Well as I told our players today, I was really proud of their effort in all three phases, but I also said congratulations to the Vikings and Leslie Frazier and his team for the way they played. They finished strong and they deserved to win the game. As hard as we played, we didn't play well enough to win, there's no doubt about it. In all three phases I thought our guys prepared exceptionally well throughout the week, they were ready to play. They played with tremendous effort but at the end of the day, we didn't get it done. The accountability starts with me. We didn't do well enough today to win and that starts with me and I take responsibility for that. We had a lot of ways to win the game today and we certainly lost as a football team. Special teams, defensively and certainly offensively, we all had opportunities in three phases to step up and get the job done and we didn't do it today and that starts with me.
Q: What was your thought process to not go for it on second down?
A: Well there were a couple things. We were definitely in range and I didn't want to, at that point in time, risk a possible penalty that would set us back, something similar to what happened on the other side, or a fumble or something unique. I felt that we were clearly in range and we could get the game over at that time. Certainly we were running the ball really well.
Q: As well as you were running the ball, why not try to remove any doubt of the field goal?
A: Well there's no guarantee that we would get any yards on second down or third down, there's no guarantee of that on second down so I just felt like we were in range and let's get it done. I've seen it happen many times before. That's the situation that it was and we didn't get it done.
Q: Was Robbie Gould in on that decision as to where to kick it from?
A: No, he wasn't. We just, like I said, made a decision at that time. We were in range and we have one of the best field goal kickers in the League certainly. Unfortunately, we didn't get it done. There's a lot of things, Robbie didn't lose the game for us, there's a lot of different ways to lose. No one play loses the game. I just feel bad for him that we didn't get it done from that standpoint.
Q: How do you keep the team believing that this loss basically doesn't end the season?
A: Well there's a lot of different ways and I'll talk to them about it tomorrow because it doesn't. I mean, they're historical points of view that show that it doesn't. We have a long season left, we have four games to go. There was a sign of a team that played very well today at times, we just didn't play well all the time and certainly in all three phases there were moments that really inhibited us from moving the ball, stopping them, and making the play on special teams. There's clearly evidence there that we can move forward here and I'm always going to feel that way.
Q: Final defensive series in regulation, you had them inside their own 10 on fourth down and end they up getting the first down, how disappointing was that?
A: Well yeah you're disappointed. Completing the ball on fourth down backed up like that, as well as we played at times today, it was certainly disappointing. You can break this game down offensively, defensively and special teams and we always tell our guys, we win as a team and we lose as a team and that was clear today and that starts with me.
Q: You have four games to go here from this point, does this sting a little more based on where you are in the playoff run?
A: I'm not looking at it that way at this point. We know Detroit won and we know what our record is, but there's certainly a lot of football to be played. I think our guys will come back on Monday and be excited to play and ready to go. They'll get an extra day of rest because they deserved it after the effort that they put into this game today. Both teams played very, very hard. I'm proud of our team with the effort and the level of intensity that they played with throughout the game and the overtime. Got to give Minnesota credit; they got the job done, we didn't, and we have to move on from there.
Q: Earlier in the game you decided to punt; I think it would have been a 56-yard attempt. What was behind that?
A: That's a long way back quite frankly. I'm having a hard time sorting all that out. I don't know if I can answer that question anymore.
Q: Alshon Jeffery's third quarter, obviously he had a huge third quarter and great day, what was your reaction in the way he played and his touchdowns?
A: It was exciting to see. The first one was great; he got off the line of scrimmage. It was a great throw by Josh [McCown], some really good protection. On the second one, that ball hung up for a long time. That was a great throw by Josh to keep it in bounds but we all saw it, he exploded into the air and elevated. That's what we've seen him do; that's what we've been talking about. Guys who have been with us since training camp we've been talking about his work ethic and his day-to-day preparation and he gets a lot of that from Brandon [Marshall]. We got to see a little bit of that today, which was great.
Q: Were there any adjustments to try to contain Adrian Peterson?
A: You know, we're doing everything we can. I thought our guys, we had good fits. Sometimes we hung on and he dragged it. Some he didn't have a lot of explosive plays but you know, he got his share today. But at the end of the day, we're looking up there at 20 points right now or 23 points and offensively we really stopped ourselves. We didn't get the third downs converted early. We had some long drives but we didn't finish them and that allowed him to get back on the field sooner than we would have liked. It's a team game, it's all connected and we didn't play well enough in all three phases.
Q: After Khaseem Greene's interception, one yard to go and a couple plays, is it just a matter of executing those plays or was it play call?
A: No, I felt very, very good about those two plays. We ran a spontaneous play that you just try to hit him quick because it was so short to go, and then we had exactly the play that we prepared for on 3rd down and I'm not sure exactly what happened, but we certainly didn't get it done. I'll look at the tape, I'll have a better answer for you tomorrow, but obviously we didn't execute it. They got their pads under us and were able to make the stop and as I said, special situation football, we did not do well today.
Q: How do you describe the emotions you feel about this game knowing that this one was there for you in a couple of different ways?
A: I am disappointed obviously. I am very disappointed that we did not get it done. I will have to look at the tape to see, but just off the top of my head, I look at myself and I think it's the best way to do this and see what I could have executed better. It is just unfortunate.
Q: What do you think was not clicking with the offense?
A: I do not know if it was that we were not clicking because we moved the ball and we made plays. Matt ran the ball well, guys made plays outside, so I think that it was just things here and there, where we did not convert a third down whenever we needed to. It typically comes down to the execution, so we just have to check it out and be better. It is certainly disappointing. But again, I do not know where it breaks down; all I know is that I will look at my performance and see, "I can't do that, I can't do that, and that has got to be better," and so on.
Q: With Devin Hester's kick return at the end of regulation with :14 seconds left, did you breathe and think that it would be enough to win?
A: Oh yeah. I thought, "Oh, there will be a chance here." So that was disappointing not to get in range then. We gave Robbie a shot, so again, obviously those are opportunities that we have to take advantage of, and we did not. I will definitely look at the tape and see what I could have done better to make sure that next time that does not happen again.
Q: What are your thoughts of kicking the field goal there on 2nd down to win the game in overtime?
A: I understand Marc's thinking on that. I think when you get in range, you take the shot. We have a lot of faith and trust, and still do, in Robbie. It is just unfortunate that he did not make that one. But we felt like we moved the ball where we needed to move it, and give a guy like Robbie Gould a chance to come in and win the game.
Q: What was your vantage point on Alshon's second touchdown?
A: I was where I always am, just standing there, throwing it, and watching him run down the sidelines. He made a great play. I can't say enough about the way Alshon competed today. He played really hard and it reflects how he works. So it makes it easy on the guy behind the center to have a guy like that out there.
Q: Do you think defenses are playing you any differently?
A: No not really. I am just getting open and making plays.
Q: Is the game getting any easier for you?
A: It has slowed down a little bit but at the same time, you try to get better each and every day. I practice hard every day and get better and try to make better plays.
Q: Are your standards for yourself continuing to raise each and every game?
A: The sky is the limit. I strive to be my best. I would like to go to the Super Bowl and then there are records to break after that.
Q: What do you think of Alshon Jeffery's big day?
A: He is special. He had a great day and it sucks that we lost. For the things that we are trying to do as a team and to have a big day like that, it sucks to lose.
Q: What did you think of Alshon's second touchdown grab?
A: I had a great view. We were running some of our favorite routes to give receivers room. I saw the ball go up and a guy with big palms come out of nowhere to snag it. It was one of the greatest catches I have ever seen.
Q: What are your emotions after this game?
A: I don't really have any emotions after this game. It is about the season. There are some games left and you never know what could happen. I want to get to the playoffs and I want to win. A lot of people in this organization deserve it and for us to not get it done today, it just puts us behind the eight ball a little more.
Q: After losing two in a row, where does this team go from here?
A: We have to continue to fight and continue to get better. We don't have a choice. It is not a good feeling right now. We just have to continue to be positive, and continue to go to work every single day with the same mindset. I am going to do that, the rest of the guys are going to do that and there won't be any let downs. We have to find a way to get better and we need some help from some other teams to put us back in position. I don't know how it is going to work out but we have to just keep our eye on the prize.
Q: Another slow start for the offense. What do you think is contributing to that?
A: It was a slow start, but when we needed a score we scored. We just have to play a little bit more consistently and put ourselves in better position. It starts with myself and the rest of the guys.
Q: What are the emotions like after a back and forth game like that?
A: It was tough, I am not going to lie.
Q: What can you say about Robbie Gould?
A: If you give him that kick again (out of) 100 times, he will make every one.
Q: Have you ever been a part of a more bizarre game?
A: Yeah it was bizarre. Each team had a chance to end it a lot earlier.
Q: After the interception by (Khaseem) Greene you had momentum and then it went away. What happened on the second and third down short yardage plays?
A: I don't know. I would have to look at the film, but I don't know what exactly happened on those plays. I will let you know tomorrow.
Q: What do you take from this game?
A: I am not sure what to take from this game.
Q: What do you think went wrong of that last drive in the fourth quarter where you had the Vikings to fourth down deep in their territory?
A: I will be able to tell you after I watch the film.
Q: From a defensive perspective, does it make a difference when you prepare all week for one quarterback, and he gets hurt and another quarterback comes in?
A: You are going to have ask the coaches about that. That is not something I can answer.
Q: What are your thoughts on the taunting penalty you received?
A: I need to be smarter, and I cannot put the team in that position
Q: What did coach say after the game?
A: He said we played well, but we need to play better in order for us to win. We made mistakes and got better in some areas, but it still was not enough to win.
Q: What happened on the interception play?
A: I was out there in the middle, and my teammates made a great play on the ball. They kept the ball alive and it just fell into my lap. There was nothing special on the play; I just made a play on the ball.
Q: Did you think you were going to score a touchdown after catching it?
A: I was trying to score and I thought I would, but I didn't score.
Q: How big of an emotional lift was the interception in this type of game when it was back and forth so much?
A: We lost, so it does not feel good at all right now.
Q: Can you talk about the kick in overtime?
A: I didn't come through for my teammates in the end. I had two chances today to get it done. It's very unlike me, but there are no excuses for it. I just didn't do it. I didn't have it. I missed it. I wasn't nervous, I just missed.
Q: Is it because of the baby?
A: There's no excuse at all. My wife did awesome. There were a lot of lessons in one day. It was one of the greatest days of my life, and I'm happy for my wife and my little boy. Sorry I couldn't do it for my teammates like I did for my wife. It's hard to swallow. We're in a playoff hunt. I love my teammates just like I love my wife and my baby, and I just didn't do it today.
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