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Postgame Quotes: Week 4 At Atlanta

Marvin Lewis PC


On winning the game:

"It was a good win for us. It was tough to overcome ourselves in a lot of spots but we kept fighting. It was tough to overcome a blocked punt and a kick getting to the 50-yard line but we kept overcoming them."

On his confidence during the last possession of the game:

"Well, we have a quarterback who has been in this situation before. We had a lot of time left. We just took our time and just handle it one play at a time. They kept their composure and did a good job of that."

On overcoming the hardships of the last quarter:

"Just focus on the next play. Move on to the next play. That will never change. You can't fix the previous play. If we have to make an adjustment we won't see it the same way. Just keep believing in each other.

On getting the team to rally after Tyler Eifert injury:

"No, these guys understand that a guy gets hurt we have to go back out there and focus. It's a shame that Tyler got hurt, we are all heartfelt for him but we have to move forward."

On teammates reaction after Tyler Eifert's injury:

"A couple of bad plays transpired but I don't know if that would be used as an excuse."

On the offense in the second half:

"I can't tell you from the sideline what went different. As far as the number of punts in the game, did we have one other than the block? I don't know if it was a whole lot of adjustments done. We had the turnover which was big and it hurt us. I don't know if it was much different."

On who was going to get the throw on second-and-12:

"Andy [Dalton] has got to let the coverage work. It just happened to work out that way. A.J. [Green] made a hell of a throw, play, and catch."

On Tyler Boyd:

"I think he is taking advantage of things. He is getting some one-on-ones. He got grabbed a couple of times. In the fourth quarter when we were trying to score he got tackled. That's part of playing in there, you just have to battle through it.

On the multiple fourth down conversions:

"We didn't convert them on third. As I said, we just have to keep playing. The game is there for us to win. We were able to hold them to a field goal there on defense and kept it where one score gave us an opportunity to win the game. That was big."

On the severity of Tyler Eifert's injury:

"I'm sure any time they put an air cast on someone, I'm pretty sure they take them to the hospital. I can't tell you right now how severe his injury is."

On Tyler Boyd's emergence helping A.J. Green:

"It helps tremendously. Any time we get these guys to come around A.J. they make things better for our offense which makes it a better opportunity for everybody. I think the running game today provided some opportunities. We had some positives runs today that kept things rolling. He is playing tough and physical, that's why he is here."

On being 3-1:

"When the schedule came out we knew were 3-1 on the road. We knew it was going to be tough sledding. Not as good as we hoped but we earned this. It won't matter if we don't take care of business the rest of the way."

On how he celebrated the touchdown with under 10 seconds remaining:

"We just move on. I literally didn't know who we played next. That's what we are supposed to do. That's what the game is, a 60-minute game. Damn if we hadn't had enough of being on the other side of it."

On Alex Erickson's versatility:

"Alex is a good football player. We keep expanding his role. He's been our third back and everything at that point. He had two really nice kickoff returns that brought the ball close to midfield. We see him grow a lot."

On John Ross' catch:

"He's got a little sore or a minor pull that he got at the end of the catch and he couldn't finish at the end. But he kept trying."

On criticism of John Ross:

"I think criticism comes as a part of it. You just don't worry about it you just put your blinders on and play football. Just keep getting better. We have a lot of young guys and it shows. We keep working hard to overcome it. With that comes ability. We've got a lot of ability too. We've just got to keep overcoming ourselves and keep building to get better. That's our goal, to keep building to get better. Keep learning from our mistakes and get better at the things we're doing well and keeping adding on top to that."

On his opinion of the roughing the passer penalty:

"I didn't see the replay. The referee was pretty adamant that he thought he hit him in the head."


On how he feels after the win:

"I feel good. I feel pretty good."

On the last drive of the game:

"There was no quit out there. The way this game was going, it felt like the last team to have the ball was going to win. We knew that we needed to get down there. We needed to score and there's no quit in our guys even with the setbacks. Like you said two fourth downs. A couple penalties that set us back. We didn't flinch. We just kept going. That's what you need to be a really good team and to be a good offense. We felt like as gassed as everybody was at the very end, they fought to the very end and scored a touchdown."

On his touchdown pass to win the game:

"I knew that was where I was going to be working. That side. Hoping that they were going to give it to us. A.J. [Green] did a great job, made a really good catch and it's why you play this game. To make plays like that."

On his attempted pass to A.J. Green that got away:

"It was close, but we had several other opportunities. I think the next play it was third down and fourth down, TB [Tyler Boyd] made a great play, get the first, run after catch and it was just resilient. It's what our guys were."

On Tyler Eifert's injury:

"Obviously, you hate to see it for him, especially with a guy who's gone through so much. To have something freak happen like that, it's tough. You have to keep playing and that's what I said in the huddle. I was basically just like obviously it sucks for him, but we can't let that get to us. We've got to keep going. I think our guys played really well today."

On how he put Tyler Eifert's injury behind him to continue playing:

"We didn't convert on that third down. That didn't help. Then the blocked punt and so it's just one of those things once you kind of get back into the flow of the game, you're not thinking about it. We would've liked to convert there, but didn't get that done."

On Tyler Boyd's crucial first downs:

"It was what was called. TB [Tyler Boyd] has done a great job. He's so good at getting in and out of his breaks, coming across the field, shallows, different things that he did on that drive and the biggest one was down there. When we needed to make the play, he got out and got enough for the first down. I have so much faith in all our guys. Tyler is playing at a really high level right now."

On Tyler Boyd's ability to make big plays in critical moments:

He's playing with a lot of confidence and he understands exactly what we're doing and how to run routes. It showed with the production that he's had. I think he's put in a lot of work. I think a lot of it is just natural for him too. He's got a great feel for the game and it showed with the big plays that he made today."

On what he saw on the final touchdown to A.J. Green:

"He obviously ran his out route, corner route in the end zone. I was hoping that they would give us enough room for me to fit it in there and he made a great catch going down to get it. At that point in the game, it was like you've got to make a play. I'm glad that we had it set up where A.J. [Green] was able to make it and gave him the opportunity to win the game for us."

On whether he likes playing in shootouts:

"I'd rather win big. It's obviously a lot better. Whatever it takes to win. The way this game is going for sure, we knew it was going to be a shootout. Like I said, I'm glad we ended up with the ball last."

_On the team's offense picking up for the defense: _

"Every game is so different. There are some games it'll be 14-10 and we're going to need that from the defense. Today, it's a really good offense over there. We knew that. We had to keep scoring and we did."

On managing the clock on the last drive:

"Obviously, there is a little bit of it, but you want to score. Regardless of how it happens, you just want to score. I don't think we were trying to drain the clock out as much as we could and score in the last 10 seconds, but I'm glad we did."

On whether he felt exhaustion on the last drive:

"One-hundred percent everybody was really tired. When you're tired, that's when you have to be at your best. Our guys really fought threw. I'm not running as much as these other guys are, so I wasn't as fatigued, but just being in the huddle and making sure guys are knowing everything. It's not just the physical. It's the mental side of it, too. Our guys fought threw, gave everything they had and I'm so proud of everybody. It was a hard-fought win."

On whether this is the type of win that can jump-start a season:

"Yeah. I mean, to start 3-1 is a good first quarter of the season, so got [we've] to keep it up."

On how this win felt to him:

"Anytime you win the way we did, it's a big win, especially when you're playing a really good team. I mean, I feel for them. Two weeks in a row. Shootouts like that and came up short. I mean, anytime you can win a game like that, it's a really big win."

On A.J. Green yelling "This is my city" after the game:

"It's his city."


On Tyler Eifert's injury:

"It's tough. We play this sport and there are just some people who don't deserve something like that to happen and he's gone through a lot. He is one of those guys who is always there for everybody, and it is one of those situations when you wish you could do something. But there is really not much as a teammate or a friend I can do for him right now except just be there for him."

On what the win reveals about the team's character:

"It is just the emotions of it. There is going to be those highs and those lows. This is one of those games that we had to dig deep. Each and every person had to dig deep from starters to backups to coaches to whoever it was. Everybody really had to dig deep this game, and I'm super happy to be a part of this team and a part of this win. I really feel that this was a special win for us. Whether or not it is just a win, it felt different."


On his game-winning touchdown catch:

"It was just a corner route against cover two. I released inside. The corner gave me a free release and I got up on the safety really quickly. After that, I knew it was over."

On making sure he stayed in bounds:

"I slid. I stood like that last week on the road on my head, so I made sure I went feet-first to slide."

On today being a team win:

"This game is a game of inches, but you've got to make the play when your number is called. My number was called. The team did an unbelievable job. Gio [Giovani Bernard] battled through the whole game. When Mark [Walton] went down, Gio came in and had to take some more reps. Andy [Dalton], the line, this was a complete team win."

On whether he feels the need to step up in big-game moments:

"Of course. That's why I'm here. They pay me the big bucks to make the big plays."


On the team coming together after Tyler Eifert got hurt:

"We were still talking. Andy [Dalton] said, 'C'mon guys we've got to win it for him. We've got to continue to march it and continue to keep fighting.' It's a whole bunch of leaders in our offensive group. We don't wait for one guy to say it. We all know, we all stick among each other, and we get the job done."

On whether the offense felt the weight on its shoulders today:

"Definitely. It's going to come down to the final drive. It's going to come down to the two offenses. We've got two teams with explosive offenses. We knew we got the last chance to win it. You can't have a better moment than that. We stopped them, had them get three [points], and we finished the job. That's what we're coached and playing to do."

On where he celebrated after A.J. Green's catch:

"Man, to be honest, I was so hurt I just stopped right there. I held my hands like, 'Thank you.' We were so hurt and so tired, but it's just that extra pump when you want to win and you want to go out there and take something away from somebody. I just got that sense of urgency to do it. It was awesome."


On his excitement about winning the game:

"At the end of the day, I get to brag a little bit. We had to come in and do our job. I got greedy on one [play]. I've definitely got to get better, not get overly aggressive, and continue to play my game. That's what it's about. It's about my bragging rights.

On his thoughts on the offense's play on the final drive:

"A.J. Green [and] T.B. [Tyler Boyd] going crazy. They went crazy. Watching them do what they do puts big smiles on everybody's faces. This is what it's about. It's exciting. It was a dream and a rush for a minute, but I had 100-percent faith in those guys. We do it every day. We rep it every day. I don't expect anything else from those guys."

On what the Bengals showed by winning a close game like this:

"Great poise. Fighting for each other, standing up for each other, believing in each other. In previous years, we haven't had that. On a serious note, we haven't had that—guys coming together, rallying together, pulling together. That's what it's about. That's what Coach Marvin [Lewis] has been harping on so much. That's what he's been trying to get us to understand, that we have to play together. Without each other, we have nothing. Andy [Dalton] did a great job today. He pulled us out of a heck of a situation. My hat is off to the offense. It's all about the offense. Defensively we've got to get better in a lot of areas. We get 55 [Vontaze Burfict] back this week. I'm excited. I'm excited for the next week to get everybody back healthy."

On where this win ranks among other wins in his career:

"This one here feels better than pretty much all of them to me, just for the simple fact that it's a new year, new energy. We have new faces in here. Everybody is bonding well. Right now, it looks like we can't find ourselves in a bad situation. Even when we're in a tough situation, everybody is still positive about it. Last week we didn't walk out of there with our heads down. We came out and we did what we had to do. We were still in that game. We came out today, we had a chance, and we finished. That's what it's about, going back to the drawing board. After this week, there are still some things we've got to clean up, and I feel like we're going to do a great job with it."


On the roughing the passer penalty:

"It's really messed up because that's taking stats off the board and plays out of the game. It's really dirty for real. That's a sack they took away from me. I don't know man, I am really upset. I don't know what we are supposed to do in the league. I didn't put my full body weight on him, and I didn't hit him low. They said I hit him high, but I can't hit him high if I go to hit the ball. I don't know what to tell you, and I don't know what to do. You don't know how hard it is to keep rushing and rushing and rushing and rushing and rushing and rushing and then they call a bull crap penalty even when you are trying to do the right thing. I think the league really has to do something about this. It probably won't be groundbreaking coming from me because I'm not really known that much but they got to do something about this because it is ridiculous. It is ridiculous. I went high for the ball. I don't know what to do."

On his thought process prior to being penalized:

"I actually thought about it in my thought process. You know what – let me not. I rolled to the side. And then that is how guys get hurt. I think William Hayes got hurt from Miami trying to do that."


On watching the offense during the game-winning drive:

"It was crazy. You always got to believe that we're going to make big plays at the end of the game. I believed the whole time. I knew we were going to win, and we got the win."

On matching up against Julio Jones

"He's a talented guy. Everybody knows Julio [Jones] is going to make plays, but we know that we just got to make more plays than he makes. It was a great game with a great matchup, and I wish them the best."


On their 3-1 record:

"It means a lot for us to find a way to win this game and get to 3-1. To get some guys back from injury next week and get Vontaze [Burfict] back next week, it'll be exciting."

On his thoughts on the defense's play today:

"We've got to make some pressure. Third down was a big issue today. We've got to find a way to get off the field. I think we started to stop the run eventually, but the passing game is what got us. They threw for 400-something yards, so we've got to get better at that."