Head Coach Pat Shurmur
Well, we certainly didn’t do enough on offense, defense or special teams to win a game against a good team that played well. We didn’t score enough points and we certainly gave up too many. It’s a credit to them. They played well and we didn’t play well enough, so we’ve got to learn from it. There’s things that we didn’t do, obviously, on offense. I think we were 2-for-12 on third downs. That’s very unacceptable and we’ll get that fixed. And then on defense, I think there were some big plays against us in the passing game that we’ve got to – we’ve got to get that rectified, especially against a good team. So, we have plenty of work to do. We’ve got to get back to New Jersey and get to work. Had a lot of young players out there playing for the first time. There’s some good…there’s some stuff we’ve got to get cleaned up and they need to improve quickly.
It seemed like in the first half, Dak threw at the cornerback that wasn’t named Janoris Jenkins, whether it was Baker or Hamilton. How do you guys address that because they’re both obviously inexperienced?
You’d have to ask them if that was their strategy. It seemed like that’s where the ball was going. We have ways to help guys that are one-on-one but the guys got to play, too. That’s some that we’ll look at. We’ll look at everything we did tactically and personnel-wise and try to make the changes necessary.
On Dallas receivers running free down the middle at times. Was it just coverage breakdowns?
There were a couple, there, that we’ve got to get closer in coverage. I’ll look at it. I’ve got an idea of what happened but I want to make sure I see it before I follow-up with a full answer.
On Dallas seemingly being able to do anything they wanted running on that side of the ball.
I’m not disappointed. We need to get better. I’m not discouraged. We’ve just got to get better.
Without having looked at the film, it didn’t seem like Dak was getting any pressure at all. Was that surprising to you?
We’ve got to look at that, too. That has an effect on how well the quarterback plays. We’ll take a look at that.
Can you explain the inefficiency in third down situations?
A mixture of things. There were a couple of short ones. I think we went for it and we had a crazy penalty on a ball that was thrown at the feet of Saquon. I don’t know what that was all about because I would have gone for it again, there. It’s a mixture of things and that’s always the case.
You had the ball deep in Cowboys’ territory in the third quarter. You called a handoff to Penny and then Eli took a rollout. (Any second thoughts?)
No. We should gain more yards on the one to Penny and then we’ve got to do something with the ball we roll out.
You were upset early on. What was going on, there?
I was upset. There were obviously twelve men on the field. They threw two flags of which we were aware. We were in formation. My understanding is that was a penalty. They said there was a time out called. The timing of all that, I don’t know. The guys’ called flags before. I don’t know about the time out but the way they were lined up in formation with us over the ball, that’s a foul. I do know that. The next play was a throw to Saquon in the flat and they said there was nobody there.
Was that the intentional grounding where they said the throw didn’t go ten yards?
But there was a guy in the vicinity behind the line of scrimmage. It could have been a screen pass.
On the Hail Mary pass interference before the half, do you think you it warranted a challenge?
I do. I know the rule, you can’t but I was just making a point to the official that they should take a good look and see if that was PI or not. So that was what that conversation was about. I wanted to make sure they came over and talked to me about it because I want to make sure those are all officiated the right way.
Offensively, was there just not a lot designed down the field?
They played a lot of two-deep. They played a lot of soft zone. We took some shots that they really kind of took away from us and that’s why we checked it down and got yards underneath.
On DeAndre Baker. Are these growing pains you’re just going to have to expect a young guy having to go through?
Rookie corner in the NFL out there playing for the first time, there’s a lot to be learned.
On the decision to put Daniel Jones in the game. What do you think of how he performed?
I thought it was the right thing to do to get him some work. We don’t want to fumble the ball like he did. You can see he’s a competitive guy. He’ll learn to run that out of bounds. In his mind, he competes and he said, “I wanted to guarantee we got the first.” You’ve just got to secure the ball on that play. For the rest of it, I felt like it was important to get him some work.
Saquon only touched the ball in the second quarter.
I don’t think we had enough plays in the second quarter, period. We need more plays.
Are you alright with 11 rushes total (for Barkley)? I know it kind of got away from you in the second half.
Games play out differently. I think he had really good production when he touched the ball. We threw him the ball as well.
How do you think Eli Manning played?
I thought he did some really good things. He had one where he kept us alive. He executed a fourth down. Did a lot of really good things. I don’t think, when you look at it, there was any ball that was inaccurate. I’ve got to watch it all but I thought there were other things that contributed to our loss.
You mentioned the 2-for-12 on third down. How do you get better there and how detrimental was that to the offense in general?
I think that’s one of the things you have to be good at in order to stay on the field and get more plays. There’s a mixture of reasons why we didn’t and we’ve just got to get better.
On the third-and-longs being down 20-something points in the third quarter – how do you balance the QB taking chances down the field or taking the checkdown?
I don’t know what you’re talking about. We call plays to execute them and there’s typically ones downfield. They play a soft zone, then you’re forced to check it down. You want to stay out of the second-and-third-and-longs. At that point, I’m alright with him getting completions if the downfield throws are not there.
What do you do in terms of trying to get the defense to put more pressure on the quarterback?
We’re going to keep looking at it and we just keep working on, really, all the fundamental parts of the game, which includes getting pressure.
Could circumstances other than how Eli is playing dictate if you go to Daniel permanently?
Today was an obvious situation in my mind to put him in the game and that’s it. I’m not going to play your hypothetical game.
QB Eli Manning
Just your overall thoughts on how the game went..
Yeah, I thought we got off to a good start. Defense had a stop, we get the ball, drive down there, have a good drive and score a touchdown. Even the first, the next time we get the ball, we have another great drive, going down there. You know, have a third and short, tried a little (play) action, didn’t have anything. Unfortunately, we get called for grounding which I thought Saquon was in the area of that throw. Probably didn’t go for it on fourth down, instead we get no points you know, back us up and we get nothing, so just an unfortunate situation there. They played it well. That was just kind of the story, you know, a few times. Second half, (we) have a good drive going, and just had to settle for a field goal. So I think we moved the ball well. Did a lot of good things, just didn’t play well enough, and just keep up with what Dallas was doing. Then, kind of the second half, it got out of hand a little bit.
Regarding third down conversions..How to you correct this?
I think you just have to look at each one. I thought in the first half, we had a third and short we didn’t convert on. You know the next one, had a red zone, I had a good play, close, a contested throw in the endzone to Sterling that was close to being a touchdown. So, a lot of them are in the red zone unfortunately. It keeps you from scoring points. And then in the second half had a lot of third and fifteens, and third thirteens, and those are always going to be tough to convert.
On the fumble late in the third quarter…
Yeah it was fourth down, probably could have a little misdirection, and it got outside. The first couple of guys, they covered up, I probably could have hit..I thought about throwing it to Sterling across the end zone, just thought the safety was there to make a play. At that point, it’s kind of, you know, I didn’t think I could run for it, just try to create and maybe hit somebody scrambling around and unfortunately (we) weren’t able to get that going.
Did you think for a moment of running…
I was kind of thinking, right off the get go, and when Evan was covered up I was going to run. Yeah I could look at that once I look at the film. You know Sterling, kind of popped and I thought I could have hit him. And you know, after that I didn’t think I could run anymore.
On Saquon’s eleven carries..Can this offense be effective with a limited number of carries?
I think for the first half and into the third quarter, we moved the ball well. We had some big runs. I had some nice runs. We were throwing it, getting completions. I think we were staying on track, and good down and distance and doing some good things. We have to find ways, obviously we want to get playmakers the ball and get him going. So, we have to keep (doing) whatever is moving the ball. And I think for the most part, especially early in the game, we moved the ball well.
Are you okay with…You know Daniel got a little time at the end of the game there..
Yeah, no, the game was kind of out of reach at that point. You know, took some guys out, so I was fine with that.
On Golden (being) out for the next two games..The impact that has on the offense…
I thought the receivers played well today. I thought all the guys, Bennie and Cody had a couple of nice plays, Sterling and Evan..I thought all the guys competed in their one on one matchups. And so, we’d love to get Golden back when he comes back for that week five, but in the meantime these guys competed and played well and made some nice plays for us.
How do you make sure this division loss doesn’t blow over…
There’s sixteen other teams that are in this situation that lose in week one. It’s no fun, but you’ve got a long season. We’ve got to… just keep finding things we can improve on. So you can’t treat it differently, or….you just have to keep working and get ready for the Bills.
#26 Saquon Barkley (RB)
On what was most disappointing today: “We lost. We wanted to come out and start the season out right. But I do think that we did a lot of great things. We made a couple of mistakes and they were able capitalize on those mistakes. We’ve just got to get better, get back to the drawing boards.”
On how to correct third downs: “We just have to find a way. We’ve got to know the situation. We’ve got to know the sticks. We’ve got to find a way to make it happen. We have enough play makers on offense. That can help the defense too when you continue to get the ball moving and get the drives going.”
On not getting the ball on 3rd and 2, 4th and 1: “As a competitor, you want the ball in your hands. But you’ve got to trust the system. You’ve got to trust your teammates. That’s what I do. I’m not going to question the calls. I believe the calls are right. As a team, especially on offense, we have to find a way to capitalize and convert that third down and convert that fourth down and find a way to get in the end zone. Things like that, if we are able to do them, could make it a totally different game. Those are things you learn from, go back and you watch and improve on.”
“I think we ran the ball really well. Not only myself, when Wayne got in there he did an unbelievable job…But they got up on us a pretty big lead. It’s hard to run the ball when you’re down. We’ve got to find a way to be consistent, be a balanced group and let the plays come to us.”
On how to rebound: “Just go back and watch film. We lost obviously, but we did a lot of good. We were able to drive the ball against a very talented team. So, we’ve got to go back to the drawing board, learn, be honest with each other and try to find a way to fix the mistakes.”
On if it’s hard to watch the other team score and control the ball: “It’s not to watch at all. My mindset goes immediately to that we’ve got to respond. Whether it’s running the ball, passing the ball, whatever way you do it. When you see an offense go down and score, the first thing that goes in mind is respond. How can we respond as an offense. We did a good job of driving down, but we settled for a three and the one time we didn’t convert on third and fourth down. We’ve just got to find a way to ball in the end zone.”
On having 11 carries: “I’m going to do whatever it takes to help my team to win games…I’m a team player. I don’t care how many times I touch the ball. The question is going to be ‘if I got 11 carries, I need the ball more?’ but ‘if I got 40 carries, oh am I worried that I got the ball too much?’ I don’t think we’re going to win in that situation there. So, my mindset is to continue to get better and however many touches I do get, try to make the most of it to help my team win. I didn’t do that today and we didn’t do that today.”
On fading after the slow start: “That’s football, you know, in the NFL. They are going to make plays too. We started out good…actually, we didn’t. We started off with a fumble. Eli Penny saved me. The next play, we blocked it up perfect and I got a run on the safety. We found a way to score on that drive. But we’ve just got to find a way to get back to it. It’s not discouraging. It’s not like oh here we go again. It’s how can we do it. Let’s find a way to do it for next week against Buffalo.”
“The expectation is going to be the same no matter if it’s a good start or a bad start. Every time we touch the ball, go down and score. I truly believe that we have that capability and we have the offensive power to do that. I think we did a good job of driving the ball down the field occasionally. We’ve got find a way to be better, find a way to convert on third downs and find a way to get the ball in the end zone.
#88 Evan Engram (TE)
On what happened after the fast start: “We’ve just got to finish drives. We kind of made some mistakes that put us back a couple times. Our defense was playing good and got stops. But we’ve got to finish drives. That simple.”
On how to improve on third downs: “We’ve just got to keep working. We’ve got to make the plays. The whole team has got to protect, has got to catch the ball, has got to get blocks, has got to make throws. It’s an offensive wide thing. We’ve got to get it done.”
“They were playing some soft zones. That’s the thing when you get behind. You kind of get the run game taken away from you. So, it’s kind of hard to try to get back into the game. We started to run the ball well, but we fell behind. That kind of takes the run game out of the whole competition. That’s the thing. We have to stay out front, limit the mistakes and playing our football.”
“We’ve got to play better on all sides of the ball. It’s simple.”
On individual successes: “I’m just trying to make plays when my name is called. Definitely looking forward to continue to work and make big plays and winning these games.”
“There’s definitely a lesson to be learned today. This team is different from the past. We played a good team today. They had our number. But it’s only one game. We have fifteen left. The mentality of this locker room is where it needs to be. This is going to make us hungrier. We get to go home next week, get a full week of preparation, fix the mistakes and get back in front of our fans to play a good Buffalo team.”
#8 Daniel Jones (QB)
On the fumble: “I just didn’t do a good job keeping the ball. I held it to my body and let it go. I’ve got to make sure I’m secure with the ball.”
On the overall experience: “It was good. It was exciting to run out there…It being a regular season game has a different feel to it. The circumstance of the
game also felt a little different. It was still exciting to be out there.”
More on the in-game experience: “I tried to stay engaged and see if could find a way to help, just making sure I was seeing what was going on, understand what was going on and what we were going on offense.”
On replacing Eli in the game: “I was excited. I don’t think there was an awkwardness to it. I’m the backup quarterback so that’s my job.”
On if he should have gotten out of bounds: “I think that’s the smart play. I think we will look at it on tape, but maybe there was a chance to get the first down instead of going out of bounds. You know, definitely something to learn there.”
On not being able to impact the result: “I think my role is different. But there’s still a way to impact the game. There’s still a way to be involved. That’s to do a week of practice…I’m just trying to do the best I can.”
#31 Michael Thomas (S)
On the defense and whether youth and inexperience played a role: “We can’t make the mistakes we did out there, regardless if we are young or not. It wasn’t just young guys, myself included. We have to get better, and it starts with us getting back to work. We have to correct it, learn from it. This is game one. We have to get better though.”
On what he would tell the younger players: “It is on us to challenge guys. We have to step up and make a play. When things aren’t going right as a team, you can’t wait on someone else to make a play. You have to be the one to go out there and make a play. That is all of us. … Everybody has to be willing to challenge, and that is it.”
#41 Antoine Bethea (S)
On reflections on the game: “You kind of have to step back and look at the big picture. It was like five or six plays. Five or six big plays where they made a play or a miscommunication on our end. We have to go in tomorrow and critique the film. A lot of the stuff we did wrong is correctible. Week two, we have another opponent. We have another chance.”
On youth and inexperience and how it may have contributed to the outcome: “Some of it is inexperience, but you can’t have any excuses. We work, we practice, we watch film. We can’t hold that over our head and have that as our excuse, that we are young. We are young, yeah we are young. But we get paid to do a job, and we have to do our job.”
On the Cowboys being open in the middle: Obviously they made the play. But on our end, it was a miscommunication and that is 14 points. We will get back to the drawing board and play better next week.”
#27 DeAndre Baker (CB)
On the game: “We don’t feel good. We need to watch the film and do better and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
On being targeted in the first half and how he could improve: “Just make better plays. Use my technique more. That is it.”
On whether the performance shakes him: “It just an opportunity to bounce back and show what I can do. Just fight through adversity. I didn’t have the best game that I wanted to have. Just to bounce back and show what I can do next week.”
#20 Janoris Jenkins (CB)
On what he would say to the new corners: “Just keep working, baby. You have a lot of talent, a lot of potential. We have 15 more games to go. Things are going to turn. They’ll turn.”
On being a cornerback in the NFL: “As a cornerback, you have to understand you are going to get picked at sometimes. You are going to get thrown at a lot. You are going to give up good catches and give up a few touchdowns. Just keep working, man. That’s why you play cornerback. Only a very few can play cornerback, and not forget what happened the play before.”
On the defensive performance and what it means going forward: “Those are just numbers, man. This is week one. We still have 15 more weeks to go. Numbers are numbers. At the end of the day, we are going out to win the “W,” and we just have to get back to work.”