SAINTS QUARTERBACK DREW BREES
On the emotional aspect of returning to play in San Diego:
"I really tried to get a lot of that out of the way this week. A lot of it came yesterday when we touched down and had a chance to come over here to the field. It was a four hour plane flight and then we came here to the stadium to get our legs moving a little bit and work some of that off. For me, it was an opportunity to get those emotions out. I spent some extra time out there yesterday just thinking about my journey from here to New Orleans. Obviously that journey continues but there were a lot of special people
that were part of that, a lot of special people here in San Diego that were part of that. For the first time to come back to play in this stadium to be eleven years later after I was a player here, and the way in which I left the field here today it was just emotional. I really truly did try to get that all of the way prior to game time and right when the game started it was about winning the football game. Just to sum up the game, this was as much a team game and team win as I could ever describe. This game wasn't about me, it was about our team coming together and finding a way to win. It wasn't always pretty. It was up and down on both sides of the ball just depending on the time of the game. We stuck together and we came in at halftime and we knew we really hadn't given ourselves a chance. We went out in the second half and knew we were going to find a way. Defense, I can't say enough about the job that they did in the second half. The opportunities that we had there in the last seven minutes of the game just completely turned the tide. What a team victory."
How badly did your team need a win going into the bye week?
"We really needed it. I feel like we've been doing things the right way. Guys have been working extremely hard and we're never going to give ourselves as excuse but we've been banged up in some areas. We've tried like heck to get healthy but we have a lot of young guys that have been playing and playing hard and yet it just hadn't quite come together yet. For it to all come together the way that it did today, going into the bye week, where I know that we can get healthy in a lot of areas and then come back after the bye it's really like it's a new season. It's a new season, it's a new opportunity. Yes, we're 1-3 and we have a bit of an uphill battle, but we're battle-tested. I feel like the games that we've played for the first four weeks put us in a lot of different situations where we've learned a lot. I feel like that's going to serve us very well as we move forward. Getting the victory today, going into the bye week feeling this way, but also knowing we've got a lot of work to do."
On throwing a touchdown pass on fourth down:
"We just felt like that was the best match-up on the field. The tough part is the sun is going right into that corner. On the previous drive, I throw the corner out to (Michael Thomas) and he turns his head around and can't see the ball. We talked about it on the sideline and said if we get another opportunity, I'm going to throw that ball more firm and low and you'll be able to see it. It was one of those were fade, head comes around, tried to put it in the place where I told him I'd put it and he came up with a great play in a critical situation. It kept the momentum going then we got another turnover."
On Philip Rivers:
"He is an elite player, has been for a long time. I could not be more impressed with the way that he plays the game and his leadership ability. I know he's playing with some guys hurt over there. They lost Keenan (Allen) earlier in the year. Lost (Danny) Woodhead. (Antonio) Gates wasn't out there. Not to take anything away from the young guys, but I guess my point is that Philip is one of those guys that will win with whoever is out there because he just has a way of bringing guys together and putting guys in positions to succeed. Man, he's great as what he does. He's great at his craft and he has been for a long time. I think anytime you play against a guy like him, you understand that it's going to be an all-day affair. No matter if you're in the lead or behind, you know that you always have to be on your A-game because of what he's capable of on the other side of the ball."
On Saints fans in the crowd:
"I was amazed at how many black and gold jerseys I saw in the crowd here. Pretty incredible for our fan base to travel here. I assume they all traveled, I'm not sure how many Who Dats are just located out here in San Diego, maybe there's a few. The last drive, it felt like a home game, maybe because the big contingent was behind us, but it was loud. You could tell they wanted that victory as much as we did."
You did a victory lap at the end of the game; what was that about?
"I wanted to show them our appreciation. I wanted to show our fans our appreciation for coming out the way that they did. You know what, they do that all the time. I can recall quite a few games over the course of my years where there were big victories and the fans had a hand in that. As happy as we are to win games like that, they deserve to be a part of that too. We love our fans, we have our bond. They came out to support us and we wanted to make sure they felt our appreciation."
Was this the wackiest comeback you've been involved in?
"There have been a few, but yes, I think this ranks up there. We had kind of lost some momentum there. We were down 34-21 with six minutes left or something like that. You just need those plays, those triggers that all of a sudden you feel like things are changing, the tide is turning. When we got that first turnover it was 'hey, if we score here, we stop them, we get the ball back, we have a chance to win.' That turn of events all of a sudden within a few minutes, then all of a sudden we have the lead. The mindset of our defense when we took the lead was 'this is four plays and out.' They were revved out, they pinned their ears back and that was fun to watch."
What was the difference in emotions between when you were down thirteen points with seven minutes left and the end of the game?
"It wasn't a situation where you were going to go for it. You understand that we have to play this game pretty perfect and have to be really aggressive when we get the ball back on offense. For them in that situation, maybe they get a little more conservative because now the clock is their friend. Still trying to internalize how that came about and let it soak in. Bottom line is when we get an opportunity to score points and create a momentum change that is going to help us win that game, that's our job. We all felt like we were meant to win this game. Everything that had happened up to that point, we were meant to win this game. The plays were made on both sides of the ball in that seven minute period of time together, it was pretty amazing."
Can you speak on the fan base you've established as Drew Brees?
"I'm honored that people would want to have my jersey on feel like I'm the person that they'd want to represent, or represent them I guess. I'm humbled and honored to have been able to play this game for sixteen years, to play it five years here in San Diego and eleven years now in New Orleans. I feel like I have a few more, but the bottom line is I'm not taking a second of it for granted. I never have, I never will. I understand how precious it is. That last game here in San Diego, I thought my career might have been
over. As I walked off the field I thought, this might be the last football game I ever play. That's just the truth. That's another reason why I was so emotional yesterday. I actually walked to the spot and stood on it and said a prayer and just reflected. It was great time of reflection. I thought about how far I've come, our team has come, my family has come. I didn't have any kids at the time. My wife Brittany and I have four kids now, we still spend a lot of time here in San Diego. When I'm done with you guys, we're going to go run around on the field. My kids have watched the 2004 Chargers highlight video probably about 200 times, so they've reenacted many plays on that field in our living room and I want to give them the chance to do it for real now."
SAINTS RUNNING BACK MARK INGRAM
On the adjustments that the team made before the fourth quarter that ultimately led to a win:
"We knew we made a couple of mistakes going into the half that we had to correct to win the game. We came out in the second half and everything wasn't pretty but we were fortunate enough to get a couple of turnovers towards the end of the game and capitalize on those turnovers. It doesn't matter how you win, you just have to win. I am proud of this team and our grittiness and our resolve to overcome adversity. We were 0-3 and it wasn't looking good late in the fourth we were down 14 [points] and found a way to win. That says a lot about our team."
On how he felt about his own performance in tonight's game:
"I just did what I could. It wasn't always pretty in the run game, but we were effective getting four yards. We had a couple of negative runs, we had a couple of catches out of the backfield. I just try to do all that I can to help this team win games. I work hard all season, all of these guys work hard. It is just good when we can get a win because we put a lot of work in."
On if he felt that there was a specific moment when the momentum changed:
"I felt like it did especially when the first fumble came out. We were kind of going back and forth in the game. We were down 13 with five or six minutes left in the game, if that. We got the fumble, scored. The defense came up big and got a stop. Then we got another fumble and scored again. Then the defense came out and we got a turnover."
On the Saints fans in the stands and if he was surprised by the turnout:
"We have the best fans in the league, by far. I know there are lots of people who take pride in their fans but they came out and they were loud. It almost felt like it was half and half at a home game."
SAINTS DEFENSIVE END CAMERON JORDAN
On what a win like this does for their season moving forward:
"Turn it in our favor, that is what we are looking for. We are fighting every game. Every game we have a chance to be in it and that's what we have to do, we have to keep on fighting."
On how he felt about the crowd:
"Our crowd was stronger than their crowd. Who Dat Nation travels well."
On how the team is going to approach the bye week:
"We are going to take it in stride. We are still so far away. We are 1-3, we could easily be sitting 3-1 and we also could be sitting 0- 4. This is not a one-time thing. This is something that we have to continue."
On how the win feels:
"The more desperate team won. We wanted to finish this quarter on a good note. We wanted a win heading into the bye week. Not just for Drew [Brees], but we have played numerous times here, but for us as a team. For us as a defensive line, they started rotating the guys in, a couple of other guys got hurt. That was something that we had to make an emphasis on taking over and I think we did a decent job."
SAINTS LINEBACKER NATE STUPAR
On how they were able to get the win:
"We stuck together. We played together, we trusted each other. We knew if we got the ball back, offense was going to score. When turnovers happen, they come in bunches so we kept playing hard, playing fast and the ball bounced our way."
On the play where he recovered Melvin Gordon's fumble:
"He came across the middle and caught it, he saw me and I don't know if they guy covering him knocked it out or what. I tried to scoop it and I missed it so I just fell on it and locked it into my leg. It was a dog fight down there. I couldn't feel my arms after the play because I was holding onto the ball so hard. It happened so fast. I just fell on it and I knew the offense would score."
On what this win means to the defense:
"It means a lot to us. Yeah, we've been struggling but we came in and stopped the run like we wanted to. We just continued to play. It's not about the yardage, it's about how many points we score and today we scored more points than them. We got the W and that's all that matters."
On what this means going forward:
"It's a good way to go into the bye week feeling good about it. Instead of 0-4, it's 1-3. We've just got to build from this, watch the film to get better and continue to use this moment to carry on throughout the bye week."
On if he was aware the Chargers tend to blow second half leads:
"It's hard to win in this league. A lot of teams can blow a lead. You've just got to execute. We just came out here and played. We just took care of ourselves and got the W."
SAINTS GUARD JAHRI EVANS
On what it's like to capitalize on two big turnovers:
"The defense just came through. They got us the ball back on a short field in their territory and we were able to execute."
On if a win like this can have a snowball effect:
"I think so. You lose two close ones and then you come out and take this close one going into the bye week. I think it does add a little bit of rejuvenation, especially going into a bye week."
On if there was a different look in Drew Brees' eye with this win:
"It was pretty emotional for him. Everyone wanted to come out here and get the W and show what we got. We just really have to credit the defense for getting the ball back to us in the last two possessions."
On Mark Ingram's patience:
"He played well. I feel like we were giving him some room so he could get some yards on the ground. He was making good reads and trying to take the outside."
On what's next going into the bye week:
"We don't want to lose moment. We'll just keep working out."
SAINTS WIDE RECEIVER BRANDIN COOKS
On how bad they needed this:
"Very bad. It was one of those where enough is enough. We needed this one."
On winning right before a bye week and keeping momentum:
"Obviously we want to keep it going. We need to hit the little reset button on the season. Come back in and it's like a new season."
Saints players took to social media after Sunday's win in San Diego