NOVEMBER 11, 2012
“We did some things that we had been lacking over recent weeks. We made plays at critical moments. The catch by
Your defensive front seemed to have a great game today:
“I thought we did a good job today. We seemed to get some pressure on (Eli Manning), and we were able to get him on the ground a few of times. Both sides of the fronts - offense and defense — had to step up and play a good football game today, and they did.”
Today your guys contested passes, but the other good thing you did was hold them to very few yards after the catch:
“Yeah, and we did a good job of that last week until the one drive when we missed a tackle and got the interference, then ended up behind the eight ball. That’s part of playing defense. We looked like we overcame some pretty shaky calls and penalties today.”
From what you seen out of
“Carlos has been grinding, and that’s good for him to come out and play a game against good people like this. We need him to play well. The better he plays the better we will continue to play defensively.”
Can you talk about the type of game
“Other than one drive he seemed spot-on. He got us in and out of the right place. Those are the things you as a quarterback to do. There’s a lot on his plate and he did a nice job leading the offense. He’s doing what we need him to do.”
You were able to manage third downs well today:
“He (Andy Dalton) took what the coverage dictated, which enabled us to get third downs and some manageable snaps. When they (Giants) adjusted, we adjusted, and we’ve got to keep doing that.”
Not just getting a win, but playing well in all facets, what does that do for the psyche of the team at the midpoint of the season?
“For the past four weeks I’ve felt about the same way as I feel about the way we work and play. We work hard and play hard, but today we made the plays at critical moments that are key to winning game in the National Football League. Your good players have to outplay the good players on the other team.”
How big was the turnover differential in your mind?
“It’s huge. Any time you can put our offense on the field and Eli Manning on the bench, you want to do that.”
How big was that forced fumble in the third quarter?
“It’s something that we’ve got to learn from. We’ve got to figure out why we get a critical moment, gain six yards and get a holding penalty, now it’s 2nd and 20.”
For a young team what does this win do for the team?
“It gives us a chance to go to Kansas City next week one better than we would’ve been. We’ve got to keep the same urgency and the same intensity and understanding that we had this week to go play on the road. Each one of our games means a lot. We can’t waste any more opportunities. We have to play and be diligent in our jobs.”
You had four touchdown passes today for a new career high. Does that mean anything to you?
“It was a big win for us today. We knew early on that this week was going to take our best effort to win today, and that’s what happened. We played well in all phases of the game. The defense did a good job of giving the offense the ball in great field position and we took advantage of it. Overall, it was a big team win today.”
What kind of opportunities did you have to go over the top against their secondary?
“We felt that when we had chances to take our shots, that we needed to hit them, and we did that. Starting the game the way we did, we had single coverage and we took advantage of it and went deep. I think that kind of set the tone for the game.”
When you get the ball with a short field, how big is that?
“It’s huge. When you get the ball down there, you want to score touchdowns. You know that you have points, but you want to get touchdowns. We did a good job of moving the ball and scoring. That’s what it’s going to take to win games like this.”
Do you see Andrew Hawkins and
“Yes. They are great guys. They have done a good job this year. Their roles are kind of changing and they are starting to emerge. I’m comfortable with all the guys we have, but (Andrew) Hawkins and Mo (Mohamed Sanu) have done a great job.”
How big were the turnovers in the game?
“That’s what won the game for us, getting the ball with great field position and scoring when we got down there. Most games are decided by turnovers, and today’s game showed that.”
That was a big win:
“We knew we’d get it sooner or later. We have a long way to go, but all we can do is keep getting better and things will come together.”
They targeted you a lot on the first drive. Was there something you saw that was a favorable matchup?
“No. They just got me involved early. I was just able to make some plays for my team.”
Did you feel that you had something to prove after your comments earlier in the week?
“No. Those comments were definitely misunderstood. The Giants have a great defense. Andy (Dalton) had a great game, Mo (Mohamed Sanu) had a great game, Hawk (Andrew Hawkins) had a great game — a lot of people stepped up today.”
So you feel your comments were taken out of context?
“They were definitely taken out of context. I’m not the kind of guy to talk bad about an opponent. I know they all play hard, just like we do. I respect everyone’s game.”
What did you think about their defense?
“Their defense is great. They have the best front four in the game. We were able to break some big plays. A lot of the catches I had were contested.”
Were any of the Giants players talking trash to you because of your comments?
Not many receivers can say they threw a touchdown pass before they caught their first NFL touchdown. How did it feel to get that big touchdown?
“It felt great. Andy (Dalton) saw something in the defense and he audibled. I just ran the route and found an opening, and he put the ball on the money and I just tried to make a play.”
All the receivers today seemed to do such a great job of bodying the defensive back, almost like boxing people out in basketball and getting inside position, getting all the rebounds and making all the catches:
“We worked on that throughout the week. We knew we had to be big and physical and use our bodies. The Giants secondary is very good, always breaking up plays and always in the right spot. We had to make sure we used our bodies well, and we did that today.”
When you took the early lead and had control of the game, what was talked about at halftime, because in the second half, you played even better in all three phases of the game?
“We had to keep the pedal to the metal, and we can’t let these guys get back into the game. They have a great offense, a great defense and great special teams, so we had to bottle down and just keep making plays.”
The offensive and defensive lines controlled the football game:
“Yeah, we felt like this was a game for two weeks in a row that was going to come down to the O-line and D-line. Last week we were not able to put out a win, so we felt it was a big thing on our shoulders to go out and make sure we got this one, and that’s the way it turned out on both sides of the football.”
Most complete game by the football team this year?
“No doubt, and that’s mainly because both sides of the football completely dominated the game.”
Andy Dalton had four touchdown passes to four different receivers today. He was like a point guard out there:
“That’s the way it works. We said it all week. Winning football games is about going and making big plays, and we made them today.”
Marvin Lewis challenged the offensive and defensive lines and that it was going to be a big-person game:
“We knew coming into this game that we were going to had to get after Eli (Manning). That was our plan, and I think we did it today. I’m really excited for my guys. We lost four in a row, but this was a huge game for us to bounce back on, and we just have to keep it rolling.”
The Giants had only given up nine sacks in nine games, but you got to Eli Manning four times.
“Yeah, that’s what we saw on film, that if you get a lot of pressure on Manning’s face, he tends to short-arm some throws and just throw the ball up in the air. We made him pay when he did that. I am really excited for our team. It’s a huge win for us. Big shout out to all the Cincinnati fans. Who Dey, baby!
The sack ratio was a big part of this game. You not only sacked Eli Manning, but you forced him and pressured him all game long, and forced a couple interceptions:
“One of the chips we had for this week was to out-play their defensive line. We knew we had the ability to, but we just have to go out there and do it — don’t talk about it, be about it. I feel like today we did a good job of doing that. We spread the wealth. (Wallace) Gilberry got one, I had one, (Robert) Geathers had one. We have to just keep doing it like this.”
Andy Dalton throws four touchdown passes to four different receivers, the special teams with Adam Jones having a big return … everybody contributed. Is this the most complete game that you’ve had?
“Yes it is. I feel like those players need to make plays every week, because they have that ability, and when those players do make plays like (Mohamed) Sanu, he gave us that extra spark. We drafted him to be that guy and he came out displayed it today. He needs to keep building on it. Today is one game. We’ve got seven games left, so we need to keep going and then we can think about the postseason.”
You get off that four-game slide. Now you go to Kansas City and you have Oakland. You can’t look ahead too far, but getting a win today against the Giants gives you an opportunity to climb out of a hole.
“All this was is a start. Next we have Kansas City in Kansas City. They’re in this league for a reason and we’re going to have to show them why we’re here, too. We want it more, we need it more, but they’re not going to give it to us.”
Where did this effort come from?
“It’s confidence. Good energy and confidence breeds opportunity. We had some key turnovers and the momentum kept going.”
That’s an awfully good team:
“Yeah they are. They’re the defending Super Bowl champs. You definitely have to put your best foot forward, and that’s what we did.”
Do you think the defense proved something today?
“Our defense has confidence. We practice and play hard. We haven’t seen the results lately, but today we did.”
What did you do as a secondary to shut down Eli Manning?
“It was a collective defensive effort. We got pressure and had some great takeaways and set the tone for the day.”
You guys were able to coast in the fourth quarter:
“Yeah. It was a great outing. That’s what you plan to do when you work hard all week. That’s the outcome you’re looking for.”
Some people thought you were beaten down. Four losses in a row and things didn’t look great:
“The NFL has great parody. This was a great example of it. It’s a drive here, a turnover there. Today we played extremely well. The defense played tremendously, Andy had an incredible game, and we went out and executed. Spirits were high. Guys we’re out there trying to make plays.”
Who taught you the one-handed catch?
“I don’t think anyone taught me that. I think it was God. I still don’t know how I caught it.”
What do you think this win says about this team?
“To beat the defending Super Bowl champs is a big deal. We have a lot of this season left. It means a lot to get the ball rolling with a win. We’ll come in, watch film and get ready for next week.”
Obviously this team wasn’t phased by the losing streak:
“No. Even in those losses, we could have made small changes to change the outcome. We capitalized on it today. Guys came out and played with energy and got the job done.”
Why were you able to get to the quarterback so well?
“All week we heard about how good the Giants’ defensive line was. Give them credit because they earned the right. When you have a group like that coming in to your house, you want to play better than the competition. That’s something we should be doing every week.”
Is there something that you can pinpoint that caused such great defensive output?
“You can’t. it’s a credit to all of the hard work we put in. We take pride in our job and what we do.”
“The way we played (was) very disappointing. I thought we did practice well this week; I thought we had good energy. I don’t think we necessarily played like that in the game. In the second half, I thought our defense was playing a little bit better. Our offense appeared to be playing a little bit better, and then we just turned it over to them. I think we had four turnovers to their one, and just the fashion in which they took place, it was just unbelievable. I just told the team that we certainly got into this mess together and we’ve got to find a way to get out of it together. I don’t have anything I can really say I was pleased with. It certainly starts with me. I’m not pleased with the way that I prepared them and certainly the way that they played.”
How concerned are you about Eli Manning?
“I still believe that Eli will bounce back and will play the way that he has played (before) at a championship level. I certainly don’t quite understand where we are and why — there certainly are contributing factors in terms of what we’re doing. We’ve had some miscommunication in the last couple of games — not so much today — between our ‘back and receivers. We had very few plays that were down the field, and when we did go down the field, we had an opportunity to score there and it didn’t happen. I think it’s a combination of things and it’s certainly, we need to play better at all those positions (on offense).”
Tom, is there anything physically wrong with Eli?
It was suggested on TV this morning that he may have a ‘tired arm’:
“I certainly would ask him about that, but I’ve asked him about that over the last couple of weeks. I’ve asked him how he feels, and he responds he feels good.”
What was the thought behind deferring the opening kickoff?
“There were a number of reasons. I really wanted the ball in the second half. To start (with) the ball in the second half, as there’s quite a differential between the number of points we had scored in the second half and the number of points they had scored in the second half. I also wanted the wind — I thought we’d kick the ball out (of the back of the end zone), which we didn’t do. I thought that if you looked at the numbers with the exception of the (Denver) Broncos game, they hadn’t really been much of a second half team scoring-wise. So I thought that would be an advantage for us.”
Does what happened today affect your schedule for this week (heading into your team’s bye)?
“No. I mean, I’ll stick with what I have planned. I’ve always done it that way. Hopefully, they’ll get some rest and they’ll be a little bit more fresh when they get back.”
How concerned are you with the past couple of weeks and the second half of the schedule?
“No, I wouldn’t even reference that. Obviously, I fully expected to win today, be 7-3 and have a much better approach to the bye week. It didn’t happen, so you have to be man enough to understand that hey, there’s nobody to blame but ourselves. I’m concerned with the way that we’ve played. It’s not the second half of the schedule or anything of that nature; it’s how we’ve played in the last particular couple weeks. Going forward, that’s something we’re going to have to change if we have any chance (of making the playoffs). By winning today, I thought we’d be able to put ourselves in a better position … In terms of we have the bye and other people in our division would be playing. It didn’t happen, so we have to deal with it when we get back.”
You talked about the unbelievable nature of some of the turnovers — the two Eli interceptions, he was obviously under duress:
“He was under duress a lot today. I think he got — what, (they had) four sacks and another seven or eight hits on the quarterback today. The protection was not what you would want; it’s a combination. Again, there were times when perhaps the protection was good and we were holding the ball a little bit longer (than usual) due to people not being open or whatever. I’m not going to speculate now until I see the tape. For whatever reason, it’s a lot like the situation that took place with the punt.
“We punt well and have the ball out of bounds and then we have a guilty party (with a penalty of) a false start, bring the ball back, punt the ball (again) down the middle of the field and he brings it back to what, the 12 yard line. That was the way in which our game started. We had a mistake in the coverage, they got an easy touchdown. That’s not the first time they got an easy touchdown — they got an easy touchdown starting off against (the) Washington (Redskins) for example. We figured we’d battle back, then the punt return put us in a bad spot so we were climbing uphill most of the day.
“I honestly thought if we could get that thing to 17-10 we would have an excellent shot and we ended up kicking a field goal there instead of being able to score a touchdown there.”
The fact that Eli made those throws, though, he’s gotten away from that — getting blown up, throwing the ball away and/or taking the sack. Is that a sign he’s pressing to get something going?
“Sure he is, there’s no question. I’m sure he’s trying to do everything in his power to right things. If you listen to him in terms of how he talks to his teammates, he talks exactly that way. We have a good team. We’ve done things very, very well here. We’ve got to snap out of whatever’s going on and back to playing the way we’re capable of playing. You hear him talk like that and you’re sure he figures it’s on his shoulders to spearhead that move but it just didn’t happen. I give them credit, too. There’s a team that’s lost four games in a row but got some momentum early based on the way we played, and you couldn’t be in a better situation if you’re trying to find confidence than the way the game started for them.”
You’ve had quite a few emotional games in a row, divisional games and the game against Pittsburgh last week. Do you think this team is a little bit, I wouldn’t say spent, but emotionally gassed?
“I wouldn’t, I can’t go there. They will benefit from the bye, I will go that far.”
Are you worried about what happened today?
“No, I’m not worried. Every year we have gone through stretches where we didn’t play our best football and we were still able to bounce back. That’s what is going on right now. Offensively, we’re not playing our best, converting on third downs, or scoring in the red zone. We haven’t made enough plays to keep the ball in our hands at all. I have to start playing better personally and we need to as a group as well. We still have good players and a good scheme. We just have to put it together better.”
There was some speculation this week that you have a “tired arm.” Is there any truth in that?
“No, I don’t think so. I am still making the throws and I don’t feel like it is tired. We have a bye week this week because we have had 10 games in a row. We are going to use the week to rest up and come back refreshed and ready to go.”
The first interception that you threw the guy was pulling on your jersey. Usually, you would throw that ball away but you tried to make a play. Is that an indication of the pressure you are under to make something happen?
“No, I was trying to throw the ball away. I wasn’t trying to force anything at all. The guy was pulling on me and I couldn’t follow through. It was a mistake on my part and I know better, but I made a bad decision in the moment.”
Is a tired arm something that you have to watch out for as an NFL quarterback?
“If my arm were tired I would tell the coaches and we would adjust. I don’t feel like we are overthrowing by any means, and the ball is still coming out fine, so I don’t see anything into it.”
Why were there so few rushes in the first half?
“I’m not sure. We weren’t getting many first downs, so we were taking what they were giving us. It all depends on what the defense is doing, and they were mixing things up really well. That’s not really a question I can answer.”
You guys have had deficits in games in the past. At what point do you start to worry if you have enough, as a team, to get out of the hole?
“We still thought we were in the game. They didn’t play great in the first half, but we just made too many mistakes. We had a good drive at the end of the first half and got a field goal, so we felt good going in. We just made too many mistakes and they scored touchdowns off of our turnovers.”
How does an offense that has been so dynamic get to the point where it is tough to even get a first down?
“It just happens. A lot of it comes down to what the defenses do. It has happened to us in the past and we have been able to overcome it. Sometimes you have to change some things up and that’s what we’ll do. We just have to start executing better and everyone is going to have to step up their game.”
You have just one touchdown pass in the last month. Have you ever gone through a stretch like this?
“I’m not sure if I have or not. Obviously, I am just worried about the offense and how we need to improve. There are some good things out there, but the turnovers killed us today. Spotting them a 25-point lead isn’t a good situation. They have some good players and had a good scheme today. They prevented us from making any big plays.”
Are you concerned that all of a sudden, these two losses will become three or even four?
“I hope that doesn’t happen. We went through a tough stretch last year, but we won games when we had too. We have to do whatever it is to get in the mix and make the playoffs. We still have a lead in the division, and we do have a bye week. We have six games left after the bye and we have to take advantage of those. If we have a winning record down the stretch, then we should be good.”
What was Tom Coughlin’s message after the game?
“We have to get better. That wasn’t our best effort today.”
What are some areas in which you could make changes to help your team?
“That is what we are going to look at this week. We are going to analyze what our tendencies are and what we need to do to make improvements. We can pinpoint some of the problems so we can fix them and move on.”
It has been a pretty emotional run the last several games. Do you think this team is emotionally tired?
“I don’t think so. When you are on the outside you don’t always see it. Our guys have practiced well this week and have been focused all week. We knew the game-plan, and I don’t see this game as being full of mental mistakes. We just didn’t catch many breaks and made some mistakes. Those little things prevented us from being our best.”
Did the Bengals catch the Giants off guard today?
“I can’t say that they caught us off guard. We were prepared. We just couldn’t get them off the field. We got them in to third-down situations a couple of times and couldn’t get them off the field on their first drive of the game. That got them started. That gave them some confidence today. That got them off to a good start. That was not where we wanted them to be.”
Do you feel you were sluggish today?
“No. Defensively, we came out with a lot of tempo. We came out strong and stopped the run really good. Overall, we played the run pretty decent. We gave up the one big-pass play early. After that, it seemed like they nickel-and-dimed us a lot. We gave up a lot of third-down conversions today, obviously. We’ve been a good third-down team. Today, we couldn’t get off the field on third down. We couldn’t get them in to third-and-long. They had a lot of third-and-short — that gave them the option to run or pass. I think that was the biggest difference in the game. They were in third-in-short, instead of third-and-long.”
How do you describe this today?
“A letdown. Obviously, we didn’t play well on all three phases. We turned the ball over too much. We gave up the early momentum on the touchdown, early in the game. That gave them some confidence. You can’t do that against a team like this.”
How do you explain the performance of the team lately?
“It’s a little subpar from where we are used to. I don’t know how to explain it. I don’t know what’s going on or what’s going wrong. It’s just a matter of getting back to the drawing board and playing football.”
The team changed its focus in practice this week. Did you expect that would show in the results? Is that frustrating?
“We expect it to show results. It’s a little frustrating as a competitor, as an athlete, and as a teammate. That’s part of the game. We’ve got to understand that not everything’s going to work all of the time.”
Do you think that this team hit a lull last year before eventually winning the Super Bowl allows you to fall back on last year’s results as a crutch?
“No. That’s not something we talk about. Losing games throughout the middle of the season is not something that we are focused on as a crutch.”
What happened on the apparent touchdown catch that was dropped?
“It was a long pass. I took my eye off of it at the last minute. As soon as I got my hand on it, someone reached in there and broke it up. I should have come down with it.”
Does this look like a team that very much needs a bye?
“I guess so. At this point of the season, I guess we could use a break to get healthy and refocused for the last stretch of the season. We have to focus on getting better. That’s getting better at practice, in the meeting room, and all the way around.”
How frustrating is it for you after hearing talk this week from Coach Coughlin and from the Bengals’
“It has nothing to do with us — all of that talking. We just didn’t play our game today. We’ve got to go back to the drawing board and get better — continue to work on our craft as a team and hopefully, get better after this bye week.”
The Giants have had good and bad stretches this season. How frustrating is it right now?
“It’s not frustrating, but we have to get better — get back to playing the tackle football that we know how to play over those last four or five good games. We have to get back to that and continue to build off of those types of things and continue to get better.”
Was there miscommunication on the Bengals’ first touchdown?
“You can’t have that against anybody that you are going against. Everybody gets paid in this league. Everybody is good. You can’t have miscommunication. They are already a good team. We don’t need to give them a 50-yarder to start. You can’t have that. You have to have better communication —communicate every play. You have to be great communicators on the field, and we weren’t.”
What do you see when you are on the sidelines? Are you frustrated?
“It’s surprising all around. We didn’t play good in any aspects of the game today — special teams, defense or offense. We didn’t deserve to win this game at all. That was as desperate team that was coming off four straight losses. They got healthy today and came out and took it to us.”
How do you pull yourselves out of this?
“That’s the one thing about football season. Every season is going to have its peaks and valleys. It’s unfortunate, but that’s how it goes. We’re better than a 6-4 team, but that’s where we are now. We have six more, coming out of this bye. It’s a very treacherous six, but the confidence of this football team will never waiver. We have to get back to playing our best ball.
Can you put your finger on what’s wrong? Is it effort?
“No. I don’t think it’s effort. We had a good week of practice. I don’t know. There is an opportunity for us to do some soul searching and look ourselves in the mirror this week. Just get away from football a little bit, refresh our bodies and minds and get back to playing Giants football. ... We’ve got to do a good job of looking at ourselves and getting back on track. If not, none of the next six are going to be easy. We’re capable of turning this around. That’s where our mindset has to go.”