During this winning streak, you guys have been starting fast, and you started fast again tonight. How important has that been to you?
"It's critical for us. It allows our defensive line to really pin their ears back in the pass game. When we jump out on teams, we always feel good about our chances."
Is there something you personally do to start as fast as you have?
"Zac (Taylor) and our coaches come up with a great script early on to really tackle what we're trying to see. We just always feel good coming into the game. So, we just have to keep that going."
You guys had not gotten a lot of productivity from tight ends over the first seven games. What did it mean for those guys to do what they did tonight?
"Those guys were awesome today. They really stepped up. Tanner (Hudson), Irv (Smith Jr.), Drew (Sample), Mitchell (Wilcox) — they all made big plays for us, so we're going to need more of it."
What were you dealing with regarding your finger?
"It was just a little cut. Nothing bad."
Zac Taylor always talks about how November football is different for you guys. Now that we're into November, how do you feel like you guys are coming along offensively?
"We're coming along. We've played well the last couple of weeks; we just have to keep it going. We're going to keep getting better every day in practice, keep talking through routes, keep talking through what we're trying to accomplish and go from there."
On fourth-and-one, you showed a lot of confidence in Tanner Hudson. What was your thought process on that?
"I can't quite recall that play, but Tanner (Hudson), I have a lot of faith in. He makes plays on scout team every week, so when he was up, I felt really confident about his ability to get open and make plays for us."
As much as you guys take pride in starting fast the last several games, closing out games is probably even more important. What does it say about this offense that you can execute under those situations?
"The last two weeks we were able to put together drives to close out games. That's what we need out of our offense."
What happened on the play where your finger was hurt? Do you know when you got hurt?
"No, you don't really know what happens. It just started bleeding."
Did your finger injury have any effect on how you threw the ball?
The last finishing drive, were you expecting them to push up and tried to throw over the top? Was that something in the moment you saw when you looked at it?
"In those situations, they have to be more aggressive because if we run the ball well, we could just run the clock out. So, I expected a little man. TB (Tyler Boyd) made a great play for us, ran a great route. We were able to connect on it."
What about the pass you threw to Tee Higgins to set up the field goal? What did you see on that play?
"I told Tee coming into the game — he was feeling good — so I was going to feed him the ball today, and he came up big for us. He stepped up big for us. He's going to continue to do that; he always does. I have a lot of faith in that guy."
Specific to this game, what did you feel like you guys did well enough on offense to come away with the win?
"We made plays. They do a good job on defense disguising coverages, giving us different looks, bringing pressures and disguising those. So, you have to be ready to adjust and adapt on the fly. I thought we did that really well today."
What does it say about this team to run off four straight wins and to rebound after the start that you guys had?
"We're 1-0 this week, that's all that matters. We have to be 1-0 next week, too. So, we're just taking it a day at a time. We'll come in and watch the tape tomorrow, go through our routine, and we'll go from there."
Is the matter-of-fact response just kind of your mentality about the long way to go?
"Yes, this was only Game 8. We still have nine games left. We're 5-3 right now. We're in a great spot. We just have to continue to get better."
What's the most encouraging thing that you've seen out of this team the last couple of weeks given the quality of opponents you've faced?
"We're really happy with how we've played the last couple of weeks. We have to keep it going. We're 1-0 this week. We have to be 1-0 next week, too. This week means nothing. We'll come in tomorrow, watch the tape, lift, go about our business and we'll go from there."
You mentioned that Tee Higgins said that he was feeling good today. Did you know before the game that this was going to be a game where you were going to be actively looking for him more than other players?
"Not specifically, but I knew that I liked the matchup with him today in one-on-one situations. We were able to get some. When they were playing man, they were shading the safety over to Ja'Marr (Chase), so Tee had to step up, and he did."
What's it like as a quarterback to see Zac Taylor be aggressive on fourth down in certain situations?
"I always have faith in our ability to get the job done in those situations. We did and we didn't in certain situations. So, we have some improvement to do there."
What did you think about the offensive line tonight?
"They played really well. We'll watch the tape, and we'll go from there, but I thought I had time to do what I needed to do today."
How much input do you have, if any, in winning the coin toss and taking the ball first versus deferring?
"None. I always prefer to take the ball. I guess depending on the opponent and how they play, but I was feeling good about that today."
Did you see taking the ball first tonight as a message?
"Maybe. It's tough to say."
How well do you think Cam Taylor-Britt is playing at cornerback right now?
"He continues to make plays for us. On offense, you don't watch their tape and you don't see every play, but you see the big plays that he's always making, and the tackles that he makes and the passion that he plays with. So, he's a great guy to have on our team — a great locker room guy, great guy to build the culture we're trying to build."
After Joe Mixon's touchdown, you pointed over at Zac Taylor, and it looked like you were happy about the play call. Am I reading into that correctly?
"Yes, it was a great call. It was third-and-three from the three (-yard line), something like that. Usually, we pass the ball in those situations, so I don't think they were quite expecting a run. I thought it was a great call."
Do you think they were expecting a run on the last play that picked up a first down and basically sealed the game?
"Yes, for sure. That was well blocked, well executed. Joe (Mixon) made a big play."
I know you played the Bills in the postseason since Monday Night Football last year, but with this being the first time Damar Hamlin was back in Cincinnati, what were you feeling seeing him on the other sideline before the game?
"It's always nice to see his face when you go through something like that, and you see that up close. I'm happy that he's feeling better. I'm happy that he's back on the field, but I think that everybody wants to put that behind us and move on."
You handed a ball to a young fan while walking off the field. Was there anything behind that or was it spur of the moment?
"No, I don't need any more of those balls, so I thought I'd make somebody's day."