Head Coach Tom Coughlin
Coach Coughlin: Loved the way that our team came back. I really did think that before the half was where the damage was most inflicted because of the fumble and then the failure to convert on a third and one, which they scored in that particular drive as well. You had a game that was very, very tight, it ended up being 21-7 at the half and we resolved to come back out and do better. We didn't do better right away, but after we had scored the second touchdown, I thought the whole team kind of caught fire and a momentum cam e back and we created some opportunities for ourselves, we got some turnovers and got the ball in the end zone. To tie it up that way being down 35-7 and come back to tie it up, that's an outstanding tribute to our team, to our players, to our coaches. Unfortunately it wasn't enough and that is what we have to deal with is again not finishing the way we want to finish and the other guy took the ball down and scored. So we find ourselves in this position, but I did tell them I am proud the way they battled.
Q: Odell dropped a touchdown in the first quarter that could've set the stage out there. Did it appear to you that he was playing probably more emotional than focused in the first half?
A: I think that's probably what he will tell you. We had discussed prior to the game going in what the expectation would be and he thought that that was all behind him, but he did lose his composure. Thought throughout the course of the game, he regained it, but I wouldn't speak for him and I wouldn't make an excuse for him. I don't know—people do from time to time drop a ball, even people who have his ability. He was on his way to the end zone on that first play, as well. I'll talk to him about it and I'm not going to discuss it anymore. Whatever we have to discuss, we will discuss in private.
Q: At any point, did you consider sitting him down to let him cool off a little bit?
A: You want me to take him out of the game?
Q: Rather than getting personal fouls?
A: How many did he get?
A: Well, that just goes to show you again he lost his composure.
Q: Did you say anything to Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie? He had a chance for a pick-six and he didn't start the second half but he ended up coming back and blocking the field goal.
A: Came back and made an excellent block. He dropped probably sure-fire score with an interception and he started to alternate there in the third quarter, too. Some technique work that's got to be done there.
Q: Do you feel like your team lost its composure there in the third quarter when it all seemed to fall apart?
A: If we did, we gained it back.
Q: What changed for you in your mind?
A: What changed? I just said that. We scored the second touchdown and then from there we gained some momentum.
Q: Your defense in the fourth quarter had gotten stops but then they needed the last one… What was your sense? Cam seemed to make it look easy down there on that big play.
A: His pulling the ball down and running for him was, that was the blow, I thought, was his running the ball. We had had some trouble with that earlier on, too, but we were playing coverage and he pulled the ball down and ran and once he got started, it was hard to stop. But you're asking me if that was a big play. Yeah, that was a big play.
Q: This is the third or fourth time you have lost on the last play of the game. Are these stomach punches? Are they difficult?
A: Sometimes lower.
Q: First quarter, it's seven up, it's fourth and one. You were in Carolina territory. Did you debate whether or not to go for it?
A: No, not at that point. I thought we could pin them down in deep and I expected us to stop them. We didn't get the ball punted down as far as you'd like it, but they were at the 11-yard line, and I'd probably do that again. At that early stage of the game, if we didn't make it, I didn't want to leave our defense in that field position.
Q: Over the last two games, you've had a lot of success running the ball.
A: I thought we did that better than anything for quite some time today. That proved out that we are getting better at that. Rashad (Jennings) had some nice runs. Shane (Vereen) had some nice runs. Andre (Williams) had a couple runs. I thought that was a real plus even when things weren't going very well for us. But then at the end, when we were able to maneuver back and forth and Rashad breaks out of there for a big play, I thought that was a good sign for us.
Q: They had a lot of success in the passing game. What made it so difficult for you guys?
A: I thought they executed well. I thought they got the ball in the hands of real speed and caused us some issues that way. They also had the threat of the quarterback draw and the run. So I thought they executed really well.
Q: Do you have any concerns that the emotional part of his (Beckham Jr.) game could or can derail you guys?
A: Sure, they certainly could. As I said, we have made great progress along those lines. Today was a step backwards. But I've got to believe we will regain that once he settles down, we'll be able to talk about it.
Q: Did you have time to talk to him on the sidelines during the game?
A: I walked with him. But I didn't. At that point in time, my mind was involved in something else.
Q: Was there any consideration or any reason, including his own safety, to take him out?
A: It was a consideration. In fact, it was a strong consideration. But it didn't happen.
Q: Why not?
A: Because I didn't take him out.
Q: What was your reasoning for it?
A: Because I wanted him to play the game. He had to learn. He's got to learn at some point how to deal with some things on the field.
Q: You're willing to deal with the penalties?
A: No, I'm not willing to deal with the penalties. I'm not willing to deal with anything. I want him out there to win the football game. Again, he's a player on our team and he made some mistakes today, but I'm hoping he will recognize that and get over it.
Q: This late in the season with the playoffs on the line, how crushing is it to lose?
A: It's always a crush to lose. It's difficult to lose in those circumstances right there. But we'll find a way to keep fighting, that's what we'll do.
Quarterback Eli Manning
Q: Talk about coming back from 35-7 down.
A: Proud of the way the guys fought back and it wasn't easy out there, but we've just got to say hey, we've got to get one score and we'll see what happens. We were able to put some good drives together, had a couple nice plays. Got it to 35-14 and the defense got some stops. [We had] another big drive and Rashad breaks a long one and so all of a sudden now we've got a little bit of momentum with some time and were back in the game.
Q: You got a lot out of the running attack against Miami and again today, what does that do to help the offense?
A: Helps us big time. You can run the ball and hit some real long ones. Rashad breaks a long one. Shane had a couple nice ones when we had a second and real long and first and real long and he broke one for about 15 yards on our second scoring drive to get 14. It was a nice play after a penalty. Gets the safeties to come down a little more and it slows down that pass rush and gets us into a good rhythm.
Q: When you see players show so much emotion out there, how much does it hurt, how much does it help a team?
A: Well, guys want to play well, guys want to win, it's important to them. So there's going to be some emotion and that's fine. You've just got to be able to make sure it's being done the correct way, and make sure it's helping the team, and not doing anything to harm the team.
Q: On the interception, what did you see out there?
A: Ball got tipped, I was throwing it away. The ball got tipped a little bit out of the hand. My elbow got hit, so it just got fluttered up there and they got a cheap one.
Q: I know you always look forward to the next game and you're still in the playoff run, but do you ever look back and you've now had four losses in the last couple seconds of games?
A: Yeah. There's no doubt we've lost some close ones and had opportunities. We've had several that were very similar to this one. It comes down to the final minutes and seconds of the game and our last second field goal. We just weren't able to hold them off and didn't make enough plays earlier in the game to give us a lead and keep it closer. They're a good team and they did a good job and got the win. But definitely got some tight losses this year that could've gone different ways.
Q: On the fourth down, were you thinking about going to him [Beckham Jr.] right away?
A: No, just went through my progression. I had Odell moving out there, they were playing man, which they didn't play much all day. So I finally got him one on one and we got him a little double-move and we were able to get the touchdown.
Q: Did you say anything to Odell?
A: Yeah. Just told him, "Let's get back to playing football. Play football and play the game. Don't get caught up in this." I think he was able to dial back in and make some big plays for us.
CB Prince Amukamara
Re: matchup between Beckham and Norman
A: You can see he wears it on his sleeve, he's going to show. I really like the battle with him and Josh, it was like Floyd and Pacquiao. It was a great matchup.
Q: When that's going on and those emotions, and he's showing those emotions, you're down 35-7. Is there any of that that you can feed off of positively, or is it all negative?
A: Of course. I think a lot of guys were feeding off of it, especially when he comes up big and ties the game, 35-35, for us. I think everyone fed off of it.
Q: You see that ball rolling on the ground that you're running after on the blocked field goal. What were you thinking?
A: I was telling DRC, I had a quick replay in my head, just replayed him scooping up the ball from the Cowboys. But I don't think I was as smooth as him. I was just making sure, "Just let me scoop it." I'm glad I made a play for the team.
Q: At what point did you guys feel that you were going to come all the way back?
A: I don't think we ever checked out. Coach Merritt, our safeties' coach, just kept talking about like, "Hey, I've seen this story before." He brought up, I think Houston and somebody, I forgot who he brought up. Buffalo, yeah. Then I think that guys were just believing and before we came out for halftime, Odell said something in the huddle and just told everyone, "Hey, I believe in you guys. I believe in me, I know you guys believe in me, and we've got to believe together. Let's go do this." I think everyone was just buying in.
Q: Team huddle?
A: Team huddle. Every time we when we go in, offense, defense talks to each other, and after that everyone comes up as a team, Coach has something and then anyone else who says stuff says something and that was Odell.
Q: At halftime you're talking about?
A: At halftime, yeah.
Q: As exciting as the comeback was, how disappointing is it to fall short again?
A: I don't want to say I'm almost numb to it because, like Art said, we've been here. You're disappointed but you have no one to blame but yourself. There were so many times we've shot ourselves in the foot in this game. Carolina does a great job of taking advantage of teams' mistakes and they did that today.
Q: Do you walk out of here thinking you're still alive?
A: I'm not educated on how everything works. I know the Redskins won, Dallas lost yesterday, and the Eagles play tonight. Right now the Redskins are in the lead and we're just trying to win out these two games and we'll see what happens.
CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
Q: What's the mindset on that last drive after you tied the game?
A: You're thinking that the offense is cooking right now and you want to try to get them the ball. You've got three timeouts left, but they just drove the ball right down and got a field goal. We've definitely got to do better at that.
Q: Did it feel like any type of redemption for you personally when you were able to block the field goal?
A: No. We had the rush. You know you need somebody to move and make a play. Once again, the opportunity presented itself, you've just got to make it. We had plenty of opportunities with our hands on the ball and not catching them, or whatever. You've just got to take advantage. You know this team and what they bring to the table. So any chance you get the opportunity, you've just got to make it.
Q: What did you see on that field goal that allowed you to get in there and make that block?
A: I noticed that the edge was kind of tight. I had been watching Prince [Amukamara] come off a few times before and he was just right there. I said that if we lay out, we can get one, so I just laid out.
Q: How frustrating is it that the defense is getting back to what you were doing early in the year & unable to get off the field when you need to at the end of a game?
A: Very frustrating. You think that's behind you, you go out there and battle back. We had some big stops coming into the third and fourth quarters. To go out there and just let them drive down the field is just mind-boggling.
DT Cullen Jenkins
Q: This game, you turned the momentum a big way, did you feel like you were going to roll through here?
A: Yeah, I thought we were. After we tied up the game, we go out there on defense and we get another stop. We had three timeouts, so let's get a stop and get it back to the offense and win this thing in regulation, and we didn't come up with the play.
Q: What does it do to a team to lose this many games on the last play? I think this is the fourth time.
A: On the one end, you realize you can play with anybody, but on the other end, you're not giving yourselves the opportunity to continue to play, to be able to play with anybody. We've got to get these wins. We've got to get these wins if we want to continue our season.
Q: With the Redskins winning today, a lot of things have to happen. Is it difficult now that you are likely out?
A: You can't have that mindset. We're definitely running out of chances. Our chances are like you said and a lot of things have to happen now. We've got to come back and win. We've got to get ready for Minnesota now and do whatever we can to win.
Q: Does it feel strange the way you guys came back all the way and still not completing the job?
A: In the end, that's a loss and although we fought, we fought hard, at the end, we still lost. We didn't do enough, we had a chance to get off the field at the end when the score was tied and we've got to come through in that situation.
RB Rashad Jennings
Q: …on one of those plays you mentioned the ball came loose. Take us through that play, how'd you lose control?
A: I was on the way to the ground, I tried to reach for the first down. I knew I was close, and he hit it.
Q: It was a game of swings for you guys, you go down 35-7, you make a run back. How did you guys keep yourselves in the game down 28?"
A: We believe in each other top to bottom. We believe in our leadership, we believe in the system, we believe in each other, in the players out there making the plays. We know we've got a good team, we just knew we were going to have an opportunity. Defense was going to get them off the field and it was our job on offense to make sure we put up points. We never blinked.
Q: When you look at the bottom line, you had a great comeback. Where do you guys go from here?
A: Tomorrow, we go to the facility, Tuesday is a day off and Wednesday, back to work. I don't think anybody in here works to lose, so it's frustrating to not get the victory. We can't rewind the tape. if we could, we all would. We've just got to move forward and figure out how to close a game, protect the ball on offense, starting with myself, and move on.