POSTGAME QUOTES FROM HOUSTON TEXANS
OWNER BOB McNAIR
HEAD COACH GARY KUBIAK
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR WADE PHILLIPS
OLB CONNOR BARWIN
T DUANE BROWN
FB JAMES CASEY
NT SHAUN CODY
TE OWEN DANIELS
RB ARIAN FOSTER
K SHAYNE GRAHAM
CB KAREEM JACKSON
LB BRADIE JAMES
WR ANDRE JOHNSON
CB JOHNATHAN JOSEPH
SS DANIEAL MANNING
C CHRIS MYERS
FS GLOVER QUIN
QB MATT SCHAUB
DE ANTONIO SMITH
WR KEVIN WALTER
OWNER BOB McNAIR(Transcribed by Matt May)
(on his thoughts on the game) "Well, offense controlled the clock and defense controlled the ball and that's a pretty good combination."
(on how big a deal it was getting this win) "It's really big. We sort of lost our momentum there at the end of the season and to be able to pick it up today, we played with great intensity and that's really what we were looking for. We played Texan football."
(on his thoughts on the crowd) "Our crowd was great. They were inspirational and just into it the whole game. We really appreciate it the players appreciate it and it makes for great fun for them too. I don't know if I can stand much more excitement though."
(on how nerve racking it was at the end of the game) "It was really nerve racking. Cincinnati's got a good ball club and their defense is tough. (QB) Andy (Dalton) I thought did a good job of staying in there at the end he was throwing the ball well and (WR) A.J. (Green) can break it at any time and we were up by one score. There was reason to be nervous but our defense really stood up to the task."
(on what it's like as an owner to see your team excited and celebrate a win) "Well that's what it's all about. You know the camaraderie of it. People talk about chemistry and that's what you're talking about when people care about each other and they're overjoyed for the win and they're happy for each other as opposed to just themselves. It's terrific for our fans too; they can enjoy this and participate just like we do."
(on RB Arian Foster's performance) "Well (RB) Arian (Foster) was great. That last run he made for that first down I told him I was about to go out there and kiss him. That was tremendous, it gave us a first down and that was the ballgame once he did that. That was big, he had a great day."
(on his thoughts on playing New England next week) "You know we just need to play with the same level of intensity that we had today and if we do that we'll do very well. I'm not worried, if we have that kind of intensity we can play with anybody."
(on his team still being alive in the playoffs) "Well I think number one the team's got a lot of character and I think the coaches do too. The coaches have confidence in our players. It wasn't a matter of people getting down or pointing fingers at each other it's just we all need to pick up the intensity and if we do that we'll be okay."
(on what makes him believe the outcome of New England will be different than earlier this season) "Well, because we're playing with a lot of intensity right now and we weren't playing with that much intensity back then. In this game intensity means a lot."
(on DE J.J. Watt's performance) "He is tremendous every game every play and it was good to have (OLB) Brooks (Reed) back. He made some plays that were quite important and he's a very intense player so that helps pick up the level of intensity when you have people like Brooks back on the field."
HEAD COACH GARY KUBIAK(Transcribed by Tiffani Walker)
(on winning the game considering the pressure the team felt) "I wasn't under any pressure. I don't feel that way. I think these guys have stayed the course the whole way. They've been through a tough month and that's a part of the National Football League. The reason we won today is because nobody on this football team ever panics, they've got a lot of class. They battled and they understand there are going to be highs and lows, and that's why they were able to stand up to this challenge today. We played a great football team, we had to be patient, we had to battle, and we had to play our type of game. I'm just very, very proud of our organization today."
(on the offensive line's play against the second leading pass rush team in the NFL) "The key, once again, as I've told you all along, if we can play our brand of football and run the ball, we had a lead all day long except for one brief period, then we're able to protect our quarterback from a boot standpoint, and a play action standpoint. We stayed very committed to what we were doing and we didn't panic. That's why this thing ends up. We hung on to the ball today. We struggled in the red zone. I told them, 'this team is a great football team and it's going to be a day like that, but nobody will get down, and we will keep playing and we will keep our chin up and we will find a way to win a close football game.' So that was our goal from the get go."
(on the defense's play) "Just exceptional. And the offense helped them by staying on the field. We had the ball for almost 39 minutes in the football game, so that helps your defense. And they were 0-for-9 on third downs and we just kept making big plays. And JJ's (CB Jonathan Joseph) interception is a huge play. Our defense has been battling all year long. We had some young guys out there through some injury circumstances, but (Linebackers coach) Reggie (Herring) and the staff has done a tremendous job of keeping everybody headed in the right direction."
(on the pressure on QB Matt Schaub and if he was tense entering today's game and if this win gives him confidence) "I thought he played really well. He makes a mistake with the ball in the flat, and there were some things we were trying to attack there, so we can help him. He's a tough guy. You get battle tested in this league because you go through stuff like this. It's not easy for anybody. And obviously this month hasn't been easy for him, but his chin has been up the whole time and he continues to lead and does a great job. I'm really proud of him. Obviously that is his first playoff game he's ever played in. Whether you're Matt Schaub or whoever you are, that's a little bit different scenario that you step into today. He did a nice job."
(on if last week's practices were different and better) "I saw something in my team this past month, to be honest with you. It wasn't just this week. I watched us go through difficult times and a lot of times you find out a lot about people. They kept coming in here and they kept working. And they kept thinking positive. Our meetings this week, and our meeting last night was a powerful, powerful meeting from just listening to players and nobody getting down on themselves and understanding what this game is all about. Like I said, it's been a gut check for the organization through this past month and the players led the way today and I'm very proud of them."
(on which player impressed him the most last week) "It wasn't necessarily a guy. I'm just saying how they handled themselves. It's been that way all week long. Whether I'm up there talking, or another coach is talking or a player is talking. Everybody refused to get down. It's like, we give up the touchdown, the interception, and the whole football team is there to greet (QB) Matt (Schaub) and say, 'let it go. Let's go play.' That's why this team was able to work through this thing and win a playoff game today because everybody refused to let the negative send them that way."
(on his message to QB Matt Schaub when he was being scrutinized by the media last week) "I just told him that it's part of his job. I don't have to tell him that, he knows. I had a long conversation with him last week, and the first I said, 'how you doing? You ok?' He said, 'you're dang right, I'm fine. Let's just keep battling.' That's why he's a good player. That's why he wins a lot of games because he stays the course and understands that it's not always going to be perfect. But I guarantee he'll sit in there and battle for you."
(on the play of RB Arian Foster) "He's a man. I just talked to him in the locker room. I've been around some good ones, and this guy, the bigger the game. The whole stadium knew we had to line up and run the ball and boy, was he at this best there at the end. He's become a fine, fine player and it just seems like the bigger it gets the better Arian gets."
(on the importance of getting TE Owen Daniels involved today) "It was important because of what they were doing defensively to us. They do a great job of limiting points. They're an excellent team and they play a lot of two-deep, they've got a great front, they don't give up big plays. You have to really work hard for your fours, and fives, and sixes and with that being the case, Owen and (TE) Garrett (Graham), they became a big factor in the game. It was huge. And Owen has been a little beat up and he battle through today and made some big plays for us. And nobody makes one bigger than Garrett there at the end."
(on if was surprised they couldn't get the ball to Bengals WR A.J. Green) "They didn't have time to get it to him, that's the biggest thing. I think we had the ball, 25 minutes in the first half, 23, something like that. If you hold the ball like that, you're just not getting any snaps on the other side of the ball. They had 48 (snaps), we had 77 (snaps). Regardless of how many players you've got, if you're only getting that many snaps, it's hard to get him the ball."
(on the run blocking by the offensive line) "It was not easy. We did start better in the run game today, than we have in the past month. When it counted, we end up running the ball 39 times. That's us if we can play a game like that. It was important, but our guys are battling. We are really young, but boy we had a lot of young players make some mistakes in big games that were on the field. But that is exciting for me, to watch (G) Brandon Brooks, he gets the big holding call, but he's out there battling in a playoff game. (FS Shiloh) Keo gets a big call, but he's out there. These guys are only going to get better with the opportunities that they get. I liked the way we were able to hold up."
(on third down) "First of all, they were manageable. You go back, we have 17 third downs, and we are 8-of-17, so that's a little less than 50 percent. But, I think the biggest thing you're going to find, is that out of those 17, we ran the ball maybe 6 times. We've been in some games lately, we've had 12 third down plays, and we haven't run the ball once because we haven't had a third-and-1 or third-and-2. We can't play that way. We were more on schedule today with what we were doing."
(on if having played the New England Patriots this season helps for next week's game) "We understand the challenge that we have. That is what is awesome about this league; it's the ultimate challenge. They've been there for a long time. We had a rough trip up there last time, but we've earned our right to go back. We want to go back and play a heck of a lot better than we did. We will enjoy this victory today and we'll get back to work. It's a challenge that we all work for. That's why we're here."
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR WADE PHILLIPS(Transcribed by Bracken Flynn)
(on the performance of the defense) "We have battled all year. We are down to our fourth inside linebacker, but our guys came in and stepped up. They played well. I was pleased that they did not get a touchdown on us defensively. That was a big key for us. We tried to stop a team that was on a roll coming in here, and playing well offensively. I thought we did a heck of a job."
(on the secondary's performance) "Our secondary played like they always play, but I thought they really stepped up. We said we had to step up this ball game and our intensity. We had to play tough against a really good passing attack. We knew they were going to try to throw the ball on us. I thought they played really well."
(on stopping the Bengals on third down) "We have been great all year on third downs. That is one of our strengths. We set up a big play on third downs, so we know it is a big play. Our guys need to challenge on third down. I thought we had a good scheme against what they did. It was really the players. That is what does it for us."
(on the Cincinnati Bengals' WR A.J. Green) "He is a great receiver. He is a Pro Bowl receiver. There is no doubt about that. We gave up one big play on him, but we also made one big play on him. That is how you want to come out against a top receiver like that."
OLB CONNOR BARWIN(Transcribed by Matt Bodiford)
(on playing with energy and having fun this week) "Yeah, you know that was kind of the focus this week. You know playing confident and just have fun, that's exactly what we did. Everybody did their job and when people do that we're a good defense."
(on having another shot against New England) "Yeah, we're excited. We didn't play very well the first time around. We know they'll be ready. We know we have to step it up even another notch if we want to go down there and get the win."
(on stopping Cincinnati on third down) "Well that's huge. Third down on offense and third down on defense is what wins games. We said if we run the defense that Wade (Phillips) calls and everybody does their job, we'll be damn good and that's exactly what happened today."
(on improving on penalties) "Yeah, you don't want to have any penalties but obviously you're going to have a couple during a game. We were able to overcome them you know that's a positive moving forward."
(on the difference going to New England this time) "Well the difference is there's a lot more on the line this time. You go the AFC Championship this time. Last time, it didn't have that much on the line when we played last time. So it's a lot different but they'll be ready. We'll be ready as well."
(on how the defense played today) "Well we played pretty good. We're going to have to do this next week if we want to continue playing."
(on Head Coach Gary Kubiak's message to the team) "I think his message, well I know his message was it was good to get back to playing Texans football, which is playing good defense, run the ball, control the ball, and play good on special teams and that's what we did today."
(on if he thought he had a fumble on QB Andy Dalton) "Yeah I always think I have a fumble on those plays. Hopefully they change that rule next year."
(on if what happened last time against New England will create motivation) "You know, maybe, obviously we were disappointed in how we played embarrassed with how we played. But like you said this is the playoffs so there is plenty of motivation there anyways, it's win or go home"
TACKLE DUANE BROWN(Transcribed by Matt Bodiford)
(on the time of possession in the first half exceeding 23 minutes) "That's what it's all about man. The linemen, there is no greater feeling in the world then lining up and the whole stadium knowing you going to run the ball and you're still able to do it effectively and consistently. That's a great job to the guys up front, the tight ends, fullbacks, (RB) Arian (Foster) just toting the rock. I'm proud of everybody"
(on Arian Foster in the second half) "Yeah man, he came in the game very passionate, very intense, and very vocal about taking the game over and running the ball well. All game he talked about it, and he showed up big time. We knew it was going to be hard to run the ball on this defense, but we got it done."
(on having the mindset of dominating the offense) "All week that's all we emphasized was running the ball, running the ball, because that's how our offense starts. We come out and we're able to run the ball you can do so much off that. You can make the defense respect it, make the linebackers come up, make them stack the box. You can go over the top and make some big pass plays. I'm just proud of the guys, it's the playoffs; you know the intensity has to be there. You never know how everyone is going to come out. We got a lot of young guys up front and those guys played big time. They've got some great guys on the outside of the ball, Cincinnati does, and we were able to challenge them and handle them."
(on turning field goals into touchdowns next week) "We have to get touchdown. Get in the red zone, playing New England, we have to get touchdowns. You've got to do a better job up front, whatever play is called. Run play, we can throw second-and-2, third-and-2. We have to convert those, can't settle for field goals. Everyone was pretty disappointed and that was a good thing. We're disappointed we got field goals and that's a sign of a great team, great offense, and we'll look at it and see what corrections need to be made."
FULLBACK JAMES CASEY (Transcribed by Ellie Pardee)
(on RB Arian Foster's play today) "Arian broke a couple decent runs. He had a really good day. He got a lot of carries; I don't know how many yards he ended up with."
(on playing New England for the second time this season) "Absolutely, we're so excited. I mean, I'm already thinking about that, going back to play New England, because we were obviously disappointed with how we played them the first time. We get another chance. It's hard to get back in that scenario, it's going to be tough going back to New England, but we're so excited to get another chance to play and go out there and redeem ourselves and play better than we did last time."
(on what he learned from the first game against the Patriots) "I feel like, personally, that we didn't make as many plays as we had. We had guys open who could have made plays and for whatever reason we just weren't getting those big plays that we needed. When you're going back to a place like that you're familiar with it, you know what the crowd's going to be like, what the stadium's going to be like so that's not something that's new to us. I think that will help us. We kind of, just like they say, get hot going into the playoffs but I think it's more important to get hot during the playoffs."
(on importance of red zone conversions against New England) "Yeah, when we play New England, we're going to have to score touchdowns and not kick field goals like that. You can't win a lot of games like that and you can't just hope your defense is going to shut people down. New England has a great offense so we know we have to score touchdowns."
(on RB Arian Foster's play being contagious for the rest of the offense) "Absolutely, everybody feeds off him and he's proved it throughout his career so far that every time he gets in a big game, he shows up. He leads us. He puts us on his back, especially with games like that. He's our go-to guy. Of course we have (WR) Andre Johnson and (QB) Matt Schaub. It helps everything else out, helps Matt, and helps Andre, that's what we have to do throughout the playoffs. Arian's playing well; I think we're playing well offensively."
(on QB Matt Schaub being excited about his first playoff win) "Yeah, he was excited. You could tell going into the game that he was focused. I thought he played really well and I was really happy to see him get that first win. It's just like with everybody else, it's just contagious. When you're winning playoff games like that, there's a lot of excitement around the city. We can go throughout the city this week and we'd prepare for New England, but it's going to be a lot of fun and everyone's happy about how things are going. We're kind of getting out swagger back a little bit. We're trying to get hot right now in the playoffs. We've won one game so if we can get another one obviously we'll be pretty hot."
(on being successful in third-and-short today) "We've got to stay in that situation, that's been preached; our offensive staff and offensive coaches have been telling us we have to stay within third-and-manageable. You have to do well on first and second downs. If you get into third-and-long, I guess any defense or any offense is going to be tough getting first downs in that situation. If we stay on our track and get some yards with our run game, it opens up so many other possibilities and that's what we did today."
(on TE Owen Daniels and his performance with the amount of hits he took) "I'm so happy for him and the way he played, I think he had nine catches. That's what, as a tight end group, we're always meeting together, to see (TE) Owen (Daniels) and (TE) Garrett (Graham) play so well and for Garrett to make that big catch at the end, I'm so happy and proud for those guys. As a group, we pride ourselves on being game changers and helping the team win. Today the tight end group played pretty well I thought."
NOSE TACKLE SHAUN CODY(Transcribed by T.D. Durham)
(on if the play of CB Johnathan Joseph) "Yeah, every time we're going up – you know, we've got two good guys. (CB) Kareem (Jackson) has had a heck of a year too. So to have those good guys back there and J-Jo (CB Johnathan Joseph) playing the way he's played all year for us, we can play a lot of man defense to help us out a lot."
(on the media picking against the Texans this week) "I don't turn on the radio or the TV when we lose that week, only when we win. I only like to hear the praise and the good things. So when we lose, I kind of turn all the media off and I listen to a lot of radio. I listened to a lot of alternative rock that week. I got my alternative rock on this week. "
(on if there is satisfaction in proving people wrong) "Yeah, exactly. It was good."
(on the possibility of playing another home game this postseason) "Yeah I think once we lost home field advantage, I think the best thing we did is we didn't dwell on it. A lot of people here in Houston were thinking about it and you can't. Once that thing happens, you know, you've got to get over it. We knew we had a great challenge today playing the Bengals, so we had to worry about what was going on for that week and didn't have a lot of time to really think about what had happened. It's sometimes the best medicine for you."
TE OWEN DANIELS(Transcribed by T.D. Durham)
(on if he felt like, despite the score, the team dominated today) "I think if you look at all the statistical categories, we did. We just couldn't get in the end zone. We're struggling down there. We were down there once. We kicked four field goals, is that right? We were working and we were getting yards, but we hurt ourselves down there a little bit. But everyone kept working, so."
(on gaining confidence after playing this well against the Cincinnati defense) "I think so. I think we worked together as a team with what we were doing. The defense did a heck of a job out there and we were able to eat up the clock a lot with the drives we put together. I think we protected (QB) Matt (Schaub) pretty well against a really good blitzing and rushing defense. You have to feel good about that. It's a positive we can take away."
(on being better on third down came from being better on first and second downs) "Oh no question. Lots of times, third down is a glaring stat out there but that only stems from situations we get ourselves into on first and second down when we don't perform well. We were a lot better with that today. I think we were in a lot more manageable third down situations and we did a pretty good job converting today."
(on if it was satisfying to have a 'grind it out' day on offense, him contributing to the game win) "Absolutely. Any time you can contribute to a win, a playoff win, you have to feel good about that. I was fortunate to get some opportunities so I tried to make the most of the. It was one of those games where we were going to be running it, trying to stay balanced. Like you said, we were grinding it out there. We had to run it when everyone knew we were going to run it."
(on what Cincinnati was doing that allowed him to get so many catches) "Well whenever you have Dre (WR Andre Johnson) out there, you tend to find yourself in some one-on-one matchups. I did what I could with that and Matt did a great job of getting me the ball and obviously the guys up front did a great job of protecting."
(on RB Arian Foster doing well after contact today) "I'm guessing he did great after contact today. A lot of times I don't know what's going on, but (RB) Arian (Foster) is a tough runner. It's rare that one guy is going to bring him down. He's always fighting for that extra yard and that's why we love him."
(on if the team needs to do better in the red zone going into New England) "No question. When you face a team like New England that scores a lot of points, you have to take advantage of your opportunities down there. That will be a focus this week obviously. Something that we can definitely improve on, something that we can take away and improve on from this game. But I'm feeling pretty good about our defense right now with the way they're playing. Hopefully they bring that to the table next week."
RUNNING BACK ARIAN FOSTER (Transcribed by Melissa Montemayor and Ellie Pardee)
(on his feelings regarding being the first player in NFL history to gain 100 yards in his first three playoff games) "Anytime you reach any milestone and touch any part of history in this league it's a big deal. It means a lot but it's not just me. It's this team, my offensive line, the receivers making key blocks, the tight ends, and the quarterback making plays and read checks. It's always a culmination of your team, so it's a nice feeling."
(on how good the blocking was) "Well I think we controlled the line of scrimmage. Anytime we do that it's going to be tough to beat us because we eat up clock. Our offense is predicated off of the run and it opens up the boot [leg]. We have guys all over this team that can make plays so anytime we control the offensive line we're going to be okay."
(on what the offense was feeling after the pick six early in the first half) "I can only speak for what I was feeling and I remember feeling that it's okay. I think it was kind of embedded in our head from our leadership and from Coach (Gary) Kubiak that said that if something happens to just let it go. This time of year, you can't dwell on things and you have to have a short memory and you have to stay positive. Anytime any break doesn't go for you, you've just got to let it go and go make up for it."
(on how important it is for the team to forget last month's loss to the New England Patriots but also learn from it in order to build on today's momentum) "No one is thinking about us losing like that. We put that behind us the next week and that's what you have to do in this league. They're a great team obviously. They have a great coach and a great quarterback and they have great role players on their team. I have a lot of respect for them but we can play ball, too. We didn't play our best football up there and we hurt ourselves with penalties and mistakes. Anytime you give them opportunities, they'll take advantage of them but we'll play our best up there."
(on Coach Gary Kubiak's speech to the team during last night's meeting and what he took from it) "I really listen to Coach (Gary) Kubiak; I really do. I respect him as a man. I respect him as a coach. Growing up, you have a lot of coaches and you don't have that same respect for them sometimes and that's just part of it. I just feel like he's really a great coach. Anytime that he has pregame speeches, he doesn't try to 'rah-rah' he's not a 'rah-rah' guy, he just tells it like it is. Last night that's what he did. He said we've been battle tested and we have. We've had a tough road this year but he's been around this game a long time and he has a lot of faith in his players right now. A coach like that makes you want to play for him. I think that's powerful when you have players on a team that actually want to play for their coach."
(on whether he will study tape from the previous New England game to prepare for next week) "I don't know how much I'm going to look at that, man, honestly. They're a new team, we're a new team. Anytime you play a team twice in a season you've got different guys and different schemes. You have to attack it differently. It's a different mentality. Different things are at stake. So, I'll glance at it, but I'm not going to sit there and burn a candle watching that film."
(on getting the ball in open space and being a receiving option) "I think it just kind of unfolded like that this year. I think our coaching staff knows that I like to get the ball with space, and I feel like that's where I'm the most dangerous. So, they're working to do that. We had a lot of guys step up in the passing game this year like (WR) OD (Owen Daniels) and (WR) James Casey, so it wasn't really called for. We went 12-4; I'm not really going to complain. I like to get the ball in open space and I think every NFL player on the offensive side of the ball wants the ball in their hands. I'm no different. As long as we keep on getting wins, I'm alright."
(on how much he relished getting the ball at the end of the game) "Yeah, that's what I just said, that's what you grow up wanting. You want the ball in your hands when the game is on the line, and tonight the game was on the line. This organization, this coaching staff, this team trusted me to put it in my hands. Anytime you have that on your shoulders, I mean that's what I work for, that's what every guy works for, so when it's a playoff game and it really matters, you can come through for your guys."
(on red zone offense) "Well, you know you can always improve as a team. That was obviously our Achilles heel today and I think when you get in the red zone, especially against a team like New England, you have to score touchdowns. You can't kick field goals because they like to put up points and they like to put up points in a hurry. I have a lot of faith in our defense, but that man behind center over there, on that side of the ball over there, he's a great player. He's a first ballot hall-of-famer. You have to keep him off the field and you have to capitalize anytime you get the opportunity."
(on his reaction to Texans Owner Bob McNair saying after the game he wanted to "run out there and give Arian a kiss" after his game clenching first down) "I don't think he would have gotten that far, man. Don't get me wrong, (Texans Owner) Bob (McNair)'s a good guy, I don't want a kiss from Bob, though. A nice little hug would do."
(on improvement in third down efficiency) "That's something we emphasized in practice. The last month of our season we were not good in third downs. We kind of slipped in the red zone, so we just have to keep improving on what we feel our weaknesses are and let them become strengths. We're really good in the red zone all season, and we want to get back to that."
(on the crowd today) "Yeah, man, I love our crowd, but they are getting spoiled. They're booing and we're okay. We're okay, man. I love this city, though."
(on taking pride in having almost double the time of possession that the Bengals had) "I think that's what this team is built around. It's built around keeping that offense of the field, or the opposing offense. It's what we take pride in. We take pride in running the ball, our big guys up front, we know they can move the pile, and they trust me with the ball in my hands. That's what we're built on and that's what we want to continue to do."
KICKER SHAYNE GRAHAM(Transcribed by Matt May)
(on helping his team win the game) "You know, anytime you get a chance to put points on the board, it's great to help your team out and feels good on a personal level. There's no other feeling like coming in this locker room and just having the joy that we have. If things go a different way, obviously it's a different feeling. I got some chances to make some plays and it felt good to be able to help out."
(on the message from Head Coach Gary Kubiak after the game) "I think he was too excited for everyone. We still got a lot ahead of us and we still have some challenges but we feel good considering how things have gone the last month and we want to keep it rolling and get back to work."
(on the Texans needing him next week) "You know, whatever situation plays out, I hope to make the best of every opportunity. We get there and kick some extra points and field goals as long as we're getting some points on the board that's all that matters to me."
(on making some tackles today) "Yeah I think I had a couple. But luckily nobody busted out and took any big plays on us."
(on improving his kicking these past couple of weeks) "You try not to treat any situation differently. You miss one and you turn around and just do what you do. You keep plugging and you try to hit every ball the same. It's called a short memory. It's just like when you make one, that make doesn't matter anymore you've got to go back and make the next one. I really haven't done anything different. I just try and keep my focus and you know keep it straight. If you make them, you make them, but if you miss one, you have to bounce back and be ready to make the next one."
(on how he prepares to kick in New England's weather) "Really you don't do anything different. You don't know what the weather is going to be. You can read the weather reports and see what it is. We play on the same field they play on; they play in the bad weather just like we would if we played in bad weather. I played for New England in 2010, I've played through bad weather there I've played through bad weather my whole career. You take the situation as it comes and you adapt to it."
(on if it felt good to beat the Bengals today) "I'm not going to lie, it felt pretty good. I left there on a really bad note and it felt good to kind of be a part of having a difference on the scoreboard and coming up and helping my team. It felt really good; it was a big personal win as far as that goes. Just being able to be part of a winning team no matter who it was against. It definitely feels good having that old connection over there."
CORNERBACK KAREEM JACKSON(Transcribed by T.D. Durham)
(on the play where he helped CB Johnathan Joseph in the end zone on WR A.J. Green) "The play that we had called, that's my job. Whenever my guy goes away, to run high. So I was able to do that and I kind of saw the quarterback throw the ball and I was able to get down there and make a play. I think (CB) Johnathan (Joseph) had good coverage on him. He was there. I wasn't able to make a play on the ball so I just wanted to try to dislodge the ball from him. I'm not sure if he caught the ball or what or what happened."
(on WR A.J. Green being a pretty good receiver) "Like I said, I saw (CB) Johnathan (Joseph); I didn't want to hit him. My thing was I couldn't' make a play on the ball, and like I said, I think he had great coverage on him, so I just wanted to kind of lock on."
(on if CB Johnathan Joseph was struggling because he wasn't 100 percent) "I'm not sure what (CB) Johnathan (Joseph) – or how he is physically or if something is bothering him or whatever. I'm not sure. Johnathan is Johnathan. Like I said, we know what to expect form him every week. We know he's going to go out there. We know he is going to do his job. I don't think he's covering up anything being rattled or anything."
(on CB Johnathan Joseph's play today) "He had a great game today. And that's what we expect from him every week."
(on going to play in New England, getting a chance to redeem themselves) "I mean definitely. Like I said earlier, our thing is to do our job and we'll go and we'll prepare this weekend and go up with a different mindset. We'll put our best foot forward. And if we do the little things right, we'll be successful just like today."
ILB BRADIE JAMES(Transcribed by T.D. Durham)
(on what helped the defense get the fire out there to make big plays) "We're football players and we believe, and that's what separates us from a lot of just average people. As long as we have each other and we're accountable to one another, we feed off of one another. And it doesn't matter what we did the week before, it's all about now and that's what we really focused on."
(on dominating statistically on defense this game, but still winning by only one possession) "It happens. We gave up, what, three points? Two field goals. We just, the biggest thing I've been trying, well a lot of us have been trying, (DE) Antonio (Smith) and I have been just talking about not giving up seven points. See, when you give up seven points you don't have a chance. But when you keep a team to just kicking field goals, you stay in and you keep it close. And then you can pin your ears back, because pressure, it does two things, it busts pipes or make diamonds, so today we're shining."
(on this game helping for next week's opponent) "Well, we'll talk about next week later on. Right now, we're just going to enjoy this victory. This is my first playoff victory here. I'm looking forward to my first in a while. Like I said, you can't win if you're not in."
(on defensive players thriving on it being a close game) "This is what we work for. You think about going back to March. This is what we talk about. You're running all tough and you're out there upset and you don't want it to be tough, you just invite it. Because you can't control how things are going to go. We have to be the voice. We have to be the balance inside of chaos. So when things aren't going like you think they should, it's up to you to go out there and make something happen. And that's what we've been able to do."
WR ANDRE JOHNSON(Transcribed by T.D. Durham)
(on the team's mentality going into this week) "What happened last week was the last week. You can't really worry about that. It's a new season. It's either win or go home, and that's just the approach we took. If we didn't win today, we would be packing our bags. That's pretty much it."
(on the look on QB Matt Schaub's face after the big completion to TE Garrett Graham) "I mean, people have been giving him all kind of crap because of him not winning a playoff game and stuff like that. When it's your first time doing something, people have been talking bad about you and stuff like that after the season he has had, it can't be nothing but relief. It just keeps some people's mouths closed."
(on what he told the team before the game) "Well that's just – before we went out on the field, we were all huddled up and all the receivers and running backs and tight ends – I just told them, I was like, 'Let's not sit around and wait for somebody else. You be the guy. Everybody plays a part. And in order for us to get where we want to go, it's going to take everybody. It's not just going to take one or two people.' That's pretty much it."
(on controlling the game through running the ball) "When you're able to do that, run the ball like we did tonight, you're going to be in control of the game. We always had control of the game. I don't think there was a point of the game when we lost control of it. When you're able to run the ball, and we've been saying that the past few weeks, that's just something we haven't been able to get done and we went out and were able to do it today."
(on if RB Arian Foster's play surprises him) "It doesn't surprise me. I don't know why it would surprise y'all. He's done it week in and week out. There are no surprises."
(on RB Arian Foster's patience while running) "He's very patient. He's very patient at what he does. You never see many backs that can affect you in the run game, pass game. There have only been a few backs that have been able to do that in the NFL. But he's one of those guys that can go out and hurt you both ways."
(on QB Matt Schaub getting his first playoff win) "I'm just glad that it's done. People don't have to talk about it anymore. It's just kind of something you get tired of hearing. We have to move forward. We can't worry about what happened today. We have a big test next week."
(on what QB Matt Schaub's demeanor was like after the pick-six) "Nobody panicked. Everybody was just like, 'We're going to keep playing. Don't worry about it.' Like I said, we had control of the game. We didn't feel like we ever lost control of the game. Nobody was really worried about it."
(on still being in the playoffs) "This is what we – this is how it goes. It means a lot to still be playing. We knew coming into this game it was either win or go home, and we came out with a victory. It doesn't matter how you got it done, all that matters is winning. You can fix the mistakes tomorrow."
(on shifting mindsets to play New England) "We knew that if we went out and took care of business today we would get another shot at them. They're a great football team, we know that. Last time we went up there, we didn't put out a good performance. Actually, they gave us a real good butt whooping. But we'll be ready."
(on what the atmosphere was like on the field) "Our fans have always been great. It's playoff time, so it's going to be better than it was in the regular season. They deserve what's going on right now, us wining playoff games and stuff like that. So hopefully we can go to New England next week and get a victory."
(on if he gets a lot of satisfaction getting third down conversions) "Yeah, when you're able to keep your third downs manageable, then you're able to keep moving the chains and maintain the ball. I don't know what the time of possession as, but I'm pretty sure that they didn't have it very long."
CORNERBACK JONATHAN JOSEPH(Transcribed by Tiffani Walker)
(on the play of the defense) "(Defensive Coordinator) Wade (Phillips) puts in a game plan for us, it's about going out and executing and playing our type of football. Winning third downs, limiting the big plays and things like that, where teams can get easy points and just making them work for everything. As you see today. We always have a saying, 'Hold them to five field goals, that's 15 points,' you can't win in this league with 15 points. For us, we just played sound defense all day."
(on his interception) "We just had a cover one call. Kind of just got a jump on it. Had a feeling for what they were going to run on that particular down and just made a play on the ball."
(on if it feels good to get an interception for the second consecutive year against his former team) "It really does, to be honest. But those guys, they know me, and they know I'm a player that's going to play each and every down. Obviously, I'm more happy for our team than anything else about my personal goals. For us to just advance to the second round of the playoffs again this year is big."
(on how hard it is to cover Bengals WR A.J. Green) "Obviously he's a big, rangy guy, he's a taller guy. But for me it was just about battling all day and making him work for each and every catch that he has to make."
(on the play of him and CB Kareem Jackson in the end zone against Bengals WR A.J. Green) "I don't know if it was man-to-man, or cover 4, which is still man-to-man for us, but obviously they just ran a post route and I got back in there and tried to make a play on the ball. At the same time, (CB) Kareem (Jackson) just pushed through and having the awareness to keep pushing through deep in his own coverage and just made a nice hit on him."
(on if it feels like the Texans defense from earlier in the season) "Absolutely. I think it's just about making plays, each and every week. The same thing I say each and every week, if you're not making plays, how can you win the game? So anytime you have a team out there, getting their hands (up) and batting balls down, and stopping them on first down and making it second-and-12 in the run game, or just putting pressure on the quarterback all day, I think it makes it hard from an offensive standpoint. Coming in and facing us and getting them in long third downs and things like that, that's where we have the advantage."
(on if he's excited to play New England again) "Absolutely. I don't want to say we were thinking about the game before earlier in the season, but it's just about the next opponent. They're our next opponents, so that's what we are going for. It could be anybody. They're not world beaters, but obviously they whooped us pretty good the first time. We'll have that on our minds some, but we just can't focus on that because we just have to focus on the goal at hand, and that's going 1-0."
(on if winning today gives them momentum for next weekend) "That's the only way we probably could face them, because it's one and done now. But, I think the momentum will help. Obviously we got back to playing our type of football; pounding the ball on offense, and being selective and hitting them in certain spots with the pass. I'm just speaking from the sideline looking now. But on the defensive side, rushing the quarterback, making plays on the ball, and things like that."
(on if he feels like having played New England helps for next weekend as far as correcting errors) "Absolutely, absolutely. I think there are some things we can change up, not from a scheme standpoint, but just small things that can help us and put us in better situations, in certain situations. I think we'll take a big look at that. And we knew right after that game, things that hurt us in that game that we made mistakes on. But obviously we had to wait to see them again. And hopefully this time things turn out in our favor."
(on the offense's struggles in scoring, but keeping the ball for a long time, and how that helps the defense when the offense stays on the field for a long time) "In this league, it's hard to score once you get down in the red zone. Like I said, you hold them to field goals, but obviously we made a big play on defense. Those guys kept pounding and pounding and pounding, but at the end of the day, we had more points than they did, and that's all that counts."
(on CB Brandon Harris breaking up the big pass on third down and it giving him confidence) "We've been high on Brandon (Harris) all year, even when he wasn't playing, when (CB) Brice McCain was playing, before Brice was injured. Just to see him make that play, that just speaks about him. He's a guy that's going to play hard each and every down, he's not going to take a play off. He's smart and he understands football, and he's just a young guy, pretty much in his rookie year because he didn't play any at all last year."
(on how he feels physically) "Physically, I'm probably better than I've been all year. Obviously I had groin and hamstring injuries earlier in the year, but for me it was just about getting back healthy and playing the type of football I'm capable of."
(on limiting the Bengals to less than 200 yards today) "Hats off to (Defensive Coordinator) Wade (Phillips) for calling a perfect game and putting us in the situation to make plays. But like I said, it all starts with those guys up front, stuffing the run game and making them one-dimensional. You kind of know when its third-and-13, they have to pass the ball. You can't run it on third down when you have 13 yards to get. So we tried to keep them out of manageable third downs. From being third-and-2, to like third-and-7, third-and-8"
(on the crowd) "They were on fire from the moment we walked in there for pregame all the way to the finish. I think that's big when you're at home because it wears a team down offensively. Little things start to slip in. They had to burn a timeout one time, I think, or had a delay of game or something. From that standpoint, I think the home crowd was fantastic."
(on concerns that the crowd may not be as loud) "I don't think they would have paid their money if they weren't going to come out and cheer today. Obviously, nobody wants to see their team go out and lose a game. But for us, we gave them another chance. A lot of teams are sitting at home and watching us play today. So for them to have a chance to come out and be in the postseason and watch us again, I think they did a great job today of just cheering the whole game."
STRONG SAFETY DANIEAL MANNING(Transcribed by T.D. Durham)
(on how FS Shiloh Keo helped the defense today) "(S) Shiloh (Keo) is a great player, man. He's been there since day one and he's always been eager to get out there and play. He shows great talent. He has great range and he's a smart player. He knows – he feels the game very well. And he gives us a chance to win games."
(on playing on special teams, returning kicks) "Yeah, I love being back there. That's just one of my sparks. I feel like it helps me jump-start the team. I'm always looking to score in there, but at the same time, I'm giving the offense, giving our team some type of spark. You always can get that. If I'm not doing anything on defense, I try to do something on special teams. That's the way I play."
(on what the team is going to take back up to Foxborough against New England) "Confidence. I think when we went up there to Foxborough we just didn't play with the type of swagger and the energy and the urgency that they played with. I think we were playing a lot of 'I-ball.' And what I mean by that, guys were feeling like, 'I have to make this play. I have to do this. I have to do that.' Instead of playing within the defense and our system and we were able to be exposed."
CENTER CHRIS MYERS(Transcribed by T.D. Durham)
(on controlling the line of scrimmage and running the ball to open up options on offense) "I said it before, if we can control the line of scrimmage and be successful on the ground, it opens up the play action pass, the keepers, even the drop back pass. So as long as we can do that, we don't have to revert to spreading everybody out and passing the ball."
(on if he noticed Cincinnati backing off after running the ball well) "I don't want to say backing off. You could just see when you have a defense, I don't want to say on the ropes, but you can see when they're kind of reeling a little bit and talking to each other and seeing what's going on. And when you're able to kind of move the ball and get the line of scrimmage one or two yards before Arian even hits it, it's a pretty successful day."
(on the big first down completed to TE Garrett Graham) "I think that's exactly what I'm talking about. If we're able to control the line of scrimmage, and get yards running the ball, those type of – that's actually a kind of play action that we have – those types of things open up. Everyone is biting up and he just opens up over top."
(on if it helps the offense's confidence to finish the game with the offense on the field) "That's what we want to do every single week. If we're in the lead, and we have that and we're in that kind of a position, any time four minutes and under, we want to control the clock and be able to end on the field."
(on how the team got back its confidence) "We just reset our batteries. This past week we had a rough patch. Over the past month, we had a rough patch. And being able to come into the playoffs and get a fresh start because no one has the advantage, coming here, and we knew the Bengals, obviously we played them twice last year. We had a lot of film we could watch on ourselves versus them, and see what worked, what didn't work. We were confident going into the game and it just kind of portrayed out the rest of the way."
(on what the team will use against New England after playing them once)" We're going to look back at that game and obviously see what things worked, what things didn't work. Obviously with a lot of things that didn't work, we didn't score too many points. It's one of those things that they're a very, very hard time to beat up there, especially this time of the year. So we're going to have a huge test ahead of us. But winning the game and winning like we did. It build confidence going up there."
FREE SAFETY GLOVER QUIN(Transcribed by Matt Bodiford)
(on the defensive start to the postseason) "We know who we are as a defense. I mean a lot of people are going to doubt you and say this this and that and it go from week to week. We know who we are and the only thing that really matters is what the people in the defensive room think and believe in. We believe in what we're doing and we know who we are so that's all that really matters."
(on CB Kareem Jackson performance and how impressive he was) "I mean that's who he is. He's always aggressive, he's a fire for us in the secondary, I mean he always comes up with big hits and things like that and he's been playing great all year. It's not like he did anything different anything surprised him or anything surprised us. He been doing that since week 1 and it's been going on all season. So it's just who he is."
(on shutting down WR A.J. Green) "We just executed our game plan. I mean we covered well in the back end, we got good pressure on the front end and it goes hand in hand. So we were able to keep them off the field, so they couldn't get in a good rhythm and that's what happened."
(on covering TE Jermaine Gresham) "I don't know. The way they were coming at me, I felt like they thought they had a mismatch or something. But hey, they came at me. I was able to make a few plays. I just thank God you know I didn't give up any big plays. I was able to make more plays than I gave up. Seem like he was a big part of their game plan, and so being able to take him away on third downs and things like that was able to keep them off the field. I just thank God I was able to have a game like that."
(on giving up one third down conversation) "They got that on a penalty. So that's what we do we try to come at them on third down and play good coverage. We were able to do that today, everything was clicking. That's just who we are."
(On if it's too early to think about next week) "No it's not too early, why is it too early? We already know who we're playing. We know when we play so let's go. We'll be in New England, 4:30 (PM) next Sunday. Let's go."
QUARTERBACK MATT SCHAUB(Transcribed by Greg Dillard)
(on winning today's game) "It's exciting to do it in front of our home crowd after the way things have gone the last month, to right the ship and come out and come away with a victory, it wasn't pretty. We played a really good football team. In the end, all our guys were all in, had a great week of preparation and we came away with the 'W'."
(on if he had extra nerves) "I wouldn't say nerves. We were just anxious. We were ready to go, ready to cut it loose and feeding off the energy of our crowd and the way our defense had been playing early in the game. Yeah you're going to have a little bit of that, just more anxious than nerves."
(on if he was touched by the Bengals defense today) "There were a couple times, but I don't know if we got sacked."
(on the offensive line's play) "They played outstanding. That's a good pass rushing group and in the run game you open up holes for (RB) Arian (Foster). All those guys across the board, the tight ends, the wide receivers blocking downfield, they really gave Arian some holes. They played outstanding."
(on bouncing back after the last month) "It's a team game. I just lean on my teammates. They had faith in me, trusted in me and just went out and tried to deliver the ball to the places it was supposed to go and let them make plays and they were able to do that. It was a total team effort. Our defense played outstanding. I got to be better giving them seven points there early in the game, but we battled back all day."
(on his interception) "They made a play. (CB) Leon Hall made a good play stepping in front and getting down the sideline. In that situation we had a max protection just trying to work one side of the field. I just have to throw it away, live for another down."
(on getting the ball to TE Owen Daniels) "We were just taking what they were giving us. (TE) Owen (Daniels) has been a big player for us all year. They were trying to take (WR Andre Johnson) Dre out obviously with some of their coverages, but we liked our matchups with other guys and the ball just happened to go Owen's way a lot. He made some huge plays for us."
(on having the short memory after the interception) "It's the name of the game. You got to have that good or bad. You got to be able to move past it and go to the next play so that's what we're able to do. We came right back and went down the field."
(on the play action call late in the game to TE Garrett Graham) "They were all up in there thinking we were going to run the ball, rightfully so. We tried a little play action, go down the field but they had a safety deep taking (WR Andre Johnson) Dre away so I just came down to (TE) Garrett (Graham) underneath and we were able to get a first down. He made a huge play and took a lick for it."
(on TE Garrett Graham's confidence) "It was great. I had to get it over top of one of our lineman and a D (defensive) tackle and get it down before the linebackers converged. He was able to secure the catch. It was a great play by him."
(on going to New England next week and the team's mindset) "It's a one game season. What we learned and the situations we were in a month ago, we can definitely pull from that. We've been down that road. We know what it takes to win and that's play good road football. We didn't do that last time we played up there. We're going to have a good week of preparation. We're going to move on from this one and we're going to be excited to go up there and play better."
(on the red zone struggles) "We definitely want to score sevens down there. I think a couple times we were down there we were in our second down and long yardage situation on one, didn't get much in the run game on the first one. Then you're going to take what they give you. You don't want to force things down there because you know you got three and the way our defense was playing that puts us in a good position. Then the one time we had a penalty that knocked us back a little bit and we had a third and goal on the 11 I think. We hit it down to (RB) Arian (Foster) and let him try to split the defense and score. We obviously want to be better down there and get sevens."
(on having to beat New England to accomplish their goals) "Definitely, if we want to win we got to go on the road and play good ball against a very good team. We just got to put this one away come tomorrow and then move on to the next one, that's New England and go up there and play against a very good football team."
(on what it feels like to be a part of this playoff run) "After last year it's very exciting to be a part of this and be out on the field with my guys and be able to win a playoff game. It's been a long time coming for this organization and for me personally."
(on having the game from the New England game already) "It's definitely good for us. To have to go up there and play a month ago, we know what situation we're going to be in. We know what the stadium is like. We know what the crowd is like. We're going to have to be on our game from start to finish because they make you play 60 minutes to beat them."
(on if there is a similar feeling to going into this New England game) "I'm excited about what we did today. I'll let you know how I feel going into this one come tomorrow."
(on the right side of the offensive line) "Those guys played outstanding. There were in some tough situations all throughout the game, but we mixed up our protections a bunch to give them some help whether it is a tight end or a back. Those guys battled all day. They held up really well for me just to give me the time to be able to go downfield."
(on RB Arian Foster) "He was outstanding. He did what he always does and that's just churn out the tough yards. He makes those two or three yarders into fifth or six and always falling forward and putting us in a good situation on second or third down. He was outstanding."
(on having injured ILB Brian Cushing around) "It's huge. For him to still be here every day and be a leader on the football team especially defensively. Guys really pull from him and his energy so I know it's eating him to not be out there, but I know he's helping out wherever he can."
(on the defense) "They were outstanding. They played against a good offensive football team with some very talented players. They played outstanding. We got off the field on third down. I don't even know if they converted on one. That was huge. That's the name of the game, really they only gave up six points and the other seven were on me. They were outstanding. That gives you confidence as an offense to be able to settle for a field goal and not force it on third and goal from the eleven into the end zone where there is tight coverage."
DEFENSIVE END ANTONIO SMITH(Transcribed by Bracken Flynn)
(on what this win means for the team) "This win just means that we are on to the next round. That is it. 'Burn the ship' though does not mean one win. It wasn't just for this win. It was a good win to turn around the momentum, but 'burn the ship' is for the whole playoffs."
(on what the win shows) "It shows that we are willing to go the extra inch. This was not an easy game, and a lot of things happened that could have taken us down the same road like the past few weeks where bad things happen and you kind of let it turn you around. We stood up this time. We are going to need that in the weeks to come."
(on what changed this week) "I think we burned the ships. It is the playoffs. We couldn't leave anything out there on the field, and I think that everybody brought their intensity and their A-game. It wasn't perfect out there, but still you have to play as it is coming and making plays. When they make a play, we make a play. If something bad happens, we turn it right on around. That is how we have been winning all year—not getting down. If somebody makes a play and letting their momentum take them into the end-zone. We stopped them from scoring touchdowns and we won."
(on the defense's third down efficiency) "That has always been a part of our defense and we got back to it. We got back to making that important: getting off on third downs and players making plays. If you don't make plays in this game, you don't win. It is making plays. I was loving my DBs (defensive backs). They were out there batting balls down. It looked like we could have had a couple interceptions from balls flying up in the air. They were doing their thing."
WIDE RECEIVER KEVIN WALTER(Transcribed by Bracken Flynn)
(on being nervous about the lack of points on the board late in the game) "No, I wasn't nervous by any means at any time in the game. Our defense played their butts off today, and they were playing extremely well. It was frustrating getting field goals when you should be putting seven points up there. That was the only frustrating thing. As a whole, I thought we executed pretty well."
(on the manageable third down situations) "Yes, that is what we stressed. We stressed that we can't shoot ourselves in the foot with third and long. That is tough to overcome. We did a good job today. I think we were close to 50 percent (on converting third downs). That is pretty good in this league. We have to continue to do that and we have to stay on the field."
(on the rematch with the New England Patriots) "Right when we left there last time, we wanted to play those guys again. We had a bad outing, and we knew we could play a lot better than the first time. We are excited to go up to Foxborough and get it done."
(on what the Texans learned from the last meeting against the Patriots) "You learn a lot. You have to make plays out there. You have to execute. If you don't execute, especially with a team like that, they can expose you pretty well. We are going to enjoy this one tonight, but we are going to come back tomorrow and get ready for New England."
DEFENSIVE END J.J. WATT(Transcribed by Greg Dillard)
(on how it feels to win today's game) "It feels good. It's a playoff game and to win a playoff game is a tough thing to accomplish in this league, but it's one step. We know what it means and we have bigger goals than that."
(on playing at New England next week) "It's a good challenge. Obviously we didn't play as well as we can play last time we were there. They're a very good football team. They're very tough in their own building. Nobody said the road to the Super Bowl is easy. You got to go and earn it. We're going to have to go on the road in a tough environment against a very good football team and play our best ball. We're excited about that challenge."
(on what the Bengals offense tried to do to stop him) "A little bit of everything, just like everybody, a little double team, a little running back help, some quick passes, things like that."
(on if he was surprised at the Bengals efforts to slow him down) "Nothing surprises me, always a challenge, but I love the challenge."
(on how the team fed off of the crowd's energy) "We love it, not a huge fan of when they boo, but we love it when they're loud. We try and give them the best product we can. We understand they pay a lot of money to come sit in those seats. We appreciate how loud they are. We appreciate what they do for our defense and what they do for our team. This fan base knows how to bring it in a playoff game and we appreciate that."
(on if there was a point in the game when the defense made a conscious effort to stop the Bengals on third downs) "When the game starts, that's the goal every game. You don't want to give them a third down. We know in the last month we haven't been great on third down. We needed to be better on third down. Today, we were very, very good on third down. If we want to win next week, we're going to have to be good on third down again."
(on having to beat the Patriots next week to get what they want) "I can tell you right now we actually do have to beat those guys to be a Super bowl worthy team. But it's a great challenge; it's a very good team. They know what they're doing in the playoffs. They've been here many times before. They know what it takes so it's going to take everything we have and we're really excited about that challenge. I know we're going to have one heck of a week of practice."
(on the way the defense stepped up) "It's so much fun. It's so much fun being a part of this defense when everybody's flying around. Everybody's making plays; it's not just one or two guys. It felt like the Bulls on Parade again today. That was our goal at the beginning of the week. We said let's get back to playing the way we play like Bulls on Parade. Out there today it felt like that."
(on how big today's performance is ahead of the Patriots game) "It's big. Obviously, we needed to win to get there so we're excited about that. A little moment, I'm not the biggest believer in momentum in the world, but it definitely feels good to get back in our rhythm, get back to doing what we do. We're going to have some good film to watch because if we're going to go up there and beat them we need to play a game like we played today. Offense holding the ball, defense getting off the field on third down."
(on if he expects Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips to come up with a different plan this time for New England) "I'm not exactly sure. I know that whatever he puts in place is going to be great and we're going to execute it. We're going to have success. We have no other option."
(on having injured ILB Brian Cushing around with his leadership) "(ILB Brian Cushing) Cush is a great guy and we wish we had him out there on the field with us, but he's not and we're doing everything we can to make him proud."
(on how much he went against former G Kevin Zeitlerr at Wisconsin) "I went against him a little bit, but not a whole lot because I was on the edge more in college. I did go against him a little bit. I have a lot of respect for him. He's a heck of a player and a heck of a guy."
(on having the film from the previous New England game) "We're going to go back and look at it. We've already looked at it once. We're going to look at it again, see what we need to correct. If we do what we did today, like I said, control the ball on offense, get off the field on third down on defense and force a couple turnovers, we have a good chance of success, obviously easier said than done so we're excited about the week of practice ahead to make it happen."
(on how much pride he takes in how the team plays) "I take an extreme amount of pride in the way we play. I take an extreme amount of pride in our defense flying around, a lot of effort, a lot of hard work and passion. We're out there flying around having fun. I love being a part of this defense and I wouldn't trade it for anything."
(on if his game today was better than his game against the Bengals last postseason) "Mine? I didn't score seven points, so no. I had fun out there and we won the game. That's all that matters. Individual things are petty compared to the team goals."
POSTGAME QUOTES FROM CINCINNATI BENGALS
HEAD COACH MARVIN LEWIS
S CHRIS CROCKER
QB ANDY DALTON
DE ROBERT GEATHERS
WR A.J. GREEN
RB BENJARVUS GREEN-ELLIS
CB LEON HALL
DT DOMATA PEKO
T ANDREW WHITWORTH
HEAD COACH MARVIN LEWIS(Transcribed by Amanda Worthy)
(on the Bengals' loss) "Obviously not the outcome you want. From the kind of the onset of things we didn't get off to a good start offensively. I think defensively it's kind of the same thing with the third downs. I think that was basically the key to the football game. We got some second and, situations manageable on offense and we'd have a negative play and put ourselves in third-and-longer situations. That really hurt us in the first half of the game. Kind of rectified it a little bit in the second half, but still the third down conversion rate was the key to the football game. Their ability to convert and get themselves in the third-and-two and threes, and convert most of them until we got them and stopped them for field goals most of the time. We didn't generate any big plays in the first half of the game offensively, so we were kind of playing behind the eight ball a little bit, behind the count. If we would have get back into it, obviously had an opportunity there at the drive at the end of the game to go in and score and win the game, but didn't come up with the plays there."
(on why WR A.J. Green wasn't targeted in the first half) "I think things, again based on coverage and things, the design of plays, you know (QB) Andy (Dalton)'s going to work the football, a couple times when (WR) A.J. (Green) would have been the target he got flushed out of there a little early and his eyes came away from it, and the first time he took off and ran and made a big play running himself, there were a couples times. But, came out in the second half and were able to work and do some things, but we've just got to keep beating down the door until we break through. There were a lot of guys who did a lot of great things, and it's disappointing today, disappointing to them. We've got to figure out a way to push over the hump."
(on how the route on 4th and 11 was designed) "No, I'm not going to talk about that, thank you. A quarterback has to make his read and do his job, and the ball has to come out of his hand when it comes out of his hand based on the coverage. He can run and get the first down, we've done it many a time, so I'm not going to sit there and second-guess that. That's a good job by the quarterback. He found the guy based on the coverage and we've got to go."
(on QB Andy Dalton's play today) "I thought he stood in there and played from the sideline. In fact, I don't know why I'm answering that question because I normally wouldn't. It's hard for me to sit there and just from the sideline I thought he stood in there and did a good job today."
(on nice runs by HB BenJarvus Green-Ellis in the first half) "We did some good things in the running game and tried to loosen the perimeter up a little bit by doing that and get some throws and try to make some chunk plays there. A couple times they jumped around a couple blocks and made some, we got two yards, but we did have some positive runs, yes."
(on if they would have liked to do that a little more) "We did, we came up in the second half and then went to some runs in different situations, yes."
(on if the Bengals consistently thought they were still in the game) "We had an opportunity there with the three minutes and forty seconds left, whatever it is at the end of the game. Again, we got behind in the game. When you get behind against a team then they've got the upper hand a little bit, but we fought back in. We got the field goal that put it less than a one score game and we got the ball back and then we make a good drive. But, we get the minus play on second down, one of those runs that you guys wanted and they make a play, now it's second down and long, and then it's third down, and you have to go for it on fourth down."
(on if he was surprised the Bengals' defense didn't get near QB Matt Schaub) "We didn't get them in the third and situation. Their passing game today, I don't know if they had a drop-back pass other than one maybe early in the game when it's on a three step. A lot of their passing game is designed that way so you're not going to get a lot of pressure against them until you get in the third down situations. They started the game off with a bunch of screens and so forth to kind of slow the rush and we did a good job of recognition and made positive plays on those plays."
(on RB Arian Foster finding ways to get through the Bengal's defense) "He's a good back. He finds a way to get a couple yards and keep pushing it a little bit."
(on the crowd noise at Reliant Stadium) "Obviously it wasn't a factor today. As loud as it is, our guys handled that well, so that wasn't an issue. We've just got, you're in this situation, man, and you've got to play better. You've got to make plays. We dropped a couple balls early in the football game that got us behind there, gets you behind in the down and distance. It's not for lack of trying, lack of ability. We have guys trying their tail off, maybe trying a little bit, and press a little bit too much early in the game, and just do our thing. But it's disappointing to them and it hurts when you lose. It hurts when you lose in the playoffs."
SAFETY CHRIS CROCKER(Transcribed by Jesus Acevedo)
(on not playing in the game) "It was disappointing but it was better served to let others guy go out there and give it a push because obviously, I wasn't healthy. It's a helpless feeling when you can't do anything just sitting on the sidelines and just helping guys try to talk through the situations but there's really no words you can really say to make anybody feel better, I mean me included. It's just one of those things where you go so far and you end in the first round so I think that's the toughest thing being here before and still not getting over the hump."
(on the play of the defense) "Yeah, it was one of those days, just can't get anything on our offense and we have to score more points on defense I guess. (CB) Leon (Hall) came through for us but you know you can't win ball games like this if you can't you know win the time of possession, you can't stop people from running the ball and those are the things that really, really bit us in the butts today."
(on the Bengals offense struggling on 3rd downs) "It was a big difference I mean look at our field position battle all day. That's just the thing when it comes to games like these you really have to be on your A-game or you have to at least split the time of possession and win third downs. That's first grade stuff we talk about every week, be good on third downs and stop the run and we didn't do both, either of those on both side of the ball and just wasn't a good day for us. It's sad you know. It's disappointing. It really is."
(on Texans RB Arian Foster) "He's a good running back. I mean he's a good running back, can run, can catch, that's why he's a Pro Bowl caliber guy and so we knew that coming in the game. They just play better than us today."
QUARTERBACK ANDY DALTON(Transcribed by Rachel Jacob)
(on what went wrong in the first half and why they started so slow) "Well we were getting into third and long situations and we weren't converting. Third downs, we weren't keeping drives alive and because of that we didn't have the ball very much. They had the ball, I don't know what the time of possession was, but they controlled that by a lot. We weren't doing enough. We were getting into second down, then we had a couple plays where we were using yards, third-and-long situations make it tough to convert and that is where we struggled."
(on why he was more successful targeting WR A.J. Green in the second half than in the first half and if it was due to manipulation in coverage) "Well I think just the designs of the plays; we were trying to get (TE) Jermaine (Gresham) the ball early. We were trying to get some of the other guys going, but we weren't making plays. I need to do a better job making sure A.J. gets his catches. He is one of the best receivers in this league. He needs to have the ball thrown his way a lot. I think I could have done a little bit better job, but we tried to get other guys involved as well."
(on if the Texans were able to take WR A.J. Green away completely in the first half) "No, they weren't necessarily taking him away; we just had designs where we were going to other guys. We got to the second half and I started throwing his way."
(on if it was more important to get TE Jermaine Gresham involved early than get the ball to WR A.J. Green) "We saw with the way they were playing, that was a good match up. We had a couple chances there, but we didn't make the play."
(on playing against cover-two and the importance of getting the tight end down the middle of the field and how he is a big factor in that configuration) "Yeah, (TE) Jermaine (Green) is so talented, he's such a big guy, and you put him on linebackers and even their dime guy. With his big body, he can create a little bit of space and do things like that but today we didn't get it done."
(on the running game and how they were unable to really get any consistency during the game) "No, I mean that is the biggest thing. We needed to be more consistent and we weren't today. So it speaks for itself, if we would have third downs and kept drives going, it's a different game"
(on the disappointment level of making it to the playoffs two years in a row and leaving without a win) "I mean, we are very disappointed. We felt like we had taken a step forward this year, felt like coming in we knew what to expect. We knew the atmosphere we were coming into. It was just coming out, executing. We are a young football team. We expect to be out here next year. Hopefully we can do a better job."
(on the play in the fourth quarter with about four minutes to go where he tried to hit WR A.J. Green in the end zone and how it unfolded) "We had a double move on, (WR) A.J. (Green) ran a good route, just threw it a little bit too far. The play, if we would have made it, obviously the games a whole lot different. It's one you can look back on and say if you hit that it changes the game."
(on if the Texans' defense did anything different defensively that they hadn't done before) "No. We knew what we were going to get. They didn't do a whole lot different. We needed to play better."
(on having the defense keep him within striking distance and not being able to come up with that one big play) "Yeah, our defense played great, they play great this whole year. They kept us in games. They've done a good job. We have to find a way to make one more play, make one more first down. To do little things that help you win games and it means more now obviously, being in the playoffs. Today we didn't get that done."
(on how getting a home field advantage in the playoffs makes it a much easier road) "Yeah it does. This place is a great home field advantage for them. I thought we handled the crowd noise well. I thought we communicated well, and we obviously had that one false start. Yeah, obviously you would rather play games at home than away."
(on the continued struggle on offense since the San Diego game) "We just needed to be more consistent with that. We needed to make one more play, keep the drive going, pick up one more third down, maybe pick up another third down and keep drives going, different things like that. Yeah, the offense didn't play as well as it could have, but you can always look back and say what if."
(on what was the bigger "what if"- the miss to WR A.J Green on the third down play or the fourth and eleven that came up a couple yards short) "I tried to put it on (WR) Marvin (Jones) quick so he turns up field. Obviously we wish we were able to pick that one up, but again you can look back and say what if."
(on if passing to WR Marvin Jones was the only option available in reference to the aforementioned play) "Yeah, that was the design and everything that was the right read and the completion wasn't far enough."
(on the feeling in the huddle when the drive started on the 20-yard line as it seemed like the players were pretty loose) "I was telling everybody we are going to drive down. We are going to win this game and everybody thought that we just came up a little short."
DEFENSIVE END ROBERT GEATHERS(Transcribed by Lance Jaramillo)
(on third down conversions) "We knew coming in we needed to do a good job on first down and sometimes we didn't, so it wasn't a good situation on third down and we couldn't get off the field so we were out there for a while. All that stuff plays a factor and we didn't do enough to win the game. They played a better game than us today."
(on holding the Texans to field goals in the red zone) "We did a good job with that. We gave up that one touchdown that we'd like to have back or it might be a different outcome in the locker room. They outplayed us and we just have to learn from this. The team is very young so this is a stepping stone we can build off of."
WIDE RECEIVER A.J. GREEN(Transcribed by Jesus Acevedo)
(on the Texans' offense) "I feel like our defense played good. They really only scored one time and our offense, we didn't put up some of the stuff we needed to do to back them up but in serious football there are ups and downs and we learn from this and move on to next year."
(on the play of QB Andy Dalton) "I feel like he had a pretty good game. You know there's going to be up and downs in the game anyway but we didn't capitalize on stuff and plays that we need to do."
(on the missed touchdown catch in the 4th quarter) "I thought I had it but it was just a bit overthrown but it happens like that sometimes. We're still young. We're both still young. We've got a lot of growing up to do together, including myself and offense and us in general."
(on how it's different from last year's playoff loss) "This is definitely difficult because, you know, we feel like even though we were playing probably one of the worst football games we played, we still had a chance to win the game and we didn't pull it out."
(on how close he was to catching the deep ball in the fourth quarter) "It was close. You know football is a game of inches and like I said man we didn't capitalize and we're both young and that's something that we need to work on, our deep balls. This year wasn't consistent enough that's including him (QB Andy Dalton) and me on both parts. That's some stuff we need to work on in the offseason."
(on not getting the ball in the first half) "There's up and downs in the football game, and like I said, I would love to get the ball every play but there's other guys on the team that did it. They double me so other guys can make plays, but I'm going to try and make some plays when my number was called but we didn't make enough plays as a whole team to come out with this win."
(on the interception by Texans CB Johnathan Joseph) "It was just quick. I should've got my head around a little quicker but it happens."
(on whether he could have caught the deep ball in the fourth quarter) "I was trying. I was digging. I was digging but I laid out and couldn't even get a hand on it. But it happens like that, football is a game of inches so that's one thing we need to get better with. We need to capitalize when plays are presented our way and that's the next step to being a great team."
(on the Bengals taking a step forward this season) "Yeah, definitely. We were 3-5 and we dug ourselves out of that hole to put ourselves in the playoffs. We won 10 games, which is real difficult in this league. So I feel like we took a step and the next step is getting past this, the first round."
RUNNING BACK BENJARVUS GREEN-ELLIS(Transcribed by Lance Jaramillo)
(on if he wanted more carries) "Obviously it had to be the way it was because we only had 11 or so plays, so we weren't doing enough to sustain drives and do things like that so it's disappointing we couldn't pull out the 'W.'"
(on how his hamstring felt) "My hamstring's been down on me for the last four or five weeks and kind of got a little bit more for me to handle last week but with some rest this week I was able to fight through it today."
(on why they couldn't convert on third downs) "We didn't make enough plays. We didn't make enough plays so we put ourselves in third and long situations. It's always tough against a good defense so we have to do a better job of putting ourselves in third and manageable, third and two and things like that."
(on if the team will look back at missed opportunities) "Of course. Everyone has to look at their selves in the mirror and we probably all have a handful of plays that we wish we could have back. That's always how it is. We just didn't sustain drives and when you don't sustain drives it's always hard to get in to a rhythm. You go one, two, three and punt and you're on the sideline another six minutes it's hard to do that."
CORNERBACK LEON HALL(Transcribed by Joshua Moon)
(on the team not seizing the momentum after the defensive touchdown) "It's unfortunate. They played better than we did today for sure. We did leave some plays out there in every aspect of the game. At the end of the day, that hurt us. We kept it close and had a chance to score at the end as well as stop them on defense, but that didn't happen"
(on the Bengals red zone defense) "They were getting some drives on us, but we were able to hold them to field goals. That made a huge difference in the game. We just didn't hold them enough."
(on how disappointing this loss is considering they were 3-5 to start the season) "Obviously I'm not one for moral victories. We lost. We had a good year. Obviously we didn't play good enough, because our season is over now."
(on the team's future) "We left a lot of plays out there today, as well as in the season. That is motivation for us to do something extra. When the time comes, hopefully we will be in position to make better plays."
(on if he feels the team needs to make any offseason acquisitions) "I think we are good. I do know the pieces we have already, including this year and last year. We have a really good team. Obviously we are going to make some additions in the draft, but I think we have a good core of guys here."
SAFETY REGGIE NELSON(Transcribed by Jesus Acevedo)
(on Texans offense) "The Texans had a good team and we knew that coming in. They did a great job of mixing in their running and you know they're a great play action team and you know they did a good job of mixing it and giving us different formations and all of that, but you can't take nothing away from the Houston Texans. They're a good team and you know they won."
(on QB Andy Dalton) "He played good man. What did you see? I mean to me he's a leader; he's a leader of this team and that's what he did. He went out there and led this team and I think he did a good job at that."
DEFENSIVE TACKLE DOMATA PEKO(Transcribed by Lance Jaramillo)
(on playing on the road in the playoffs) "Yeah it would be a lot better if we were back in Cincinnati and have the crowd behind us and all, but we had a tough one today. But we just have got to keep pressing forward, look at this film and get better from it. There are a lot of good guys in this locker room; we have a good foundation of young guys here so our team is going to get better and better every year."
TACKLE ANDREW WHITWORTH(Transcribed by Joshua Moon)
(on how hard they worked to get to this point and then losing) "It's one of those things. All year, we put everything we've had and we just came up short today. Being a leader and a guy who is captain of the team, I put this loss on me. I have to find us a way to get better. You have to shoulder the stuff when it's good and you have to shoulder the stuff when it's bad. There is something I can do to help us get further."
(on the offenses mentality after getting dominated through most of the game, but still having a chance to win) "The defense did a heck of a job. Anytime in the NFL that a team can keep holding them to field goals, even if they are giving up yards, you give you offense a chance to score seven points and win a game. We weren't able to do it tonight. We've seen that this year. It happened to us. You have to be able to capitalize in those situations and we just didn't."
(on the offense not being able to convert a third down all game) "Frustration. Complete frustration. You want to come in and play well and we showed our youth a little bit. There were too many negative down and distances. We kept getting ourselves into third and long. You have to do something better than that. Like I said, it hurts and I'd like the young guys to realize that we are making positive strides. There is more that we can do. We find a way to get better."