COACH TOM COUGHLIN
: Good afternoon. What we talked about with the team today was the fact that although it was an extremely disappointing loss, we are not going to hide from the facts; I did give them the exact facts, the statistics as they occurred throughout the game, the circumstances that evolved and was point-blank with them about that. The thing that I wanted them to understand is that although some of my good friends last night mentioned that they didn’t think that destiny was in our hands, it is in our hands. If we win two games, we’re going to be in the playoffs. That’s what we have to focus on. Unfortunately, we’ve had bad games in the past. We have used the theme of consistency, I pounded away on that on Saturday night and obviously that didn’t work. Consistency two-fold: one, in terms of our execution and our performance, but the second thing is, the passion and so-on and so-forth that we bring to each and every game knowing the circumstances. Our team does know the circumstances very well. We knew the quality of the football team we were going up against. We knew that they had won 10 in a row at home, that they were an exceptional team that has played very, very well this year and stumbled the week before. (The Falcons) certainly were using the playoff game from January 8th as a form of motivation for their own team, wanting to be well-prepared -- even though they’re in the playoffs -- for the playoffs when the playoffs came. All of those things were discussed. To be honest with you, the first half was not bad. I contributed to that as well. We missed the first field goal. I was upset about that and disappointed. When it was 17-0, I felt we needed some form to give us a little jump start. Something good to happen, something to be excited about and felt we could convert on the fourth-and-one’s. We didn’t. That particular thing backfired as well. I thought we should’ve, but we didn’t. That’s what we were trying to accomplish there. In reality, we could’ve gone into the half 17-9, rather than 17-0. That would not have changed the second half. We talked in the locker room about going out, kicking the ball off, stopping them or getting a turnover; doing something to jumpstart us from that respect. They drove it and scored. The thing that I wanted to do was give them the idea that our backs were against the wall. It is a playoff situation for us, if you will. We now have to win to have the opportunity to go into the playoffs. We’ve responded to that in the past. We’re going to have to respond to that again.
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QB ELI MANNINGQ: Can you sum up yesterday?
A: I think you've got to look at the good things and look at the bad and we had some opportunities. We got down in scoring range four times and got no points. A lot of them were third and short circumstances that we didn’t convert on… fourth and short circumstances we didn’t convert and that’s really the tale of the game right there is those plays. Atlanta stepped up and made the plays in those situations and we did not. You throw in the three turnovers in there, but the two turnovers in the first half… That was just kind of the way it went. If we could have executed better in those circumstances on the crucial plays of the game, we could have made it a tighter game and put ourselves in a chance to win, but we did not. The second half, again, we drove down there, got an opportunity to score and couldn’t convert on a third or fourth down and got no points. At that point, we were just running out of time. Q: Are you guys a little bit confused about which team is going to show up every Sunday?
A: No. We could have executed better. I think it’s just a matter of certain plays. If you look at the first half, having 200 yards of total offense and getting down there having good drives, we just didn’t finish. That’s just a part of football and each week it can be a matter of certain plays that can dictate the game and how things turn and obviously we didn’t play our best. There’s things we've got to improve on, things we’ll work on to get better, but it’s not going to change our desire, our focus this week to prepare and go out there and try to put ourselves in a chance to win games. Q: How is the team’s confidence?
A: The confidence is great. Your confidence is high because of the coaches that we have, the character of the players we have, the talent of the players we have and our preparation will be good. We’re going to have a chance to go out there and perform well.
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RB AHMAD BRADSHAWQ: How are you feeling?
A: I’m feeling good. It’s a new week. We just want to move on from this game and I’m just disappointed not to be out there with my teammates yesterday. Q: How hard was it to sit home and watch that?
A: That’s tough. You just can’t do anything about it. As bad as I wanted to try, I just did the smartest thing and waited till this week. Q: Tom said it’s a knee sprain. Is it the MCL?
A: It’s one of them.
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