: We’re just not executing as well. Third downs – that’s a big part; just not getting firsts. A little off here; just not executing; guys not doing everything perfectly; me missing some throws – so it’s just a combination of everything. I don’t think there’s one thing that saying, “we’re just not doing this,” and that’ll solve all our problems. Everybody working together; everybody playing good football on every situation, and that will lead to points.
Q: Do you think, personally, you’re in a little bit of a slump now where throws you were making consistently earlier in the season are just not there for you right now?
A: No, I don’t think that’s the case. I feel like I’m throwing the ball accurately when I have opportunities to, it’s just trying to find guys open and trying to just get in good situations. We had some big plays with pass interference where that accounted for 50 or 100 yards or so on some big ones. Besides that, we’re just not getting our shots down the field as much, it’s not consistent. We just have to do better overall in the passing game.
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DE JUSTIN TUCK
Q: Coach said it was about as frustrating a loss as he could remember in a long time. Do you feel the same way?
A: It’s pretty frustrating. I don’t know where it ranks on my frustration scale, but we had our chances to win this one. There’s a lot of people wanting us to win it, and just like Eli said, you don’t make any excuses about it. We were prepared to play our best tonight and we didn’t. That’s a great football team out there, so they didn’t need any help from us, but like I said, we didn’t play our best football tonight.
Q: What did you see out there from the defense?
A: I thought it was in spurts. I thought we knocked the line back on some plays and then on some plays they just leaked through and kept getting forward momentum, and then that long run at the end – that’s just a missed tackle and him falling through. I thought we saw a lot of that where we had them stopped right at the line of scrimmage or for a loss and they’ll find a way to break out and end up with four yards, and then stopped with 3 and end up with 10. Most of that came from us not tackling well.
Q: As animated as Coughlin has been in here describing that loss, was he similar in the locker room?
A: You could tell he’s disappointed. We had a lot riding on this game. Everyone knows about what’s taken place this last week in this area. A lot of us have been affected ourselves and we wanted to come out and put some smiles on faces. That’s frustrating itself, but then knowing you had the opportunity to beat a great football team at home and letting that slip through your hands. We’ve been a team known for finishing; we take the lead in the fourth quarter and we don’t sustain it – that’s frustrating; that’s not us. We’ve got to go back and look at this thing tomorrow and try to come back next week and get to 7-3.
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RB AHMAD BRADSHAW
RE: Problems on offense
A: We’re going to find a way to get something done
Q: What do you think the issue is?
Q: Does today feel like a little bit of a different kind of game? Because of the storm, or what’s been going on?
A: No, it didn’t. Same game. It’s what we’ve been doing every week.
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WR VICTOR CRUZ
Q: What happened offensively out there?
A: Just had a couple of miscues and couldn’t attack them the way we wanted to and just had a couple miscues out there on third down. We couldn’t complete some balls and things like that, but it’s just the nature of the game and it happens.
Q: It seems like the offense has been a little out of synch. Is there an explanation for that?
A: Not really. I think we all feel good going into every week and we do some good things in practice as far as understanding what defense we’re going up against and it’s just a matter of executing out there each and every week and we had some miscues today and as well as last week, so we’ve just got to bang away at it and get it squared away.
Q: Coach spoke about the emotional aspect with the hurricane. How did the emotion play on the field once the game got started?
A: Once the game got started, it just felt like we wanted to play. We just wanted to go out there and compete and be physical and win the game. Not just for ourselves, but for the city and for the tri-state area and everyone that got affected. But we came up a little short today and it’s unfortunate.
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TE MARTELLUS BENNETT
RE: The Giants’ struggling offense
A: It’s just one of those things where we just have to keep working. Guys have to get open, they have to protect. I thought we did a good job protecting. I didn’t think we did a great job of getting open today for (Eli). It’s just one of those things where everybody has to work together cohesively. You just go back to the drawing board, continue to run routes and get the timing down on every single thing. They threw a lot of different coverages at us and they did some things differently from what we expected from watching the tape. It’s just one of those things that you have to continue to grow with.
Q: Can you put your finger on what they did differently than what you were expecting?
A: No. If I did, I would have made more plays. They were a good team. A tough, physical team. It was a close game. I think we had a chance to make some plays that we didn’t really come through on. So, we just have to keep working.
Q: Not everything can be like a Hollywood script, but people were looking at this game to get an emotional boost after the week and after Hurricane Sandy. Does it feel like a little bit of a letdown?
A: Yeah, for them and for ourselves. It’s our livelihood. You always want to win and it was great as to how many people showed up with what was going on in the city and it was a hard-fought game. I don’t think they were let down. We did the same thing the city has been doing, which is fighting, fighting, fighting. Everybody has come back and we have to continue to fight. People in the city are continuing to fight and you can’t win every battle, but you live to fight again.
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SAFETY ANTREL ROLLE
ROLLE: In this league, we can’t really worry too much about what the offense does. We have to do our best as a defense to try to limit the points on the board and try to do effectively what we’re doing as a unit and we just came up short today. We didn’t get the stops when we needed to.
Q: Did you feel that you would be able to stop them on that last drive and get the ball back for the offense?
A: That’s something that we all hope for as a defensive unit and one broke through. It’s just something that we definitely have to key on. It’s unacceptable as a defense and we will clean it up.
Q: What were the Steelers doing in the run game?
A: I don’t know. I really can’t tell you what it is until we go back and watch film, but for whatever it was, he kept getting in the second level. We just have to do a better job as a unit. We can’t single any unit out – defensive line, linebackers, and safeties. You can’t single them out. It’s a collective group effort.
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LB MICHAEL BOLEY
RE: Steelers’ offense gaining yards after initial contact
A: That’s what it boils down to. Poor tackling, not making plays on third down and that really killed us.
Q: Not everything can really be a Hollywood script. Does it feel a little disappointing that you guys wanted to go out there and win it for the fans? Considering what’s been going on this week?
A: I’m very disappointed. Not only that, this was a game that we knew was going to be a tough game. It’s a game that we thought we could win. So, to come out and basically play the way we did was very disappointing.
Q: Did it feel like not an emotionally draining week, just a different kind of week?
A: Very different. Most guys spent the majority of the week away from home. It’s definitely different in that aspect.
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LB MARK HERZLICH
Q: Can you just talk about Redman? It seemed like he gained a lot of yards after contact.
A: Right and he did and it was the second-effort plays. Whether it was one or two extra yards a play; that put them in third and short and that’s when they were able to capitalize and he ran front side a lot of times and bounced it back around outside. That’s the kind of stuff that we can’t let happen and we have to tackle better.
Q: How did the first start of the season go for you?
A: Well, we lost, so not very good. I think that for the most part, I was in the right spot for the plays and I thought I played pretty physically and pretty well. But there’s definitely some times where I could have played better and capitalized on some of the plays.
Q: How tough is it to kind of not come out with the win in the end?
A: This is the type of thing we play the game every week for the fans and we play it for ourselves and we play it for our team and this was a week where we really wanted to step up for the people who were hit by the hurricane and we didn’t do that and it’s as simple as that. Instead of putting a smile on their faces for three hours, we kind of let them down and we have to pick it up and play better. Not only for ourselves, but for them as well.
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