HEAD COACH GARY KUBIAK
T DUANE BROWN
TE OWEN DANIELS
RB ARIAN FOSTER
CB KAREEM JACKSON
ILB BRADIE JAMES
WR ANDRE JOHNSON
SS DANIEAL MANNING
OLB WHITNEY MERCILUS
FS GLOVER QUIN
QB MATT SCHAUB
WR KEVIN WALTER
DE J.J. WATT
HEAD COACH GARY KUBIAK(Transcribed by Tiffani Walker)
(on the game) "First off, give them credit. Congratulations to (Vikings Head Coach) Leslie (Frazier) and Minnesota. They came in here, on the road, in a big game, and played big time football. He's a class act and has got a hell of a football team. He deserves a lot of credit for that. For us, obviously we didn't play well. I think we battled defensively. Offensively, we probably played as bad as we've played. I take full responsibility for that. It's a huge, huge disappointment, one that we have to get over from real quick."
(on the preparations during the week) "I thought we had a really good week. I thought we came out with some energy and ready to go. Go right down the field and obviously make a big field goal. I think they went right down the field too. We knew we were playing a good team, and that we were going sit there and go toe-to-toe with physically and make some plays. I think in the big picture, when you're 1-for-life on third downs and they're over 50 percent on third downs, you've got one team making plays, and another team not making plays. When that happens you get beat."
(on Minnesota QB Christian Ponder out rushing our running backs) "I don't know how much of a chance I gave it to get going. But I do know we had 16 carries for 30 yards, when it's said and done. We're playing from behind. Our game plan was to come out and attack them early, we did, we made some nice plays early in the game. They got a good front, try and settle down. I think at halftime we had like nine or 10 carries, for 12 yards. It was not good. At halftime we took our two best runs and we came out the second half, and went first down, second down, and we had third-and-13 again. It kind of tells you how we ran the ball today."
(on what happened to RB Arian Foster) "Arian had an irregular heartbeat. He is doing fine. That's why we took him out of the game. But he is doing fine. That is something that happened once before in practice. I'm not sure when it happened, but (it was a) precaution."
(on working through the run game issues from last week's game and how today's game went) "We ran it good some at the end of the game, we ran it really good. We didn't run it good in the first half last week. Like I said, it was almost a mirror image of what we did last week; in the second half we're going to come out and try and establish the run. And like I said, you spend 15 minutes in the locker room and say, 'ok, here are our first two runs of the second half,' and you lose one and two, it's kind of a tough deal. We never gave ourselves the chance from that standpoint."
(on the play of the defense against Minnesota RB Adrian Peterson) "I thought we did a good job. He got out of there a couple times. He's very difficult to tackle, but I thought we controlled him from making the big, big play. At the end of the day, they run the ball very well, because they're quarterback ran it very well, and the other back came in and ran it well. But we knew that's what we were going to get. The thing that I think they did an excellent job of was some of their boots and stuff early to knowing that we were socked in there for the run game. They moved the ball and made some plays, but I thought our defense had us in a game where we should put some points up and have a chance to win."
(on the series in the third quarter in the red zone and dropped passes and other miscues) "It was ugly. We made things really had on ourselves. We had first-and-goal on the one, on a play we worked on all week and we busted that. So that's a throw away. So now its second-and-one, we run our top run, we lose a yard, I think. So now its third-and-one and we check to a play down there and we take a 15-yard sack. Not good. I don't know what else to tell you, it's not good at all."
(on RB Arian Foster's irregular heart beat) "It's probably not fair for me to try and explain it to you. I just know that it's happened before to him at practice. He calms down and he's fine. They told me, there was a point where they said he's ok and I said, 'No, we'll let (RB) Ben (Tate) and (RB) Justin (Forsett) take it.' I don't see any issues here. I know they're on top of it and he's feeling fine. But I just wanted you all to know why we made the decision."
(on the importance of home field and the disappointment of losing today) "It makes it very, very disappointing because we had the chance to line up here and get something done today. Doesn't mean we still can't get it done. That's the most important thing. But, to line up and get beat the way we got beat today is very disappointing. Hopefully we learn from it and bounce right back. We have to. We don't have a choice. It's a tough pill to swallow, but you have to give them credit for what they did too."
(on what he will do as a head coach to turn things around next week) "I have to go back and look. I have to go back and watch some film. You're always evaluating what you do, and how you go about it. And I'll do that, and take my responsibility for it. It's what I just told them and I want them to do the same thing. Have to be here Wednesday ready to go. That's part of what we do for a living. You have to be a man, and man up and move to the next one."
(on how worried he is about the offense) "We have played in spurts. We've had some huge days, and we've played in spurts. We've moved the ball and not had some points, that bothers me. Probably the biggest disappointment in the last month has been third downs. That gets down to making plays. The quarterback, the wideouts making plays. I have to make a call for them that puts them in the right, perfect position and we haven't been doing that. You're one-for-11 (on third down) in a game, that's hard. You better be making some big plays and we weren't doing that."
(on QB Matt Schaub throwing short on third downs when he has time to complete passes) "I have to go look at that. Obviously you're calling plays, if it's third-and-10, and hopefully you got something where you can get 10 yards. There are times when the defense will make you hit an underneath guy, but he can go get a first down, that's part of playing. I think we had another handful of third-and-12's, and 13's, I think, I'll have to go back and look. I know we had some long yardage situations that are just very, very difficult. We're making it hard on ourselves. I would bet today that we probably did not run the ball in one of our third down situations. So that will tell you right there. That is not us. We have to be in a situation where we can run or throw it. And obviously, I don't think we did one time today."
TACKLE DUANE BROWN(Transcribed by Greg Dillard)
(on the offenses' struggles) "As an offense, I think we just weren't clicking totally. Everyone took a chance at mistakes, myself included. I had a couple. We didn't make plays we could've made. Third down situations, turnovers killed us, and just didn't feel on schedule. You go out first down. You get a big run. You get another first down. You get two yards, one yard, and then you're in third and seven. It's tough to keep trying to convert those third and long. We put ourselves in those situations many times this year against a good defense. They're going to make you pay for it."
(on why the team's blocking up front has been inconsistent this season) "I can't give an explanation for it. It's definitely a concern though, being a part of the offensive line. It's something we take pride in is running the ball. We've just been up and down. You can't be that way. We are what starts the offense. The running game starts the offense and everything else goes off of that. Going here on out we got to be able to run the ball better. There are just no ifs, ands or buts about it. We're going to watch film and do what we have to do to make the corrections, but it's definitely something we're going to have to fix."
(on going to Indianapolis next week with home field advantage at stake) "It's one of most important games we ever played. We put a lot of emphasis on this game, how important it was, but obviously we came out just flat and came out without the intensity, without the sense of urgency that was needed. I think going to Indy we just got to bounce back. It's something that we've been doing all year. It shouldn't have taken a loss like this for us to realize it, but I think this group will be able to do it."
(on why the team came out flat) "Can't explain why, we killed ourselves on some drives. Like I said, myself included, some penalties that put us in some bad situations, just being inconsistent in the run game, just flat."
(on being off schedule on third downs) "Just didn't run the ball man when the coach dialed up the runs, we didn't take advantage of getting two yards, three yards there, then breaking open a big one. That's not good enough. That's not the type of play we're accustomed to having. We've got to get five and six then bust out a big one. When have those two yard runs and set up a third and eight, third and seven, it's tough. It's tough man. Against a good defense it's going to be hard to convert those third and longs. We just continue to put ourselves in those situations."
(on if he sensed that RB Arian Foster was ill) "No I didn't. I talked to him a little bit before the game. I didn't have a sense that anything was wrong with them."
(on how personally he takes losing) "Very personal, when Coach dials up a run, it's on our shoulders to get push, to create lanes. I've got to watch film. I don't know exactly what happened and why we weren't successful, but I take it very personal."
(on if he's angry at how the team performed) "I can't say I'm angry. Everybody out there battled. The effort was there. Everyone had their mistakes, myself included, so I can't be angry. If I'm going to be angry at anybody I'm going to be angry at myself. Defense played well. They did play well, to contain their back the way they did, they played well. For the offense, we killed ourselves on some drives, penalties like I said, for myself, missed plays that were there, yards that were there, turnovers going in to score. It's tough. It's tough to bring yourselves out of that hole. I'm not going to say I'm surprised that it happened, but disappointed."
FULLBACK JAMES CASEY(Transcribed by T.D. Durham)
(on getting the loss out of the way now before the postseason) "Just the way the game went. I didn't get to get in there too much as far as lead blocking goes just because of how we got down early and the way the game went. But I wasn't even out there much to see how physical they really were, but they must have been an extremely physical team. They were doing really well on the edge and stopped our running game. And we feel like we're a very good running team and they stopped us so we have to give them a lot of credit."
(on how frustrating it is to not be clicking on offense for several weeks) "Very, very frustrating. It's very disappointing. We're all extremely mad about it. To put it the best way I can, I guess. But at the same time I was just thinking that all we have to do is win four games in a row, and that's, we've done that before twice this year. As bad as this is and as bad as it feels now, you can't – it's obviously going to hurt the rest of the day and tomorrow – but you can't let it affect you going into this next game, going into Indianapolis on the road. We still have everything in front of us, I know it's what everyone says, but we really do. If we win this next game, we have home field advantage and we're going to get to play two games here. Even though it didn't really help us this game, but we only have four games. If we just handle business for four games anything is possible."
(on if the Texans can hit a gear to get hot before the playoffs) "Absolutely. They always say you get hot – just like the Giants last year going into the playoffs. You can win a championship. We're not hot right now of course, but if we go and play well on Sunday, we can bounce back and we can be hot again and we'll have a bye week and we'll have a lot of time to prepare for whoever we're going to play at home in that second round of playoffs. Then we can get hot at home for two games then you're in the Super Bowl. It hurts right now, but we still have to look at the positive things. We're still in a good situation. There are a lot of other teams around us that are in a lot worse situations – they've been eliminated a long time ago."
(on how this loss feels different than the losses against Green Bay or New England) "It feels different because we knew we had a chance to clinch the number one seed going into it and we didn't execute, we didn't perform well. There's no excuses for it, we just didn't play well. So it feels terrible. It feels like one of the worse losses I've ever been a part of, just because we knew what was at stake. But luckily we have another chance next week. We don't have very many more chances, we have the last game of the season next week and then after that it's the playoffs and either you're the winner or you go home. We have another chance, but we have to take advantage of the opportunity."
(on if this team still feels like a No. 1 seed) "Not right now. No, not at all we don't because losing like that. But you have to give a lot of credit to Minnesota, they played well. And we still will be the No. 1 seed if we win next week. So we have a lot of positives to looks at. We have a lot of stuff to motivate us going into next week. I know the coaches are going to be hard on us, and deservedly so after that performance. Hopefully everybody bounces back and responds. I think we have a great group of guys that's going to respond. We've done it before. The last two times we lost we responded really well. We just have to do the same thing again."
(on how struggling in the running game affected third downs on offense) "If we can't run the ball we're dead in the water. That's what we do. That's our main thing – that sets up everything else we do. If you're not running the ball well on first down, it's putting you in third and long situations and those are hard to convert for any team in the NFL because they can just play loaded coverage and bring blitzes and try to – they know you're passing the ball so it makes you predictable. And that's something we have to correct. We have to run the ball. We have to focus on that all week long. Going into Indianapolis we have to be able to run the ball to be successful in our offense and that's going to have to – we have to get it done next week. And then going into the playoffs, that's going to be the things we hang our hat on. We have to make sure we get that fixed."
TIGHT END OWEN DANIELS(Transcribed by Greg Dillard)
(on the team's struggles) "I think they're a team that the defense prides themselves in stopping the run. We weren't good enough running the ball, blocking, everyone all together obviously wasn't good enough. I think we threw the ball alright, but maybe didn't throw it enough. I don't know. We didn't do a great job when we were running it. We had some issues maybe in protection a little bit. I would say everyone's involved in that. It's hard to say because everyone is out there doing their own thing so it has to be what went wrong, not exactly sure. I'll have to check the film and see what's up."
(on if the team is stunned right now) "Yeah, obviously, this is a big opportunity for us to wrap things up and take care of ourselves and get healthy and get rested for the playoffs. I don't know why. I don't know what was going on. I can't put a finger on it right now, couldn't run the ball, hurt ourselves. We were either getting a big chunk of yardage or getting minus yardage. It's hard to have some consistency that way. You want some type of rhythm. We couldn't find that all day. We'll look at it. We'll get it fixed up. It's still in our hands. We can still lock this thing up. We'll go to work on that."
(on the offense over the last month) "I think it's been a little inconsistent. We've done some things well, but I don't think we've really put a game together where we've been good on third downs; we've been good in the red zone, all across the board. You'd like to find some consistency late in the year so you can feel good about yourself going into the playoffs. We're confident in what we can do. We just need to find a way to do it. We're not going to get down on ourselves. We'll go back to work and figure out a way to get it done."
RUNNING BACK ARIAN FOSTER(Transcribed by Evan Koch)
(on his irregular heartbeat) "I'll be fine. I'll be okay. It's a very minor situation, so I'll be okay."
CORNERBACK KAREEM JACKSON(Transcribed by T.D. Durham)
(on getting the loss out of the way now before the postseason) "Yeah, we can say that. But at the same time, we expect a lot more out of ourselves than what we put out today. We never want to lose regardless of when it is – beginning of the season or the end of the season. Any loss, we take that to heart. Like I said, we just have to go evaluate the film and make corrections and come back next week."
(on Minnesota being efficient on third down in the passing game) "They made a couple plays on third down; I'm not really sure what they were percentage-wise. A couple of times we should have been off the field and we didn't make the play when they made the play."
(on how it feels like the team has been playing the last month) "There are some things we could do a lot better. Like I said, we expect a lot out of ourselves every Sunday. Even when we win there are still things we go back and see that we could have done differently or done better. In the losses, we make a couple more mistakes than usually and we can't have that. The game is over now, all we can do is go watch film and make corrections and change it. That's all we can do."
INSIDE LINEBACKER BRADIE JAMES(Transcribed by Greg Dillard)
(on having to win next week) "The thing about this team is when our backs are against the wall we come out swinging. It's when things are going good, and things have been going good. I have no doubt that we'll come out and be ready to play because that's been our identity. Fortunately, we've only lost three games. We know what's at stake and we need to take that same intensity through the playoffs."
(on if he thinks the defense focused too much on RB Adrian Peterson) "No, like I said, we didn't play collectively well. We stopped him and that was our goal. I'll be honest with you, just stop him from getting the record, but we didn't play well enough to win the game."
WIDE RECEIVER ANDRE JOHNSON(Transcribed by Roman Petrowski)
(on what led to the loss) "We didn't make plays. We played horrible on offense. That's pretty much it. That's probably the worst we've played as an offense the whole year."
(on if he is concerned about the loss) "It's concerning, but like I said before, it's about how you respond. We're playing against a good team next week that has a lot to play for and we still have a lot to play for."
(on if the team is shocked at the way Minnesota played) "They're a good football team. They play hard and have good players. We just didn't make plays."
(on if he things the team will respond) "Yeah. Why not? Things go bad. You have to come back and play well. I have no doubt about it."
(on the offense's recent struggles) "We've talked about that for a while. We've been able to still win games. The offense for us is just about things seem to go well when everything is in a rhythm. We never found a rhythm or anything today. When we don't do that, we don't play well for some reason."
(on if preparation was the reason for the poor play) "We went out and we practiced well. Wednesday we had a bad (weather) day. The weather was real windy but we went out and completed balls. Guys were focused. We practiced well. There was no concern coming into the game by the coaches or anything like that."
(on RB Arian Foster) "I talked to him afterward. He said he was fine. It's something he's dealt with before. Hopefully he won't have any setbacks or anything like that. He was frustrated because he wants to be out on the field playing. You just hate to have something like that happen during the game."
(on the added significance of Sunday's game in Indianapolis) "It's very significant. It's a goal of ours as a team. It's something we've been working for. Even though we lost today we still have a chance to do it. I can't speak for everybody else but I'll be ready to go Sunday."
(on not converting third downs) "You try to keep yourself in third and short. When you're in third and long it's hard to convert that. When you're not converting third downs you aren't going to stay on the field. We knew coming into this game we were going to have to try to stay on the field, because they're a team that likes to run the ball. They're going to eat up the clock. They're not going to give you many opportunities. I don't know what our third downs were today, but I don't think we converted many."
(on if he is surprised by how the offense played today) "Yeah, you don't play football and plan on going out doing things like that. Yeah I'm surprised by it, but at the same time we just have to let it go. It's a game. It was an important game but at the same time we still have one more game to play. If we win that game next week we still can achieve what we wanted to achieve. There's no reason to go home and beat yourself across the head about it. You still have a chance to accomplish our team goal. We'll just come in, watch the film, and get ready for the Colts."
SAFETY DANIEAL MANNING(Transcribed by T.D. Durham)
(on getting a loss out of the way now before the postseason) "We didn't make any adjustments really. We just continued to work our game plan and started making some stops on them and contain the run. But we didn't make any adjustments."
(on Minnesota's passing game hurting the Texans' defense) "When you have a running game like that and you get sucked to it, sometimes they play-action pass well and get you beat."
(on his thought about how the game unfolded) "Right now, I'm still trying to suck it all in and we had opportunities to seal home field advantage today but we didn't. We may have an opportunity next week to finish that out, but we just have to look at that. I feel like we came out and I feel like we had a pretty good game plan. And it was just executing it, and that's something that we really didn't do."
(on if he was shocked at how this game turned out) "No, because any given Sunday you can get beat. The way that we came out maybe that was more shocking than anything. The first play they had on offense and (RB Adrian Peterson) popped one. So that, that right there lets you know that we were pretty much kind of trying to play on our heels and we should've been more prepared."
(on Minnesota's running game and RB Adrian Peterson) "I mean, he's a good running back. They trust him; they know what is at stake for him personally. And that's a team that's also trying to make a run and get into the playoffs. What we are trying to do around here is get home field advantage. We knew it was going to be a tough game. They're known to run the ball, they have a guy like (RB) Adrian Peterson and they know what record he's trying to get. And that was a good run at the beginning."
(on if it's hard to believe that they need a road win to secure home field) "I don't know if guys are playing – I don't think this group is playing or thinking about the playoffs, we just have the playoffs sealed up, we got that done. I don't think this group – I think everybody in this locker room is pretty much pissed off about the game and how it went down. But we can't get that back. We have to move forward. We're going to take this, we have to take it across the chin and get things corrected and get ready to play the Colts again."
(on what Head Coach Gary Kubiak told the team after the game) "Not much, he pretty much kept it simple. We didn't play the way that we are used to playing around here. We're used to seeing us play. He took a lot – he's going to take a lot on him for the way that we came out. Pretty much we're not going to play like that again."
(on if he's concerned that this is the team's playing trend the last few weeks) "I wouldn't say very concerned, but I'm definitely – as one of the leaders on this team, I definitely have to reevaluate myself and my play and my leadership on this team and exactly what am I doing. I don't think it has anything to do with concerning on how this team is going to bounce back; I just think there is some concern individually. Everyone has to check themselves at this time."
OUTSIDE LINEBACKER WHITNEY MERCILUS(Transcribed by Greg Dillard)
(on his thoughts after the loss) "Disappointed, basically giving them a game, a lot of penalties, things that cost us the game too. Offensively, we've got to be able to score, especially when we get down there in the red zone too. Defensively, we did good, but we could have done a hell of a lot better. It is what it is."
(on the Vikings' ability to convert on third downs) "It is a good team, can't deny them that. They got a great back, pretty decent line and all that. Of course they were going to make some plays and things like that. Every game somebody is going to make some plays. They pay those guys to do that, but it's up to us to stop them."
(on if he was surprised by QB Christian Ponder's game) "Yeah, he definitely played well this game, running the ball, throwing it, making those quick throws and things like that. We got to be able to stop him too, get to him, and not allow him to run for like 30 yards."
(on what Coach Kubiak said after the game) "Same thing, disappointing, overall we can play a whole lot better as a team. That doesn't show what type of team we are. We can play a whole lot better."
(on how they get their swagger back next week) "All it is is just practicing harder during the week, being tuned in, locked in and things like that. It shows on game day.
FREE SAFETY GLOVER QUIN(Transcribed by Matt May)
(on why the Texans had trouble with Vikings QB Christian Ponder) "We knew he could make the throws that he made, it didn't surprise me at all. Their offense stayed on track, first and second down, running the ball. They stayed in third down and manageable. He took the throws that were open and when they weren't he took off running."
(on the fans reaction to the disappointing loss) "It always hurts when you get booed by your own fans. It's a part of it, they pay money to see us win and play well and we didn't do that today so we deserved to get booed at."
(on if this loss is a wakeup call heading into the playoffs) "I don't feel like we needed a wakeup call. We got beat two weeks ago in New England that was a wakeup call. This was a game we came in to win and we needed to win. We didn't get the job done. We knew what we had to do, we just didn't get it done and they did."
QUARTERBACK MATT SCHAUB(Transcribed by Greg Dillard)
(on the loss) "We had a good week of preparation, good plan, we didn't execute across the board. We hurt ourselves, had some turnovers, had penalties that put us behind the down and distance and ultimately we didn't execute as a group. As a quarterback, I take responsibility for that. We got to be better as a group. All the way around, start to finish, we just were not good."
(on the offenses' struggles on third downs) "Again, it's lack of execution, having long yardage situations and they're a good defense. They play good style. Their front is very good, very active and just didn't execute."
(on the first and goal series in the third quarter) "We had two goal line plays there. The first pass they covered up, got rid of it. We got stopped on the second down and then we had a pass on the last one. I shouldn't take a sack down there. I should get rid of that football. We hurt ourselves. We had a chance. We got to execute and have a killer instinct to score down there."
(on the disappointment in today's loss) "To do that today in our building, we had a lot of momentum going. It's very disappointing we didn't come out and play better."
(on the explanation giving to him as to why he was taken out when he was) "I didn't really get an explanation. I just assumed that it was based on, I think it was the first down when they got the personal foul. It was coaches' decision as a player."
(on if the Vikings surprised them with their pressure) "No, they're a good group. They have a lot of veteran players. They disguise things pretty well. It really wasn't much we hadn't seen before, maybe some things that we didn't expect to quite see against our scheme, but we knew they had those things in their arsenal."
(on the Vikings defensive pressure) "I have to look at the numbers, right now I can't really tell you. They did bring some pressure whether it was more or less than their percentages going in. I'd have to go back and look. They traditionally weren't a high pressure team, but they ended up bringing it a little bit."
(on the penalties) "That's something that we can't have. As an offense, we pride ourselves. The last month we've been pretty bad in that area as far as penalties as a team. We got to eliminate those to not hurt ourselves. When you have those and you put yourself in third and ten pluses those are hard to convert when you're playing a good team."
(on being resilient and bouncing back from the loss) "Yeah, just get back to work. We're going to have a couple days here to digest this and move on. We got to go on the road and play a good team in their building. We'll come back in Wednesday morning and get ready to go. I have no doubt that we're going to do that."
WIDE RECEIVER KEVIN WALTER(Transcribed by T.D. Durham)
(on if this is the worst loss of the season) "Yeah, it was, definitely. We had a lot to play for and we didn't get it done. It's disappointing for sure. Definitely the worst loss I think."
(on what he has to say to the fans) "Bear with us. We're going to get it done next week. We're not satisfied, we know we didn't play well and you guys know we didn't play well. But we're going to come back and get it done in Indy."
(on what it would feel like to not get home field advantage) "If we didn't get it, it would be very disappointing, but we plan on getting it."
(on if this is the worst the offense has played) "Yeah, I think so. I definitely think so. We didn't execute, obviously. Third downs, red zones, you can name it. I think we had penalties and things that we talked about before the game and we didn't get it done."
(on if the Vikings did anything to slow the offense) "It was nothing really they did. We knew what they were doing. They played the way we thought they were. It was just about executing and making plays."
(on his catch on the one yard line) "It was a catch and I guess my knee hit the ground before."
(on if he thought he was in the end zone) "Yeah I thought I was, but looking at the replay, I guess I was."
(on what his emotions are) "I'm pissed off to tell you the truth. I'm pissed off, upset, disappointed. It's disappointing. But you know what, we're going to come back. We have the guys in this locker room that are going to fight hard next week. We're going to make our corrections and get it done in Indy (Indianapolis)."
(on if he was frustrated when offensive personnel changes were made at the end of the game) "You know, it is what it is. We didn't get it done. Whoever is out there, we just have to make plays. That's all I can say."
(on if he could tell that RB Arian Foster wasn't feeling well) "No I couldn't tell. I guess he wasn't feeling well. No I didn't realize that."
(on the offense's problems with third and long) "Yeah, that's what happens. I think we really shot ourselves in the foot a little bit. When you're third in long, it's tough to convert."
(on if he thought the game was back on schedule when he thought he caught a touchdown) "Yeah, you're never really worried. But as the game goes on we're like 'we have to keep on making plays,' and we didn't execute. We know we're a heck of a lot better than that."
DEFENSIVE END J.J. WATT(Transcribed by Roman Petrowski)
(on the frustrations of the game) "We didn't play a good football game. Give credit to the Vikings. They came out here and they won a football game. We need to play better in all facets of the game. "
(on how the team can bounce back) "We'll be just fine. We know what it takes. Today we didn't play our game. We're going to be fine. We're going to get things corrected. We're going to have a good week of practice. We're going to get focused and then we're going to come out there and earn ourselves home-field advantage."
(on Minnesota's third down conversions) "That was frustrating. We definitely need to look at our third down conversions. I know we gave up some third and shorts. We can't put ourselves in that situation and even when we do we need to stop them. We didn't do a good enough job getting off the field. We need to get our offense the ball back and give them a chance to score"
(on Minnesota RB Adrian Peterson) "He's a very good running back. You can't say enough about that guy. He's a heck of a football player. Obviously we're happy to hold him under 100 yards, but we're not happy with the results of the overall game. He's a great player."
(on Minnesota QB Christian Ponder) "Ponder had a great game. Ponder played very well. He made some great throws and he scrambled a lot. We didn't do a good job of containing him, and that's on us as a defensive line."
(on if the team is stunned after the loss) "Stunned is not the word. We're not stunned. We're 12-3. We're a 12-3 football team; that is a very good football team. We didn't play our best today, and we lost the football game. We're going to get it corrected, and we're going to go to Indianapolis and win ourselves a game."
(on if this loss is harder than others) "Every loss is extremely hard. There are no excuses for loses. We're going to go get it corrected."
(on how the team gets over the loss) "We're going to be the Houston Texans moving forward. Whether you want to say it, it's going to light a fire. You can say whatever you want. We're going to do what we do. We're going to play our football. We're going to go forward. We understand this is one loss. We're sitting at 12-3. We know how to win. We just didn't do it today. We're going to get it all corrected."
POSTGAME QUOTES FROM MINNESOTA VIKINGS
HEAD COACH LESLIE FRAZIER
DE JARED ALLEN
DT FRED EVANS
LB CHAD GREENWAY
T MATT KALIL
RB ADRIAN PETERSON
QB CHRISTIAN PONDER
S HARRISON SMITH
C JOHN SULLIVAN
K BLAIR WALSH
CB ANTOINE WINFIELD
HEAD COACH LESLIE FRAZIER (Transcribed by Melissa Montemayor and Carla Bertoldi)
(opening statement) "There's a lot of excitement back there in our locker room; a lot of hooting and hollering and for good reason. To come down here and get a win against a team that had a chance to clinch home field advantage throughout the playoffs in the AFC and here we are fighting for our playoff lives so it's a big game for both football teams. For our guys to have played as well as they have played throughout, I'm just so very proud of our football team. We came away pretty good injury wise, there is really nothing to speak of. We have some guys with some bumps and bruises we'll have to reassess when we get back on Monday but nothing that should keep anybody out of the ball game next week. But the effort of our entire team, our defense standing up on the goal line, huge stand and then to come back after the turnover and get a three and out and not give up points, the big turnover when we got it as they were marching the football. Great job by our defense, great job by our coaching staff throughout just coming up with a great plan on offense, a great plan on defense, and a great plan on special teams and then our players executing the game plan. Congratulations to all of our players, all of our coaches and making our fans extremely proud of the Minnesota Vikings. That's our goal every time we walk on the field is to make our fans proud. I would venture to say across the country if you're a Vikings fan, you're very proud today. Great job by our players and by our assistant coaches."
(on what was the key thing in their defensive game plan that they needed to do against this offense) "We talked about the importance of being physical. We talk about that every week and there is no greater time than for us to display the characteristics that we talk about as a team every week. The fact that we want to be a spark team, we want to be a disciplined team, we want to be a tough team, we thought all of our team characteristics would have to come into play for us to make this work from a defensive stand point and a team stand point. Our guys they practice that way throughout the week and they understood the physicality that was going to be necessary. We can't wear pads in practice but the things we've talked about and the things we've tried to drill, I mean they got it and it showed on the football field."
(on possible talk of the Texans containing RB Adrian Peterson and if he was effective in setting up QB Christian Ponder to help get the offense going) "You know when he doesn't rush for two hundred then you feel you've done a good job but he did everything we asked him to do today. He had some tough runs. That's a very good defense that he was going up against, that's one of the top run defenses we're going to face and for Adrian to continue to pound it in there and come up with some tough yards when we needed them really helped to set up some things in our passing game. Christian had a terrific day throughout and played with a lot of poise, a lot of control and did all of the things we needed but it was all set up off our run game. Even though we didn't rush for some of the yards that we've had in the past, it was exactly what we needed for this game."
(on if Adrian Peterson came out of the game ok injury wise) "Yeah more caution than anything, he's a little sore. His abdomen was a little sore but we didn't want to put him back in there until we knew we had the game at hand."
(on what was critical to QB Christian Ponder playing well) "The fact that we could get our run game going, that's always key for us as a team and really opens up some things in the passing game. You know, we were teasing him in the locker room about being a married guy. I mean, he had a great week of practice so not being single has been a plus for him. It's a good thing. He came in with great focus, he understood the game plan. I asked him on Thursday 'How do you feel about the game plan?' He said 'Coach I think it's a great plan and we're going to get these guys.' He was very excited about the things we had in place. (Offensive Coordinator) Bill (Musgrave) and the offensive coaches put together a great plan for a very good defense but our run game set up some of the things that Christian was able to do today."
(on if he is happy with the way QB Christian Ponder played today) "No doubt about it so pleased for him. He gets too much of the blame when things don't go right. He deserves a lot of credit for the success that we had today in particular on offense. He did what an NFL quarterback needs to do the way we're structured. He did a terrific job of running our team and leading our offense throughout this ball game. He needs to be credited for what he did today. He did a great job."
(on the defense rallying in the final minutes of the game and if they had the energy they need to play that type of defense) "Oh yeah, a lot of guys in here you were at our private practice and they were energetic and looking forward to this game and they played like it. They were ready to go and it was great to see from a defensive standpoint and a team standpoint."
(on how they were able to maintain their defense against the Texans' play action style offense) "You know it's a difficult task. They've really hurt a lot of teams with their boot legs and their play actions and throwing it to (WR Andre) Johnson and (WR Kevin) Walter and (TE) Owen (Daniels) as well. Our defensive line is key in getting that done and we had good coverage with our backers and our secondary as well but it still comes back to our defensive line creating havoc. More importantly, we really did a good job against the run today. A lot of what they do play action wise and boot leg wise is set up based on how well they run the ball. I haven't looked at the numbers but I felt like we did a real good job against their run game which really negates their passing game."
(on what he told QB Christian Ponder in the locker room following the game) "I just gave him a big hug and congratulated him and said to him what I just said to you guys that marriage suits him well."
(on how the defense feels about their ability to stop on first and goal) "I'm extremely proud of our defense to stand up in that situation because that could have been a momentum turn. If they end up scoring in that situation, all of the sudden the crowd is going to get back in it and it's going to be a tough ball game. I think we were in the fourth quarter at that time. But for our defense to do that, it really skimmed the tide and really made their offense have to scratch their heads a little bit. You're on the one yard line and they're a very good offense so for our guys to stand up and do what they did it's just a great job."
"You're on the one yard line and they're a very good offense, so for our guys to stand up and do what they did, just a great job, great job."
(on K Blair Walsh kicking long field goals) "He kicked it so well in pregame. He came up to me and said if we get to the 40 (yard line), we can make it. He actually told me if we cross the 50, we are in good shape. I feel pretty good when we had a chance to kick the 56 yarder), based on what we had done in pregame."
(on punting with P Chris Kluwe instead of kicking a 57-yard field goal in the fourth quarter) "I just wanted to make them have to drive the field and was glad that Chris was able to pin them back and where we were in the game. I thought we had a counter going in the right direction."
(on field position and special teams) "Well, it's always a big deal and particularly when you are playing a high power offense like the one we faced today. You don't want to put them on short fields, which is another reason why what our defense did after turnovers was a big deal. So, what (P) Chris (Kluwe) did, what (K) Blair (Walsh) did, our coverage units, our offense getting out of some backed up situations so we didn't have to punt with our backs to the goal post. We did a lot of good things that good teams have to be able to do. That's part of winning games, being able to have good field position and understanding field position."
(on QB Christian Ponder's pass to WR Jerome Simpson) "Incredible catch. Actually, when that ball was in the air, I thought, man we have got to get that ball out of bounds. And next thing you know Jerome is coming down with it and has the wherewithal to get his feet inbounds. It was a big play. We were going to end up having to punt and maybe give them good field position. To keep the drive moving, to keep the clock running, big play in the sequence, big play in the game."
(on wide receivers) "You know, (Wide Receivers Coach) George (Stewart) still does a great job of instilling in our guys the philosophy with the wide receivers that they have to block down field, and that that's as important as catching balls. And that's because of who we have running the football. So, the fact that (WR) Jerome (Simpson) has bought into that is big for our team. That is as important as it is to us as a guy making a big catch. You have to be able to block down the field. He's a guy who has worked hard in the weight room. I was in there watching him and talking to him the other day talking about just how much stronger he was gotten since he has arrived here in Minnesota. He has put in the time to get better at his task when it comes to blocking and it's a credit to him. He could have come in saying I just want to catch ball and run routes but he hasn't done that."
(on playing CB Chris Cook) "Just his conditioning and knowing that game speed versus practice speed is different so we wanted to make sure that we bring him along but get him in at the right times. I thought (Defensive Backs Coach) Joe Woods and (Defensive Coordinator) Alan (Williams) did a great job of working the substitutions there."
(on DE Brian Robison playing next week) "I think he'll be ready; he was close. But we will have to wait to see, when we start back at work next week. I'm hoping we have him back, we definitely need him. The guys who did play (DE) Everson (Griffen) did a great job, we got (DE) George Johnson in there, I mean they did a great job of rotating at that position. But, I'm hoping we will have him back."
(on his feelings going forward in this next week toward the Packers at home and playoffs on the line) "Well, it's an exciting time but then I'm just going to enjoy this one for now, and we will deal with that one after a 24 hour jubilation."
(on the chance to make the playoffs at home) "No questions, to be able to play in front of our fans at Mall of America Field. You couldn't ask for a better scenario for us. If you were going to write a script this is the way you'd want it to be done where we have a chance to play in front of our fans at Mall of America Field against our NFC North rival. I mean it's great for us, definitely looking forward to it. But, as I mentioned I don't want to think too far ahead. I want to bask in the glory of this win on the road."
(on DE J.J. Watt) "A great player, a great player. Disruptive. There were sometimes you know when you see him in our backfield making tackles. We're trying to do everything we can to keep him out of plays but because of the fact that he's a great player he finds ways to make plays. I have a lot of respect for his game. He's a great player."
(on QB Christian Ponder's struggles and how they got him going again) "Well, we do a lot of things with all our players. After every ball game, we go back and look at tape and try to find out what we can do to help every player improve. That's exactly what (Quarterbacks Coach) Craig Johnson did and (Offensive Coordinator) Bill Musgrave, going back, looking at games, like they do every week. Just try to figure out, how can we help our quarterback? How can we help our offensive line? How can we help our wide receivers to get better? There are a number of things that we do every week, specifically with Christian, just going back through the game play and making sure we have the right things in place that he's comfortable with, along with how we are going to attack them at home. He's done a great job of responding to the things that we try to get him to do. But, we haven't targeted him anymore or any less than the other players that we have on our team."
DEFENSIVE END JARED ALLEN(Transcribed by Matt May)
(on if this game was the Vikings best defensive effort this season) "Yeah, this was probably one of our top defensive games. I'm sure we've had cleaner games as far as not making mistakes. As far as overall collective effort I'd say it was one of our better games. That goal line stand kind of set the tempo for where we were going to play at and to have (DT) Fred (Evans) come up with that monster sack right there was huge. We had guys contributing from all aspects and it was a fun game."
(on the Vikings goal line stand and controlling Texans QB Matt Schaub throughout the game) "We knew we had some favorable matchups if we could get them in 3rd and long and hopefully get (QB) Matt (Schaub) off his spot. He's a dangerous quarterback when he can bootleg in rhythm and sit back in rhythm and throw. They're a really good O-line when they can get you running like that. We were able to force Schaub out of his comfort zone with blitzes. On that play they left (DT) Fred (Evans) one on one and he made a great play. He's been doing that all year."
(on Texans T Duane Brown's holding penalty) "I'd been going outside of Duane all game and beat him inside. I thought I was going to get (QB) Matt (Schaub) right there and Duane put his arm around my waist and the ref threw the flag. Last week I felt like I got molested but didn't get any calls so luckily one went in my favor today."
(on if the Vikings are a playoff team) "We're playing good ball. We're taking it one game at a time honestly but we have to go win one more. We can't get too high over this win. It's just one of those things where you have to continue to push forward and hope for the best."
DEFENSIVE TACKLE FRED EVANS(Transcribed by Lance Jaramillo)
(on the fight the Vikings have shown towards the end of the season) "We really believe in our team and our teammates and the organization and we didn't want to let anybody down. The magnitude for us has pretty much been all or nothing for these last four or five games if we really want an honest chance to do anything in the post-season and that's how we approach it. We understand it's a one game season every week."
(on shutting down the Texans running game) "Coach (Leslie Frazier) told us every week to play Minnesota Vikings football. Set the tone up front and cover on the back end."
(on his dance routine) "One thing about it, I got some because I'm good at dancing. It was a native Texas dance called 'The Wobble.' It's all in fun. It just makes it extra incentive to get there so you can have a little fun."
(on the defense gelling) "Belief. You know in sports everybody's got talent but to actually believe in your teammates, coaching staff and organization and what everybody is preaching and really believing. It's a cohesiveness you don't really see a lot. (It originates) from us. 53 players, coaches, the trainers and everybody who's there every day, day in and day out, working with us. We think we actually have a chance to do something special this year.
(on next week's game against the Green Bay Packers) "Another playoff game. We're just going to go back to the drawing board Wednesday and attack the same way."
LINEBACKER CHAD GREENWAY(Transcribed by Matt Bodiford)
(on the defensive effort) "That was one of the best defensive efforts I've been around. Being able to play this type of opponent on the road the way we did was huge for us. We really needed that moving forward."
(on the performance of WR Andre Johnson) "He's the kind of player that is going to get his yards. We were trying to suffocate the run game to try and make them one dimensional. We know they are a great football team that can run, and pass the ball well. You have to give him props for the type of season that he's having."
(on changing the momentum) "When you're in this point in the season there are some tendencies. It's more about can we execute on the defensive call to stop them. Today our execution was at good as it was all season. We have guys flying around making plays for one another. It now becomes a one game season next week."
(on the playoff scenarios) "All I know is that we have to win. That is our main focus right now, and it doesn't get any easier for us going into next week. It's going to be a great challenge for us, and we have to want to win."
(on winning on the road) "Our young guys have really come along. If you look at the beginning of the season on the road compared to now in the past two weeks it's remarkable. These are two games we had to have, and our veterans are playing great."
TACKLE MATT KALIL(Transcribed by Lance Jaramillo)
(on being in playoff contention and how rare it is) "Like they always say, 'the hotter you get later in the season, the better it is,' because you want to make that run in the playoffs. It's a good feeling to be in control of your own destiny. We need one more ticket. That's our prayer. We needed three tickets to win, we need one more and who better to play than Green Bay and at home so it's going to be an electric atmosphere and I'm pretty excited for that game."
RUNNING BACK ADRIAN PETERSON (Transcribed by Ellie Pardee)
(on winning) "A win is a win no matter how you slice it or dice it. We came in here with the mindset that this was another course that we had to complete and we were able to do that in all phases."
(on taking pressure off of QB Christian Ponder) "I said something earlier this week about that. Christian is continuing to improve in the game, and the guy is stepping up and making big plays. He drops, steps and catches me on the sidelines which is huge for his momentum and keeping the drive alive. We were able to get points."
(on the Texans focusing their game plan around him) "I knew they would come in and focus on the run which was ok. It felt good to see other guys get the ball and us continue to move the ball down the field and convert some points. When I was able to get my turns I took advantage of it."
(on thoughts about breaking the single season rushing record) "Of course I care about it. I'm not going to let that overwhelm me. I'm going to go out and play my game. If it comes it will come."
(on the importance of winning this game and doing their part) "It was huge for us. Of course because of the confidence and our offense, defense and special teams, then winning on the road too. This is a good football team. They could have clenched their division today with a win. It feels good. This is going to help get us to where we need to be next week against Green Bay at home."
(on excitement about breaking the single season rushing record) "I'll get some rest and be ready to get a 'W' and break the record."
(on what they knew they could attack today) "We knew that we would be able to run the ball. I felt like I did that effectively. We knew we would have trouble with (DE) JJ Watt. I learned a lot today about him that I didn't pick up on tape, he is an animal. He is a beast. With him out there, it can really confuse a lot of stuff that we do offensively. Ultimately, we were able to control the ball, move the ball and make big plays."
(on whether this was the best game they have played this season) "I don't know. It was a good one."
(on frustration with not having many breakout runs) "Yeah, staying within the game and not getting frustrated by anything (was what I did today). I've been focusing a lot on 'I need this many yards' and how we're going to continue to move the ball and be aggressive offensively to come out with a win. I'm happy right now. We accomplished what we wanted to do which was come out here and get a 'w'."
(on coming to Houston to get their biggest win of the season) "It meant a lot. I had a lot of family here supporting. This is where I live during the offseason, playing a great team in the Houston Texans, it was good momentum for what we're trying to accomplish. Now we're 3-0 in the last couple of games and we've got one more to go."
(on whether he was pushing for more yards in the last series) "Not really. We did a good job of sticking the dagger in them and mission completed."
(on how many family members of his were here) "Over a hundred and that was a light number."
QUARTERBACK CHRISTIAN PONDER(Transcribed by Rachel Jacob)
(opening statement) "I think it is a better holiday this year than it was last year. Obviously a great team win for us. I think the number one thing that stands out to me is the defense played exceptionally well. To hold a team like that, a 12-2 team with a great offense and great weapons, to six points was awesome. For an offense, we scored when we had to and we did the things we needed to do. The biggest thing today was third down conversions. We were big on third down and had one turnover on the fumble that obviously I can't take. We played consistent. We played to a high level. We came out, I think we were relaxed. We knew what was at stake, but we played relaxed. It works out where we're at. We're proud of where we are at. We are proud after today, but we also have a big one next week and if we don't win that one then this one doesn't mean anything. Our number one goal is to make playoffs. We have a 9-6 record; triple the wins from last year. Yeah that is a good thing but it won't be a good thing if we don't make playoffs."
(on RB Adrian Peterson setting up the offense and helping out on third downs) "Yeah definitely. He didn't have the big numbers he had the past eight games or so, but he made plays. He is obviously a big part of this offense. Just seeing the defense, how they try to account for him and load guys in the box and that allows plays on the outside that is crucial. He is unbelievable. He is obviously a big part of this team and was a big part of this win."
(on getting past the Texan's first line defense) "They were playing a lot of two-man, so no one was there. Guys were covering backs and split safeties, so there wasn't an extra guy to cover the quarterback. I saw that a couple of times on third down and we were able to take advantage of that."
(on if the Vikings were anticipating that much split safety) "We did. On third down, third and long situations, there was definitely a lot of two man, a lot of split safety. But other than that, on first and second down, they played a lot of single high and man coverage but not a lot of split safety of first and second down."
(on sideline throw to WR Jerome Simpson and if he was hedging with that pass) "I want to lie to you and say that I meant to make that throw, but I was trying to throw it out of bounds and my arm got hit and we were very fortunate. I mean huge catch by him. For him to make that kind of catch and get two feet in bounds is unbelievable. I mean I was throwing it out of bounds and my arm got hit, but it was a big conversion. We kept the ball in our hands and the clock running. Unfortunately we weren't able to score on that, but it took some time off the clock."
(on preparing offensively for this game) "We knew they were going to play a lot of man coverage and we knew the nakeds (bootlegs) would be good, I think we took advantage on some nakeds and we tried to create throws that we saw worked from preseason to the end of the year. Just try to keep the ball in our hands, on third downs and third and shorts. Try to beat man coverage and we did it. We did it several times and it was big."
(on why it seems that his better games happen when he is playing the better NFL teams) "I don't know. I think as a whole the team plays better especially when we know how important those games are, especially today. We had to rise to the occasion. There was no other option. I knew I had to play my best. I don't really know why, but fortunately it works out that way."
(on what it means to score on the opening drive for the past three games) "It's huge. Especially these past two games we were on the road. We knew we wanted to quiet the crowd early and score on that first drive and it means a lot for setting the tone for us in the game. For us to do it in three straight games, we knew the importance. That is something that (Offensive Coordinator) Bill (Musgrave) is always talking about, starting fast and starting on a first possession, and obviously on every possession we want to score, but especially that first possession set the tone for the rest of the game and created that sense of urgency that keeps us ahead. It has been good. We're going to have to keep doing that next week and hopefully a couple weeks after that."
(on his longest run) "I was talking to (Assistant Director of Public Relations) Tom (West), 29 yards? I ran like 100 yards to get 29 yards. I cut across the field and I was just waiting for someone to just clean my clock. But fortunately it was a big third down and we were able to convert on that. I knew at the end that one of their safeties was there and I wasn't going to be able to beat him and I was tired so I just slid and said okay and gave up. Fortunately we were able to score and put points on the board and close out the game.'
(on the unselfishness of the offense and overall character of the team) "It's huge. It's huge. We have a lot of selfless guys on the team. The character of this team is awesome and speaks volumes. With a game like today, receivers that are blocking, like (WR) Michael Jenkins. He is a guy that stands out to me, maybe one or two catches a game but he always shows up on the running game. You watch him on film and he is creating blocks and setting up blocks for (RB) Adrian (Peterson). The same goes for (WR) Jerome Simpson and all these receivers and fullbacks. Jerome stepped into fullback and he is awesome. Obviously he is a big help with Adrian. A lot of selfless guys that are a sacrificing and may not have their name in the paper but they get as much of the positives and everything about the game and they are such a big part of everything."
(on if marriage is the key to good preparation) "Apparently. (Head) Coach (Leslie) Frazier says I should get married every other day. I don't know if my wife would like that but we will see."
(on what happened with the fumble) "The play broke down, the pocket broke down. I was trying to scramble out. It is my job to secure it, I should have just thrown it away or gone to the left side or just thrown it over his head, just dumb by me."
(on watching the defense get the two stops after the fumble) "It's big. It is very big. We obviously didn't want them to take advantage of the turnover, especially me. That would have hurt us for sure. Like I said before, defense played exceptionally well and for them to stop them on that drive and stop them on the goal line and only allow the field goal, the momentum would have been huge on their side. We are very fortunate for how they (defense) played and they played awesome."
(on K Blaire Walsh) "He has been awesome, and it's almost to the point where we take him for granted. He's playing extremely well and is becoming one of the best kickers in the league. He has an unbelievable leg, and he's extremely calm out there. For him to be a rookie and make key kicks dating back to the Jacksonville game is something we use as a weapon."
(on if the Minnesota Vikings are a playoff team) "In our minds that's what we are trying to get too. We just beat a team that was 12-2 but we have a game next week that if we lose this one doesn't matter. The only way to become a playoff team is to make the playoffs. We have one more to go and we know the importance of that. We are happy that it's going to be at home, and it's going to be our biggest game of the year."
(on the meaning of the final game) "It's a lot more fun this year than last. Playing meaningful football in December is awesome. Last year was tough for all of us, and it's completely different this year. We are trying to get int0 the playoffs, and we'll be extremely disappointed if we don't get there. We've come a long way since last year."
(on the scrutiny off and on the field) "It's different having scrutiny in your personal life as opposed to playing football. It comes with the territory of being a Quarterback. Football is very important to me, and no matter what goes on in my personal life I'll still be focused on football. When it takes an hour of my day to get married it won't take time out of being in the film room."
SAFETY HARRISON SMITH(Transcribed by Lance Jaramillo)
(on deciding how to adjust his hitting on defense) "This happened earlier in the year and y'all asked me 'are you going to change how you play?' I'm not trying to play dirty or anything like that, hitting anybody illegally but I'm going to play hard. I'm going to always play hard. As long as I'm on the field, I'm playing hard. I'm giving you 100%. If that happens it happens. I try to play within the rules of the game, I thought I was within the rules of the game but it happens."
(on if he was thinking about the penalty after his strip sack) "Yeah, I was mad they didn't call the penalty so I'm going to keep coming."
(on if he would describe his day as 'active') "I think the first half, especially our front seven, was doing a great job holding the ball and not giving (the secondary) a lot of plays and making it easy on us on the back end. Same with the second half, they were airing it out a little more so we got more action."
CENTER JOHN SULLIVAN(Transcribed by Matt Bodiford)
(on offensive production) "Our coaches have done a great job of scripting a game plan for us. They put us in a position in those first few plays to be successful. We've played great teams in the past couple of weeks, so it's crucial for us to be prepared. We feel like we play better when we have a lead, and the last two weeks we've scored on our first drive on offense. In those games our defense started off the game and made stops. They set the tone and we capitalize on it."
(on the running game) "This point in the season we know what Viking football means. It's about running the football, and being physical. We're going to play great defense and mix in some timely passing to open up the run game. It's incredibly important for this team to accomplish that and become efficient."
(on QB Christian Ponder) "He's been very composed these past couple of weeks. Today he had a fumble that wasn't his fault. We have to do a better job of protecting him. We pulled everyone aside and talked about how we were going to put that fumble behind us, and go out on our next drive and score some points."
(on next week's game) "There are going to be a ton of storylines built around that game. We have to narrow our focus as players on the Green Bay Packers, and find a way to win that game."
KICKER BLAIR WALSH(Transcribed by Matt Bodiford)
(on becoming a fan favorite in Minnesota) "That's nice of people to say, but I'm just trying to go out and do my job every day. Most of the time I like to stay under the radar, but it's nice to be noticed.
(on the play of the team) "We were unbelievable today. The fact that we were able to dominate on offense especially in the passing game was great for us. Our defense did a great job of holding them to six points, and that shows that we are more than just a one dimensional team. We have the capability of beating anyone."
(on kicking 50 plus yard field goals) "I honestly haven't thought much about it. Once the game gets going I lapsed on what my season long or career long was. I knew it was in the 50's but I was just trying to make them. We got a touchdown lead with that last field goal. These kicks today weren't meaningless field goals. Protection was great today. The snapper and holder did a great job for me today."
(on setting records early in your career) "It's nice, but our main objective is to go out there and win. I know it's extremely cliché, but we are here as a team. We're not out here to break individual records or have individual stats. We want to win games, and if the records happen then that's awesome."
CORNERBACK ANTOINE WINFIELD(Transcribed by Lance Jaramillo)
(on not falling for play action and bootlegs) "We noticed that's where they were getting all their yards at. We stopped the run and the play action wasn't that effective. Our front seven and eight did a great job of getting after the quarterback and stopping the run and they made our job a lot easier."
(on containing WR Andre Johnson) "Anytime you're playing the Texans you have to have to be aware of number 80. The guy's a very explosive player and he makes plays all over the field. If you don't give up anything deep you have a good chance of winning."
(on what needs to be done next week against the Green Bay Packers) "Just stay focused and know our goal is right there in front of us. Go out there and execute the game plan and see what happens."
(on stopping the Texans on 3rd downs) "That's the key. I don't know what their percentage was but you've got to give the defense credit. Guys went out there and got off the field."
(on the importance of seeing Minnesota Vikings QB Christian Ponder play well) "Very important. You want to see the progress. He started off hot, kind of cooled off and now he's heating back up. This is the right time to heat up. In December everyone is fighting to get in to the playoffs. If we continue to do what we're doing, I like our chances."