So WR Victor Cruz just called this a statement game. Do you feel that way?
"This is a big game and obviously when you go against a really good team, we knew coming in they have been playing great football. The past few weeks they've put up over seventy points and gave up three points. So they have been playing great and we knew this would be a tough game but I think we play smart football. Offensively we had some good drives, which we needed to do. Had some opportunities that get more points than settle for a field goal too many times. The defense played outstanding, got turnovers. Offense we didn't turn the ball over, no sacks, no major mistakes and we knew that was going to be the way to play to get a win."
Seemed like when WR Dominek Hixon went up to make that catch of yours that loosened things up and start you guys up offensively?
"Yeah, that was a big play. The first couple drives we hadn't got much going. And that and a third down and getting the ball down the field changed the field position a little bit and you go down and score a touchdown to Victor Cruz on a great catch in the endzone. So after that we kind of got a good of the running pass, offense line was firing off and really they played outstanding. Great job pass protecting early on into the second half, just controlling the line of scrimmage and running the ball. When you have a lead that's what you need to do and it's tough to do that against the 49ers, but we were able to do it today."
A lot happened the last time you were here in terms of getting hit what about your offensive line?
"They played well. And it was one of those days that we ran the ball really well so weren't put in a position where we had to throw it over sixty times so the ball was getting out fairly quick. I missed Hakeem Nicks on the first series that could have been a big play. The receivers did a good job of getting open in a timely fashion. The offensive line were blocking things up, we had some good bit of not to have thirty and long situations where we had to hold the ball very long back there."When you have a leading defense that is talented like you do, what's it like to watch them have a game like they had today?
"We were just waiting, just waiting for them to play like we know they can play. And have great confidence in them that they were going to come here today do a good job of stopping the run and getting after the quarterback, and getting some turnovers. They played outstanding. They played really well. Flying around, physical game. When you see them play like that, hold the team to field goals early on and they weren't moving the ball which is key then we can just be patient offensively. We didn't have to force things we didn't have to try to make big plays, we could just buy our time, dink and dunk. We had some shots to get some big plays, go after it, but it can a little more conservative run the ball, we were able to do that."Eli, with some of you receivers, with some of the catches they made do you sometimes feel that they make you look good?"Definitely, they definitely made me look good. They did a great job getting open and we have a number of talented receivers who have come in and played well, no matter the circumstances, whoever is in there, whatever spot it is they have the one-on-one matchup, that's my first read and I have great faith that they are going to get open and make plays. It was great to get WR Hakeem Nicks back today, he had a couple nice catches. One down the sideline in the two minute when he goes up and gets it. I missed him on the first one, which I hate. We don't miss those very often so we'll get back and make sure that we're hitting those ones when he is open down the sideline."
Many times you have had to pull off fourth quarter heroics, what was it like in the fourth quarter to actually be able to have an eight minute drive to just hand off?"It was great, that's what you want to be able to do. That's when the offensive line just takes over the game and you can run the ball I don't know how many times fifteen straight times it seemed like and get first downs, get jumps and keep running it, wear down the defense, kick a field goal, take what I just said was seven or eight minutes off the clock without having to thrown a pass and truly just end the game. That was a drive that ended the game. And that's what we need to be able to do in those circumstances. It's good to see that we can."
What did you see specifically in the 49ers defense that is usually so dominant that you realized early on you would be able to take advantage of?"They are always a great team and great players. We were just able to hit a few plays. Obviously Nicks down the sideline for about a thirty yard gain was a big one. We were obviously able to dink and dunk, and hit a few runs. I thought the guys gave us opportunities. We blocked up their front seven pretty well on the run end and pass and give us time to get down the field. They're talented, they are very good we just played a little bit better today."