Head Coach Tom Coughlin
Obviously very, very difficult to discuss or talk about. There aren't a lot of words to – even for our team, for them to take a hold of other than the fact that we have two games to play, we've got to win two games. The explanation for this I think: 24-3, 31-10, the game is never over until it's over and we talked long and hard about their fourth quarters. They've had a lot of very strong comeback wins in the fourth quarter, certainly not to that extent, but a running quarterback – we got him third down and he gets outside us and we're coming off the edge. He's supposed to keep the ball inside you, he gets outside and runs halfway down the field and then runs the next play and just takes the ball and runs up the middle of the field. That's as frustrating as it gets to anybody – a defensive team or anyone – to be in position and to be doing what your responsibilities are and the quarterback just slithers his way out of there or he ducks down or however he did it, he made huge plays against us and put them in position. I'll take full responsibility for that last play: the young punter was told to punt it out of bounds and he got a high snap and didn't feel like he could and we all learned the hard way again. At that point in the game with (Jackson) back there, you don't punt into that.
Q: The onsides kick play?
A: We talked about the onside kick as a possibility. We didn't put our hands team in there, no. There were still seven and a half minutes to go and they were down two scores, so we didn't think it was necessary to do that at that time. There was no reason for us not to make a better play on the ball. We didn't have anybody even around the ball.
Q: Did you feel a momentum shift after the Celek touchdown?
A: I think there was very much a concern on my part as to how fast they went down the field. That's not what the intent was. Even if you bleed them and they score, you do have the advantage of the clock, but that didn't happen, so we tried to settle them all down and we had an opportunity to come back out and we had the ball and we were 10 yards away from a field goal with a seven-point lead on second down and five and we had a penalty. The previous series we had a sight adjustment that the quarterback was looking for something to happen there and it didn't happen and we had to punt the ball, but I really did feel like we were going to take the ball down in position for a field goal with the drive that subsequently had the penalty and ended up being punted.
Q: What was the upside to not putting in the hands team?
A: The upside is to try to get field position for your offensive team. Seven and a half minutes to go, let's have a return and position – we had been doing a good job returning. Danny was knocking the ball out. However, all people up front, again, were told to watch out for the onside kick.
Q: They looked like they –
A: I don't know what it looked like. I'm just telling you that they were alerted to it. Obviously we didn't challenge it.
Q: Did Vick wear your defense down?
A: I don't think so. Frustration more than anything else. The week before he had eight carries for 16 yards or six for 18 yards or something like that. He had been pounded pretty good and we were getting after him.
Q: Is this the most disappointing?
A: I've never been around anything like this in my life. It's about as empty as you get to feel in this business, right there.
Q: Was there a sense of nervousness on the sidelines?
A: I didn't sense anything except we weren't stopping them and up and down the field they went and they did it with a pass that covered a tremendous amount of yardage in no time and they did it with a couple of quarterback runs that put the ball from the minus-nine or 10 to midfield. They were huge chunks. We didn't tackle. We had a chance to tackle 87 on the long play and we didn't do it.
Q: Was it disappointing for the offense to lose momentum like that and have that penalty?
A: That was it. That was what I'm talking about. That wasn't Diehl's fault. We were trying to move some people around to better pick up the pressure off of the corner and for whatever reason, we just blanked out on it.
Q: What happened on the throw to Nicks on third down?
A: On the pressure? He was anticipating that the receiver would adjust a certain way and it didn't happen. It was an all-out blitz. Everybody in the ballpark could see it.
Q: You said you had no words. What did you tell your guys?
A: I did. I had words for them, but I told them exactly what I just told you. It was a very difficult game for anyone to explain and I gave them the 24-3 and the 31-10 and then I came back and said, "Hey, we're men. There's no lower feeling." Honestly we did work very hard this week – they worked hard. The players were very, very much into this game. This was about as exciting and excited a group as I've been around in a long time. They really looked forward to playing and they were excited at halftime – everybody was talking about just finishing the game – nothing-nothing, 30 minutes to go. As I said, we talked about all of that. We have two games to go and we have to win two games.
Q: How will you get them to recover?
A: We'll bounce back. We'll bounce back.
Q: What was different in the last seven minutes?
A: They ran the quarterback up and down the field. That's what they did differently.
Q: Why was he able to?
A: Because we were rushing the passer and the quarterback quite frankly looked to me like he was looking to run.
Q: Have you ever faced anyone like him?
A: I've coached against two or three quarterbacks that were very good in terms of their ability to run as well as throw the ball. (Steve) McNair was like that. In the two minute drill if you got off in coverage, he would run, if you got up and pressed, he would throw the ball. There have been two or three guys over the years that have played like that. The way in which it worked for them today…when you have a quarterback and you prepare to keep that quarterback inside and in front and even with pressures off the edge, he gets outside of it. His touchdown run, we were pressuring and we came up the field on the angle holding him outside in and he got underneath us for a while. On the long run on the other end out to midfield we were coming off the corner again and he got outside of us on that one. He was able to do a couple of things.
Q: Were you satisfied with Dodge's explanation?
A: There was no explanation. It's a team game. There isn't any one guy – it should have never come down to that. Without a doubt it should have never come down to that, but it did and at that point in time with 14 seconds, you're going to punt the ball out of bounds, you're going to get one play and you defend the one play and you go into overtime. It didn't have to end the way it did either.
Q: After the first half, did your defense change or did Vick adjust?
A: Well, up until the time it was 31-10, I thought our defense was – even though there were some moments on their one touchdown – I thought we regrouped and we were doing a good job. From that point on we obviously had difficulty.
QB Eli Manning
How tough was the end of that game?
Yeah it is a tough one. We did some good things and came out and got off to a good start in the first half. Got a touchdown in the fourth quarter, had a good lead, we just didn't finish well. We didn't finish well in every aspect, all categories. When the pressure was on and we needed to get something going and needed some plays, needed another score, we weren't able to do it. We had our opportunities, we had our chances; we didn't play well down the stretch and they did. They played great and that was the difference.
What happened on the third down play to Derek Hagan?
Just a blitz zero. Just an all-out blitz. We kind of worked on an answer for that and we didn't get it executed so it is just frustrating because he has worked on it. We have worked with Hakeem (Nicks) being in the slot. I don't know if it would have been executed or would have been the perfect play, but we would have had a better shot than having to throw it away.
Did you feel the mood change any after the Brent Celek touchdown?
No, I didn't feel the mood change. They got within 14 points; we still had eight minutes left. Offensively we knew we had to go get another score, get a field goal or at least hold the ball or do something and we didn't do that. Right there our second to last drive we had a couple first downs, moving the ball pretty good, had a second-and-five and from that time on we didn't do anything offensively. We jump offsides, we run the ball for a little bit, we don't convert on a third down. That is bad football. Under pressure, with a chance to win the game, you have to make plays, but more importantly you can't mess up. You can't screw up, you can't have mistakes, and that is where we had mistakes right there when we had a chance to run out the clock.
How hard is this loss going to be to recover from?
Well it is one game. We look at it, we look at the good things we did. We moved the ball; we scored 31 points, some good things offensively. We just have to fix some of the mistakes that we had. Turning the ball over, two turnovers. I can't have that and they get a touchdown off one of them in the third quarter. We know we have two games left. We have to win the next two. We have to go to Green Bay, a good team, and we have to find a way to get a win there. That will solve some issues, that will solve some problems. We know our goal. We have to get into the playoffs, that is the ultimate goal. We still have a shot and that is all you want. You want a shot to get in and it is going to come down to how you finish and we have to finish strong.
Have you ever been a part of anything like this?
No, not quite. Not quite. You just kind of wish you had a shot. You had a shot to get it into overtime. They had good momentum, let's get the ball and we were driving the ball well at times also. We didn't get our shot, but we should have taken advantage at the time. We had three timeouts, a minute and change left, we have to go get a field goal at the end of the fourth quarter and we go three and out with nothing. That is on us.
Is the main emotion as you are walking off the field shock?
Yeah, just shock. Just unbelievable. Just kind of how did that happen? You are kind of feeling good right there, you score a touchdown, you are up 21 in the fourth quarter feeling pretty good about your situation where you are and then all of a sudden just everything went downhill. Everything that could probably go wrong went wrong and you can't have that. That is why you play 60 minutes of football. We played a good 52 minutes and the eight other minutes we gave it to them. It wasn't like they went out and just dominated us, we gave them the victory.
How did it feel to have Shaun O'Hara back in the lineup?
Good to have Shaun and the whole crew back. They did a good job with pass protection and sorting things out. They did a good job today.
The last time you were in Green Bay was another must-win situation in the NFC Championship game. Is there any excitement to get back to Green Bay?
Well again, these are big games. Today was a big game. We did some things well, we just didn't finish strong. We have to make sure we learn from that and next week it is just as big of a game, if not more important at this point. So we have to make sure we have a great week of practice, we are focused, and we are determined to put this one behind us. We learn from it, we can't get down; we can't start doubting or have this linger on any longer past the next day or two. We have to get back to working and make sure we get better and go in and make sure we get a win week.
DE Justin Tuck
Q: Are there any words to describe the last 8 minutes of the game?
A: You got any? I'm searching. I've never been part of anything like this.
Q: What was the mood like after the (Brent) Celek touchdown and the onside kick recovery?
A: It was still kind of light. We thought about making a stop and getting the offense back on the field, and running the clock out. Never did we think that they were going to have the opportunity to come back like they did.
Q: Did the defense do anything different or did (Michael) Vick just….?
A: He has my vote for MVP. He really showed up in the fourth quarter; more with his legs than earlier in the game. He made plays, we didn't. I give those guys a lot of credit, they stuck in there, it was 31 to 10 in the fourth quarter, to be able to come back like that, it showed a lot of heart, it showed a lot of guts from them. Anytime you're in a situation like that, our defense has to step up and find a way to get a stop there and we weren't able to.
Q: On the (Brent) Celek TD, it looked like you were covering him, was that by design? What happened on that play?
A: Well, I had underneath. Our safety didn't make the tackle and get lined up. He gets paid to make plays and Celek made a great play and it was off to the races.
Q: Have you ever been part of a loss like this?
Q: Did you ever think that you guys would just get the momentum back?
A: Yea. I mean after the onside kick we felt as though we would go back out and stop them and be right back where we wanted to be. After that score, you kind of felt like then that the tide was turning and obviously you try to scramble and get it back but they made plays. They made a lot of good plays down at the end of the football game. Give those guys credit, man. It would be easy for me to sit up here and say we're all the reason why we lost it but they had to make plays to win it, and they did.
Q: Is it hard to believe that could happen to your defense? (Michael Vick's success in the 4th quarter)
A: It was tough. We kind of got into some prevent defenses early in the fourth quarter, kind of a bend but don't break. He didn't have anywhere to throw the ball on a couple of those plays and obviously him being the athlete he is, he made something out of it. So give him a lot of credit man, he put his team on his back and really carried them to a victory.
Q: What do you say to the guys as you prepare for Green Bay?
A: What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, and we're not dead. We've got two more to go and we've still got a great opportunity to make the playoffs. Once you get there you never know what's going to happen. I'm not as mad about this game as people might think, just because I'm looking forward to the next one. That's what you have to do, you can't allow yourself to get caught up in the emotions of this one and not be ready for Green Bay. We've got another tough place to play next week.
Q: How tough is it for the defense to turn right around and come back out after the onside kick?
A: No excuses. We've had situations where we've had to come right back out after turnovers, same situation.
Q: Describe your feelings watching that punt return at the end?
A: I can't really do that. No words.
Q: Would you like to see this team again?
Q: Do you think you will?
A: I hope so.
Q: Is there a point when you feel that the design of the defense starts to break down?
A: Definitely, because they have so many weapons on offense: Desean (Jackson), (Jeremy) Maclin, (Brent) Celek, (LeSean) McCoy out of the backfield, (Jason) Avant. All of those guys are very athletic and can hurt you in their own ways. There was a lot of attention being paid to them and once you see Vick running and you have to come off of a Desean Jackson, obviously you're going to be out of position. He can make you look bad in situations like that, even cornerbacks, he's one of the fastest guys on the football field and he showed that. It's just tough, obviously I'm on the D-line and I've got to do a better job of getting in there and run at him. Like I said, he made the plays and we didn't.
Q: How devastated is that locker room?
A: It's devastated and it should be. We let one slip out of our hands. We had an opportunity to basically seal up the NFC East today, had it and lost it. I know that team, we'll bounce back, we'll be ready to play next week and we'll move forward.
Q: How was your role changing in the 4th quarter with the prevent defense? Did you drop back in coverage a little more?
A: A little bit, I don't think it changed anything though. I dropped some earlier in the game too so. It's just that they made some plays, obviously we had our defenses, and they had great calls against them and we played them well. But the X factor today was (Michael) Vick, you can't really shut him down all game, he showed that today. He started running with his legs and that really got us trying to scramble up front and more trying to spy him up front than rush him, and that kind of took us out of our game. Again, I give them a world of credit, they made the plays and we didn't.
Q: Was the energy of (Michael) Vick surprising, did you feel like you wore him out early?
A: Well you would think that but again, he's a great athlete and he showed it again today. You're right we did hit him a lot; we got some good hits on him, some hard hits. He got up slow some plays, but when your adrenaline starts running like I'm sure his was when they started to come back, you forget about it.
Q: On the defeat and consecutive losses to the Eagles.
A: We're looking forward, that's all I can say about it. We'll find a way to get over this, I guess, jinx of the Eagles. Who knows? Every one of our games against them has been tough nosed games. Our word of the day was resiliency, and they showed a lot of it. So again, we just give ourselves the opportunity to come back and move forward and hopefully get another shot at them.
Q: You've probably heard this already; could you describe what it's like going through a quarter like that?
A: You're right I have heard that question. I'll give you the same answer I gave him. I have no words for it; I'm actually searching, so if any of ya'll have anything for me… let me know.
More Giant Players Postgame Quotes
Corey Webster on today's game:
We have to just finish it out. We have to play 60 minutes. We can't do that against this group, and we let up at the end. We did a lot of good things today. We just didn't close it out. We didn't finish the game. We have to go back to the drawing board. We have two more and it is going to be tough. We have to learn from this. We have a real sour taste in our mouth now. We have to be tough and we have to finish this out.
Chase Blackburn on today's game:
This is disastrous. We were self-destructive today. We knew the on-side was coming. They made a great play. The outcome of this game is hard to explain. \
Shaun O'Hara on today's game:
There isn't any way to describe this. Every guy in this locker room played too hard and gave too much to let something like this happen. I can only speak for the offense, we still had a chance to go out and win the game on that last drive. And we didn't get it done. We are not used to that.
Kevin Boss on today's game:
I'm in disbelief right now; I'm in shock. There were certain plays that led to this but I thought when we got the ball at the end, I thought we had a chance to run the clock out. The mistakes that we made were costly and I'm in disbelief right now.
Deon Grant on today's game:
We had this game. We had this game won. We just didn't close it out.
Barry Cofield on today's game:No words, no explanation. We just have to move on. I felt the momentum changed and it never changed back. We might have had a chance at the end, but we didn't get it done. This is about as bad a loss as you can suffer.
Keith Bulluck on today's game:
When you are a part of it as long as I have been, you see a lot of crazy things. We had control the whole game but that is why this game is so great. You have to play for 60 minutes, because in those 60 minutes anything can happen. I think the onside kick was definitely a big play, because it gave them back-to-back possessions. It never gave our offense a chance to get back on the field and maybe lengthen the lead.
Jonathan Goff on today's game:
You have to play 60 minute, because they are the kind of team that can score at any time of the game and at any place on the field. We just have to finish the game.
P MATT DODGE
Q: Can you describe your emotions right now?
A: Just extremely frustrated. I feel like I had a good game all game, putting it where I wanted to, and sometimes you try so hard to do something – get it out of bounds – and you just lose your head. And that's kind of what happened.
Q: Why did you give Jackson a chance to return the ball there?
A: No, not a chance. I was definitely looking out of bounds the whole way. I got the snap and tried to get it off quick. Not a good time to hit a line drive, that's for sure.
Q: So it was a matter of rushing to get it off quick there?
A: I had plenty of time, just not executing good. There's nothing more you can say. You can't give the most explosive returner in the game a line drive in a situation like that.
Q: How hard do you take this loss? Do you put it all on yourself even if the defense gave up three scores in the last six minutes?
A: I just have to get better. When you need to hit something good – you can hit good punts all game, but when it comes down to it, you just have to learn to calm your nerves and do what you're supposed to do. There's some things I did today that I'm happy with and I'll definitely try and take and learn from.
Q: Did Coach Coughlin personally instruct you to get it out of bounds?
A: I think everyone on that sideline did. And I knew it. He didn't have to tell me. It wasn't rocket science not to kick it to him with 12 seconds left, but sometimes you don't execute as well as you'd like.
Q: Did the high snap have an effect on your punt?
A: No. It didn't pull me off my line. I didn't have to jump crazy for it. I caught it and just didn't get it off.
RB BRANDON JACOBS
Q: How do you put a loss like this behind you?
A: It's hard to put a loss like this behind you. You keep thinking about something like this forever. We had so much on the line, but it's a sport and it happens. You have to bounce back and that's the good thing about it. We have two more games left, so we have an opportunity to bounce back , try to win out, make it an 11-win season and go from there.
Q: Hard to explain the loss after leading 31-10?
A: Yeah. Everybody had that mentality. You just have to go out and play though. You have to go out and play and get it done. We didn't do that as a team. We let them make a foolish play on special teams to win the game. It is what it is, and you have to keep playing as a team and stick together.
Q: Where do you compare this game to other tough losses you've experienced?
A: I've never been through anything worse than this one. That's the way the marbles roll. You just have to keep playing, never give up. The good thing about this sport is there is another game next week.
Q: Is it fair to blame this loss on the rookie punter?
A: No, it's not. You don't blame anybody. We don't point fingers on this football team. We let you guys do all of that. We don't blame Dodge. Dodge kicked the ball, Jackson got it, and it was other guys on that team as well to make the play, to make the tackle to force overtime. It wasn't a great kick, but you can't point your finger at the guy.
LB CHASE BLACKBURN
Q: Talk about the last play of the game:
A: It's terrible when you have something like that happen. We didn't get down the field coverage-wise. We didn't put the ball out of bounds like we wanted to. We didn't get off blocks and no penalties were called.
Q: Coach Coughlin always stresses finishing the game:
A: We definitely didn't. I don't know if you remember Tennessee a few years ago in 2006. With the way we finished that game, I think it's very comparable. This is worse because it's in the division, but very comparable.
Q: Can you put a loss like this behind you at all?
A: That's what tomorrow is about. We watch film, break it down, and find out where things went wrong and get it going. Get back to work on Wednesday and prepare for next week.
Q: What led to the breakdown that put the Eagles back in the game?
A: I don't know what was taking place out there. I really don't. I just know that they were moving the ball and we weren't stopping them. We were getting stopped – their defense stopping our offense. Their special teams stepped up and ours didn't. At the end of the day, that's what it boils down to. I think we played a great three and a half quarters of football but we all know that in this league it takes four quarters to win football games. We didn't do that.
Q: You can't put the entire blame on one punt on Dodge can you?
A: Absolutely not. Not under any means. It should've never got down to that point. The game should have never got down to Dodge's punt. Dodge is a rookie, there is a lot of pressure on him. I'm not saying he's out of the gun on any means because we hold him accountable just as we hold Eli, myself, Tuck, anyone. If he's a rookie and he has to learn that if he's going to be that guy for us, we have to be able to depend on him. He punted the ball, and yeah he should've punted out of bounds, but too many other guys were on the field to make the play. Like I said before, it should've never got down to that point. Never got down there.
Q: What happened in those last eight minutes to let him get outside like that?
A: Your guess is as good as mine. I don't know what was taking place. A lot of times, my back was turned to him and sometimes I was blitzing to the opposite side and I don't know. I don't know how he got free and I would just turn around and see him running. I would be covering my guy down the field and I'd see him running. We'll have to evaluate that once we look at the film come Monday.
WR MARIO MANNINGHAM
Q: What happened out there today?
A: We didn't finish and allow ourselves to get in the position in the fourth quarter. We got in the position to break away but we didn't execute well. It was just a bad fourth quarter. We have to bounce back next week.
DT BARRY COFIELD
Q: How do you bounce back from something like this?
A: You have to work. Go to practice and put this out of your mind. Right now, that's impossible but with time, we can put it out of our minds and move on.
Q: What is it like going through a collapse like that?
A: I think you can imagine what it's like. You work hard in practice and meet hours upon hours to win games so when you lose a game in that fashion, it's obviously very much devastating. You don't want to lose, period. When you lose like that, obviously it hurts more.
LONG SNAPPER ZAK DeOSSIE
Q: How frustrating was that from a special teams standpoint to have a game end with you guys on the field like that?
A: Obviously as a special teams, we would never want it to end on that kind of note. It's a team effort and you can't put all the blame on Dodge and he had a hell of a game today. Unfortunately, it came down to that last play and it was a combination of the perfect storm.
Q: So do you blame Dodge for all this?
A: I've got something to say for him…It should have never come down to him kicking the ball. So he doesn't have any reason to hang his head. Point no fingers at him. It's on the defense. The score was 31-10, eight minutes left, it isn't his fault. I don't even know why you all are interviewing (him). You all should be up there on the defense.
LT DAVID DIEHL
Q: Ever been through a loss that hit you this hard?
A: No, I haven't. It's a tough way to end the game and most importantly, to lose a game. We went out there and fought our asses off. To come up short and to lose the way we did, it's tough but we're definitely going to learn from this one. Make sure that we come tomorrow, watch the game, make sure we learn from this and move forward because this season isn't over with. This next game in Green Bay is huge for us.