BENGALS COACH MARVIN LEWIS
Q: Opening comments:
"I was just telling the football team, 'Today you witnessed what happens when you have opportunities and kind of let them go by the wayside.' You don't get some points out there on the first two drives of the first half where the ball was right on the edge of scoring position, whether it be an opportunity to kick the field goal or touchdowns And then we have a couple of miscues in the passing game that obviously just killed us and put us way behind the eight ball."
Q: On consistency of all-around performance:
"Just the consistency, at times, in some of our players keeps putting us behind the eight ball and at risk. We didn't make plays. You have to make plays. That's what this is about The players are paid to make plays and the coaches put them in good position, and you have to make the conversions."
Q: On the Colts' touchdown right before end of first half:
"Instead of going in at halftime 7-3 or ahead, you go in at 14-3. I don't know about momentum; it's a big swing in the points. They have the ball coming out in the second half. They get the long drive there in the third quarter and get the touchdown eventually with the long drive. Even on that drive, the defense did a lot of good things, but we weren't able to get them off the field on the third down and they convert the one fourth down. That ended up being big."
Q: On the Colts interceptions against quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick:
"Again, it wasn't necessarily Fitzy's fault on the interceptions. We didn't do a very good job on those. The quarterback gets the blame, but the other guys were at fault."
Q: On the last three games of the season:
"I'm positive we're going to win the last three games, very positive. That's what we're going to do. We're going to work our butt off to win the last three games."
Q: On Chris Henry's penalty after the first interception by Hayden:
"I guess he got hit from behind, and then he can't retaliate. It's selfish when you retaliate. That hurt us too. Now the ball goes inside the 10-yard line. I guess Chris got hit late and everybody witnessed it but the official. But that's fine. You can't be the second guy in there. We've gone most of the football season without those kinds of things, and they can't happen."
Q: On the interceptions against him:
"We've been struggling offensively. So when we make those mistakes and put our defense in a bad situation, it's been real hard for us to overcome that stuff. That being said, down 7-3, the interception hurt us. Down 14-3, we still got a chance to come out and play in the second half. We moved the ball OK. It was just a matter of finding points. We stalled on our drives for one reason or another."
Qn the interceptions, his intended receivers on the plays and turnovers in general:
"It was two miscommunications, what they were doing and what I was thinking. They hurt, and they hurt big. There's not much you can do to avoid them, other than make sure everybody's on the same page next time. The turnovers, you can never have them, especially the way offensively that we've been playing. We just can't put ourselves in holes like that. And they certainly hurt us today."
Qn the way the Colts controlled the clock after Cincinnati's mistakes:
"They control the clock pretty good. We came out in the second half, and they had the ball for the first 8-9 minutes, whatever it was, so they kept us off the field. This is one of those teams where you have to take advantage when you have the ball."
Q: On the plan for his return):
"Hopefully next week I'll be throwing more and more and get some work with our receivers. I just have to take it slow and do what the doctors tell me."
Q: On having his brother on the Bengals active roster:
"It's fun to be able to work with your brother day in and day out, meetings, practice and all."
Q: On the Bengals lack of scoring production:
"There's not just one thing we need to do to solve all our problems. There's a number of things. We just keep working to improve. We don't give up, we don't quit."
Q: On his transition to the NFL after playing for big crowds with the University of Florida:
"I'm feeling very comfortable. I'm used to playing in front of big crowds, big stadiums, lots of noise. I feel like I'm at home in the Swamp."
Q: On the Bengals recent offensive struggles:
"You have to keep working, keep pushing, try to get better every day. Things aren't working out now but we're going to get back on track and there are going to be some changes around here."
Q: On Colts RB Dominic Rhodes' touchdown run:
"In order to be successful on defense, we can't allow those types of runs. There's no excuse for that."
Q: On running down Colts WR Marvin Harrison on a long pass reception:
"That was a play that should have been made a lot sooner, and I should have been one of those guys in there. But I'm not the type of guy who quits, so I had to give chase."
Q: On trying to keep Colts QB Peyton Manning in check:
"Not too many people can keep him in check. He's a very smart quarterback and we knew that going in. We did the best job we could to try and disguise the things we were doing, but he found a way to adjust to that."
Q: On the Bengals season:
"We just have to finish these last games up and look forward to next year. Nobody likes to lose. That's the tough part of it. It's weird (losing). It's not going anywhere near the way we thought it would. We still have to play and have fun."
Q: On turnovers:
"We moved the ball pretty well in the first half. They were trying to make a lot of stuff happen with fumbles and interceptions. It's basically been the theme of our season."
COLTS COACH TONY DUNGY
Q: Initial comments:
"Everyone thinks these games are going to be easy and they'll look at the final score and feel like it was. But we had to work. Everybody came out and played well, slowed the game down. With their defense we thought that we were going to blitz us a lot more, but they made us be patient. We had one drive in there that was fumble down there. We were kind of hammering away early. We got a couple big plays on defense, got some take aways. The second half, we got rolling. It was a good effort and the kind of thing you need to start off December. Told the team it was what we expected, we got that and now we can look to next week."
Q: On DB Kelvin Hayden's interception:
"He was getting excellent reads on the quarterback and getting a jump on things. The first one maybe he could have intercepted but ran into a receiver. I thought he was going for the ball. The flag came out late. He continued that, didn't let that stop him. He did a good jump in our zones on the quarterback. He made some big plays."
Q: On the passing game:
"We felt we had a chance to if we could get the game in that situation where they had to throw. They had a rookie left tackle playing which is tough, in this building especially. They did a good job early on of kind of mixing it up, keeping us off balance, running in some of the passing situations. But, once we got the lead, our guys were able to turn it up, which we like to see."
Q: On having a big lead:
"We haven't had that in such a long time. You get them by just working hard. You never know when they are going to come. It was fun to have some of our young guys in there and see them play and get some rest for our guys. We have two games coming up in five days. We'll need that and hopefully take advantage of it."
Q: On DB Bob Sanders:
"I thought he was a little rusty, which you could expect. He obviously gives us that energy and still that speed. He missed some tackles that he normally makes. So it's good to have him get some time and again not have to play a whole game. That's probably pretty good too. I think he'll be much better next week."
Q: On the game:
"It didn't feel easy out there. We look at teams, we don't look at records. They have good players, they have good schemes. You still have to go out there and make the plays. You got to make some critical third downs. You have got to break some tackles like (RB) Dominic (Rhodes) did for the first touchdown. Our goal all day was really what we have been trying to do the past few weeks, we call staying in phase. Being good on first and second downs. Staying out of third and longs or staying out of third downs in general. We had a number of those situations today where we go first down, second down, back to first down. Critical play by (DB) Kelvin (Hayden) getting that interception before the half. We felt like we should have been up a couple scores. We had our turnover turn into three points for them, but it was nice to capitalize on Kelvin's interception before the half and come back with the first drive of the second half."
Q: On the play of defense:
"Yeah they have done a great job considering they are playing without some starters. Playing without our defensive captain (LB) Gary Brackett. Playing without (DB) Marlin Jackson one of the top players. Great to see number 21 (DB-Bob Sanders) out there today. Everybody has got to step their game up and fill in the holes and the gaps. Hopefully we can get guys like Gary back out there as soon as possible. Great job by them creating turnovers and keeping them out of the end zone today."
Q: On the offense bouncing back from last week's game:
"Well, we just wanted to be a lot sharper. Last week was a funny game in the fact that we did some good things, moved the ball well, just couldn't finish in the red zone. That was the goal today to be better in the red zone. Aside from the one turnover we did a good job of getting touchdowns, not having to settle for field goals. That is what you got to have in order to win games. You got to be able to score touchdowns and be good in the red zones. It was nice today, we made some plays. (WR-Anthony) Gonzalez made a great play on a sprint out play. (TE) Dallas (Clark) made a tough catch there in traffic. Like I said, (RB) Dominic (Rhodes) made a really big run."
Q: On winning six games in a row:
"I think we have just gotten back to some of the basic fundamental things that we won with in the past. Certainly at 3-4 you find yourself in a hole. We really have kind of stepped our game up a little bit as far as protecting the ball better, being better in the red zone, trying to eliminate some penalties. Our special teams have done a better job. Like I said offensively and defensively we are sort of feeding off of one another. When one is down the other is picking them up. Ideally you want both of them to play great at the same time. It's truly been a one-game-at-a-time mentality since we have been 3-4 and that was the philosophy today. That will be the philosophy the rest of this month."
Q: On if the team is starting to peak:
"I think so. I think this is the right time of year, too. We are getting some guys back and getting some kind of gelling going on out there on all three phases. That's definitely what you want to be seeing come December. We have three more games left, and you want to be hitting full stride here and we're definitely doing that. But, the great thing is that there are still things that we need to correct, and there are still things that we can respond and be better at. So, that's the good thing that we still have things to work on. And, I think we have the right mentality to just go out there and get better every week."
Q: On TE Gijon Robinson:
"He was huge. That first touchdown drive was pretty much all him. We needed a spark. We went three-and-out in the first series. That's not how you want to start at home, and that second drive is pretty much all Gijon. That was huge. We needed that spark. (Cincinnati) was playing some good coverages, and sometimes (QB) Peyton (Manning) has to dump it off and dump it down to the running back or maybe a tight end dragging, and Gijon did a great job of not only catching but turning up and getting some positive yards."
Q: On how important it was for him to get a touchdown after fumbling near the goal line in the second quarter:
"You always want to redeem yourself somehow, and when you fumble on the goal line I guess the only way to really redeem yourself is by scoring a touchdown, so that was nice to get that. But, (the fumble) was a stupid play on my part. You have to know when not to try to make a play. I was just being stupid and trying to dive for the end zone and that wasn't the time that we needed to do something like that. I'll learn from that, but it was good to be able to come back and get the touchdown."
Q: On if the team made a statement:
"It's a game. We just played Colts' ball today. That's what you get when everybody's clicking on all cylinders."
Q: On the team's mindset:
"Just to keep everything going in a positive direction and just minimize the negatives and maximize our positives."
Q: On if the defense felt good:
"Yes, but at the same time, you can't get too happy on one game. It is just one game, so it just inches us closer to where we have to be in January."
Q: On the team controlling its destiny to make the playoffs:
"We only worry about ourselves and don't worry about what's going on outside this locker room."
Q: On the game:
"It was definitely a fun one. Whenever teams like to open it up, Robbie (DE-Robert Mathis) and I like to pin our ears back and just go at it. And we both got after it. This is the game we've been waiting for. To put all three phases together, special teams, offense and defense scoring the points. Hopefully we can keep that momentum going next week and keep going. Their offensive line was a little banged up and we understood that once we started scoring points. And we had fun out there. We stick to what we know. We stick to our practice habits and this is November and December. And this is when you have to have your A game. We are definitely turning it on right now."
Q: On his first game back from injury:
"I felt pretty good. I'm definitely excited to be back out. When you're hurt and you're out, you want to come back and not miss a beat. Today I felt like I had a pretty good day and I got some plays in there."
Q: On the defense's energy:
"It was great. I think it was a total team effort. I think we just played well all around, in every area. We said we wanted three picks in the back end, and we did. We said we wanted to keep pressure on the quarterback and get some sacks, and we did that. I just think all around we played a solid game."