The Texans lost to the Jets, 30-27, on Sunday at New Meadowlands Stadium. After, head coach Gary Kubiak and some of his players answered questions from the media. The following is a transcript of their respective interviews.
Head coach Gary KubiakDefensive coordinator Frank BushLinebacker Kevin BentleyLinebacker Brian CushingRunning back Arian FosterStrong safety Bernard PollardRight tackle Eric Winston
Head coach Gary Kubiak(opening statement) "It was a great football game. We had our shot. A tremendous rally by our football team in the fourth quarter. We got an excellent chance to win a football game. They made a touchdown with 15 seconds left basically. It's a very disappointing ending, so give them credit. Their quarterback did a hell of a job. He made a great throw there at the end. They got it done."
(on the ending) "There never is a margin for error in this business. You get yourself in those positions, you've got to close the deal. You have to figure out a way to close the deal. You can't sit there and say, 'Why me?' You have to gp make the plays…It's just disappointing, but I'm very, very impressed with our effort. We're coming off of last week, and we came out here and had a tremendous effort as a football team against a great football team at their place. When you've got the game won with 50 seconds left and let it go, it's tough to say, but that's part of the deal."
(on what he said to the team after the game) "I told them I didn't know what to say to them right now. I told them I was proud of their effort. You keep playing that hard, something good is going to happen to you. Too many good things going on."
(on the the defensive strategy on the last drive) "It's the only plan we've got: Keep them out of the end zone. You have 50 seconds and no timeouts. You can stop maybe 2-3 plays on the field that people can't get out of bounds. I mean, there's not many opportunities for them. Obviously, there's just trying to get themselves in position to throw a couple of balls at the end zone at the end. But they make the big play on the sidelines, which, no, we should not give up right there with the coverage we were in. It should not happen, but it did. Once they got to the five-yard line, we had to take a chance to make a play. So we went after (Sanchez) and he made a nice play."
(on what happened on the Jets 42-yard gain before the touchdown) "We were in two man is what we were playing. We were playing man coverage underneath and two deep safeties over the top. You feel like that's about as good a thing as you can be in as far as not giving up holes and stuff, making guys still beat man coverage underneath. We felt good about the coverage, but obviously they made a great play."
(on whether the defense improved) "I think we obviously played better defense today. We played better as a group. We got two big turnovers in the football game. It looked like we were pretty darn aggressive up front getting to the quarterback. We probably could have gotten there four or five more times. We're there to make the play four or five more times. We've been struggling. We needed to do something to try to spark something or do something better. It helped. I think it helped. We did do things better, but it's still about winning. But I think we'll continue with Frank down there (on the sideline)."
(on the team's mindset after such a tough loss) "These guys are amazing. I've been doing this a long time. Coming off of last week, you guys asked me the same thing. Not only you guys, but I think the guys doing the game today, when I talked to them yesterday, Dan (Dierdorf) and Greg Gumbel asked me, "How do you guys come back? How do you come back after what happened last week?"My answer was, 'Well, you should've seen these guys practice Thursday. They're going to play good.' And they did play good today. But we came up a play short."
(on the team's offensive struggles in the third quarter) "We had seven plays in the third quarter. We had pretty good field position the first time. We went three-and-out, didn't make the third down play. Got the ball back, and I think we had third-and-13, if I'm right. And we hand the ball off to Arian on the seventh play and we fumble. That was our third quarter. But we rallied like hell in the fourth quarter and took the lead. We played big there. But we played a very good team football game, which you've got to play on the road to win. But we didn't play good for a couple plays with 50 seconds left."
(on what happens next) "You just keep playing. You work hard in this business…I've seen both ends. You just keep working and believing in what you're doing and keep your chin up and keep plugging. Keep playing that hard and something good will go our way."
Defensive coordinator Frank Bush(on the Jets next-to-last offensive play) "We just had a guy make a mistake. We put him out there. We thought we put him in a position to go make a play and we had a kid that didn't perform his job, didn't get over the top and do what he's supposed to do. And they made the play and we didn't."
(on who made the mistake) "It doesn't matter which kid it is. We didn't make a play. We didn't make a play on the football when we needed to make a play. And it cost our team the football game."
Linebacker Kevin Bentley(on how he feels) "We're frustrated. We're super frustrated. I don't know what to say, really. I'm hurting. I know we're all hurting. We should've come out and won that game. I don't know what's going on luck-wise, execution-wise, but I don't know what they needed – 70-80 yards to win with 50 seconds? We're supposed to win that game. I don't know what happened."
(on if the defense's play before the final drive represent progress) "Does it represent progress? No. No. Did we win or lose? Progress is winning. That's what we're in this game for. I don't care if someone has 1,000 yards against us or one yard on us. If we lose, there's no progress. We have to win ball games. That's the bottom line. And we're not doing that."
Linebacker Brian Cushing(on the loss) "We play as a group, we lose as a group and we win as a group, and that's the bottom line. As hard as it is, we've just got to move on. These past weeks have just been mind-blowing."
(on if the team is snakebit) "It's the dramatics of it, too. We're so close and it just continues to happen."
(on the Jets heroics) "They're arguably the best team in the NFL, and with a team like that, you've got to finish them."
Running back Arian Foster(on how he feels) "It still hurts. To lose like that hurts."
(on how he'll handle the loss) "Football is a lot like life, lots of ups and downs. It's all about how you handle them…We've got to keep fighting."
(on coming up short) "We put ourselves in positions to win the game. We're just not finishing."
(on how he'd describe his feelings on defeat after calling Week 10 loss "flabbergasting") "I don't know if there's a word for this one. I don't have a cool word for you this week. You just have to sigh."
(on if it feels good to be over the 1,000 yard mark) "Not really, but it's an accomplishment. It's a notch on the belt. It's a credit to the O-line and the work that they've done this offseason. It's a collective effort."
(on what happens the rest of the year) "There's a lot of football left to be played, a lot of things can happen in this league. We're just going to keep punching."
(on the offense's game plans) "We felt coming into the game that we had a good game plan. We felt like we could move the ball on them – on the ground and in the air. I think we proved that we could. Like I said, we feel like we can play with anybody in this league, It's just about finishing. We have to find a way to finish games."
Strong safety Bernard Pollard(on the secondary's struggles) "We're at a point now where you look back and it's beyond getting out of hand. It really is. We're pros and we're not playing like it. We continue to make the dumbest mistakes. You can't sugarcoat that."
(on what's happening defensively) "At the end of the day, when teams play us, they look for a highlight game. And we continue to give teams highlight games. That's the only way I can put it. You look at the last three games we've played, look at the last three receivers we've played. Their fantasy (football) statuses went up, and it's ridiculous."
Defensive end Mario Williams(on the Jets late minute heroics) "It's all of us, but at the same time we've just got to pay more attention to where we're at in the game."
(on how the last three games have been decided) "We know in these last three games that we've lost it's just been crazy. We were right there, and we deserve better, especially for these outcomes. Like I said, we're there. Everything's going great and then all of a sudden we let the big play go. It's unheard of. We just keep having it happen to us."
(on if he thinks the Texans still have a chance at the playoffs) "Oh, definitely. I believe in this team. I believe in these coaches. Like I said, when it comes down to it, the players have to go out and play. We were in position to make plays all day. I feel bad for these coaches, because at the end of the day, they're the ones who are going to be pointed at as far as changes and things like that – having the blame put on them. But it's each and every one (of us) – the three phases out there. Because like I said, they put us in position to make plays, we just have to make them."
Right tackle Eric Winston(on how much the loss hurts) "They all hurt. They all sting. It doesn't get easier."
(on if he thought the Texans would win) "To be honest, with 45 seconds or 40 seconds left or whatever, I felt good about it."
(on how the team is taking the loss) "It's hard on everybody. It's gut-wrenching. It doesn't hurt any of us any worse or more than it has the previous losses. It is what it is. I don't know what to say."
(on the offense's success in the fourth quarter) "I think it was about making some plays. I think we found a way to make some plays. I don't know routes and I don't know stuff like that but obviously we got some guys getting open for Matt. Matt was hitting them. And we were protecting pretty well, so it was quickened. I thought the whole game we played pretty well up front. We made some holes and we protected pretty well…You keep hammering and you keep hammering and I think we presented a lot of problems…and we were able to move the ball."