Initial comments ...
What are your overall thoughts on today's game?
"(I) give them a lot of credit. I thought that they played hard. They coached hard. They did a great job. Ultimately, they beat us fair and square."
The offense had a stretch where it couldn't get in rhythm. What happened?
"Yeah. (There was) no rhythm. Just (in finding) the first first-down. (Instead, we) had a lot of three-and-outs. That was really just the issue, getting that first first-down and trying to get in some sort of rhythm so we could get some things going, and we just weren't able to do that in the first half."
What do you think was behind your defense giving up so many explosive plays today?
"They did a good job. They've got explosive players. Their quarterback created (plays). A lot of those explosives were extended plays where he got outside the pocket and found open guys. So, again, credit (goes) to them. They made the plays and their guys did a great job."
What was the conversation like after Cam Taylor-Britt's interception? Was there anything you told the team in that moment; what was the energy like on the sideline as the offense prepared to go back onto the field?
"No. It was just get the play called and go out and score a touchdown."
The last drive on the second down draw by Joe Burrow. Was that a check at the line situation?
"Yeah. We called several plays and they emptied the box and had some good line movement."
On the third down play on that drive, did you like the call? Was it just a play that Tyler Boyd didn't make?
"Yeah, that's a play — it doesn't come down to that play. There were plenty of plays, of course, in the game that we could have got more points off of. We had some empty drives there, but you know, (we) had a good look at it there."
Boyd rarely drops passes. Did you say anything to him?
"No. Everybody knows. And again, he's going to put a lot (of responsibility) on himself because it's the end of the game, but there were so many opportunities we had over the course of the game (to score). Players and coaches — all of us — there's a lot of things all of us could have done better so we weren't in that position."
Did Ja'Marr Chase's back injury affect how he was used in the game today or was he pretty much good to go?
"There were some times I wanted to be mindful of that, but his message was just, 'Keep using me.'"
What's it like when you here that from one of your top players?
"That's good. I felt like he had a good mindset coming into the game. (He) had a good mindset (and) wanted to compete. He certainly did that today, so anytime you get a guy like Ja'Marr out there on the field, it certainly raises the entire team. (It) raises the whole stadium, and I was proud of him for fighting through that, coming out there today and making some big plays for us."
These last three years, you find yourself in a similar position as you were then at 5-4. What's your message to the team moving forward?
"Just we've got to focus on the big one this Thursday (against Baltimore)."
What enabled the offense to find some rhythm after being ineffective early?
"First downs. Just getting a first down. Just a lot second-and-eights — a lot of first-down, two-yard gains — a lot of second-and-eights (to) find ourselves in a lot of tough third downs. Just getting that first first down allowed us to open it up and keep going."
What makes their offense so tough to contain?
"They've got a lot of playmakers. They do a good job with the scheme and their quarterback is not playing like a rookie, so you've got to give credit to everybody involved in that. That's the coaching staff, all units of their players. You know, they play very disciplined and they play with a lot of confidence."
The interceptions late in the game by Burrow, it seemed like he was pushing the ball. Was the mindset there, "Let's be aggressive" with the time going down or was that just a learning experience moment there?
"That last one is hard. That's on one area of the field where I can't see what's going on there, so we'll have to watch the tape and see how it went there."
Other teams wideouts are typically not that open against your defense. What did you see that allowed for that today?
"I thought they did a good job with their calls, getting their guys in really good position and some of those were extended plays — when he's running to the left and coming back to the right and throwing across his body. (Those are) some things you don't see very often and it provided them with some open receivers."
How did Chase's limitations and no Tee Higgins make for a unique game plan this week?
"It's just the NFL, (being in) Week 9, or whatever week it is. That's just the way it goes. Some guys are going to be able to practice (and) some guys aren't. I didn't think anything felt too unique. Our guys behind Ja'Marr were ready to go. Those guys welcomed the opportunity and we were ready to use them."
Did you feel at any point the defense was trying to make too many "big" plays in stripping the ball other than just tackling?
"I think that's kind of what Houston's done a good job of lately. They've been explosive and their guys are playing with a lot of confidence."
Was Trey Hendrickson being able to walk off the field on his own power after going down late with an injury an encouraging sign?
"I don't know yet. It was his last play out there, so it remains to be seen."