Head Coach Pat Shurmur
Opening Remarks: The injuries from the game. Spencer Pulley got a calf, Russell Shepard has something with his leg, I don’t know much about that yet, and then (Antonio) Hamilton got a quad. Didn’t do anything well enough to expect to win, didn’t make plays, we didn’t run the ball, we didn’t stay on the field on offense, we had penalties, so we didn’t play well enough there. I thought on defense, they ran the ball, we didn’t tackle as well as we did in the last few weeks, which extended drives for them, and they beat us. There was a turnover there that turned into points. It was a close game and we just didn’t find (the end zone), and when you don’t get in the end zone, you can’t win. So that’s that.
Q: Any thoughts on the run-pass ratio? You only ran the ball 16 times, including the fake punt. They ran the ball 45 times. What are your thoughts on that?
A: Yeah, my thoughts on that are they were having success running the ball, keeping drives alive, we were struggling to stay on the field, there were some runs in there. Early in the game and throughout the game, we weren’t able to make enough yardage on the runs and so they did a good job, but then when we chose to pass it, we had drops and we did some things that couldn’t keep drives alive.
Q: What did you see as the reasons why the running game wasn’t able to get those first downs?
A: I think early in the game, they defeated us up front a couple times and we just couldn’t get any real traction running the ball. We obviously attempted to do it, and then we didn’t stay on the field on third downs either. Long list of things we didn’t do well that keeps you from running the ball more and getting to some of the things you want to.
Q: Were you impressed in the second half of how your defense fought through adversity to make some stops and give the offense the chance to have the ball?
A: Yeah, I thought we fought through the game. We fought all the way to the end on offense, as well. We just didn’t make enough happen, and so right is right, we didn’t win. We fought, but we didn’t win.
Q: You know there’s a risk-reward when you have a second challenge. What did you see when Henry stepped out of bounds?
A: Yes, I do. I saw obviously that the guy’s foot was out of bounds. When I see it, the explanation I got was, ‘Well, that’s not what the TV had.’ I don’t know where it came from, but I obviously saw that his foot was out of bounds.
Q: So you didn’t see that as a big risk to challenge?
A: No. When you see his foot out of bounds obviously, my view of it was out of bounds -- I think that should be zero risk in my mind.
*Q: First drive of the second half, you get down there and you’re in third down, you’re in field goal range. *
A: We threw an interception.
Q: Would you rather your quarterback make a more conservative decision to get points rather than driving it and turning it over?
A: No. We called a seven-man protection we had a route concept, they did a good job with the coverage, but obviously you don’t want to throw an interception.
*Q: Why not run there and try to get a field goal? *
A: I wanted to throw it there, that’s why.
*Q: That was your whole reasoning behind it? *
A: Yeah, I wanted to throw the ball. We certainly don’t want to throw an interception.
Q: Was that fake punt planned or improvised?
A: Pretty good, he improvised. Worked out well. Sometimes things go your way.
Q: There was a chance for the playoffs if a lot of things happened, now there isn’t. Do you sense a letdown yourself?
A: No. I just came off the field. We fought hard, we didn’t make enough plays to win. Sensing letdowns and all that, we’re not there. I expect this team to come to work tomorrow and get ready to play Indianapolis, who just had a nice victory against Dallas. That’s what I expect. Just like we’ve been trying to do the whole season, we’ll try to keep the noise out and just try to play football.
Q: What did you think of Eli’s performance? How much was the rain a factor as part of his evaluation?
A: Yeah, weather. We need to execute better in the passing game. We had some drops, there were some things that happened on some individual plays that obviously you don’t want to have happen, but we didn’t do well enough.
Q: You guys are eliminated from the playoffs right now with Minnesota’s victory. Any thoughts on how you play the last two games of the season to see some other combinations of players?
A: Certainly we will re-group and try to do what’s best to win the next game. That’s what our focus will be.
Q: You changed your activations of quarterbacks (Tanney up, Lauletta down). What was the thinking behind that?
A: Just felt like he was going to give us the best chance to win. That’s the reason.
Q: Was there anything this week or was it more based on what you saw last week with Kyle (Lauletta)?
A: Everything is connected, so this week, last week, just felt like having Alex (Tanney) up would give us the best chance to win if he had to go in and play.
QB Eli Manning
Q: What happened with the offense today?
A: It was just tough to get things going. Give credit to the Tennessee defense. They played well. They did a good job stopping the run on some early downs. The few times we actually got some things going, we had negative plays, we had penalties where we just could not sustain the drives and keep things going. They played well and we didn’t. We didn’t execute well enough or make the plays we need to make. They just outplayed us.
Q: How much did the penalties hurt just shutting down the drives?
A: I don’t know how many we had, but yes, a couple of costly penalties, especially when we were in their territory. When you get a nasty day and you go back 10 yards, first and 20, second and 20, it is a tough day. It was a tough day to get the ball down the field. Third and long, second and long, it is just a bad situation.
Q: What happened on the interception?
A: It was a good play by them. They were playing in a two-man. I had inside leverage and should have been able to throw a corner route and flatten them. He just had a beat on it and jumped it. He has that half of the field high. He must have just read it. He was able to jump in and make a play.
Q: What were they doing upfront to shut down the running game?
A: Not positive. They just seemed like they were getting some push and some penetration. There were a couple of times where there was just some negative yards right off the go. We were losing five or six yards on the run game. It is tough to play that way.
Q: You had a screen set up to Engram out there and the ball went over his head. Was it the weather?
A: Yes, just came out of my hand funny. Sometimes those short little throws when you have to throw it in a different motion and you get a little wet ball and it just popped out. It was an easy throw. I have to hit that.
Q: How much did you miss Odell in a game like today?
A: You always miss Odell. He is one of our key players and one of our best players. When he is in the game, he makes plays and makes defenses play differently. You always miss your playmakers.
Q: How do you deal with these last two games now that the playoffs are out?
A: We are just going to play. Nothing changes for me. We just have to go play and try and win.
Q: How frustrating is it to go back out on the field and have a three and out over and over?
A: We want to go out there and move the ball. We were not executing. We were not executing, so it was tough to get third downs and it was tough to convert. They did a good job and had some good schemes. We just didn’t execute well enough.
Q: On that last play to Evan Engram, what did you see?
A: Just that he was going through the back of the end zone. I have to get it out there. Bad throw on me. I have to get the ball, get turned and get it up and down before he runs out of bounds, before he goes out of bounds. Just poor throw by me.
Q: What happened on the fumble?
A: I saw Shep there and tried to push it out to him late. It slipped out of my hands. Right there, I have to back up, hold onto the ball and take a sack if I have to. I can’t turn it over and give them that good field position.
Q: It seemed like you were running a bit more today. Was that intentional?
A: No. They did a good job moving around. I tried to get out of the pocket a few times and extend a couple of plays. I got a couple of them but didn’t make enough of them.
Q: Thoughts on missing the playoffs?
A: It hurts. Obviously you want to make the playoffs. We didn’t play well enough early in the year to put ourselves in a good position. I knew we still had a chance if we won out, but we didn’t play well enough today to do that.
Tackle Nate Solder
Q: Did they bring extra guys to the line of scrimmage?
A: Yeah, they had plenty of guys up in there. Stemming the front, moving the front after the snap and then linebackers were playing all over the place, so I’ll analyze it more closely when we watch the film.
Q: Do you think their game plan was to take away Saquon (Barkley) and make you guys beat them through the air?
A: Yeah, I think that’s everyone’s plan, honestly.
Q: How difficult was it with the weather conditions?
A: I don’t even want to make it about that. If you can make plays, it doesn’t matter because they made more plays than we did and they didn’t say nothing about that, so why do we say anything about that?
Q: How are you guys going to handle officially being eliminated?
A: Well, I don’t know how individuals handle it. I know that me and my faith, I play for far more than temporary things. I play for eternal things, so if I have an opportunity, I’m going to give it everything I have, no matter what that is.
Q: Why were you guys not able to get the run game going today?
A: I don’t know. I’m going to have to look at the film, analyze that. I think that we fell right into the Titans’ hand. They have a good team and they’ve had a good strategy all season. That’s how they’ve been winning games.
LB Alec Ogletree
Q: How difficult was [Derrick] Henry to bring down and why was he so successful today?
A: We just didn’t tackle well; I mean, they were going to try to run the ball and they ran the ball and we just didn’t come up to make enough tackles and swarm the ball like we needed to.
Q: Is it a strange feeling because he was getting a lot of yards, but they were not getting a lot of points?
A: I mean, for us, defensively, we just have to go out there and make sure that we don’t give up points and like I said, you want to stop the run-game, but we didn’t do enough of that today.
Q: How difficult is it to officially be eliminated after wining four of the last five [games] to give yourselves a shot?
A: I mean, it’s just how it is; there’s nothing that we can do about it now. We have two weeks left here to finish out the season, so we have to turn our attention to Indy [Indianapolis] next week and get ready to go play.
Q: How do you explain this game after the last five weeks where you have played quite well, winning four of five?
A: It wasn’t the type of game that we wanted to play today; we didn’t do enough in all phases to get the job done. When you don’t do that, those are the results you get. I thought we played hard, but we didn’t make enough plays.
RB Saquon Barkley
Re: Titans defense stopping the run game?
A: They had a great game plan over there, give credit where credit is due. They came out and they made plays. They made more plays than we did.
Q: How much do you expect teams putting more effort into stopping you?
A: In comes with the territory, especially when you have a lot of success in the run game. Obviously, a lot of teams are going to put focus on stopping not me as an individual but our run game, because we have been so successful in the last five games. We still have to make plays, which we had been doing the last couple of weeks. We just didn’t do that.
Q: What did they do differently from the other teams in the last couple of weeks?
A: They did a lot of different things. They gave us some different looks, different movements to try to create movement up there to try to confuse us. We have to execute, that’s the moral of the story. We didn’t execute as a team, especially on the offensive side of the ball.
Q: How much did weather play a role in this, since it was hard to throw the ball and they could concentrate more on the run?
A: That’s football. Any given Sunday, it could be raining, snowing, it could be sunshine, it doesn’t matter. We all have been playing football since we were eight years old, probably in worse conditions. I don’t really think that was a factor.
Re: Titans running back Derrick Henry?
A: Henry is a heck of a player. I definitely respect his game. They were able to establish the run, something we weren’t able to do today. When you establish the run, it opens everything up, that’s how they were able to pull out the win today.
Q: Now that you are officially eliminated from the playoffs, does it feel different?
A: I haven’t had time to think about that. My mindset is no matter what, we still have two weeks to go. We have to finish the season off strong, starting with Indianapolis. We have to continue to play for each other and believe in each other.
Q: Given how well you have been able to run the ball, is this a low point in the season?
A: It’s not a low point, it’s a reality check that we have to get back to the drawing board and we have to get better.
Q: How different were they from what you saw on tape?
A: You know, it’s the Titans. Especially on the third down, you know what type of team they are. They played a great game today, had a great game plan and were the better team today.
Q: You are close to the rookie record for games with 100 yards from scrimmage, it has been almost automatic. Do you get surprised when you don’t get close to that?
A: That doesn’t really matter to me. The thing that matters to me the most is getting a win. I’ve said this multiple times, it doesn’t matter if I have 300 yards, 25 yards, or two yards as long as we come out with a win. That wasn’t the case today, so obviously I’m not going to be satisfied if I had 200 or 100 yards.
Q: Was this as frustrated as you have ever been?
A: It’s football. That’s what comes with the responsibilities of playing running back. It’s not always going to be there, every play is not going to be a 40-yard gain. You just have to take what they give you. When the opportunity comes, you have to split it and make them pay for it. We didn’t do that today.
Q What was Coach Shurmur’s message after the game, did it involve the playoffs?
A: I don’t think the playoffs were involved in the message. Obviously, we are disappointed we lost. The message that he said is kind of what I’m saying, we still have two games to go. We have to finish the season strong and play for each other.
P RIley Dixon
Re: fake punt
A: With the conditions, I caught it, bobbled it, looked up and guys were running in the other direction.
Q: Did you not think you would be able to re-grip the ball?
A: By that time, guys were already running up field. I had an opportunity to get a first down, so that’s what I did.
Q: Did you sense that you could get that first down?
A: Yes. I saw them all running in the other direction because they were trying to set up a return.
DL Josh Mauro
Q: How do you approach the next two weeks?
A: It’s our job, man. This is our reputation. This is our livelihood. This is our name. We got to show up – for our team, for your teammates, the organization, the fans, your family. If there’s a ball out there, and they’re keeping score and it’s time, we’re going to play our ass off. That’s irrelevant – again, this is our job, this is our livelihood. So, we’re going to show up and we’re going to finish the season well.
Q: One of the things they did well today was run the ball.
A: Did they?
Q: 268 yards on the ground. Were they just blocking well? Were you guys not making a lot of tackles?
A: Again, I have to go watch the film. Defense is an 11-man job. Individually, I feel like I could’ve done more. I think that’s a consensus probably for every player on the defense. Like I said, we’re going to have to go back and look at it, but I don’t think we tackled well. We weren’t physical enough, and the results were what they were. I have to go back and watch the tape, be very critical of myself, and see what I need to improve on for next week.
Q: (Titans RB Derrick) Henry seems to be a load. 238 (rushing yards) last week, 170 (rushing yards) today, and before that, he hadn’t had more than 60 (rushing yards).
A: I think he’s one of those guys that once he gets going and can get kind of in some space, he’s a lot faster than people think. He’s hard to take down, especially for guys in the secondary, because he’s so long and can stiff arm and what not. If you attack him early and can get him in the backfield before he gets momentum, that’s what teams have done. Credit to him, though. He’s really coming into his own. He’s a good back, he’s got a bunch of talent, and he’s a very, very unique player.