SEPTEMBER 22, 2013
“It was a great win, and (we persevered) through as many negative plays I’ve seen in my life. At one point, I told coach Zimmer, ‘When it rains, it pours.’ We have to learn and take care of the football. We have good players. We have to keep after it and be diligent with the football. The defensive effort was outstanding. We did well on defensive third downs, and not so well on offensive third downs. We got off to a great start and then derailed ourselves with the fumbles. We have to go back to work and work harder. That’s one thing about this group — they’re going to work and stay after it. We learned some valuable lessons and survived one today that you don’t survive very often.”
The challenge was one of the biggest plays of the game:
“That was a big play — especially when we created the fumble. It was a good, alert play by Terence (Newman) to return it. I guess we all ended up even in the return game today.”
Were you concerned that the challenge would be lost?
“They said we were good, and when I saw it on the screen, I felt better about it. I thought they gave him further than what he got.”
Can you assess the significance of this victory?
“We’re a good football team. We’ll keep proving it. The Packers are a good team. If we want to be a good team, we have to beat good teams. That’s how you end up being a great team. If we can keep improving in the critical areas of the game, we’ll be alright. We have good players here too and they showed up today.”
You gave Aaron Rodgers a lot of extra chances. How did you address that with the team?
“We told them to keep hanging. We got a little depleted in the end, but we were able to hang in there. The players played. When we got to the fourth down in the fourth quarter, we won. That’s where we lost in Chicago. Today we were able to win it.”
“He’s got a hamstring pull. We’ll see.”
Another strong performance by
“He had some big plays. He keeps doing what we expect him to do.”
What did you tell them at halftime?
“Win the second half.”
Mentally this has to be a huge win:
“It’s no bigger than next week. That’s what the NFL is — a lead in to the next game. This is all for nothing if we don’t take care of business the next week and the next week.”
It was a milestone being that you were down by 16 and battled back:
“Well, we were up by 14 too. There were a lot of milestones.”
Twenty unanswered points is what it ended up being. What did you tell the offense when you were down?
“Take care of the ball. We turned the ball over way too much. We have to keep doing things right. Some of the most beautiful things in the second half were when we allowed the quarterback to let things happen and throw the ball to the open guy — kind of like when he threw the ball to
How important was it to be able to pressure Aaron Rodgers with just four guys?
“It’s important. We had some pressures too. You have to mix it up. Sometimes it seemed like he had all day when we rushed four. You have to keep him off rhythm. It’s important when you have a good quarterback.”
They were down to their third string running back with Johnathan Franklin. He had a big day. Is that just due to the fact that you haven’t really seen him before?
“That guy was a high draft pick. I think he’s a good player. He’s a young guy and he’s a guy who they drafted to be the guy for them. He’s a good player.”
The roughing the passer call was a difficult one to swallow:
“We had some that didn’t go our way today. We have to do some correcting and make sure we’re not wrong.”
What do you tell your players?
“You have to look at it and see. It’s hard to tell from the replay. The other ones were bang-bang plays.”
Giovani came up big at the end of the game:
“We went 95 yards. They were doubling A.J. (Green). You have to pick your poison. That was a nice job by our quarterback to recognize where we had the matchup to win.”
The roughing the passer call on
“Well, we’ll see. We have to watch the tape. The league will usually be supportive of the call they made and we need to be corrective with it.”
Have you ever been a part of anything resembling that?
“That one was crazy. It shows you have to play until the end, you never know what’s going to happen in these games. The biggest thing is, we did enough to be where they felt they had to go for it on fourth down, and we made the big play and made a touchdown and won the game. There are obviously some things we have to correct. We turned the ball over too many times and had too many three and outs. At the end of the day we made enough plays to win and that’s good to see.”
You talked earlier in the week about matching Aaron Rodgers. They come out and score on their first two possessions, and all of a sudden you guys are down 16-14...any frustrations there?
“There wasn’t anyone that got flustered. We knew coming out we had to take it one drive at a time. You score, and score again and get a chance to cut the lead down. We stayed on top of our game plan and made plays to put us in the position to come out with a win.”
What does this say about the character of the team?
“It shows how well our defense played. They had short fields they were working with and great field position. With all the turnovers we had, it was good to overcome it as a team, make plays and win.”
How do you play more consistently offensively?
“If you take away the turnovers, be better on third down, keep drives alive and keep the ball in our possession it gives us more chances to score more points.”
Backed up at your own five early in the fourth, the pass to Gio (Bernard) was huge:
“Yeah, it gave a good look to kick it out to him and just let him run. That’s what he’s really good at.”
“Early on you could tell they were going to be doubling A.J. Wherever he was they were going to find a way to put two guys on him, and when they’re doing that it leaves other guys one-on-one.”
On the play of the offense today:
“We had to step up today (on offense) because the defense — they were doing everything. Quite honestly, the defense won this game. I think a lot of the offensive guys know it and we have to step up our game, but the defense had our back on this game, which means we have to hopefully have their back on another game.”
You guys were stuck back at your own five-yard line, and your catch and run got things going. What did you see on that play?
“I don’t remember what play that was (laughs). There were a couple of plays where I was able to get out of the backfield and catch a ball out of the backfield, but I think that just highlights how this offense works. If guys aren’t open out wide, we have the running back to check it down to ... We just have to limit the turnovers early, and everything else will take care of itself.”
How tough is it when that turnover stretch is happening to not think about it and keep moving forward?
“It’s in your mind. It’s hard to say, ‘Oh yeah, none of those plays ever happened.’ It’s almost the same story as it was in Chicago. Unfortunately, we lost that game, but this game we were able to come back because of our defense. The defense did a great job. Hands down, those guys are the ones that kept us in this one.”
Does this win feel like an arrival type of win?
“Yeah. I think for us, we knew we were a good team a long time ago. We knew we were a good team, even during training camp. The biggest thing for us is just winning the turnover (battle) on offense. We knew we were close — even against Chicago. A game like that (against) a team like that, we turn the ball over numerous times and we were still able to be in the game. But this was a different circumstance. We turned the ball over but were able to come out with a win. That’s just defense. The defense really did everything this game.”
You got a little physical on the sidelines after some plays:
“Yeah, that’s (one of) my biggest things. A lot of the time, being a smaller guy, some people think I’m just going to make moves on the sideline. That’s not me. There were a couple times I had to roll my shoulder. That’s just part of the game. You can’t fear anybody, no matter how much bigger they are than you.”
Are you getting more comfortable with the ball in your hands as the season goes on?
“Definitely. Every game, ever y practice, every opportunity, I get more comfortable with having the ball in my hands. My role on the team — whatever it is — I just take it on full speed and just play.”
What does this win today say about this team?
“It just shows what type of team we’ve got. We stayed in there. We hung in there and just fought. We didn’t point the finger at one another. We just stayed (together) as a team, and if we can do that, we can win a lot of games.”
What does it mean to battle back and get a win like this?
“It just shows our character, man. Through the tough times, we were able to stick in there and keep working. That’s what we love about our team: When one person is down, there’s another person there to pick them up, so that was really good on our part today. We had a good game plan and had a lot of bad plays — missed plays — today. But we’ve just got to go in, look at the film and get better. That was a huge win for us. The Packers have a great offense led by one of the best in the league in Aaron Rodgers. It was a big win for the city and our team.”
You limited them to a lot of field goals today:
“We played a hell of a red zone defense today. We kept them limited to field goals a lot of the time and you’ll win a lot of games — especially against a high-powered offense like this; I think they’re the No. 1 offense in the league right now. We knew we had our hands full, but we kept to the game plan, kept working hard, stuck together and got the W.”
How big was that sequence where Marvin Lewis challenged the spot of the ball late in the game?
“Yeah , man — that was a huge turnover. That swung the momentum over to us and we were able to finish the game out. You know, those fourth-and-ones — those are some big plays, and we’re pretty good at that. Our coaches gave us a game plan. We went out there and executed, and got the W.”
What did you see on the fourth and one?
“I saw the quarterback was under the center, and the back was underneath, so I was thinking quarterback sneak. The way our defensive line has been playing, I knew it was up to those guys to push the offensive lineman back and stop (Aaron) Rodgers. I saw the ball pop out and then Reggie (Nelson) picked it up. I was trying to get a block, and somebody was trying to tackle him. I started to scream ‘pitch it, pitch it’, and nobody on defense ever yells that (laughing). I saw the ball pop loose, and it took a nice bounce where I could grab it on the run. I felt someone pushing on my back, I think it was Vontaze (Burfict), I looked to my left and saw Leon (Hall) get a great block on Jordy Nelson, I just opened it up and tried to get to the end zone.”
Did you look up at the big screen to see who was chasing you?
“No, you know what’s crazy, playing in Dallas, you can never look up at the big screen (that hangs over the field). I didn’t even look at the big screen I looked over my shoulder and saw I was in the clear thanks to that block by Leon and somebody else behind me.”
You looked like a young man out there with the hops into the stands:
“I’m definitely not a young man anymore, but I was so excited. I know they (Packers) are a big Lambeau Leap team, and I saw a bunch of fans up there so I just wanted to get up there and have some fun.”
What does it say about the team overcoming four turnovers?
“I was happy being on the sideline looking at these guys in the eyes, and there was no quit. Everybody was saying, ‘We still have a chance.’ It was the end of the third quarter and we all said we had to get out there and make plays. We all fought and that is really important. A lot of times when things aren’t going well, guys are on the sidelines bickering with one another, there was none of that today. I think that was the key to us playing the way we did. A lot of people didn’t give us a chance coming into this game. We took that personal on defense because we don’t think we’re bad, and we aren’t going to lay down or let them come in and take whatever they want. They will have to work for whatever it is they get. The coaches did a great job with the game plan and trusting us.”
Have you ever been in a game where so many unanswered points were given up?
“I’ve been in some games that you wouldn’t believe. Being up by 20-plus points and losing. With some of the experiences I’ve been through, I understood the game was not over. We were down two touchdowns. The ball wasn’t bouncing our way and they got points out of that. On the sideline we’re trying to keep each other motivated.”
How do you explain a 35-year-old cornerback playing in the NFL?
“It starts with a guy believing in you. I wouldn’t be here if Mr. (Mike) Brown and Coach Zim (Mike Zimmer) didn’t believe in me. Zim brought me in and got me doing the things I knew I could do. Obviously, I’m grateful for that.”
What do you do to maintain and be able to continue playing?
“I take better care of my body. I remember my first couple years in the league I’d be one of the first guys out of the building, now I’m one of the last. It’s usually me and Taylor (Mays) here getting in the cold tub twenty-four minutes a day. Understanding this is my job and it’s what I have to do to keep it.”
Who do you attribute much of your success here in Cincinnati to?
“Coach Zim. He stays on you and I think that’s the reason this team plays so well. He can look at you as a good player, but challenges you to be great.”
Can you talk about your two batted passes on the Packers final drive?
“He (Aaron Rodgers) was getting it out pretty quick, so we knew we had to get our hands up. He was doing three-step drops that whole last drive, so we had to get our hands up. (Like) J.J. Watt (laughs).”
Before that drive, was that a point of emphasis? Did you guys think he might do a lot of three-step drops, so you would need to get your hands up?
“No. That just comes with experience. I was rushing on the edge a lot the whole first half, and it was all three-step drops, so it was semi-pointless. So I started rushing a little tighter and try to bat the balls down.”
How much did the attitude of the defense grow in the fourth quarter, after the offense got some points and the defense constantly shut them down every drive?
“We just had a short term memory. We controlled what we could. We stayed on our side of the ball. We didn’t get into it or get down on ourselves because of what they were doing, we just knew if we maximized what we could control, that we would have a chance. In the end, man, you have to suck it up.”
What was your view of
“I didn’t even know what happened. I knew they ran that short play and I came under and made a tackle. I thought it was just a tackle for a loss, so I was just sitting there talking to the guy like, ‘No, you didn’t get it... No, you didn’t get it.’ Then, I just heard everybody yelling, I looked up, and next thing you know it was like this (touchdown signal). I didn’t see it (laughs). I didn’t see nothing.”
The defense was all over Aaron Rodgers today. How does it feel?
“I’m glad we got the win. It was a tough, hard-fought game. We knew it was going to be a battle. The Packers have got a great team. We were able to persevere. It just goes back to what happened with Chicago (Game 1), when we kind of hurt ourselves. We did that today, but it feels like we kind of learned from the mistakes early on. But we bounced back from it. It’s good that we showed a lot of toughness and mental focus to go out there and fight and push to the end.”
The defense kept the team in the game though some streaks of turnovers, and even when Rodgers got his feet under him in the third quarter. What did you guys do to keep it so close?
“We just kept grinding. Coach Lewis, that’s his motto: ‘Just keep grinding. Keep your head down.’ He came over and told us, ‘Keep fighting.’ That was the message for all of the guys on the sideline. The offense got some stuff going. They really picked us up, and we fed off of them to go out there and get some stops. We just needed to keep playing physical and try to keep taking it to them. Like I said, they’ve got a good team. It could have gone either way, but thankfully we ended up on the good end of it.”
How tough was it during that stretch with all of the fumbles to not focus on that and just keep playing?
“It was a little tough, because with us, we never want to have that many fumbles. We never want to have turnovers like that. But that’s the thing about it, when we came to the sideline after every turnover, we were just like, ‘OK, let’s get it back. Let’s get it back, and when we get the ball, let’s do something with it.’ Time and time again, that’s what we said. We never leveled off. We always kept the train going straight, and that was great.”
What did you do to the defensive back on your touchdown reception?
“I just went inside and made a cut. It was probably cover-zero or cover-one, but it was man-to-man — ‘You beat the other guy.’ Andy laid it up and threw a good pass.”
Can you talk about the offense’s performance in the first half versus the second half today?
“The biggest thing we had in the first half was a bunch of turnovers. In the second half, we came out, we ran our offense, took care of the ball and we had some great results.”
You didn’t have a reception in the first half. What were they doing to shut you down?
“It was just a lot of Cover 2 to my side. There were just different looks. But knowing me and how I am, you just have to stay true to yourself and keep working no matter what.”
You’ve beaten two prominent storied NFL franchises this week in the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers. What do these two wins say with regard to where you are as a team right now?
“We just took that next step. That was our motto — just taking that next step. Last year, we couldn’t beat the signature teams that we wanted to, but this year, we’re trying one-by-one to take that next step.”
It seemed like, once Clay Matthews went out with an injury, Green Bay needed to blitz in order to get pressure and they seemed like they were a different defense. You two picked up every blitz and allowed
“Things were tough in the first half. We had some schemes where, honestly, they just had a better call than we did or had an extra guy. On the short-yardage play, Clay was unblocked and makes an unbelievable play, which is what he does. So they had some things that went their way, and we made some mistakes in the first half. The key was that when we got the opportunity in the second half, we made it count. We continued to keep Andy clean. Really, the extra guy got us throughout the day. They had to blitz, and eventually, it’s going to cost you.”
You had four straight turnovers on four straight possessions, but you guys didn’t falter. What does it take to keep grinding in the face of that adversity? I know that’s Marvin Lewis’s message to you, but what does that mean to you?
“This line and this group is good enough that, if we don’t hurt ourselves, we’re an extremely tough team to beat. You saw it today. We had a game that, if we don’t hurt ourselves, we’ve got a game that we’re in total control of. We’ve got to eliminate that. If teams have bring pressure to get pressure on the quarterback, eventually it’s going to cost them. We’ve seen it the last couple of weeks. They can’t beat us just rushing four guys.”
How did you feel about the helmet-to-helmet personal foul penalty that was called against you?
“I thought it was a clean it. I didn’t hit him with my helmet. He said it was a clean it. So, that’s football. It’s kind of hard to at that point when he catches it and you don’t know how to hit him. You don’t want him to break the tackle. So it goes how it goes.”
When did he say it was a clean hit?
“After the play. After the play, going back to his huddle. He said, ‘That was a clean hit, man.’ ”
Did you change your style of play at all?
“After that, yeah.”
What did you do?
“I didn’t want to be too aggressive. Hopefully I don’t get fined for it. But it just held me back a little bit.”
It looked like you went at everybody on your offense and assumed the leadership role, and said, ‘Hey, we can’t be doing that to ourselves.’ Was that what it was?
“It basically was that we’re too good for that. We work too hard. Just had to get the measures across, and it translated. We had a big game and it turned out really well for us.”
You had four straight turnovers on four straight possessions, but you guys didn’t falter. What does it take to keep grinding in the face of that adversity? I know that’s Marvin Lewis’ message to you, but what does that mean to you?
“Just to keep working hard. Every play has a life of its own. We just had to go on to the next play and just make sure we dominate next time we get a chance to.”
When the guys on the Packers caught the ball, you really did a job of limiting the yards after catch:
“Yeah. We knew that Aaron Rodgers and that offense is one of the top offenses in the NFL, maybe ranked No. 1 or 2. I think they were No. 1 at yards after catch coming into this game. We knew we had to get the guy down as soon as they caught the ball. I think our effort and our mentality was when he gets the ball to a receiver, everyone runs to the ball and makes a play. We got the win and it was a great comeback. Our fans were screaming throughout the whole game. They never gave up, even though we were down by 16, and no one walked out. The win was for all of us, Cincinnati and us included.”
Was this a measuring stick win to beat the Packers?
“Measuring stick? It was a big win for us. However you want to look at it, the Packers are one of the best teams in the NFL. Coach Lewis always says, ‘If you want to be a great team, you’ve got to beat great teams,’ and this is the first step in going in the direction that we wanted.”
“Today was obviously a very tough loss for our football team. I thought it was definitely a game of peaks and valleys, a lot of moments of adversity going through the start of the game and getting down 14-0. The way our defense responded, I really felt it picked our football team up generating takeaways, being able to come into halftime with the lead. We had a great start there in the third quarter and then we had some momentum plays clearly go against us. I thought the two personal fouls on the two drives that resulted in touchdowns for Cincinnati were big momentum plays. Obviously the two takeaways from the Bengals, the interceptions, were big plays. But we still had a chance to go down in the final drive with a chance to win the game. We didn’t get that done. And I’m skipping over probably the biggest play of the game — the fourth-down call. Big plays, production are a big part of the NFL. It’s something we feel we do a pretty darn good job of, but we came out on the short end and, obviously, came out in the short end on the scoreboard. Those are my thoughts. With that, I’ll take your questions.”
How much adversity did you have to go through after losing RB James Starks, TE Jermichael Finley and LB Clay Matthews to injury?
“That’s the challenge of our game; you have to be able to adjust on the sidelines. Losing Jermichael early like that, he was a featured player today. So you adjust. I thought Ryan Taylor did some good things. I thought Andrew Quarless started slow, but he did some good things. But it affects your rhythm. The ultimately that’s probably affected the most by that is our quarterback. Johnathan Franklin came in when James got hurt right before halftime. I thought James was in a groove. We knew it was probably going to be tough sledding early against this defensive front. But we felt if we could sustain it for four quarters, we’d be able to have some more success. Johnathan came in and did a heck of a job. He obviously had the one (negative) play there on the fourth down. But it’s tough. It was definitely one of the most different games I’ve had in all my time.”
What was your thinking on going for it on fourth down?
“It was really on the mark. It was based on probability. You think it’s going to be close, so it was an inches play. We had a couple things going on. It was something that we talked about. Obviously we thought we could convert it. That’s why we called the play. We didn’t get it done. That’s the profession of play calling. When it works, it’s excellent execution by the players. When it doesn’t, it’s the play callers. I had confidence in Mason (Crosby) going in. We were inside the mark in our field goal. It had nothing to do with that. I just felt that we had a chance to convert and get another set of downs, and particularly have their defense on the field for another long drive.”
As a playcaller, what thoughts went through your mind during the challenge of the spot of the football the play before fourth down?
“With the challenge, you obviously had plenty of time to think about it. I probably over thought it, because my initial thought was to kick the field goal. I’m paid to make those decisions. We they go wrong, I’m responsible.”
Have been in a game quite like this?
“It was a frustrating game. To spot them 14, score 30 in a row and then they scored 20 in a row to finish it. It’s disappointing; we feel like we gave the game away offensively. We had a lot of turnovers and I played poorly. Defense played well enough for us to win and we should have come out with a win.”
It’s not very often that you walk in here and say you didn’t play well enough for your team to win:
“Yes, it’s disappointing. I prepared to play well this week against a very good defense; they are very well coached. They had a good plan for us and knocked a lot of balls down. We ran the ball effectively but we weren’t throwing it as well as were the first couple of weeks, and that’s disappointing because we had some chances.”
How challenging is it to go in with a game plan and then you lose pieces? Finley, Starks:
“Yes, it’s tough to win a football game with two running backs. That limited our personnel groups and when James (Starks) went down, than Jonathan (Franklin) got hurt in the game and Jermichael (Finley) went down. But we had guys step up, Jonathan played a real good game for us, had some good runs, but we have to clean some things up. We turned the ball over way too many times to win.”
What happened on the two interceptions?
“I couldn’t tell on the first one if James (Jones) actually saw me, I was throwing to a spot that I thought he would be at. On the second one, I felt good about the ball, but Leon (Hall) made a good play.”
You appeared more frustrated than usual today. How would you describe your frustration?
“Yeah, I was frustrated; I didn’t play very well. I am competitive and I expect to play well every week and this week it didn’t happen and that’s frustrating. We couldn’t convert; we got in a rhythm in the third quarter and it looked like we were going to blow it open, but we turned the ball over twice. Then we turned the ball over again in the fourth quarter, and that’s why we lost.”
What happens when you and your coach get into a disagreement? How do you get past it for the day?
“We are both passionate about the game and competitive. We want to win very badly. I went over and talked to him after that and we got on the same page. We needed to talk, we did and we moved on.”
Was that discussion about a play call?
“I am going to leave that between Mike and I. We are both competitive and I think we were both frustrated all day that we couldn’t have some success in the red zone. We kicked away too many field goals and had too many turnovers.”
Can you take us through the sequence where you think Randall (Cobb) has the first down on third down and then the challenge and then all hell breaks loose?
“It was frustrating, I thought he had it. It would have been a big first down for us with about four and a half to go I think. We didn’t get it. We had a good play call on fourth and short and after I handed the ball off, I saw it come out. I should have made the tackle. After that they picked it up and scored.”
How has Randall Cobb come along in his year plus in the league?
“He is a great player and he will continue to get better the more reps he gets. He is tough to guard, he is tough athletic and he knows the game very well; has excellent second reactions. He is going to a big time player for this team for a long time.”
You were part of the playoff game at Arizona that was really crazy. Would you say this game was like that?
“That one was a lot more fun. We scored a lot of points and moved the ball well. This one, we scored a lot of points, but we didn’t move the ball very well for the most part. The defense played excellent today, they put us in a great position to put the game away on multiple occasions. Especially early in the game, converting those drives into touchdowns instead of field goals. One drive we got no points on after a sack and it’s disappointing. We will work on things; its only week three. But you have to win these types of games when you are coming down stretch and trying to make it into the playoffs.”
They batted down three balls on the last series. Were they doing anything different?
“I think they were looking to bat it down a little more, knowing we were going to be looking for some quick passes. They are smart defensive ends, they’ve played some years in this league. They are both 6-6 plus. We tried some different things, cutting them on some play, split the line at times. But they are good players.”
How did you come out of this physically? It looked like Michael Johnson got your knee one time. Did you make amends afterwards?
“Yeah, we made amends. He said he didn’t mean anything by it and I trust him. We have a week off and we have to get some guys healthy. We have to get Morgan (Burnett) back, John (Kuhn) if we can, Jermichael (Finley) hopefully he will be back. And James (Starks) and Eddie (Lacy), hopefully they will be back. We have some injuries, we need to get guys back and see what we can do at full strength.”
When the schedule came out and you saw you had a week four bye, you probably weren’t real happy. Has your opinion changed after what happened here?
“It is what it is. We are 1-2 right now.”
How frustrating was not being able to score on the final drive?
“It’s what we love. We’ve got to pass the ball, so it makes it tough to score when they knock down passes.”
Talk about the “next man up” mentality of the running backs corps:
“We’ve got some great offensive linemen. I’ve got to praise God and give the guys up front credit.”
Is it too easy to say that this was a learning experience?
“It’s life. You, me, everyone, we’re always learning. You’ve got to understand why certain things happen, then go from there. We’ve got a long season. Hopefully, I’ll be blessed with another opportunity. I’ve got to continue to work to and continue to praise in God.”
How tough was communication on offense early in the game?
“It wasn’t bad at all.”
Were you surprised that Aaron Rodgers threw two interceptions today?
“The first interception was my fault. Hands down. I stopped on the route. I can never do that. I put the quarterback in a bad situation right there, giving him mixed reads. That was completely all me. I had a slant route. I’ve got to cross the defender’s face. I can’t do that (stop) to the quarterback. That was my fault. Overall, we did not play well on offense. We’ve got to find a way to get it done and help our defense. Our defense played well.”
Did you see anything strange on that play?
“No. I didn’t see anything strange. In the heat of the moment, you make mistakes sometimes. That was one of my mistakes. I didn’t cross the DB’s face. (Rodgers) was looking for me and threw it. The defender had cut me off and intercepted the ball.”
Touch on the running game that had James Starks rush for 55 and Johnathan Franklin gain 103 yards:
“We were running it well. Starks came in running it well; Franklin came in and made his mark with some big runs. We’re running it well. The running game got us in that rhythm early in the second half on some drives to score some points. We’ve got to continue to push it and run the ball a little bit more. Hopefully, it opens up the passing game.”
What held the Packers back in the red zone today?
“They’ve got a pretty good defense. You’ve got to take your hat off to them. They’ve got some good players over there. They’ve got a good defense. Obviously, we didn’t execute the way we wanted to, but you’ve got to give credit to them. They made some plays today. We weren’t out there on air playing against our selves.”
Comment about today’s game:
“The first drive, give them credit. They had some different schemes for us and had some success. Obviously, if we did a better job after the fumble on the kickoff return and held them to three (points). They scored really easily at first. We’ve got to take blame for that. I was proud of how we came back in the first half and forced four turnovers, with the touchdown. Obviously, against a good team, we didn’t play well enough in the second half.”
Are you happy that the defense was able to force so many turnovers?
“Obviously, our goal is to force turnovers. We made some TFLs and lots of sacks. But, we gave up 34 points. They made some freak plays. We didn’t make the plays when we needed to and that cost us.”
How wild was this game?
“Crazy. It was wild with regard to the calls and the plays that happened. Ultimately, there were two very good, playoff-caliber teams out there today. They made more plays than us to win the ball game. That’s kind of where we are right now.”