INTERIM HEAD COACH WADE PHILLIPS (Transcribed by Tiffani Walker)**
(on the game) "Obviously, I thought we fought really hard. The interception, when the game was close, I think before that though, we were in field goal range to kick a field goal and got sacked twice, which kept us from tying up the score. Then, we had the ball three points behind and the game turned on that interception. The guy (QB Peyton Manning) is a great quarterback, obviously. They came out throwing; 51 passes in one game. That's a lot of passes. The last one, I was surprised, but they threw it deep late in the game, but that's part of football."
(on the game-changing interception by QB Matt Schaub and what happened) "It looked like a combination to me. Obviously, he scrambled a little bit with the ball. It was a young receiver there. I think you have to make sure they don't get the ball. If you don't get it, they don't get it. It wasn't all Matt, I don't believe, on that play."
(on the two sacks in the game on the one drive) "It's just what I said. That series certainly was a big one, and the next series where we had the interception was a big one. They've obviously got a really good football team. We played them really well through three quarters, but we didn't in the fourth."
(on the momentum and feeling like they were getting back into it) "We all, obviously, felt good, but we didn't execute. So that was the key."
(on playing the four-man front and using DE J.J. Watt instead of OLB Whitney Mercilus a lot) "We played a bigger group against them because we didn't want them to run the football, which they really didn't run the football. We wanted to force them to throw the ball and obviously they did that. You really have to get them into third downs. I thought we played really well on third down. But we just didn't get him into enough third downs."
(on defensive players playing today that he didn't expect to) "We lost J. Jo (CB Johnathan Joseph) during the game, which obviously hurt us. He's our best corner. Any kind of matchup thing we lost. And we lost two running backs during the game, too. Not only having the first two out, but then the next two went out. That hurt us."
(on how much the offense was limited due to injuries) "You have to go with what you have. We're in that situation where we have a lot of injuries, especially in certain positions. If you don't have enough of those guys you have to play somebody else, in some other combination."
(on the overall play of QB Matt Schaub) "When you score 13 against Denver, it's hard to beat them. You know they're going to score and you know they're going to move the ball, and hopefully they don't score as much as they did. "
(on missing potential interceptions during the game) "We missed some picks. We had our opportunities, especially when the momentum changed in the game. I thought we had a couple opportunities right there, but we didn't make them."
(on how he approaches the final week) "Just like we have the last two. We're going to keep working hard. We're going to keep our attitude right. Those are the two things that I can control. Our guys will fight hard this next week. We want to finish the season with a win. That's our goal. That's our immediate goal. And that's what we're going to do."
TACKLE DUANE BROWN (Transcribed by Mia Fredricks)
(on losing their last home game of the season) "Yeah, it's been a rough one. I think it's an understatement that it's been a rough one. To come out here and put on a good, decent effort at home, our last time to come out in a long time, we just didn't get it done."
(on what was going on with the offensive line) "Yeah, I have to go back and look at the film. They were running a lot of good twist stunts. They did a good job of bringing linebackers from different angles in. Sometimes bringing them, we can block. But I don't know exactly what was going on."
(on if he felt like they could make something happen when down by three points) "Yeah, we had to. You can't go against Peyton Manning and that offense, and get in those situations and not take advantage of them. Our defense did a great job of keeping us in the game for a long time. But offensively, we just didn't make it happen and we have to, especially with all of those opportunities."
(on if there was rust to knock off with QB Matt Schaub starting again) "I'm not sure. In the quarterback position, you have to find a rhythm. When you go out without playing, I am sure that can affect you. I thought he did a great job of getting us into different plays that we needed to be into or adjusting protection. As far as ability, going through your reads and throwing the ball, I am sure it takes getting used to when you spend that amount of time away."
(on the cohesiveness between the offensive line and QB Matt Schaub) "He did a great job of bringing up guys we couldn't key on to make any pre-snap adjustments. When that happens, you just have to survive the play."
WIDE RECEIVER DEANDRE HOPKINS (Transcribed by Trevor Caswell)
(on his chemistry with QB Matt Schaub on the play where an interception was thrown) "I thought he was going to throw it towards the sideline coming back and I guess he thought I was going to turn inside, so it's just chemistry. We have been doing well chemistry-wise, but you don't really practice too many plays where the read isn't there. You don't expect those to happen too much. You want everything to be perfect, so it's just chemistry."
(on how surprising the score turned out to be) "It's the NFL. We have been up by three touchdowns close to the fourth quarter and things haven't turned around. We have been down at the beginning of the season by a bunch and then we came back. That is just the way the NFL works. You always have to push forward."
WR ANDRE JOHNSON (Transcribed by Roman Petrowski)
(on if he felt like it was the time to get something going when the score was 16-13 and they got the ball back) "Yeah I thought we kind of got momentum in the game in the second half, but we had those penalties that took us out of field goal range. That's just been kind of the moral of the story all year where we'll be in that situation and we'll do something, you know have a penalty, or something bad happen to take us away from scoring. I think if we got some points there, you know we got a field goal we'd have still have been fine because going against a team like that, they're going to score points, and you have to get something. You can't just have drives where you don't get anything, but I think we gained momentum in the second half, but we just didn't take advantage of it."
(on how he felt QB Matt Schaub played today) "I think at times we did some good things. At times we didn't. They're a good football team. They did some things and made some plays against us. We was able to make some plays against them, but they made more than we did. You know, they ended up winning."
(on his record setting fifth 100 catch season) "It's all fine and dandy, but I only play the game for one reason, and that's to win. Like I said, it's a great thing to have happen, but under these circumstances it really doesn't matter."
(on if the team finds itself thinking things will go bad because that's the way things have gone this season) "No, when we came in at halftime nobody was down. Guys were energetic. It was about us, guys were amped. It's probably the most pumped that we've been in a while at halftime. I don't think guys were looking forward to anything going bad. Guys were trying to win. You're just trying to do anything you can to get this taste out of your mouth, because it's not a good feeling, but it didn't work out for us."
(on if it was just the opposite that they thought it was going to go well when they came out well in the second half) "When you're playing a game you don't really look ahead. You just take it one play at a time, one drive at a time. You don't even, well for me; I don't pay attention to the clock. I'm just playing. You don't sit there and wonder well when are things going to go bad for us. You're trying to capitalize on every opportunity you get. I don't think anybody was sitting around here wondering well when are things going to go bad."
(on what was said postgame between him and Broncos' QB Peyton Manning) "You know I just told him congratulations on the record and I told him good luck, and he told me the same thing."
(on how weird it is dealing with all of the injuries and playing so deep into the depth chart) "It's weird, but at the same time you still have to go play the game. I think we got some guys nicked up today. You just have to fight through it. It just seems like when one thing goes bad, they just keep coming. It's been tough. I can't sit here and say it hasn't. It's been tough. It's been tough on everybody, but guys are still motivated. We've got one game, and when we came in here after the game guys were just like we're going to do whatever we need to do to try to win this last game that we have. Nobody's throwing in the towel. Just going to keep playing man. Those are the kind of guys we have in this locker room. So we're just going to keep fighting, and hopefully it will work out for us on Sunday."
(on how important it is to break the losing streak before heading into the off-season) "It's something you don't want to have happen, but who knows. We'll see what happens Sunday. We're going to go out there and try to win, and hopefully we don't have to go into the off-season with a losing streak."
(on what happened on the pass in the end zone before WR Keshawn Martin's touchdown) "You know, it was a play I should have made. The ball actually got up on me pretty fast, and I couldn't really see it with the glare of the sun. If you threw that ball to me 10 times, I'll make that play. The sun is not an excuse. It just got up on me real quick, and I just really couldn't adjust to it. That's pretty much it."
(on if he and QB Matt Schaub talked about the play after it happened) "Yeah we talked about it. It wasn't anything bad. I just told him what happened, and he even came to me and told me he actually threw it early. We just talked about it and moved on from it. We still got points out of the drive, but like I said, you want to make that play. That's something I pride myself on. Unfortunately it didn't happen. Keshawn bailed me out. It wasn't nothing bad. That's the type of relationship me and Matt have. When something happens we're able to talk about it and just move on from it. I know a lot of people made a big thing about the argument we had, but we communicate about everything when we're out there playing together. We just talked about it and moved on from it, and we're just trying to see what we can do to make more plays out there."
(on if the chemistry was off a little bit with QB Matt Schaub after him not starting for a while) "I think when you don't play in a while it kind of throws your rhythm off a little bit especially when you have timing and stuff down with guys. I don't know. It could have thrown him off a little bit. Like I said, at times we did some good things. At times we didn't. That's the nature of the game. Everything's not going to be perfect, but they made more plays than we did."
(on if he's thought about possibly playing with a new quarterback next year and all the changes that could possibly follow) "You know what, I try not to look that far ahead, but that's the nature of this business. From the time I came here, until now I've seen everybody come and go out of this locker room. Coaches and players and trainers and all that stuff, That's the nature of the business. I think Matt's a great player. I think if he's not here he'll get another opportunity. Matt can start in this league. He's done it for eight seasons. Sometimes a fresh start could be something beneficial. You hate to see it, because when you build chemistry like that with somebody you hate to see it go, but that's just the nature of the business. We'll see what happens."
FREE SAFETY SHILOH KEO (Transcribed by Trevor Caswell)
(on Texans momentum during the game) "We had momentum coming out in the second half and we just couldn't get the job done. We couldn't keep the foot down on the pedal. We allowed them to get a couple of big plays on us and it switched the momentum of the game."
(on the interception being deflating to the defense's mentality) "It's disappointing, but it's not deflating. We were one play away from keeping the momentum back on our side. One play away from getting back in the game as well. We have to come up with those plays."
(on hanging on for three quarters then losing grip in the fourth) "It's frustrating because that is kind of how our season has been going. We have been playing great games, but not full games. To add another one to the long list of losses is frustrating. We just have to find a way to get over that hump."
(on QB Peyton Manning's performance and Texans defensive scheme) "We had a great game plan and we were executing that game plan pretty well. They were able to make the big plays and we weren't able to stop them from doing that. We weren't surprised. We wanted to play the way we had been playing for the first three quarters the whole game. We have to find a way."
(on being bothered by QB Peyton Manning throwing the ball late in the game) "No, you know Peyton Manning wants to throw the ball. They are not a big running team. I think we went out there on the field expecting them to throw. He wants to set some records and stuff like that, but that's their offense. They are a throwing offense. That's how they move the ball, so it wasn't disappointing to see that."
(on QB Peyton Manning having his best game) "I don't know. It's hard to say. I feel like it was more of us not making the plays. I thought we had plenty of opportunities to make plays, but we just didn't do it. We just have to make those."
(on reflecting on the season) "When you have rough seasons like this, it seems to kind of draw out and it just feels long and wears on you. I wouldn't say it went quick. It has been rough for us. We just have to keep fighting. That is one thing I feel about this team and locker room, no one's head has gone down. Everyone is still fighting and going out to practice with full intensity and giving it their all. Everyone is focused in the meetings. There is not a lot of goofing around going on. That is what is frustrating and makes the season seem so long. We are working so hard, but don't have anything to show for it."
LINEBACKER JOE MAYS (Transcribed by Matt Bodiford)
(on if you thought Denver was going to run the clock out) "That's what I thought was going to happen (and) then they threw the ball. What are you going to do? All you can try to do it stop it. If you don't, they're going to score and that's what happen."
(on the game being extra special because it was Denver) "It stings. I've been trying to lie to myself all week by saying it didn't mean anything. Then, I come out and try to play as hard as I can, trying to play the best football I've played all year. For the result to be the way that it is, it stings. I'm disappointed and frustrated that we didn't get a chance to come out and finish better than we did."
(on having in-game conversations with the Denver players) "Yeah, I mean, I played with those guys for three years. I built some relationships with those guys, so I was talking to them, just a little chit chat.
DEFENSIVE END EARL MITCHELL (Transcribed by Roman Petrowski)
(on how tough this loss was) "It's tough man. It's been a long season. It's been really rough on us and just a roller coaster. From the beginning of the season until now. It's unfortunate, but we've got another game left, and we're still playing as hard as we can. We just try to roll with the punches."
(on playing great until the fourth quarter) "It felt like we had a good read on them. We felt like we were playing; just kind of keeping Peyton on his toes, and just kind of making him think a little bit. A couple big plays kind of got them more loose in their offense. It was just a matter of us, we just got beat."
(on how disappointing the loss is) "Very disappointing. That's all it is. That's pretty much been the word of the season. All we can do is play our last game, and just try to end it with a W."
(on what he thought about Peyton Manning going for the record) "That's all good for him. Obviously we don't want any touchdowns scored on us. It's frustrating, but you see what he was trying to do, and I feel like he had the opportunity to take it so that's what he did. He did what he wanted to do and he got it done. We should have stopped it. That's pretty much the end of that story."
QUARTERBACK MATT SCHAUB (Transcribed by Rachel Jacob & Cali Roper)
(on the frustration of the season) "Yeah, you know we got down and moved the football, settled for a couple field goals. We had a close game then they made a play, their offense generated a couple points and separated themselves a little bit and we tried to hurry up and play catch-up and couldn't convert a third down here and there and they did the things necessary to win the game today."
(on the momentum before and after the two sacks before the interception) "We had the ball down and we're getting close to the red zone and there are two sacks in a row and really took us out of position and we had to pump the football and couldn't get a field goal there and that kind of started the snowball effect."
(on spiking the ball after the second sack) "You know against a team like that we fought so hard to be in that tight ballgame and to be able to move the football and get down there. We had some plays that we liked but we just couldn't get to them and then to suffer a sack in that situation, it really hurts you. It takes you out of points. You hate to have that situation, it's frustrating because we were right there you know to make it at that time maybe a one point game or something, I am not sure, so it is frustrating."
(on his future and that this could have been his last game here) "It has definitely crossed my mind. I didn't want to think too far ahead but you know I've played this game long enough I know how things work so you know it definitely crossed my mind. It was exciting all week to be back in the huddle, to be out there with my guys that I've been with them some of them for many years, to go to battle here today, but we fell short."
(on how much more pressure there is playing an offensive unit with Peyton Manning versus a different offensive unit) "It definitely puts pressure on you, you have to think every possession you have to get some type of points especially touchdowns. We were fortunate to be in a 10-6 ball game, 13-6 then to get to 16-13 we were fortunate our defense was playing their tails off to keep us in that game while we were working our way through some things. We were right there until the third quarter but eventually they made some plays, some big plays, so that definitely puts some added pressure on you to try and make some plays."
(on if the pass which ended up being the first interception of the game was forced) "Yeah I would say I probably forced that one on the side line to (WR) DeAndre (Hopkins) scramble drill having him work back down the sideline trying to get him a chance, he had made a first down, got ourselves some room in a backed up situation, and then just scrambled and tried to make a play, probably better just throwing it away in that situation but in this type of game we ought to go out and try to make plays."
(on if you are at a point in the season where you just want to get it over with) "We still have work to do. We want to finish this thing off right. As a group, we have got to find a way to get this negative taste out of our mouths, that we have been a part of for the past few months. We have to find a way to work through that as a team, and then we will deal with what comes our way down the line. I think for everyone in that locker room, it has definitely been very frustrating and disappointing."
(on having limited options at tight end) "Today we were limited. We were down to one tight end. You look at our history and we were very big into two tight and even three tight ends in certain situations. It definitely limits you. So then we play with more wide receivers and their running backs in there, who get put into some situations past protection wise that are very difficult on them, especially as a young running back. So you try to help them as much as you can to minimize the thought process as far as some of the exotic looks that a team like that does on third down. It definitely puts you in a position where it limits you, personnel groupings, and what you can do with some of your calls."
(on more down the field passes being out of necessity due to lack of running backs or to just see what would happen) "I think it was a combination of both, but we want to stretch the field and take some chances with our receivers against their defensive backs. They've played a lot more safe coverage's with two high safeties than they have shown in the past. I think it is about what we do. They decided to play a little safer but we still wanted to try to take some shots. At this point why not try to go out, especially with the offense that they have, and try to generate some big plays."
(on after 13 straight losses feels as if it is close to the same team as it was last year) "You look at where we were at this point last year and this year. Some of the faces are still the same, but we have had some injuries and other things. So, it's a little different."
(on WR Andre Johnson not being on his "A" game) "Andre was fine today. He was out there busting his tail, just like always, trying to make plays. On one play he got his head around, and I had to get rid of it a little earlier than I probably would have liked. It was right in the sun, and that is a tough play for anyone. Dre (Andre) was there. He was in to everything from talking on the sideline, trying to do adjustments, trying to work on things on the field just to try to generate plays."
(on what getting back out there meant to you) "It was great to be out there. I told the guys earlier in the week that it was great to just be back in the huddle with them. There are so many faces in there that we have been battling through this thing for five, six, and seven years now. It is just great to be back out there to try to end the season off, these last two weeks, on a very positive note. Obviously we fell short today but it was just great to be back on the field with my team."
(on where you want to be next year) "I have no idea. I am just looking to finish 2013 off the right way, and I will deal with next year once the season is over."
DEFENSIVE END ANTONIO SMITH (Transcribed by Roman Petrowski)
(on his thoughts on the game) "I would have to say Peyton Manning found a way there at the end. I was saying that all day long on the sidelines, that in a game like this and other games I've been in like this, three points are never going to win you the game. You only have so long before they start making plays themselves. So why you can get on top of them you have to go for chances; you have to do whatever you can do to get ahead, and then when you get ahead you can pin your ears back and you can rush, but the whole day they were able to stay in a mixed up offense where they could run it; they could pass it; you know they can quick throw it and things like that. Never really had to drop back and throw it."
(on if the fourth quarter for Broncos QB Peyton Manning the best he had seen him play) "He made some big plays. Definitely. It's the best I've ever played against him. If I'm not mistaken ever game I've played against him here, it was pretty close, and it was fought pretty tough. No blow outs. No big time scoring type games. This is the first one that it just got out of- in my opinion- kind of got out of hand."
(on what the feeling was coming out and facing the short field after the interception) "The feeling coming out is we have to stop them; we have to hold them to a field goal, and that's' how you have to come out. That was our mind frame, and then they had a little quick score. That's kind of deflating. After then it was the thing I worried about most, but before then, we came out as a defense, thinking well lets hold them to three. We hold them to three we're still in this thing, but then when they scored the touchdown I think that put them up 10."
(on if he cares that the Broncos were going for the record when the game was 30-13) "As a defensive player you have to care about that. That has to burn you a little bit. That has to raise up some fight in you, but as a true football player, that's what football is. That's what his job is to do. He wants to be great. It's his job to try to be great, no matter how it makes anybody else feel. This is football. We're grown men. It's our job to stop them. It's his job to break records."
(on if he sees that as them running up the score) "No. It is him running it up, but how else is he going to be great. How else is he going to break the records nobody ever has broken before? So you have to do it. As a football player; as a man if you want to be great you're going to have to step on toes every now and then."
(on if he can believe the home regular season is over) "No I can't really believe it. That was the biggest shock that hit me there in the fourth quarter when they were just running down the clock, is that this is the last game of this season, possibly the last game I'll ever play with my brothers, and play in front of the fans of Houston. It kind of hit me there. It's surreal, but I guess it's reality."
(on if the sequence with the interception and the quick Denver touchdown is more deflating with the way the season has gone) "Yeah. Everything been piling up on us this season so it's definitely harder. You have more on you, than you would have if you were 13-3 or 13-2 it would be different. I think it was more deflating for the reason that we just needed something positive. Everybody's just looking for something positive. And then you have something positive going, and you're fighting a good game and your hopes are up like you can win this game. So, for somebody who hasn't seen and felt something positive at the end of a game since week 2 it was definitely devastating."
FREE SAFETY D.J. SWEARINGER (Transcribed by Cali Roper)
(on if the loss was upsetting) "Yeah, it is upsetting. I thought we did great up to a certain point, but it's the same thing we have got to do weekly, but it just isn't happening."
(on his feelings of the touchdown being thrown as if the game was already over with) "It is what it is. At the end of the day, we have to stop them with what they are doing, so it's no big deal."
(on what changed in the fourth quarter) "I thought we were doing good. It is hard to bounce back from a turnover sometimes. We just didn't get the job done like we should have."
(on QB Peyton Manning) "We were shutting him down earlier. We had the turnover and they got the score. That took the life out of us. He is an all-time Hall of Famer and the best quarterback out here. So you've got to give all of the credit to him."
(on the sequence in second half following the team's interceptions being even more frustrating considering that the game was close) "Like I said, anytime you have a turnover and you are trying to make a stop. It is tough. We didn't make the stop and everything went downhill from there. It's tough and frustrating but you've just got to keep going."
DEFENSIVE END J.J. WATT (Transcribed by Trevor Caswell)
(on QB Peyton Manning breaking the single-season passing touchdown record against the Texans) "It's never fun to be on the opposite end of a record-breaking performance. The guy is a heck of a football player and you give credit where credit is due. There is a reason the guy should be MVP this year."
(on congratulating QB Peyton Manning after the game) "I have a lot of respect for a guy like Peyton (Manning). He works hard. I am very frustrated with how things went today, but I respect the way he goes about his business and his game. So I congratulated him on his success."
(on getting the short field after the interception) "It's not easy to give yourself a short field like that and shut down an offense like that, but we need to find a way to do it and we didn't. As a defense, it's your job to step up and make plays and we didn't do that."
(on the defensive performance) "We played pretty darn well for about a half and a half of a quarter, or a half and a third of a quarter. In the last part of the third quarter and the fourth quarter, we let it get away. We didn't play well and they made a lot of plays. It's very frustrating."
(on the Texans not playing well for four quarters) "There has been a lot of games this year where we have played well here and played well there, but we haven't put together many full games all year. I am not sure we have put together one full game all year. In this league, with all of the teams there are and how good they are, you can't afford to play two good quarters or three good quarters. You have to play all four quarters well."
(on reflecting on the home schedule) "It's been frustrating. It has been disappointing to say the least and it has been very forgettable. It is something that we never want to happen again that is for sure."