Giants head coach and players react following the team's matchup vs. the Bengals:
Head Coach Ben McAdoo
Nice team win tonight; we know it's tough to win in this league. I thought we stayed the course through all the ups and downs in the ball game, there were quite a few. Defense got to the quarterback at the end of the ball game. Offense ended it with four minutes, which was encouraging for us. Special teams had some opportunities and they pinned them back in the ball game to help with field position. We have to enjoy it fast, it's a short week, then we're on to Chicago.
Q: Can you take us through the decision to go for it on fourth down?
A: We knew it was going to take touchdowns to beat this team, it's a good football team and we felt like we needed to score touchdowns.
Q: Your team got some sacks tonight and although you've said that stats are for losers, how great did it feel to finally get some production?
A: When I said stats are for losers, what I really meant was you have to dig deeper than just the numbers to get some quality information. It was nice to get home on the quarterback. I thought we made a move even early in the game, and at the end it was good to finish it off.
Q: What do you think was the different with the running game?
A: We kept at it. We had more plays in the ball game so we had more attempts, so that was helpful. The more attempts you get in the run game, the more you get a chance to get guys in a rhythm. Not just the back, but the guys up front. I thought we played with some physicality.
Q: The fourth down call, was it close for you or did you know right away that you were going for it?
A: We were going for it.
Q: The fact that the win came in front of Tom Coughlin, was that more meaningful?
A: It was an honor to work for Tom. I was happy to see him get into the Ring of Honor tonight. I didn't have a chance to talk to him yet; hopefully I get to do that before we leave.
Q: When Brett Jones went down, do you think guys like Marshall Newhouse stepped in well?
A: We rolled a bunch of guys in there up front tonight and they did a nice job.
Q: Did Marshall work much at guard this week?
A: He's been working at a lot of different positions, but he's played a lot of football, too. We thought he was going to be the first guy in for us, didn't matter what position it was. He has a lot of experience under his belt and it showed.
Q: You won the opening coin toss and elected to take the ball, what went into that?
A: You're playing against a veteran quarterback, a good quarterback coming off a bye week, who had the chance to watch a lot of film on you. Just wanted to come out and jump start the offense and see if we could get them playing a little slow defensively after a bye week. That was the thought behind it.
Q: What can you say about Brad Wing and how important it was to get Cincinnati deep to prevent them from going on fourth and short situations?
A: Brad is a weapon for us, I said that earlier in the season. We have a lot of confidence in him in pinning the opponents back deep and he did that for us tonight.
Q: At the end of the game, you were able to break out some big runs, what worked at the end of the game with that?
A: Fundamentals and physicality. We were physical, we had some more attempts at the plate, which always helps, and we got into a bit of a rhythm there.
Q: To see your offense maintain possession at the end, was that a big boost for them?
A: It was a big boost for the locker room. To be able to finish the game in four-minute says a lot about your team, says a lot about your offense, says a lot about their physicality.
Q: How promising is that to get the pass rush, get the ball back and put it away?
A: This is one week. We're humble in victory. It was nice to go out and get a win and we've got to get ready for next week.
Q: In the absence of Victor Cruz, how do you feel Tavarres King and Roger Lewis Jr. did?
A: They had some good moments. It'll be interesting to go back and watch the film. We had a couple of opportunities to make plays down the field that we didn't come up with, so we'll have to go back and take a look at it.
Q: On that first interception, did Lewis need to get the ball there or was the throw off target?
A: I want to see that on film before I comment.
Q: Jason Pierre-Paul got shaken up at the end, is he okay?
A: I'll have to go back to the locker room and check, I haven't received any injury reports yet.
Q: Landon Collins had another pick tonight, what has been the biggest thing that's helped improve his game?
A: More reps, playing more games, got a lot of time as a rookie, that helps. He's seeing things cleanly, seeing things clearly, watching the ball hit his hands and catching them.
WR Odell Beckham Jr.
Q: How did you come up with that Thriller touchdown celebration?
A: I don't know. It just kind of happened. I think I saw a video the other day of Michael Jackson doing it and it just happened.
Q: It was Monday Night Football, you came up with 10 catches and the Giants got a huge win. Do you feel like you play better when the lights are brighter?
A: I had to walk out there before the game started because I don't remember the last time I played at Met Life and the lights were that bright. But you just know the situation at hand. Regardless of the situation at hand, if it was a Sunday game at 1 o'clock, it was still a game that we needed to win, so we pretty much did anything that we had to do to get it and we came out on top.
Q: Can you describe that spin move around Jones for the touchdown?
A: It is a play that we have run on the field and just yesterday we ran it in practice and I sure enough dropped it in the end zone. I made sure to let them know that I was going to catch it in the game and not to take it out and it came up and we connected on it, so it was nice.
Q: Was it anything in particular about that matchup on Jones?
A: No, it wasn't really the matchup. It would have been anybody that was in that spot at the time and playing the coverage that they were in. It was a tough position that he was in. They are taught to drive on things and as he drove, we spun right back behind it, so it was a great play call. There is not really much somebody else can do.
Q: You set the record today for fastest to 3,500 yards. What are your thoughts on that?
A: I set the bar high for myself. I kind of had some late inspiration. I went to the UFC fight and I went there to watch McGregor and just a guy who is very strong in his beliefs and sure enough, he backs it up every time. Just sitting there watching him do his thing gave me more motivation. I had seen that I needed however many yards it was to break that record, so really that stuff is kind of secondary right now. We are 6-3; I haven't been 6-3 since I have been here, so this is a good feeling.
Q: Can you expand on the McGregor thing?
A: I usually go to things like that for inspiration. I like seeing guys in their atmosphere. Even when I was going to the US Open and I was watching them play tennis, it is just something about seeing someone else in their own zone and sure enough, after he won the fight, that was my first UFC fight ever and everybody is tweeting at me asking me why am I mad that he won, I am like, 'I came here to see him. My mind is just wired differently.'
So when I am sitting there watching him and I had this blank stare on my face because there are just so many thoughts going through my head, so I definitely got a lot of inspiration going there and watching him win, double champ and sure enough we came out and we won today, so it has been a pretty good week.
Q: Did you get a chance to meet him?
A: I did. I got a chance to meet him after the fight. It was cool. It was a fun experience. It was the first time I had been there and everyone took care of me.
Q: Is there a connection between how aggressive McAdoo coaches and the fact that you guys are making the plays when it matters?
A: I think it is just knowing the situation at hand. He gives us another opportunity to get another play on offense; we have got to do it. It is not to do it for us; it is to do it for our defense. It is just something that needs to be done. We came up big on a couple of them today, so I don't mind him going for it at all.
Q: Eli was talking about the touchdown play, saying it was similar to the big play against Baltimore. Was it the same play?
A: Don't say that out loud. I don't want everybody knowing the move, but it was definitely the same play from Baltimore and like I was telling them, we ran it just the other day in practice, just installed it down in the red zone and I dropped it in the end zone and just tried to reassure that if we run it in the game, I will make sure that I catch it, so they have done a great job of being creative and kind of creating other routes stemming off of routes that we have.
Q: You didn't score in the first four games. You have six touchdowns since then. What do you view as being the difference?
A: I don't know. There is something about the second half of the season. I have the same energy as I did Week 1, I feel like, so just getting the opportunity right now and being able to put it in the end zone. I know that in the second half of the season I like to go as hard as possible. People's bodies tend to break down and things like that and I take the time and try to take care of mine as much as I can, so that I can come out every Sunday and give it my all.
Q: How much did they try to get in your head? Burfict definitely came in one play.
A: I know Burfict, so we were just talking. I try to stay away from it as much as possible. It is all love out there. We are competing and that is a fiery group and we went down there for camp (last year) and it was just like that. It is a lot of fun to compete when it is done the right way, so I had a lot of fun tonight. It wouldn't have been as fun if we lost, but I for sure had fun.
Q: For the offense to score a fourth quarter touchdown and then end the game with the four-minute offense, is that the best feeling as a unit you guys have felt all year?
A: Yeah. I wish we could have scored and made it 28-20. We had three opportunities to put it in the end zone and we came up short, so that is just another step to take as an offense. Don't put your defense back on the field, three, four times in a row. In the fourth quarter, anything can happen, this is the NFL; the other team is great, too, so just finding ways to close it out on the offensive end.
Safety Landon Collins
Q: The last couple games, the defense was on the field at the end of the game. Today, you were watching the offense run out the clock. What does that feel like?
A: It's a great feeling. That's what our offense does. They make sure they seal the game. It's a great feeling to watch on the sideline and watch them ball.
Q: It was different for this season, right?
A: I mean, it feels good. That's all I can say.
Q: It sounded like the fans were chanting your name in the fourth quarter, did you hear that?
A: No. I was more focused on the field. I couldn't hear.
Q: What does that mean to you to have that kind of recognition?
A: It means that I'm doing a great job of what I do. I'm being accountable. Last year, I had a bad season. I'm making up for it this season.
Q: Talk about your interception?
A: Really, (Andy) Dalton stared down the tight end. I knew it was coming. They ran a double-dig. All I had to do was move over to the tight end. No one was coming vertical to my outside. The tight end was coming up the field and Keenan (Robinson) just made him throw it over the top. I just came over.
Q: From the seven yard-line you stopped them three times. It was a good defensive sequence, wasn't it?
A: Yes, it was. We try to be one of the top defenses that can't get scored on or a defense that is hard to score on. That's what we try and prove every week. That's what we harp on.
Q: How proud are you of this defensive unit?
A: Very proud. We didn't do this last year. We're doing it when it matters most now.
Q: Four wins in a row, how great is this team playing?
A: Team is playing as one. We're playing as a unit and playing sound. We're playing every week as a whole. We're taking it week-by-week and getting better.
Q: What does it mean to keep up with other teams in the NFC East?
A: It's a great feeling because we're proving a point that we're a team to reckon with.
Q: You guys are good in the red zone. What is the mindset when you get inside the 20?
A: Not to let them score. Just not to let them score. Cause a turnover, get the ball back to our offense or make them kick a field goal. Either one of those. That's the outcome we're trying to do when we're down there.
Q: Is this defense getting better every week?
A: Every week. We're playing sound, great, together and as one. No one is fighting each other. We're all getting to the ball.
Q: What's the biggest difference in your game this year compared to last year?
A: Knowing the defense. Knowing the defense, being sound and accountable. Making sure I make the right calls. Being in the right position.
Q: What parts of last year stick with you and drive you?
A: Just not being accountable. Not making the right calls and not being in the right position. Being out leveraged and stuff like that.
Q: Did you see this coming for yourself?
A: No. I prayed on it and I thank the Lord for everything that's going for me. He's just blessing me right now.
Q: Four interceptions in three games. Can you remember the last time you had a stretch like that?
A: Never had a stretch like this. Not in college or in high school. CB Janoris Jenkins
Q: How do you feel about this win?
A: It was a big win, we needed it. We have to get ready for next week.
Q: You go up against the best receiver on the other team every week but how was it going up against A.J. Green today?
A: He is a great receiver, good hands, and nice route runner. I just go out and do my job. I just play football. I do not worry about shutting anyone down, I just worry about doing my job. That is what I came out and did today.
Q: Landon Collins came up with another pick, what can you say about that guy?
A: Hey man, he is making plays. He is all over the ball. He is the leader for the secondary.
Q: What about the defense coming up with those two sacks at the end to ice the game for you guys?
A: That was big. Those guys are having fun and we do what we got to do to bank in.
Olivier Vernon Defensive End
Q: You guys haven't had the opportunity to be on the sideline and watch the offense close out … how different of a feeling was that for you guys?
A: I mean when you get in a game like that, that is perfect right there. We know it's not always going to be like that, so we just got to take that right there and be grateful and go on to the next one.
Q: What was it about what you guys were doing that enabled you guys to..at the end of the game most people would get tired. You guys played the best that you could.
A: We just played backs against the wall. We knew we couldn't let them score on us. If we let them score on us, game over.
Q: A couple of the guys mentioned the idea of a championship effort in that second half. Do you feel like you guys played like this was a playoff type game in the second half?
A: We knew coming in this is a playoff team. They got that type of caliber players on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. We knew with them coming into our house we had to play football. We had to play Giant football.
Q: Did you sense that you were able to wear their offensive line down a little bit when you were really starting to pressure them but you got there in the fourth quarter an awful lot?
A: Our main objective was stopping the run. We knew they were going to run the ball a lot and knew it was going to be a grinding game and at the end of the day we had to hold it down as defense.
Q: What was the key for you guys doing such a good job in those third down situations?
A: Everyone standing on the keys, doing what they had to do. Basically doing their job and we had a good outcome.
Q: Back to back sacks at the end of the game, how did that feel?
A: We expect anybody on the defense to make plays. We've got a lot of play makers that can do special things. To come out with a win, it was a great performance. We've got a lot to look forward to next week. WR Sterling Shepard
Q: Talk about the play that resulted in the touchdown?
A: It was funny. Eli and I talked about it just yesterday. We were talking about that exact same play. He was telling me different looks on what to do. The first look that we talked about, that was exactly what I saw. I'm just happy I have a smart quarterback in Eli.
Q: Did you know it was coming your way right away?
A: I knew I had a possibility. I'm not the first read on that one but I knew there was a possibility that I was going to get that.
Q: You had dropped one earlier.
A: Yes. I had to get that back. I dropped that third down, which I don't usually drop. I love third down. I blew that one. I was trying to make a move before I caught the ball. I knew I had to get that one back and get in the end zone.
Q: What did it say that you even went for it there?
A: It just says that coach has a lot of trust in the offense. Just trusts us on executing plays. That's what we did. Rashad Jennings
Q: What did it mean at the goal line that McAdoo had you guys go for it instead of kicking a field goal?
A: Oh, that is huge, we kind of knew and understood what the possibility might be a four down territory so we had a game plan for it. We started them up in the red zone and we knew what matchups we could possibly get and we got to the play and the line did a good job of holding and keeping Eli clean. Execution is everything. Everyone has a good game plan. It comes down to guys making plays. Hats off to them. That's a good team. It feels good to be able to close at home.
Q: When you came back for the second half, was coach Coughlin still talking?
A: He sure was. I was like he is going to be a while. I am going to go and get my warm up in. He forgot about TC time. That was such an honor. I was on the sideline. To be a part of such a historical organization, to watch him get inducted, it means a lot to this city, means a lot to the Giants fans, and something I will be able to take home with me, that experience for the rest of my life.