HEAD COACH BEN McADOO:
“Alright, tough way to end the season. Give Green Bay credit, they played well tonight. We struggled to play complete team football in all three phases and we didn’t handle the ball particularly well.”
(on what he told the team after the game) “I think they fought hard, but we didn’t play well enough. Give Green Bay credit, they played better than we did tonight.”
(on the season as a whole) “It’s a little early for that. Nobody is happy about anything right now.”
(on dropped passes) “We didn’t handle the ball particularly well tonight. We didn’t handle the ball well enough to win against a good team.”
(on strong defensive start) “The field position got away from us a little bit. We put the defense in some tough spots. They fought hard, but against a team like that, against a quarterback like that, you can’t keep giving them chances.”
(on Odell Beckham’s play) “I’m not sure how many targets Odell had. I thought we had the opportunity to give him the ball a few times. Ball skills weren’t great today. I thought Eli (Manning) was fairly sharp throwing it, but in the elements you have to handle the ball better.”
(on Beckham’s effort) “I think he played with tremendous effort. I wouldn’t say he didn’t play with effort. We just have to handle the football better.”
(on the weather effecting the dropped passes) “That’s no excuse. Both teams were playing in it.”
WIDE RECEIVER ODELL BECKHAM JR.
(on the game as a whole) “There was a lot of opportunities early on. Football is really a game of momentum. We had a couple of chances, you know, instead of having six points, have 14 points, early on in the game. You put the pressure on them. We didn’t come out and really make those plays. We ended up with only 13 points. There was so many opportunities in the game for it to go the other way. But, at the end of the day, you’re playing the Green Bay Packers, you’re playing Aaron Rodgers, you’re playing a team who was, I don’t know what their record was, four and six or whatever they had to do to get all the way and they won six straight. And, unfortunately, they’ve won seven straight. This is a team we knew coming in was a red-hot team. Kind of played it the same way they did the first game, as far as finding ways to eliminate the routes, cutting off with a corner on the inside, a safety over the top. We had a couple of chances early in the game where they kind of caught us by surprise with one-high. It’s a game of inches. We were just inches short on some of these plays, inches away from big plays. This being the first time being in the playoffs. I’ve lost a national championship at home in the Superdome, never had the opportunity to even play there. Lost bad. These are the learning experiences, as tough as they are. This is what you stand on and you grow from. It sucks. There’s no other way to put it. It sucks. It’s a horrible feeling. And truly, I didn’t see the game going this way. Going into half, we’re down 7-6. They just chuck one up. They score. As much as you don’t want to pretend it doesn’t matter, that’s huge. That’s tough, and you can kind of feel it. It’s unfortunate, you know. I had a lot of fun with this team. 6-10, 6-10, 11-5; I guess the only thing that really sucks about it is that you have to wait 365 days to be here. And I don’t think you can really appreciate all the hard work and everything that you did all year to get to this point when a game goes this way and it happens like this. But, you’ve got to credit the Packers. They came out and did exactly what they had to do. They played an incredible game and they coached well. They made plays when need be. It’s just unfortunate.”
(on speculations that trip to Miami led to poor performance) “That sounds typical to me. At the end of the day, I went through practice, had zero drops, zero missed assignments. There was nothing that could connect seven days ago to today and how we played and executed. There’s just nothing in the world. That’s not realistic. I think it did a great job. It created distractions for us. It’s unfortunate and that’s just the way this world is. There’s just no way you could connect something that happened seven days ago to this game today and how we came out and played and how the Packers have won seven in a row and how they scored 38 points and how they executed and came up with the third downs. They did what they needed to do. The connection is just not there, in my opinion. But everybody’s going to have their own opinion.”
QUARTERBACK ELI MANNING
(on Odell Beckham after the game) “Odell is an emotional guy. He was disappointed. I saw him with his head down and disappointed, but there’s a lot of guys who will shed a tear or two today. When you lose a playoff game, and for a lot of guys it’s their first time in the playoffs, and to have the season abruptly end like that is shocking. Everybody handles it differently.”
(on missed opportunities during the first two drives) “I don’t think it took anything out of us. We would’ve liked to have gotten touchdowns there, but that’s football. You keep playing and I thought we hung in there tough. Had a lot of decent drives going, we just didn’t make some key plays at times, whether it’s third downs or some shots in the end zone or some other opportunities that we didn’t execute well enough. From all points offensively, we didn’t score enough points and kept them in the game and then they did a good job. They had a good plan and they didn’t give us many big plays. We had a couple opportunities, took some shots down the field, we just didn’t connect on them.”
(on this game being a missed opportunity in the playoffs) “It’s always disappointing, but it’s a process. When you have a young team like we do, a lot of guys making the playoffs for the first time, I think you have to look at it as a learning situation for those guys on how to deal with this. How to deal with the playoffs. How to get your mind right and don’t make it too big so you can go out there and have your best performances in these games. Obviously, from my standpoint, we have to keep working and hopefully get more opportunities.”
SAFETY LANDON COLLINS
(on the Hail Mary) “I was surprised that he (Randall Cobb) caught the ball and stayed in bounds because that’s going to be a great play. That’s what great players do. That’s what he’s built to do: get the ball and try to bring it down. He did a great job is what he did.
(on being surprised Randall Cobb was able to stay in bounds on the Hail Mary) “I mean, yeah. I mean, like you said, that ball was overthrown. The ball was really in the back of the end zone and we didn’t think anybody had a chance to get it, but he’s (Randall Cobb) in there to play.”
(on Aaron Rodgers’ play) “He’s just making plays. In this game, he needed a little bit of luck. He had that on his side. He made those plays and he made it count every time.”
LINEBACKER JONATHAN CASILLAS:
(on Odell Beckham's highly publicized recent trip to Miami) "He didn't have the game that he wanted to have. I know that for sure. He had a couple of dropped passes and I am sure you guys are going to get after him a bit. I guess that comes with the territory. I don't question his focus or his loyalty to the team either. The guy was so fired up before the game. He was emotional about it and that had nothing to do with last week. That is just the type of person that he is. The way that he was prepared for the game emotionally might have been too much for him. It happens every now and again. You have to have somebody like that who is an emotional spark for the team."
(on the Hail Mary to Randall Cobb) "It gave them the momentum. Defensively, when you play a half like we did, we felt like we were getting after him and breaking up some passes. We had things pretty much on lock to a certain extent. We came out ready to play in the second half, but he (Aaron Rodgers) took advantage of some of our coverages on the back end while extending plays."
(on the challenge of stopping Rodgers) "It is tough. There is no hidden agenda on what they are doing. We all knew how to stop him. We did a good job of it early, and we didn't do a good job in the second half. It was a tale of two halves."
(on Rodgers' mobility) "That is what he does. He has been doing that his whole career. We knew that we had to be on point. In the first half, we were getting sacks and covering guys. In the second half, that wasn't the case. He was holding the ball a little bit longer and the receivers were getting a little more open so we had to cover a little longer. Aaron Rodgers was Aaron Rodgers today. He played a lights out game. We knew what we had to do to beat him and we didn't do it."
(on he if was surprised at how well Green Bay's offense played without Jordy Nelson) "No, because they still have the best player in the NFL, or a top five player or whatever you want to call him. When he (Rodgers) is healthy and doing what he is doing, anything is possible. We knew that and we didn't stop him."
RUNNING BACK RASHAD JENNINGS:
(on the loss) "We know where we stumbled. One mistake here, one mistake there. We weren't able to overcome those mistakes early in the game. We put our defense in tough situations. We knew coming into this game specifically that we had to score points because they have a great offense and we would have to put up points and we didn't do it."
(on the missed offensive opportunities) "We didn't execute. We had plays and we had opportunities for success, but we stalled out a couple of times. A penalty here and a penalty there put us in some first and longs, second and longs, and then we would end up short by a yard or two and have to punt. Those are things that really eat at you when you sit down in the locker room and analyze it. Give credit to them, too. They made enough plays on defense to keep us off the field. We didn't maximize our opportunities so we only have ourselves to look at."
(on if the team thought they could make a long run in the playoffs) "Absolutely. We had the team to do it. We had the leadership to do it. We had the defense to do it. We had the coaching staff to do it. We had everybody in place and we stalled out against a team we played earlier in the year. We came here twice and lost. That is hard to swallow, especially in the playoffs. It is tough. You work so hard in OTAs and training camp. You put yourself in a position to play in a 17th game. The adrenaline, the excitement, everything is there. It is a tough loss to take because we know it is the end of our season."
WIDE RECEIVER STERLING SHEPARD:
(on New York's offense) "We need to get things going early and that is something we need to take into next season and keep that momentum going."
(on the cold elements) "We weren't going to let that affect us. It was cold. Your fingers are cold. Everything is cold, but we have been playing this game since we were little so that wasn't a factor."