Capers quotes (12/27)


(Opening statements) "I'm very proud of our focus, our effort and our intensity in the game yesterday. For the second week in a row we've been able to go on the road and beat a team that was in control of their own destiny, in terms of the playoffs, in their home stadium. It takes a special effort to do that. I thought our team did a great job of focusing their energy on one thing, and that was trying to be our best for three hours yesterday. We talked all week about how important it was going to be for us to start fast. Anytime you're on the road and you're playing in a playoff-type atmosphere, you want to take the crowd out of the game as much as you possibly can. I thought we did that in the beginning.

"We ended up winning the coin toss and took the football. Jabar Gaffney had a nice return out to the 35-yard line. We went 10 plays for 65 yards and scored a touchdown. It's always important that you do that but it's really important if you're on the road and playing the type of game we were in yesterday.

"We came back the fourth series and went 71 yards for another touchdown to put us up 14-0. Our defense did a great job. They had minus yardage in the first quarter. They ran 22 plays for 60 yards or so in the first half. We came out in the second half and struggled a little bit in the third quarter. Unfortunately, we've done that the last couple weeks. Our defense rose to the occasion and we were able to come back and finish strong in the fourth quarter. Our offense got back on track and our defense responded after the field goal block. We had the fumble return for a 66-yard touchdown. It was the second week we've been able to come up with a defensive score in that type of situation and finish the game off. The things we talked about, in terms of starting fast and being able to finish strong, I think we did both of those things.

"If you look at the game in its different segments, it was a tough day on special teams. The wind was extremely difficult and it did influence the kicking game. We only had one kickoff return. Jabar did a good job on that to open things up. We didn't get much done, in terms of fielding a punt because they were hard to field. We had the field goal blocked and Kris (Brown) did a great job of coming off and making the tackle. Our defense did a nice job of responding and not letting that come back to haunt us. It was one of our tougher days in the kicking game. 

"Offensively I was please with our ability to run the ball. We had our best day running the ball. Because of that and the way our defense played, we had a tremendous advantage in time of possession, about 17 minutes, which is very big. We converted our third down situations and our third-and-long situations. I thought we did a good job in that area.

"Defensively, anytime you get a shutout in this league, that's the first time it's happened here, it's a rare occasion. I thought our defense played consistent the whole day. We won nine out of ten third-down situations. The turnovers were big. We came up with three takeaways and had the touchdown return. The thing we've done a good job of the last couple of weeks is not giving up the big play. We've gone two straight weeks without giving up a long play and it makes it tough to score on us. Going 11 straight quarters without giving up a touchdown doesn't happen very often.

"The challenge this week is going to be to show what kind of finishers we are. I think we've made strides in a lot of areas. We're doing more of the things that winning football teams do now. We are running the ball better, we're able to convert our third downs, we're playing aggressive on defense, we've come up with seven takeaways the last two games, we've scored two defensive touchdowns, we've gotten off the field better on third down and we're doing a lot more things that give us a chance of winning. I like what I see out of our team. I think they've really been tuned in. They prepared well and we've gone out and played well. The challenge is to come back and finish the season playing our best football game, here, in front our home fans, against the Cleveland Browns."


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