Initial comments ...
"The thing from the game is, we go up in the fourth quarter there, and aren't able to win the game. And a couple times today we had field position and came away with field goals. One time we get knocked back and didn't get any opportunity at points.
"Defensively, the key element today was the third down scores we allow. We've got to figure that out and do better, because right now we're not good enough at that. We've got to look at what we're doing, continue to grind and get better, and make sure we come out better and play better.
"We killed ourselves today with penalties, and we can't do that. We can't let that happen as coaches. We got the penalties that allowed the drives to continue today on third down for them — which made a big difference. I think on probably every scoring drive they had there was a third down converted by penalty."
Did Trevor Siemian do anything today that you didn't think he was capable of?
"No, he's been playing well. He's been accurate with his throws. He hit us in the chest a couple times today and we didn't come down with them. Those are big plays, too. He hadn't had any of those in their other games where he let the ball get away from him. We've got to make those plays when we get the opportunities at them, and we had a couple today."
You mentioned after the turnover the offense getting knocked back. I know every drive is key, but that was plus field position there ...
"It was a big opportunity, obviously, because if you get one first down you have a legitimate shot at a field goal. But we took the big sack on the first down play, and then we get pressured on the second down play, and third down we've got nowhere to go with it."
The running game was going early and then you kind of cinched down on it as the game wore on ...
"Well I don't know if we cinched down on it as the game wore on, it's just we got in the fourth quarter where it was a different football game there and things change. That drive where we got the ball after the fumble play we continued to still run it at five or six yards a clip there."
Are there any technical explanations for what happened to the defense in the fourth quarter?
"We gave up a big touchdown pass, and we gave up a third down conversion drive on the outside. We gave up I don't know how many yards there at the end; it was third-and-ten or third-and-eight, and you give up a touchdown pass and lose the football game."
In the second half, that big play was eluding you, and it seemed to have an effect on the end result. Is that how you look at this, like it seemed as if you guys were toe to toe?
"Yeah, that was exactly what it was. They made a couple big ones that they scored off of, and we weren't able to do that. We've got to play better in the second half."
Where do you guys go from this with the quick turn-around this week? What's the feel with this team?
"It's still so early. A lot can still be accomplished for us, but we need to move on. Luckily for us, we do have a short week. It is a quick turn around, and we have to move on."
It seems like something is a bit off with the offense not making as many big plays. Is that how you see it?
"Yeah. We have opportunities, but we just have to make them. Everyone has to do their job assignment and make the play. We've got to find a way to do that."
Marvin Lewis mentioned the quick change in field position, where you were in plus territory and went backwards three times. What did you recall there?
"They had a good pressure call. We got sacked, they covered it real well and they got another sack. They made two good plays there to kick us out of field goal range."
Wade Phillips only calls that once or twice. Was that just a chess match of offense versus defense?
"I think they made a good play with the look that we had. "It was obviously a good call, as they got to me."
Is it good to have a short week?
"Definitely. There's no time to think about this one. It's time to move on. It's going to be good for us."
Tyler Eifert got back to the practice field this week. How much of a welcome addition would he be?
"Tyler is obviously so talented. He's been a big part of our offense since he's been here, especially last year. It would be great to have him back whenever it is."
You found C.J. Uzomah in the middle of the field for a big gain today. How much has he developed?
"CJ has done a great job. He's a big guy, he can run, he can catch, he has good hands. Every game, he's getting better. He's getting that experience he may not have had if Tyler was back. Once Tyler comes back, we've got a couple good options there, including (Tyler) Kroft."
On HB Jeremy Hill's day and the offensive line ...
"Obviously we ran the ball a lot better today than the first two weeks. We had some good plays down there, and Jeremy was able to get in there two times. It was good to see that, especially with how things went the first two weeks."
On his play in the first half versus the second half ...
"It wasn't difficult for me. I forgot about the first time when I came in here (because) it was so horrible. It happens. The greats go out and find a way to make a play … Like I said, I had a horrible first half and came out in the second half ready to play."
Do you take this loss personally?
"Everything is personal when you're playing for jobs. ... We just didn't play good in the first half. I couldn't get my feet together. The second half, I came out, played a whole lot better."
What happened on the punt return fumble?
"I was down. My knee went down into my ribs."
You seem surprised they didn't overturn it ...
"I was really surprised. We haven't got one (fumble overturned) the whole year. Have you all realized that yet?
"I've got to worry about the football plays. I can't worry about all the other stuff. I just got to keep playing. I know if I don't give up that touchdown, it's a whole different game. Everybody knows me — I'm going to take this one on my shoulders. I rather the guys stick together, and we'll be ready for Thursday."
How much does it hurt that a relatively inexperienced quarterback came into your stadium and threw for over 300 yards with four touchdown passes?
The defensive backs ...
"It don't hurt nobody. We lost the game. We're 1-2. We'll look at it, and we'll get better from here. It's not just the defensive backs. It's everybody in the (defensive) group. When you call certain plays, the guys up front have got to blitz, the guys have got to do what they're supposed to do. It looked like, 'Hey, it's just the defensive backs,' but if you don't know the calls, you don't know where the blitz is going, and the quarterback scrambles out, and certain things happen. It's not just the defensive backs ... There won't be no — what's the word? — lingering until Thursday. I'll be ready to go tomorrow. I'll get the guys going. Everybody's going to hopefully follow my lead. This is a winning team by far. The last two games that we lost, we were better than those teams. Today, they played better than us in the fourth quarter. But we'll learn from this and pick it up."
Is being 1-2 a concern?
"For you? For you guys? Not for us — we play 16 games."
You guys ran the ball for over 140 yards, but obviously the final score is what it's all about, and you guys came out on the short end of the stick. That being said, I thought you acquitted yourself in the battle against Broncos linebacker Von Miller well ...
"I could have done better I think. I gave up that sack at the end of the game. I'm just going to try to get better from this tape. I think that's the best guy I'll probably see this year, but I can always get better."
The running game, you were running counter plays out of multiple formations. Do you feel like you had them on their heels with the running game?
"Yeah, I thought we ran the ball pretty well, ... but we still lost the game. We just have to get back in the film room and correct the mistakes."
When you had that 17-16 lead in the fourth quarter, it seemed this game was going to come down to the wire, but it didn't unfold that way ...
"We've got to do better as a team of finishing the game — winning the fourth quarter. We'll get back to the tape tomorrow and just correct the mistakes."
Take us through the blocked extra point, which was your second blocked kick of the season ...
"When they had the first field goal, me and Carlos (Dunlap) and everybody up front got a really good push from the inside, and I actually felt the ball with my hands, so we knew that we could definitely pressure them even more. So when the PAT came around, I got the push and timed it off correctly."
The game was very tight in the first three quarters, and then it all changed in the fourth. What do you think happened?
"We just needed to finish plays. That's the bottom line. We need to pressure the quarterback, get to the quarterback and keep him under duress at all times. He was able to get into a rhythm and we couldn't get into this face."
With it being a short week since you play Miami this upcoming Thursday, how will this team fix the problems you discussed?
"We just need to keep our heads down and get focused. These are the games where we need to keep focused on the opponent, and work hard throughout the week mentally because it's a short week — we can't do anything really serious physically. The mental game has to be strong, and we have to be on our assignments. It'll be a good challenge and it'll be a good game."
The game was tight until the fourth quarter. What happened?
"It's just one of those things where we're going to have to go back and look at (the tape). We don't know what happened in some of those particular situations, but hopefully we can get things sorted out, figure out what happened in the second half, and continue playing the way we were in the first half."
Marvin said in his press conference that the turnover, plus field position, and the sack in the second half was a critical series of events. How disappointing was that to not score at that point in the game?
"To not get points out of that situation hurt. Our defense put us in a big spot and we just weren't able to capitalize on it. We just need to do a better job of knowing that situation, knowing that we can't give up a sack there, taking ourselves out of field goal range, and not being able to put points on the board. That was a big change — a big disappointment for us."
Did it feel like you guys had cleaned up a lot of the mistakes that had been talked about from earlier games this season?
"It's just tough. In those situations, you really want to get away with a win more than anything. You hope there will be positives that carry over to next week, but you just want to be able to win a football game. It's a tough game, and we just weren't able to get it done today."
You guys seemingly had them where you wanted them, and then it didn't go quite the way you wanted down the stretch ...
"We've got to eliminate the big plays. Big plays will kill a football game, and they got a couple easy shots on us."
Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian threw for over 300 yards and had two different receivers with over 100 yards ...
"He probably had 120 yards of that in two plays, so we've got to rush better, we've got to cover better and just eliminate the big plays. That's not our defense. We don't give up big plays."
You guys shut the running game down ...
"We did a pretty good job of that, but we've got work to do on the pass plays. We had big plays today, so we've got to rush better."
So penalties and big plays sums it up, huh?
"Well, yeah. When they happen on the same drive, that's not good. We've just got to take it back to what we do."
After the early rushing touchdown from Jeremy Hill, did you think it was going to be an excellent day for the offense?
"We knew that there would be ups and downs, and it wouldn't go as smooth as that first drive, where everything was going right. But when it comes down to it, I can't have that drop. I can not have that drop like that, and missing that assignment. I just have to be more focused. It starts with me. This offense has to run through me, and I let my team down, and I let myself down. I pride myself on being the best, and I didn't show up today."
You guys have gotten off to great starts over the years, but now it's an early gut check coming up on Thursday against the Miami Dolphins ...
"It's good that we can get back and play on Thursday — try and get this feeling out of us. I'm ready to get back to practice after my performance today — it definitely was not the best, and I need to clean up some stuff. This offense runs through me, and I've got to do better."
How personal do you take moments like that drop today?
"It's going to bother me all year. I pride myself on not dropping balls. I know it's going to happen, but I can't drop a ball like that in a crucial moment. This offense starts with me. When I'm making plays, this offense — everything falls into place. Today I didn't do that. I let my team down on that missed call that I thought was a run, and the next play I turn around and drop it. So that's two mental errors on me that I have got to clean up."
How concerning is a 1-2 start to the season?
"It's tough. This team has heart. We know this is the NFL — it's going to be tough grind. We've got to continue to get better."
You said last week that things weren't clicking on offense in Pittsburgh. Can you explain why it seems to have carried over to this week?
"We still have a lot of stuff to clean up. We're still trying to find ourselves. On the first drive, we had everything going. We've got to get more consistent. It's not about chemistry. We just have to get more consistent, and it starts with me."
How do you right the ship?
"I don't think it's about righting the ship as much as looking at the game. We were right there with them — toe-to-toe with a team that just won the Super Bowl. They've obviously proven, to start the season, that they're a very good football team. You knew it was going to be this type of game, much like Seattle last year, or the Pittsburgh game. It was one of those games that was going to come down to the end. They made the big plays, and we didn't seem to find one."
Are you surprised offensively that you aren't making the plays that you typically do?
"We had a couple of plays here today, but hopefully as we get in-sync and things get going, we'll have more production. The core is there, though we did lose some weapons and we're without some guys. The reality is we have to build and get to know each other. As that happens, we'll get better and better."
Is it encouraging that you were a few plays away from winning this game?
"In the NFL, anytime you're in it at the end with a chance to win, you've done something good, but you may haven't done something great. The key is finishing games, so we've got to find a way to finish. This was a very good football. We consider ourselves a very good football team. We went toe-to-toe there in the end, but we just couldn't make the plays that make the difference in winning that game."
How important was it to show some signs in the run game today?
"It was all right. A lot of stuff we wish we could have back, and a lot of stuff we wish would've helped our defense, especially in the fourth quarter by keeping them off the field. We have a ways to go as far as the running game, and it starts with me."
Do you agree that there were some plays left out on the field?
"We had a lot of plays that we wish we could have back. We have a ways to go, and it's now gut check week. We have to respond. I think it's important for the veteran guys to step up , make plays, respond on Thursday, and get a win."
How concerning is a 1-2 start?
"I wouldn't say it's concerning. It boils down to us buckling down and winning a football game. That's really what it is. Once we do that, we can use that momentum going down the stretch of the season."
This offensive core has been together for a couple of years. Are you surprised that you guys aren't making the plays that you're used to making?
"I think anytime you don't make the plays to win the game, then you're definitely surprised. We've done it in every situation, so when we don't do it when it matters the most, it definitely is surprising. We can't let that discourage us, and we have to continue to work and continue to keep grinding during the practice week, get ready to go out there Thursday night, and put out a better performance."
Are you personally encouraged by your performance today?
"Not at all. There's so many more plays that we left out there. Obviously, it wasn't enough to win the game, so we have a ways to go."
How beneficial is it to have your next game on Thursday?
"It's tough with a quick turnaround. Coaches are going to ask a lot of us and we'll have to give it. We'll have to come back, game plan a team, and go out there and win four days from now. We're thankful we'll be playing at home again, and we're looking to redeem ourselves."
Coach Lewis said the first three quarters were a much different game than the fourth quarter. How accurate is that?
"He's absolutely right. We lost the game in the fourth quarter. They (our opponents) have won the fourth quarter the last three games now, so we've got to pick it up there. We're trusting our technique, and we're trusting our coaches. The penalties we have to cut down on. On third down, we have to do a better job with communication. It's loud in our stadium always. Everybody needs to communicate across the board. We're not panicking. We're in this for the long haul. It's a long season with 13 games left. Nobody is panicking."
Is it a good feeling knowing Burfict is coming back next game?
"Yes. Having him back bolsters our linebacking unit — it bolsters our defense in general, and our team. We're looking forward to having him back. He's just another player here to make plays for us. He's a big-time player and a leader."
How disappointing were those first-quarter penalties?
"We had a couple of holds, and they were calling it close. Sometimes you have to play how they call it. We're going to get better. I'm not too concerned about that. It just sucks that a bad performance by us lead to a loss. We've got 13 games left so it starts tomorrow."
What do you think made Trevor Siemian so effective?
"I couldn't really tell you. I just know we had a lot of penalties as a defense and we didn't get off the field on third down. You give any quarterback first downs from penalties or not getting them off the field on third down we'll have a long day. We just have to do a better job."
DENVER POSTGAME QUOTES
SEPT. 25 2016
DENVER AT CINCINNATI
Initial comments ...
"You guys asked me about a few players that left the game, who both came back and are OK. I think it was T.J. Ward and Russell Okung. I'm really proud of our team today. We had some challenges and counted on some young players who came in and played well. It was a tough day to play — very warm. Another grinder, like last week, and I thought we were at our best late in the game."
What did you think of Trevor Siemian's fourth quarter?
"We had to be aggressive. We didn't run the ball at all today — they took it away and did a good job. We gave Trevor an opportunity to make some throws. He's growing. The guys around him did a good job."
Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders kind of spoke up about getting the ball more this week, and it would seem that you heard them ...
"We want to get them the ball every week. The Bengals are a tough team to throw the ball against, but they really took away the run. We needed to throw the ball to get some points, and those two kids played really well. I'm proud of those two. They work hard. We played well as a team today."
Did the first deep pass to Emmanuel Sanders set the tone for Trevor Siemian's day?
"We were aggressive early. We missed a few, but in the long haul, I think it helped it. Those kinds of plays are more related to protection of the quarterback. You can't get down the field if you can't protect, and I think we did a good job up front."
What did you think of Trevor Siemian's poise today?
"His numbers were terrific. He's very composed. That's a strength of his. We continue to work on decision making. He got away with a few tipped passes today, and he hasn't gotten away with that before, but that's part of playing quarterback. He works hard."
Your rookie punter came through today ...
"Yeah he did. We had some issues with a missed extra point, and that affected the game a little bit. We had a big turnover on special teams, and that helped a big deal. Some guys that were called upon today to help us win — (they) really stepped up and took advantage of the opportunities."
Do you think the Bengals played their defensive fronts the way they did because they didn't think Trevor Siemian could do what he did?
"I wouldn't say that. I would hopefully think it's because we run the ball pretty good. We struggled to run it. They still played some two-deep-two."
The Bengals ran hard during the first series ...
"Yea they ran it really well — over five yards per carry. We struggled with the counter a bit. We need to start games better, but we were able to finish this one."
What did you see from your offensive line today?
"I want to mention Michael Schofield — I think he ended up at left tackle today for a while, if I'm not mistaken. He's a guy that's really helping us when stuff hits the fan, and we need to move guys around. Suiting seven has helped our team — it hurt our team last year on certain days. I'm hopeful we can continue to head that direction, and I think we did a good job."
Do you see Shane Ray getting better the more he plays?
"I think you're going to see that from Shane and Shaquil Barrett. They're stepping in for Demarcus Ware, but they've really been working as starters since April 27 when we went to minicamp. They've worked for their opportunities, and they're taking advantage of it."
Outside of the Broncos' organization it has taken a while for people to believe in Trevor Siemian ...
"It was a great outing. I don't think you get too carried away — but we know we have a good young quarterback who's on a good team, and this was a great sign today. He came into a tough environment, handled himself very well and played big."
Things seemed to go better in the fourth quarter ...
"Those guys (receivers) did a good job getting open, and our offensive line did a heck of a job blocking up front. It's a really good front. Hats off to those guys, and our guys won on the outside."
It was your first road game. What was it like?
"It was loud, and it's a tough place to play against a tough team. The environment, we anticipated that going in. So hats off to our guys. They limited the noise. It was a good team win for us."
How much does it help to have targets like Emanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas?
"It's huge. I'm leaning on those guys a lot, and not just throwing the football, but leadership they've been great. I'm really glad to have those two on my side."
Talk about the 29-yard play ...
"Jeff (Heuerman) did a good job getting open over the linebackers. I think that was his first catch, and it was a big one for us."
What did you think of the play call when you got it?
"Loved it. I thought we were aggressive all game long, and that's how you have to be against teams like this to keep them off balance."
The NFL is going to see you had 300 yards and four touchdown passes today in your first road game. Are you surprised?
"In this league you have be balanced and able to do both (run and throw). When you're not running, you've got to be able to throw it. It's good to know we can win games a couple different ways."
You're just the third quarterback in franchise history to start 3-0. How does that feel?
"I think it's just a testament to our team. We have a really good team, a really resilient group. I just really proud to be a part of the team."
How were you so effective against Andy Dalton?
"That was just all week. We didn't beat them today; we beat them on Tuesday. We went out there and just practiced hard Wednesday, practiced hard Thursday, practiced hard Friday, and then put all of the finishing touches on. We came out and finished strong."
How were you able to respond after allowing a touchdown on the first drive of the game?
"It's tough in that type of atmosphere. We can't win them all, but we can win 99 percent of them. That's all defense right there."
T.J. Ward went down and you went in to replace him. What were your thoughts as you entered the game?
"I was pretty confident. I prepared. T.J. actually met with me on Wednesday night, and coaches told me to be ready all week, just in case one of the (safeties) goes down. And especially the packages when I go in, I actually play on third down."
CHRIS HARRIS JR.
How did you stop Andy Dalton today?
"I think he had less than 200 (yards). He had 100 yards before the last drive. So really, we kept him under 100. But that was our goal. We want to continue to play smash-mouth defense. They ran the ball a little bit on us, but we were able to shut them down on the pass."
How was the defense able to respond after the Bengals scored on the first drive?
"We just took a deep breath and went back to what we do. We didn't fit the run right and we went over with the coaches and fixed it."
Shane Ray had a career day with three sacks ...
"You've got to attribute that to the offense. Once they get up, it's sack and interception time. Once we feel like we get up two touchdowns, it's over for that team."
Trevor Siemian did not look like a first-year starting quarterback out there today ...
"We've been waiting for it. We've been waiting for the offense to finish the game, and they finished today. That's a huge step forward for our team to do that on the road versus a playoff-contending team every year. You've got to tribute that to the offense. They did a great job today, and that's what we need."
Is it a coincidence that you voiced your frustrations about the passing game to the coaches and you and Demaryius Thomas have big games today?
"I'm not going to say maybe. It wasn't frustration, we just know what we are capable of doing on the field. We're the best that does it with the one-two punch. You can go one-two punch either way. We're the best in the game that does it, and it showed today."
It looked like Trevor Siemian had more confidence today ...
"Trevor played outstanding. Obviously going in, no one knew about him. But now everybody started talking about it. Demaryius said several times that he's always calm, cool and collected. Even today in the fourth quarter, you should have seen it. The guy came in and took command of the huddle. He was confident. Even on the deep ball to Demaryius he said, 'We're about to go for the guts.' So we definitely believed it. What a day for him, four touchdowns and 300 yards. That's amazing."
On his 41-yard touchdown in the second quarter ...
"It was a double move. Great call by (Head coach Gary) Kubiak, and a great throw by Trevor. It made my job easier."
It was a double move?
"We game-planned all week on the double moves. In the first 15 plays, we had three or four double moves. We knew we were going to take our shots, even on Demaryius' touchdown. That was a double move versus Pacman (Bengals CB Adam Jones). Those double moves paid off."
Was your touchdown a double move?
"Mine was a double move too. It was called against Pacman, but he wasn't in. I got the chance of one-on-one. I had to make a play. I actually caught the ball at the beginning of the third quarter and they called it a fumble. I still had it in my head, so I had to go out and make a play for my team, for the offense. It put us in a great position, so I was wondering when Trevor was going to give me a chance. And I took advantage of it. The main thing was catch the ball first, and he didn't tackle me, so I just went into the end zone."
Did you see something during the week where you thought a double move would work on Adam Jones?
"Watching film, you saw guys. They're great. They're the best group we've gone against this year, but they were vulnerable to the double moves. The coaches did a great job of putting me and Emmanuel in position to make plays, and that's what we did today."