Head Coach Tom Coughlin
Coach Coughlin: Inconsistent is how we played tonight. I did not see this coming. I thought this evening we put our defense in a terrible predicament with turnovers, touchdowns or the ball being run right back to point blank range. When playing a team like the Vikings with the second fewest penalties in the league and not many turnovers, you cannot afford to make any errors. When you come off of two weeks offensively where you have scored 31 and 35, you think you are going to be competitive. Tonight in the second quarter we even had the first down. The turnovers started us off on the wrong foot in the second half, and there were too many times where we put our defense in a terrible position. Disappointed is not the word. I felt like we practiced well and came here with a full intention knowing that the Vikings had a lot at stake, similar to us, in this game. I do not think that Saturday night affected us by any means. I told our team that we had the opportunity to play for pride and I think everyone was on the same page. It is very difficult for me to explain tonight.
Q: How much do you think everything with Odell Beckham Jr. this week took out of your team, if any?
A: I am sure there was some factor there, but I do not want to use that as an excuse. The guys seemed to grasp the idea that more people were going to have to contribute and play well in order for us to have a chance to win. There were a lot of people working all week long and being productive in practice. I think our defense tried as hard as they could to be better than they were the week before. I do not think that was the reason that we did not play well in support of each other. I had no intention of coming out here and throwing interceptions.
Q: The on field loss of Odell Beckham Jr. had to have been pretty huge in terms of some of the interceptions?
A: In terms of the one on our sideline with Rueben Randle involved, Eli Manning did not release it the proper way. I was surprised that Eli Manning threw the ball. For the interception after the half, I do not think that Eli Manning saw the defender. I think that the rush was in his way, and cannot be blamed on any receiver.
Q: Tonight you said you had the opportunity to play for pride. What does this end result tell your gut feeling?
A: We have one week to go. There is some soul searching that has to be done for players, coaches and myself. It is a very untimely thing to happen to this group of guys. I did not see this coming.
Q: Are you worried about your job security?
A: I am not worried about that. It will all take care of itself. I do not coach worrying about that.
Q: It is not the fourth year in a row without playoffs. How do you make sense of that?
A: You do not. It is disappointing and not what you play for. Obviously it is a huge disappointment.
Q: Do you view that as a reflection on you personally and the job that you are doing?
A: Sure. It is my responsibility and I accept that.
Q: Do you feel that you have been given the talent?
A: I am not going down that road.
Quarterback Eli Manning
Q: Do you think the struggles of the offense had to do with not having Odell Beckham Jr. not being out there on the field?
A: I think the struggles were because I made some bad decisions and some bad throws. Obviously you lose one of your key players, it's going to affect things. But I don't think that was as big of an impact as we led it on to be. We just didn't play well. They did a good job and we didn't respond well.
Q: Coach Coughlin said that he didn't see this coming. Do you share those sentiments and if so, why?
A: No, I didn't see it coming. I thought we'd be able go out there and move the ball, put up some points and run our offense. It was tough to find completions early on, and never got into a great rhythm. They did a good job getting us off the field on third down, getting some pressure in some situations and we just couldn't get things going and then the turnovers started to occur.
Q: Do you think the Odell Beckham Jr. situation hung over the team at all this week?
A: No, I don't think so. I don't think it was hanging over the team. We were able to practice all week and guys went out there and knew what their assignments were. We just didn't play well and they did. They played well, they had a good plan and they got after us pretty good.
Q: How did you approach this game, being out of the playoffs for a fourth straight year?
A: Well, disappointed that we're out of the playoffs this year. But, still wanted to come out here and play well. We practiced all week, had a gameplan we had prepared for this game, wanted to come out and play well, try and get a win and feel good about what we prepared to do for this week and this game.
Q: How much does missing the playoffs for a fourth straight year affect you, personally, being on your resume?
A: I'm not worried about that. I'm worried about this year and we didn't make it this year. So that was my only concern. I wanted to play well and get back into the playoffs and win a division, and see if we could make a run and obviously we weren't able to accomplish that.
Q: How concerned are you about the head coaching situation?
A: I got to worry about Philadelphia next week and go about my business there and try to get back to playing better football than I did tonight and getting a win. We'll see what happens and hopefully we can do better next week.
Q: I know you didn't make a big deal out of Odell missing, but you didn't have a lot of experience out there. Did that affect you a little bit?
A: I don't think it speaks on experience to be as effective or ineffective as we were. We could have definitely played better and had some opportunities to make some plays that we didn't. Obviously it's going to make an impact, but we had some opportunities there and we just didn't make the plays.
Q: Does this feel like a losing season to you?
A: You recognize the losses, I think we played a lot of close games. I thought we did a lot of good things. I thought we had opportunities to win a lot of games this year and it could have been a very different season if we could have finished some games a little bit better than what we did. We may be a better team than what our record indicates. Tonight's not a good example of that but I feel like we had a lot of opportunities this year.
Q: Is there anything you want to say on your brother's [Peyton Manning] situation?
A: I really don't know much about it. I think he had some comments today so I would just quote him. I hadn't seen everything but I think he had some strong comments about the accusations.
Q: What was your reaction when you heard that?
A: It all seemed very odd and didn't make much sense to me.
Q: Tom Coughlin has been the only coach in your career. Are you thinking this could possibly be his last game as your head coach?
A: I wanted to play well today. I wanted the team to play well for him, for each other, for our coaches and we weren't able to do that. I don't know what's going to happen but I would like to have a strong finish next week and whatever happens, happens. But I'd like to finish this year strong with a win.
Running back Shane Vereen
Q: Your team has had some struggles, but usually not like this. How difficult is that to accept?
A: It sucks.
Q: How disappointing is it missing the playoffs knowing that you came here with that expectation?
A: It's always disappointing, it's new for me. You want the best for the team and I still feel like we had the guys and the team to make a good run at it.
Q: How do you approach next week with the Eagles?
A: This is the game we love, it's a privilege to play in the NFL. That's all the needs to be said. We are blessed to have these opportunities.
Defensive Tackle Cullen Jenkins
Q: How does this kind of loss effect a team's morale?
A: Well, it is very disappointing. We had a chance to not finish with a losing record and end with an 8-8 record on the year.
Q: How frustrating was it as the game was going along?
A: It was real frustrating. Just to see everything unwind and go the way it went. We had no answer to stopping them tonight and that was the most frustrating part of it all.
Q: Was there anything at all that could have led to seeing this happen tonight?
A: No, not at all. Coming out of the second half of the Carolina game, we played a heck of a half. We fought ourselves back in that game and that is the type of play that you are supposed to build off of. Unfortunately, we did the opposite.
Q: This kind of game and this kind of season can cost people jobs. Do you have any feelings towards Coach Coughlin and your loyalty towards him?
A: We have to play better. As players, if we don't take care of our jobs then that makes everyone look bad.
Wide Receiver Rueben Randle
Q: Do you think the game turned out differently because of Odell Beckham, Jr. not being out there?
A: I don't think it would have mattered if he was here or not.
Q: Tom Coughlin said that he didn't see this coming. Did you see it coming?
A: No. I don't think anybody did.
Q: What do you mean when you said that you didn't think it would have mattered if Odell was here?
A: One player doesn't make the team. It's that simple.
Q: Obviously the playoffs are out of the picture. With one game left, do you think it will be tough to reset from this?
A: It's up to the team. I don't know.
Q: Do you find it hard to believe that it's been 4 straight years of not being in the playoffs?
A: Yes. It's tough. It's a tough pill to swallow. There's nothing we can do now except hope we come out and play better next week.
Q: Do you think that affected everybody today? You found out 24 hours ago that you were out of the playoff race.
A: No, I don't think so.
Linebacker Mark Herzlich
Q: Can you comment on the rumors around Coach Coughlin being on the hot seat?
A: The respect that all of the guys have for him is incredible, so it truly is a shame that we have not been able to hold up our end of the bargain and the pressure unfortunately goes on him now. It is what it is, but at the end of the day it is tough. It is something that he deals with while still having the utmost class. It is very tough to do this to him and it is just hard to think about it.
Q: Could anybody see this kind of loss coming?
A: If you see losing by 40 coming, then you have some huge confidence issues. I don't think anyone did and I know I didn't. We prepared well, but I just think we did not perform well tonight on the field. There is no excuse and I don't think anyone will be making excuses. We just got beat by a great team.
Q: In retrospect, did the whole Odell Beckham, Jr. situation cause this at all?
A: I really don't think so. To be honest, that whole situation feels like it was so long ago in my mind. I don't think anyone woke up this morning with that situation in mind. The situation is not an excuse for our loss in any way.
Q: What was your mindset coming into the game?
A: I woke up this morning with the utmost confidence to be honest. I thought everyone was going to come out here tonight and play loose. I thought we were going to play hard due to our preparation. The mindset coming into this locker room was that we were going to go out there and have the fire that we showed in the second half of the Carolina game. Obviously, we did not play well and didn't have the fire that I saw these last couple days. Plain and simple, we got beat by a great team.
Q: How did Coach Coughlin coach you guys this week?
A: He coached us no different than he coached us in week three to now in week 16. Coach had the fire and passion that we needed to have out there, but we came up short. He coached us hard as always and had us prepared. We just did not show up today like we should have.