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Giants Coach Tom Coughlin and players talk about loss to Saints

Transcript from Giants post game interviews




"I was pleased with the way that we scrapped and clawed, and the grit that we showed coming down here. It is not an easy place to play, not an easy place to win, obviously. We couldn't stop them. We didn't stop them. The defensive score really made me feel like we were going to win. I thought that with a defensive score we would win the game." 

On the Saints' punt return that set up the winning field goal:

"They (Saints) came down (the field) to tie. I wasn't going to help them with their touchdown to tie it. And then with 36 seconds left on the clock, we don't get a first down. We punt the ball. They should've had the ball with five seconds to go. Where the coverage is (on that play), I don't know. I would have to look. We are obviously going to shore up our protection there. He (Marcus Murphy) runs it back, I do not know what he ran it back, 20 yards (or so). We thought that the knee was down. At least that is what the word was coming down the stairs is that the knee was down prior to the facemask penalty. They had plenty of time to look at it as the referee said. They did not see it the same way." 

On the offensive play of the Giants and the preparation for today's game:

"I thought offensively we did an awful lot of good things. Lots of people contributed. A lot went into this game. We knew the quality of the team that we were playing against. We knew, on the road, that this would be a great test for us going forward. We are in the NFC, playing against a team that was a hot team at that point in time. We did an awful lot of good things to win, but not enough, obviously, in the end." 

On the facemask penalty that put the Saints in field goal range in the final seconds:

"I never could get a word out of them (the referees) the whole game. They had their backs to me and were huddled, the officials, and I did not even know what the penalty was. Then, they were going back the other way (to push the Saints backward). And they turned around, and obviously went our way. I took the timeout because I wanted them to look at it. What the referees said, he was right. He said, 'I stalled as long as I could waiting for them to take a look upstairs and they don't seem to have found anything wrong with the play.' That is why I took that time out at the end, to give them a chance to go ahead and look again." 

On initially announcing that the play did not result in a penalty:

"I don't know what they announced because I couldn't hear anything. I don't know what that was all about. You guys are raising a good question. Quite frankly, I didn't get a lot of information today from anybody, but that is my problem." 

On if he wanted the punt to go out of bounds:

"Not necessarily. We kicked it in such a way that we should have had better coverage." 

On what his thoughts were on not being able to stop the Drew Brees and the Saints offense today:

"Find the words. (It was) frustrating. You want to explode, but that is not going to help, so you are trying to figure out how you can help. Guys are going in and out, down and out. A couple of times we had some pass rush pressure on him (Drew Brees). He did throw it to where I thought we would have a chance to have an interception a time or two. He is very accurate, there is no doubt about it. He is an outstanding player. He has been for a long time. He's got an excellent complement (around him)." 

On if the Saints blocked well on the pass rush or if Drew Brees got rid of the ball quickly:

"Both. He gets the ball out of his hands. They (the Saints) have had some sacks. They had 18 sacks (allowed) going in, but still. He gets rid of the ball quickly." 

"No matter what it is, offense, defense, special teams, it hurts to lose. We did pretty much everything that we could do on one side of the ball. We also got a defensive touchdown. It should have been enough. It wasn't." 

On the play of the defense:

"We didn't cover them the way that we expected to. We made some mistakes in coverage. We didn't get a lot of pressure on the quarterback. He pretty much made decisions over the ball, analyzing what we were doing. He got the ball out quicker." 


On whether today felt like a tennis match, trying to hold serve against Drew Brees:

"Yeah, I know their offense is always high powered, especially at home. It might a day where we have to score some points and I didn't know how many it would take. Obviously on offense we did some good things. We had some nice drives, we fought back after going down twenty-eight to fourteen and got a touchdown before halftime then came out and tied it up the first series of the second half. Back and forth a little bit more. We just ran out of time with 36 seconds left we had to convert on that third and five if anything just to not give them an opportunity. They had a good punt return and a penalty and then the field goal. It's a tough one to bite down right now." 

On how eventful today's game was:

"Yeah it was a wild one. I defiantly don't know if I've played in one quite like that with that many touchdowns back and forth, Drew (Brees) was playing great, there were 12 touchdown passes, I guess thirteen if you can't his interception to us. It was just a wild one, a lot of touchdowns, a lot of offense, I just wish we could have come out on top of it." 

On what clicked for offense for the Giants today:

"I thought we've been playing pretty well offensively, we didn't play really well on D, they got after us pretty good. They Dallas game I just thought we didn't have the ball much. Today, I thought our offensive line protected well and had good run pass action, the receivers were winning the one on ones. We had a lot of opportunities, a lot of plays, we were able to convert on some third downs, convert some fourth downs. I think having everybody being able to practice this week made a big difference. We had Odell (Beckham Jr) and Rueben (Randle) and those guys practicing all week, it definitely helps with the execution of things." 

 On if the Giants offense woke up at 28-14 late in the second quarter?:

"I thought we were moving the ball pretty well offensively. We had a couple of nice drives but that was a big two minute drive right there because we knew that we would get the ball to start the second half so if we could go get a touchdown and possibly score coming out of the second half and tie the game without them ever having an opportunity with the ball. So that was a huge drive right there at the end of the second end to get that touchdown and to give us a little bit of momentum going into the second half." 

On losing when scoring 49 points:

"Well, you just never know. They had a lot of time left. When they threw the interception, we score and we went up by seven, they still had a good bit of time left. Their offense had obviously been moving up and down the field pretty well all night. I knew that possibly having a drive right  there, you hope to get a stop, get a third down or a fourth down stop. They did good job converting, we just didn't get the ball back with a whole lot of time." 

On lack of execution in goal line offense:

"I need to look at the film but we had a few opportunities down there at the one-yard line and couldn't get a yard, we went backwards a little bit but threw it in a few times. So that was good but we need to find ways to be able to run the ball in there when we get down to the one-yard line." 

On third touchdown pass to Odell Beckham Jr.:

 "We had a bootleg and we were trying to hit Rueben (Randle) or a crossing route but we did have a note that some of their crossers or safeties were pretty aggressive and might try to cut and I got out there clean and I gave him a shot. He did a good job fighting through the route and getting open and going to get the ball." 

On Drew Brees' performance:

 "Yeah. He played outstanding. He played great all game, he was in a great rhythm, he was throwing the ball accurately, those were some tight passes, he was moving around the pocket. That's what he can do, he has that ability and great control of the offense and he played outstanding." 

On first touchdown pass to Dwayne Harris:

"It was a fourth down call and we got pretty good pressure, we got out of the pocket. I was just sort of looking for somebody and I set my feet and looked back for someone and saw him. It's obviously not how you draw it up but we practice scramble drills a bunch and we did a good job of staying alive and making a play." 


 "It was great to come back here and come back home and play in the 'Dome. It was only the second time I've had the opportunity to play here, and both losses were equally as bad. It's just not fun losing, and this one here was one we definitely wanted to win." 

On game-ending field goal:

"At first we talked about it on the sidelines that I was going to go out there and try and block the last field goal. The coaches let me get on the field, but then they pulled me back off. We didn't want to take a risk of getting a penalty or whatever the case may be. And they ended up making the field goal. It was a great job by them to finish the game." 


"On the last two scores Eli (Manning) was looking for me. I was in man-to-man coverage both times and we just too advantage." 

"On the last play, when we had the ball the final time, Eli (Manning) threw it up and I had a chance to catch it but it was a little bit out of my reach. Looking back I probably should've caught it. That's the kind of play I have to make. In the end things just did not go our way. And as a result they got a field goal out of it and won the game." 

On final punt:

 "I was on the sideline watching the coverage on the last punt play. Looking at it, I saw a lot of guys just missing tackles. We got the ball out and then got a penalty at the very end. I don't know about the call – you are going to have to ask the refs about that. I just saw the guy go down and it looked like his knee was down. But I'm not the ref." 

"Of course it's frustrating because our offense is out there moving the ball down the field and scoring a lot of points. So it is tough to have a lot of points on the board and still not win." 


 "Definitely, it was great to be out there and be involved in a game like this. I mean you saw two great offenses out there scoring a lot of points. It was great for the fans, but tough for us as a team to not win." 

"The last time we came down here, we struggled a little bit to score. But today, to see the effort our offense put out there, it was really exciting. But we just came up a little bit short." 

"Coming back home (to Louisiana) and playing, you try to look at it as a normal game. You cannot get too excited. You just have to go out there and play and get yourself. You have to stay focused on the task at hand and try to win a game." 


 "We just had a breakdown in the defense all day and he (Brees) picked us apart. We just weren't on the same page in the secondary and it showed." 

"It was a great experience coming back to play here in the Superdome. It was a great feeling; it was my third time being back. It was great to play and have all of my family in the stands cheering for me and our team." 

"We've been able to shut the door a couple of times this season but obviously we didn't do that today. We have  to make plays and stop anybody on third down and get off the field. And that didn't happen out there today." 

 "It's kind of frustrating because you never really know what would of happened if it (facemask penalty) hadn't been called. But all we can do now is learn from our mistakes and move on." 


"I mean with the Saints, they call a lot of plays and get on the field fast and run them. That's their goal: for their offense to line up fast to get our defense off balance. And when they are doing that, we as a defense are looking at the sidelines looking for our calls. And when it's not coming in fast enough it's a challenge." 


"Of course they did a lot of new things on us but to be honest most of what they threw at us we expected. The problem was we just didn't stop them. A lot of times he (Brees) is out there releasing the ball real quick."  


"This one was really rough; it felt like a college game you know? I mean it felt like which team could outscore the other. And if our offense puts up 49 points, at one point we as a defense have to make a stop. But, it's a hard place to play; they have a great offense and obviously Drew (Brees) is a great quarterback. And at one point we were just out there thinking, 'Hey, we have to stop them,' and that just didn't happen."

"I think helplessness is when you give up when you are facing an offense like that. I know our team did not give up. You saw we didn't give up. It was a tough battle and both sides were fighting hard. I mean you look at the score on their side and their defense gave up a lot of points too. It's just hard we came out on the short end of the scoreboard."


On last punt:

 "We just can't let them get into that position to begin with. I don't know why they (referees) came back and enforced it (facemask penalty). That's all I have to say about it – I'm just not sure."


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