Before you all start with the negatives, there are some positives. The defense played outstanding. Did an unbelievable job. One score, I think they did not have many yards—they just did a super job, especially special teams. We gave up a touchdown and that is not good, but the punting, keeping them pinned down and making them go the wrong way. That was good too. So there were some positives.
I know the negatives. Third down. We were bad (in the) red zone. We did not get touchdowns. If we had gotten touchdowns it would not have been that close but we did not. We are kind of hot and cold. One week we are good in red zone, the next week we are not. We have to get more consistent there. It was a great effort by our football team. They played hard. I thought it was something we can build on.
Q: At the end of the first half, was RB
A: I think I said it earlier in the week that (Tashard) Choice would play because (Spiller) gets winded and then when we are trying to throw the football sometimes we would rather have Choice in there to protect when we know we are going to throw it. So we will stick Choice in there some plays. It just happened that it worked that way. It was not an injury.
Q: What do you think it means to your defense to step up on a national stage like that?
A: It is huge for them to do that. All of the pro football world is watching this game. They watch this game. There is three prime time games a week and this is one of them. For them to do that and play the way they played tonight…again I believe that is something we can build on. We need to be able to build on that.
Q: Coaches do not love these Thursday games, but I guess after you win one you love it with nine or ten days off.
A: Yeah, you do. That is the positive of this thing. Getting ready for it is tough. It is tough on the players—really more than coaches it is really tough on players. They get a good rest now and we get the opportunity to prepare very well for our next opponent.
Q: What held the offense back tonight?
A: Missing the third downs is the killer. I think we missed three third-and-ones. Didn’t we? It was at least three third-and-ones and a couple third-and-twos and third-and-threes. We cannot do that. We have been really pretty good league-wide on third down coming into this ball game. We have been. It has just been a hot and cold thing. We cannot do that. We have to be more physical and be better. I think third downs were part of it and that cost us in the red zone. Those cost us in the red zone not being able to convert a third down in the red zone. Then the second half I was conservative. The defense was playing good and I was, I was conservative. I will be the first one to admit it. When it got tight you look back on it and hindsight is 20-20. Maybe a little bit too much.
Q: How does FS
A: Yeah, it is. He has great football knowledge. He has great football knowledge. He has instincts—that is probably another word for instincts, great football knowledge. He anticipates where the ball is going very well. He is around the ball a lot. He makes a lot of football plays.
Q: Run defense was maybe as solid as it has been for four quarters all year?
A: The best it has been for four quarters all year. By far the best. I think we are capable of maybe not doing that but being close to that. And if we can be close to that, we will be in great shape.
Q: Can you talk about the value of the division wins?
A: Yeah. They are always two-fers. It is what we call them. They are two for one. Not only does it give you a win, it gives someone else in the division a loss. They are not one of the division leaders, but at the same time they were ahead of us. So it helps. Right now you are just trying to climb and find a way to get the opportunity to play in late January. That is what you are trying to get the opportunity to do. If we can build on this, we have a bunch of games left with an opportunity.
Q: You took some shots down the field and got some penalties. Is that a matchup you thought you could take advantage of?
A: Yeah we did. We thought we had a chance to get a couple. And in hindsight I probably should have thrown it up to Stevie a couple of more times. We were able to get some balls down the field on them.
Q: You mentioned a couple times about the short week of preparation but your defense seemed ahead of the game the whole time. How do you explain that?A: I cannot explain it. I have no clue. If I had that clue we would practice three days a week every week. Call it a week.