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Giants react to 23-20 loss to the Falcons

HEAD COACH PAT SHURMUR

On the game:

Tough ball game. I think when you look at it defensively, I think they had 100 yards of offense and a touchdown on three plays. I thought our guys battled. We’ve got to do a little better job on third downs. They were 7-for-13. It’s not good enough. That extends drives. From an offensive perspective, we’ve got to score touchdowns when we get down there. Again, we did a good job moving the ball. We’ve got to score touchdowns, and I’m sure you’ll have some questions about the two-point play. I just felt like, we’d discussed internally the math on that. I felt like we had a good play, and I liked our two-point play selections, and we just didn’t quite get it done, but at the end there you saw, had they not kicked the field goal, I felt good about our second two-point play which we scored on at the end, so I felt like I wanted to be aggressive for our guys. You saw where I went for it on fourth down, we’re struggling to move the ball, we were that close. Again, we felt like we had a play. Initially, I thought Odell had popped open from my view. The coverage was probably a little tighter than what I had seen, so Eli extended the play a little bit. You saw that he had run on one of the nakeds earlier in the drive maybe thinking he could run and then it was a little tighter coverage on the rest of the guys, so we didn’t get it done. Again, shouldn’t be any questions on how hard our guys fight, and we’ve just got to execute better. We’ve got to get in the end zone at a higher percentage, and we got to eliminate the big plays. So those are things we can point to as we move forward. We are doing the math. We’re getting ready to play the Washington Redskins in about six days, so that’s where we’re at.

On the advantage of going for the two-point play:

“You increase your chances by 50-percent if you go for it and make it there, so that’s what you do. Because then if you score a touchdown, we just kick the extra point and win. I felt good about the two-point play. You guys saw that, I think we got the ball in there, right? And we just didn’t connect on it. And again, I think it’s an aggressive approach. I’m going to take myself back to the one game we didn’t use timeouts before the halftime. I told you I’d never do that again, and I think from a head coaching perspective, I want to be aggressive for our guys.”

On Eli Manning running for two sneaks:

“Got to get them in. Sneak it from the one. Again, I just saw a mush pile there, so I don’t know why it didn’t work, but from the one-yard line there, we’ve got to get it in. We did.”

On whether he would prefer to pass in that fourth down situation:

“No. You should be able to convert on the sneak, and we’ve all seen him do that, and for whatever reason, we didn’t get it done.”

On not going with the QB sneak for fourth down:

“We were a little farther out there. We were on the left hash, and we had a play that I like going to the right. That play had been successful for us. We could talk about every play, the ones that worked and didn’t. There were a lot of plays that worked well, and in that situation, we tried to get Saquon [Barkley] around, with a little shift in motion. It didn’t happen, so you move on to the next play. That’s pretty obvious.”

On tweaks at offensive line to give Eli Manning enough time:

“I’ll have to look at it. I thought early in the game probably, I thought the protection was better later in the game than early. New guys in there, battling. Somebody asked me this week about developing players. Well, they’re out there getting development. We slide new guys in there, and we go.”

On Eli being a stronger player in the second half:

“No, we just kept playing, kept fighting. We hit on more things in the second half than we did the first.”

On whether too much pressure is on the defense:

“No, no, no. We’re not putting anything… the offense is charged to score touchdowns every time they touch the ball. It’s not like we’re not trying to score to put pressure on the defense. I think that’s, bear with me, I think that’s a crazy assertion. We’re trying to go out and stop them on defense, and we’ve got to do a better job of getting it in the end zone on offense.”

On Eli’s choices on the fourth down play:

“There’s four eligible receivers in that area. A guy running to the corner, a guy in the flat – that was Odell [Beckham Jr.]. A slant flat is coming in his side view, and then you have an over out. There are four choices there, plus he can use his legs. That’s sort of why we like that play.”

On the third-and-two play:

“We thought it was man, and we got zone and Saquon got knocked back. That was a bad one. Anyone want to ask me about a good one? Let’s talk about that.”

On the first half play to Odell in the end zone:

“It looked like, just from my view, it looked like Odell got stuck coming out of his ride a little bit. I’m not so sure he didn’t get grabbed, and Eli tried to put it out in front. We just didn’t connect on it.”

On what he said to the team following the game:

“That’s for me to tell them, but my big thing to players is you just keep playing. Someday we won’t be able to coach and play, and so while we’re doing it, you fight your ass off to do whatever you can to win a game, and they did that tonight. We just didn’t do some things well enough, so you just keep going. It sounds like one would say that a lot, so you just keep going.”

On whether he worries about seeing the same thing over:

“No, I don’t worry about that, no. Did our guys not play hard? Did our guys not fight till the end? Did our guys do a lot of good things but not enough to win? Yes. So the encouragement is to keep doing it and do more things right. Done. That’s it. That’s the message as you move forward. And right is right. We’ve got to do enough to win a game.”

On Eli’s immobility hindering the offense in regard to the scramble prior to the fourth-down play:

“No. So it was a naked. I called a naked, and they covered it, and then Eli took off, and he was real close to the end zone there. I thought Eli did a good job on that play. But like a lot of things in that game, we fell about this far short. We wouldn’t be talking about all this other stuff had he gotten in, but that’s if dog, rabbit, I mean what are you going to do.”

On Janoris Jenkins helping on the long post:

“No, he’s got to squeeze that post there.”

On the status of Eli Apple:

“He’s fine. He hurt himself, then he came back in. He played the whole second half. He was out there.”

QUARTERBACK ELI MANNING

On overall offensive performance:

“We have to find a way to score touchdowns when we get down there to the red zone. Setting up for field goals and the one time not getting anything that’s just what’s hampering us. That’s been the last couple of games. You get down there it just changes everything when you get touchdowns. You put a little pressure on the team and get a little more momentum. We would’ve tied the game or got the lead in a few scenarios.”

On the fourth down play in the first half:

“Just a little a bootleg moment. Looked back and thought maybe I could get it to Odell [Beckham Jr.], see if he could get it and make some ground but obviously, we had some other guys coming across that could work for me but that’s who I was looking at.”

On the first two-point conversion play:

“You know we like a two-point play. We were close to hitting that one and we have to execute that a little bit better. Coach says we go for two, we go for two.”

On his two quarterback sneak plays:

“We’ve been pretty good with the sneaks all year. In that scenario, we tried to surprise them and just get that one-yard with the sneak. We just didn’t have success with it.”

On the play before fourth down in the fourth quarter:

“For a little bit, we had gotten down to crunch time. I didn’t think we were going to get in so I didn’t want to reach the ball and risk a fumble or anything so I did as much as I could to give us a chance on third down to hopefully get in.”

On his frustration:

“A lot of big plays and good things. We get down there in the red zone and we just can’t keep settling for field goals. We have to finish. That has been the theme of the year. We’ve been close in a lot of games, a lot of scenarios and a lot of drives but we’re not finishing the game strong, we’re not finishing drives. Just the execution is not exactly where it needs to be so we’ll just keep fighting.”

On what he needs to improve:

“I’m not looking at the whole season but just try to make good decisions. Whether I need to move in the pocket or buy time. Just make good decisions.”

On his thoughts of being 1-6 this season second year in a row:

“I’m not worried about years in a row. Just shocked to be here again this year. The way we work and the players we have, I’m honestly disappointed but that’s what happens when you don’t play to the caliber that we can and we’re not doing that.”

On his role with keeping the team on track:

“I think we have good players, good character guys. It’s tough on everybody. It’s not easy we just have to keep going. We have a short week this week but we have a game in the division against a team who is leading the division right now so obviously, nobody is running away with this thing but we’re running out of time. We have to get going and we can’t settle for almost anymore.”

On how he screens out the negativity from the outside:

“Worry about the things you can control. That’s always what you can do and all I can control is getting ready to play the next game.”

RUNNING BACK SAQUON BARKLEY

On the running game:

“Got to give credit where credit is due. The Falcons played a great defensive game today. They had a good game plan [defending] the run game. We couldn’t quite get it going like we did last week, but we were able to make plays in other places. We’ve just got to find a way to finish and grind out the win.”

On the offense’s halftime adjustments:

“We came in at halftime, and we just saw what we needed to do better. We came out, and we just executed better in the second half than we did in the first half. We still have room for improvement there. That’s kind of just the moral of our season. We’re a talented group that plays hard. We’ve just got to find a way to finish games and execute our plays. We did a better job in the second half than we did in the first half, but for us to grow as a team, we’ve got to execute the whole four quarters.”

On his touchdown run:

“We ran a sweep. They set the edge pretty well. They got a little penetration. I tried to get vertical. A guy made a tackle. We had a good call, and we just didn’t execute the next play.

WIDE RECEIVER ODELL BECKHAM JR.

On whether his frustration is mounting:

“I don’t really know if it’s frustration as much as it’s we just all want to win. It’s the little things, the little pieces that you’ve got to put together. The little things are the difference between winning and losing. We just haven’t found a way to put it all together. I don’t feel like we’re a 1-6 team. That’s what our record is, but that’s not the feeling in the locker room. That’s not the feeling when you go out on the field. That’s just not the feeling. It’s reality, but it’s just not the way it feels.”

On how the team moves forward:

“I think that’ll be the true test of your character, the grit, the determination. The ultimate measure of a man is how he stands in moments of challenge and controversy. Who you are when things are going well is not a true testament to your character. It’s when times are like this. I hate saying this, but we’ve just got to keep working and just got to keep fighting. You’ve got to keep your hard hat on and keep digging. You never know how close you are unless you stop digging. That’s all we can do. We put ourselves in a hole. Dig yourself out.”

On how the defense plays off the offense:

“I don’t really know. I don’t know if when we’re down two scores, what the defense on the other side is thinking. Are they thinking they’re relaxed or…? I don’t know. I just know that we’ve got to pull it together. Like I said, just keep grinding. That’s it. Just keep working and keep digging. That’s all you can do. I can’t help thinking about the two-point conversion. If we complete and if I catch it, it’s 20-14. Is the defense on the other side like, ‘Let’s go. We need one stop. That’s it. I know they’re going to score again.’ You can’t think about the if, but I do. What if, and that’s something that I have to go home with tonight. That’s tough, but it’s part of life. Like I said, we just didn’t do enough to get the win.”

WIDE RECEIVER BENNIE FOWLER III

On the offense’s mindset in the red zone:

“I mean you want to get it in the end zone. That’s what you’re trying to do, but if it doesn’t happen you’ve got to be able to settle down. Whenever you’re in the red zone, you’ve got to be able to flip a switch and get in the end zone. We didn’t do that.”

On whether the execution has to be more precise in the red zone:

“Yeah, I mean it has to amp up even more. Just a notch from when you’re on the field. Touchdowns are what’s going to win you games in this league. If you settle for a field goal or whatever, it’s not enough to win games.”

TIGHT END EVAN ENGRAM

On the difficulty of being 1-6:

“We’re in this. We can’t go anywhere. We can’t just quit on the season. It’s definitely somewhere we don’t want to be, but we’ve got to keep working. We have no choice.” 

On what it will take to get the team back on track:

“We know we have talent. We’re doing things. We’re just not putting the big picture together. That’s what’s frustrating. Like I said, we’re in it and can’t go anywhere. We’re just going to keep working, and it will eventually pop.”

OFFENSIVE LINEMAN SPENCER PULLEY

On his first game as the starting center:

“Obviously, it wasn’t good enough. We didn’t play good enough to get the win, but we did some good things. Obviously, we did some bad things. We will have to watch the film to see what was going on. The run game has obviously got to be better, and that’s something we got to work on. We need to be more in sync as an offensive line, I think. That’s something we’re going to have to watch and learn as a group.”

On whether there were positives to build on despite the loss:

“I have all the confidence in this group. We have all the confidence in one another. This is a tough group all around. As a team, we keep saying we’re close, but you’ve just got to execute better on the little things. It’s in there though. It is definitely in there. We have to go in tomorrow, watch the film, and figure it out together.”

CORNERBACK JANORIS JENKINS *
On Marvin Hall’s touchdown reception:
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“We had a roll coverage. We were playing where the safety pops out to the corner, and I pop out to the half. They ran a corner-post and threw it to the far hash and caught the ball.”

On whether he has any regrets about the Marvin Hall touchdown:
“I think I have to stay further inside, but it was just a good play call by them. I got to do better on my end and just move forward.”

*
On the defensive performance today:
*
“We were in it. That is all we can do as a defense. Play defense, get three and outs, and continue to play football.”

On whether a forced fumble can turn the game in a different direction:
“It can. Like I just said you got to keep playing, keep fighting, and understand it’s football. Stuff is going to happen, just keep fighting.”

*
On how it feels to be 1-6 for the second year in a row:
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“It doesn’t feel right. Whatever we got to do, we got to do in order to get over the hump. We got to play better overall as a team and get over this stage. Once we get over that stage, I think we will be okay.”

LINEBACKER KAREEM MARTIN

On what he can take away from this game:

“It’s tough. We contained them for most parts of the game, but there were a couple of plays that got away from us.”

On stopping QB Matt Ryan:

“He is one of the elite quarterbacks. We’ve got to keep constant pressure and be great in coverage because he can make all the throws and he likes to spread the ball around.”

On whether the Falcons changed anything to slow down the pass rush in the second half:

“Yeah, probably. [They] had a few more chippers and a little more bootleg action to kind of slow the rush down and keep you guessing. We just didn’t get as cranked up as we had in the first half.”

On the defense’s play:

“We’ll look at the film. As a defense, we played really well for the majority of the game. There’s a handful of plays that got away from us. That’s something we can hang our hat on and keep going back to work to eliminate the other few plays to keep the score low and win some games.”

CORNERBACK ELI APPLE

On how the team can improve:

“Just keep going harder. Keep working harder. That’s all I can say.”

On his fumble recovery:

“I should’ve kept running. I don’t know how that works. I think they blew the play dead, so technically I can’t advance it. Just another fumble recovered. I thought it was going to be a big momentum swing to get us going. We need to get more turnovers.”

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