After the Texans' 24-21 win over the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field, members of both teams spoke to the media.
Head coach Gary Kubiak
(on the victory) "Our group had every reason at some point to fold with the turnovers hurting us, but this group is made up of a lot of character and that is as good a win that I have ever been around. We are on cloud nine right now."
(on starting at their own four yard line on the last drive) "That is about as bad a situation as you can be in. They had two timeouts, you have to get the ball out of your own end zone and you are probably thinking how do I get to overtime. So we said, 'Let's pound it out a couple of yards, let's take a shot with Andre (Johnson) on the second play.' But we didn't get the coverage that we wanted. Matt dumped the ball to Vonta (Leach) and he makes the best catch that I have ever seen him make. Now all of a sudden we go from being non-aggressive and trying to get to overtime, to being aggressive and trying to win the game."
(on going for a two-point conversion) "There still is a lot of time left in the game, and I'm one of those guys who thinks you've got to let the game play itself out. I think it might have still been too early to do that. But I just think at where we are at this point in the season and the feel of my football team right there, I think it was the right thing to do. And Andre (Johnson) made a great catch."
(on calling the two-point conversion) "We were kind of conversing about it on the headset and with the feel of the football team, I just thought it was the best thing to do. We actually busted the play, ran the wrong play. (Steve) Slaton ran the wrong play. Matt (Schaub) kept the play alive and Andre came across the field and made a great play. It's funny how those things happen sometimes."
(on the effort on offense) "I just think right now that we are battling like heck. We are a football team that got off to a very bad start this year. We are out there battling for respect, trying to become a good football team. The effort on our football right now is tremendous, just watching them push each other. That locker room I just left was one of the best locker rooms I've ever left after a game. That's the direction – we have a bunch of good kids in there. We just need to keep going in that direction."
(on how RB Steve Slaton busted the two-point conversion) "We were running a roll and Slaton was supposed to be coming out on in the strongside flat and he busted and went the wrong way."
(on what he talked about with the team before the game) "We talked about winning the turnover battle. They sure as heck didn't do that today, but they won. I think our message right now, which we talked about every day not just last night, was one of effort and playing together and continuing to have young players step up and help our team. Brandon Harrison was in a situation where he's playing a lot. (Dominique) Barber is playing a lot. Matt (Schaub) is getting back to work and playing well. (We) just continue to battle for each other the way they have been battling the last few weeks. They are learning how to win games other than when they are perfect, and that's what you have to do in this league."
(on what he said to the team after the game) "I didn't need to say much. They are on cloud nine right now. I told them to have some fun. I didn't want to ruin their party. They were having a good time"
(on what the win says about the team) "I think it say what we are capable of. We have a lot of weapons on offense. We have a lot of guys who can make plays. We have been moving the ball this year. We have been hurting ourselves. Today, we moved it and hurt ourselves and we found a way to make plays at the end of the game. We had plenty of mistakes in the game, but we had guys step up – new faces step up. David Anderson made some nice plays. OD stepped up to make big plays today, and Kevin Walter. So, it's just everybody taking a turn and that's the way it has to be."
(on K Kris Brown's game-winning field goal) "It's pretty special. I mean, this is a tough place to kick. The one good thing about today, there wasn't any wind. With what wind there was, we felt like we were going in the right direction in the fourth quarter. That's the way Kris wanted to go. He asked to kick in the other direction to start the second half, so he was confident right there and drilled it right down the middle."
(on who got the game balls) "I haven't – I'd be making a mistake if I gave it to one guy or two guys today. We'll wait and take a look at it. I've got a feeling everybody deserves one in this one."
(on how important kicking and punting was) "Extremely important. The game slowed down a little bit here today because it was so cold, and the kicking game became very important with field position - and none bigger with Matt (Turk). You know, Matt had a pretty big punt there at the end of the game. We thought we had them pinned, until they made a big play. But, of course, Kris (Brown) makes a big kick."
(on if the team has turned a corner) "I don't know if you ever turn the corner in this league until you win a championship. This is a tough game. It's a up-and-down business. Everybody has a good players and a good team. It's hard to win in this league. We just got off to a very poor start this year and we are trying to work our way up."
(on winning at Lambeau Field) "It is nice for us to get out here and win in a tough place like this. We have struggled on the road. And to come here with all this tradition in this place – a lot of our players had no idea what this is about – but to come in here and win that game the way we won it at the end will be special to all of us."
(on what the win means to the team as they head into a game against Tennessee) "It means a lot. They (Titans) are the best team in football. We've got them coming to our place. We are going to have to play better than we did today and protect the football against them. Like I said, we are trying to work our way out of it and this team will continue to battle."
K Kris Brown(on kicking the game-winning kick) "It is one of those things out there that you just go through your routine. You pick a target out and just hit it as smooth as you can. Most of the time it comes off my foot I have a pretty good idea if it's good or not. It came off my foot, and I knew right away it was good."
(on where this kick stacks up in his career) "Anytime you have a game-winning kick, it is special. I was thinking this week coming to this place that as a football player, this place is hallowed ground. The greatest players that have played in this game have played at Lambeau Field. To come here and have a win like this as a team and do it like we did – I mean, we had to overcome some serious adversity, but we stuck together and nobody ever thought for a second that we weren't going to win the game. And to be able to go out there and have a kick like that, for me, it's hard to put into words."
(on getting his confidence back after the miss) "The miss was one of those things that I didn't hit to my target. I just kind of pushed it a little bit. I came back out before halftime and got a couple kicks in. It was nice that we were able to get an attempt early in the third quarter, so I could put that out of my mind. I hit that one really well. So from that point on, I said, 'You know, Kris, trust your target and just kick the ball to your target.'"
(on looking for second chances) "Just make or miss, in this game you have to forget about it. You've got to move along to the next kick. And a lot times I think when you make them, if you can maintain that rhythm, then that helps you. If you miss it, you've got to think, 'What did I do wrong?' and then go back and make it on the next kick."
(on what the kick meant to the team) "This is a tough game. And when you do it with the right kind of people like we have in the locker room and we are as close as we are off the field – when you get a win like this, it's pretty special. As a kicker, I realize my job's not the most physically demanding job on the field. So for me to be able to go out there and have a kick like that to win the game with what the guys upfront did both offensively and defensively, I wanted to make sure that was the last play of the game."
(on QB Matt Schaub) "Schaub did a great job coming back. I think there was a lot guys that you could talk about, obviously, Matt coming back from being injured. I thought Matt Turk our holder did a great job. I thought Clark (Harris) our snapper did a tremendous job today replacing (Bryan) Pittman. I have to definitely mention him because he came in and snapped the ball great today, which is not an easy thing to do. I think a lot of times people overlook how important a snap and hold really is, how difficult a job it is and how easy it makes my job. Those two guys just did a tremendous job today."
(on if the weather affected him) "No. You get those warm benches and you get those heaters and it's a mental thing. You've got to deal with it; everybody is dealing with it. it's cold. I think when you finally accept that it's cold, it's easier to deal with."
(on his target) "It was a Miller Lite sign I was aiming at. I missed it."
WR Andre Johnson
(on his emotions after the game) "I am really happy for the team and especially for Matt with him coming back in his first start back since he has been injured. After the game, he just came up to me and gave me a big hug. I don't know if it was a sigh of relief, but you could tell from his facial expression that he was really excited about it."
CB Dunta Robinson
(on the defensive effort) "We played in spurts this season, but I think that guys are now understanding what kind of team we are. The only thing that is acceptable is winning. That's all we want to do now. And like I said, we just want to continue to build on this. We know next week it's going to be rough with Tennessee coming in."
LB DeMeco Ryans(on his fourth-quarter sack of Aaron Rodgers) "We had a blitz with me and the defensive back coming up the middle and we made the center pick one of us. I looked up at the (play) clock and there was like three seconds left and I knew he had to snap the ball, so I just timed it up. He slid to the defensive back, so I was clean to take him down."
QB Matt Schaub(on his emotions after the game) "It's hard to describe, just a lot of excitement for the guys that are in that locker room because every single guy put it on the line today. We needed everybody in order to win that game. We had every opportunity to win it early on and we gave them opportunities to get back in the game, which they did. And then we just had to make another play. We were able to do that and overcome the adversity of being backed up on that last drive. Guys just ended up making plays, and it's just exciting for our team."
(on his last drive pass to FB Vonta Leach) "It was a great play. We had a play action pass and we had Andre (Johnson) deep and they covered him, so I had Vonta. I wasn't expecting to get him open because they play man coverage, and he happened to slip out to the flat. I just tried to put it on him, but it kind of took off on me a little bit. He was able to get one hand on it and pulled it in. The freight train, the 'Coke machine' we call him, turned down that sideline and ran a few guys over. That was the play of the game in my opinion, because it gave us the opportunity to go on that two-minute drive to get that field goal."
(on if the weather impacted the game) "Going into it, you get your mind right and you know what to expect. I think the good thing about today was that it was a great day for football. Sure it was cold, but being up here luckily we were fortunate that there wasn't wind blowing. It wasn't blowing too badly, so we were able to throw the ball around and beat man coverage. The offensive line did a great job of owning the line of scrimmage."
(on how he felt to be back) "It was great to get out and be out there playing. It feels great. I am in the brace and all is good."
(on what he did after K Kris Brown kicked the game-winning field goal) "I was just looking for the closest person to jump up and down with. I tried to find Kris (Brown) and then Kris jumped on me. He just held on and I was like, 'Come on. We have more guys to celebrate with.' But it was just excitement. It was just one of those team wins where you go around and give everyone a hug."
(on if the win was extra special because it was at Lambeau Field) "I think so. Coming up here, this is basically where football started and everyone knows the history here. And to play in December on a cold day and win and coming from Houston – everybody says, 'They are a warm-weather team.' But we have gone to a couple of cold places this year and come away with victories. It was just a great win for us."
(on the turnovers) "It hurt us, especially the position on the field where some of those things occurred. We went down in there and are in field goal range and scoring position and we're up a touchdown and then have to punt. It's just one of those things were you just go out there and play the next play. In this business, you can't think about what happened good or bad; you have to put it behind you. You have to have a short-term memory and put it behind you and play the next play to the best of your ability."
(on if the game was the most satisfying in her career) "It's the most recent. So, yes, it's the most satisfying."
(on why the Texans have been playing so well recently) "We have just kept playing. We are becoming a very well-balanced team. Our offensive line is really coming together. They are playing extremely well, so we are getting the running game going and the passing game going. We are really starting to come together and come into our own."
(on the sack by LB DeMeco Ryans) "It's a huge play because they are in field-goal range and they are trying to get a little close, grind it out there. He gets through. I was just watching the play and I saw him hit that line of scrimmage, timed it out real well. And he was able to get through there, and that was a huge play because it knocked them out of field goal range - and then on third down, keeping them from getting any closer to where they could attempt it. That was a big play in the game."
(on what the wins shows about the team) "It shows all that this team has. We are just going to keep going out there and battling and keep fighting. We are going to keep playing well regardless of our record or what's out there. There is a lot of pride on this team."
RB Steve Slaton
(on what it means to have 1,000 yards rushing) "It means a lot. Of course, I have to thank the my o-line, the receivers and my fullback. Without them, this wouldn't be possible for me."
(on the offensive line) "They were opening up big holes, which is what we were working on all week. We knew that we were going to be able to gash them a little bit and it was true."
(on playing in the cold) "I have played in cold games, but it was cold out there. But we were a little bit more equipped."
(on what it would mean to have the franchise rushing record this season) "That would mean a lot for not only me but for the whole team. They are doing a great job for me and it's opening up things for the whole offense."
(on if he thinks about making a big play when he gets the ball) "I try not to. That gets you in trouble a little bit. I try to stay positive, think positive yards."
(on the key to making big-gain plays) "It's just the o-line, the fullbacks and the receivers blocking their guys downfield. They are doing a great job and it's leaving me with mismatches with linebackers."
(on the two-point conversion) "It got a little loud and I got the wrong call, and luckily 'Dre bailed me out on it."
(on playing behind RB Vonta Leach) "It means a lot. That's exactly what he does, he clears a path. I know with him in front of me I don't have to worry about that first guy coming up. I can worry about the secondary coming up."
WR Kevin Walter
(on what the win means to the team) "Coming in here and scoring the third play of the game was what we needed to do. We needed to set the tempo. We don't want to play from behind. It's awesome. This feeling is great. We got a win and now we just have to keep it up."
Green Bay Packers
Head coach Mike McCarthy
(on another disappointing loss) "I can speak for myself on your question. I'm frustrated. I'm very frustrated in the way in particular today's game unfolded. It's a little bit of a picture of how our season has gone. We had a number of opportunities and we didn't cash in on them. We had some breakdowns, and unfortunately that's why we're sitting here again with a loss."
(on the defense not being able to get a key stop when needed) "Today, we stopped them on first down, and in the second down play, they came out with a breakdown. That's football. You have to stay gap-sound, technique-specific and so forth. We didn't do that for four quarters today."
(on whether the Packers' defense blitzed more today) "I thought (defensive coordinator) Bob (Sanders) was aggressive today. I thought he was aggressive with the pressure. We were trying to adjust it, our medical situation with Brady (Poppinga) playing defensive end and so forth, but it was not enough."
(on not converting a third down until the fourth quarter) "We had some opportunities early. We went into the game (planning) to be aggressive on third down. We missed the one, the first one I recall. We had two sacks in man protection. We had been very good in third down, especially as of late. We did not handle that today. They (Houston) went more five-man pressure, they played a lot more three shell against us, which we feel plays to our advantage. But we were not able to convert. We were not very sharp on third down today."
(on what there is left to play for with three games left) "We're the Green Bay Packers. We're going to line up, we're going to prepare. We're going to get in here tomorrow and correct our mistakes, and everybody is going to know exactly what went wrong, what went right. And we will apply that as we move forward. But we are going down to Jacksonville to win a football game. We need to win a game around here. As far as your question, we are the Green Bay Packers. I fully expect everybody to prepare to perform at a high level."
P Jeremy Kapinos
(on his first punt of the game) "I wanted to start the game off so good, get one of those punts down in the 20. Once I saw that ball on the 50, I just kind of got real excited and just kind of let up on the ball, and obviously, the end result was very disappointing."
(on his punting during the rest of the game) "After that, I mean, I just kind of settled in. Coach just said, 'Hit the ball, stop trying to finesse it,' and I just started to punt the way I'm capable of. I thought it was a lot of fun. It was nice and cold, but it was fun. It was a joy to be out there, and the fans had every right to boo after my first punt."
(on if he heard the fans after his first punt) "No, they had every right to do that. I was so disappointed with myself, and I booed myself, too. It was fun, and after that, I settled right and started hitting the ball like I've been doing all week in practice."
(on his last punt that was downed at the 3-yard-line) "I'd been punting in that direction and the wind was a little, the wind's so tricky here. I've learned in two days of punting there (that) the guys on the outside are so fast, just give them a little bit of time, they'll get down there and down it. They just said to try to hang it up there and give us a good shot at downing it, and I was able to do that. Like I said, a lot of fun."
WR Jordy Nelson
(on not coming up with the big play late in a game) "That's all it comes down to. You can't pin it on one thing. Right now, the other team is making more plays than we are."
(on what happened on the touchdown play) "Aaron Rodgers gave me a signal to change up the route. And he was correct, so we just ran a go route and were able to get on top and he threw me the ball."
(on if that's just a matter of him getting leverage on the defender) "Yeah, A-Rod saw something, I guess whatever he wanted. I mean, he has the capability of doing that. That's why he's in charge of the offense. He can check the different things. He just gave a quick check, and it was one-on-one and we were able to win."
(on the offense being only 1-for-10 on third downs) "Yeah, that's what it comes down to. We've got to make more plays. Third down is huge for us. We were in some good situations where we should have been able to convert some and keep the drive alive." (on how they get to the point from where they are to winning these close games) "We've just got to keep working, I guess. I don't know if you can put it on one thing. We've just got to continue to work and when it comes down to it, we've got to make more plays than they do, and that's all it is."
LB Brady Poppinga
(on the Texans amassing over 500 yards of offense) "It's frustrating. I don't really have a lot of words to say, sorry." (on the play when FB Vonta Leach broke free for a 22-yard gain) "He just got out to the flat there. They threw him the ball, and he got some yards."
(on what the defense is saying to each other) "You can say anything you want, but it doesn't matter what you say, it's what you do. We're not getting it done."
(on what his thoughts are right now given the status of the season) "My thoughts? Losing is not fun. That's my thought. It's very frustrating."
QB Aaron Rodgers
(on how frustrating the close losses are) "It's disappointing. We had a chance to win. It's kind of gone the same script. We start slow, wait for somebody to make a play. Somebody does, then we start turning it on on the offensive side of the ball, get the ball in good position, have an opportunity to win the game and we don't. So that's probably the most frustrating part."
(on missing opportunities to score TDs at the end of games) "We had a tough situation backed up, but Donald (Driver) made a great catch and run and put us in a good spot. I like the calls we made. We just didn't get any points out of it."
(on poor performance on third down conversions today) "I don't know what the stats were, but they did a nice job. We just didn't convert like we usually do and like the plan we had. (We) didn't make plays. You've got to give them credit on defense. They had a good game plan. Mario (Williams) is a tough presence rushing the passer, but I like our plan every week on third down. We should have executed and we didn't, so no excuse for that."
(on being out of playoff contention) "I just want to win one (more) game. We've got Jacksonville, and that's all we're going to focus on, and that's just about all we can focus on right now."
(on whether the close losses have a mental effect on them at the end of games) "Possibly, yeah. The frustrating part (is) it's been right there in front of us. We've had the opportunity to execute and finish those games off and we haven't. Today, we were very confident in the fourth quarter. We tied it up and got the ball back, had a good call, Donald (Driver) made a great catch and run, and I think everybody on the offensive side was thinking, 'All right, let's punch this in for seven and get this win.' And then all the rest of that stuff happened."
C Scott Wells
(on if it's disappointing to lose in the closing moments once again) "I think if you ask anybody, they'll be disappointed. I hate to lose. So whether we've won five games or we've won 13, when we lose one, it hurts. So we have to find a way to stay together and correct these mistakes. And find a way that when the game's on the line, regardless of what's happened up to that point, to get the job done and win the game. That's all that matters. You're paid to win games. You're not paid just to play. So we have to find a way to come out with a 'W' at the end of the day."
(on not being eliminated from playoff contention yet but not being able to worry about something so far down the road ) "I think right now, we need to take it week-by-week. We need to find a way to learn from this one and go into Jacksonville and get that win. Don't worry about the next week. Get your job done week-by-week, and the rest will fall into place."
(on if it's hard to believe a team from the South can win at Lambeau Field in "Packers weather") "No, I mean, I'm from the South and I play in it. But it's definitely games like this, is the ones that we should take advantage of, the homefield advantage. We definitely should go out there and play faster than we did, especially in the first half. I felt like we were playing fast in the fourth quarter and second part of the third quarter. But we didn't play fast on the front offensively. We didn't play fast in the first half. And we came out and didn't play fast in the beginning of the third. And those are crucial times. The first drive coming out of halftime is a big, big drive as far as momentum. And we have to find a way to come out, get a drive and get some points with that drive."