CG: After all the talk that I gave about finishing, we couldn't finish. Had the opportunity and could not finish. There were a lot of ups and downs, good and bad in that ballgame, but that's the bottom line. We had the chance to finish and we didn't.
Q: Was T.J. Graham supposed to come across his face on that?
CG: Depends on the depth of that thing and yeah, sometimes he does and sometimes he doesn't, on the look that he gets. And I'll have to watch the film and see what the depth of that thing was, I don't know.
Q: What is your confidence level when you get the ball back?
CG: I had every idea we were going to score and win the ballgame by one. I mean, that was my total thought. I just knew we were going to do that.
Q: It was unfortunate to lose Donald Jones, but did losing those timeouts change how you reacted?
CG: Sure it does. You could have run the ball; you could have run a screen; you could have dumped it underneath and let ‘em run; you could have done some things like that. But, you get leery of that too much. If you can get it and run it out of bounds, it's great, but all of sudden you get an eight-yard gain and the seconds that it costs you for an eight-yard gain, sometimes you worry about that. So, yeah, it does. It affects you.
Q: Thirty five first downs, almost 500 yards, but again, 31 points wasn't enough to win. Where are you with this defense right now?
CG: Well, you turn it over on the one, you turn it over on your own – I don't remember what it was, but they got a short touchdown out of it, whatever it was – we just can't turn it over. We are not good enough yet to not play extremely well and win. We've got to play extremely well to win. We are not there yet. There are some other teams that can do that; we're not. We're not one of those teams. I think we are capable of getting there, but we have not gotten there and it is my job to get us there. But we're not good enough. We can't turn it over three times and win ball games most of the time.
Q: Can you talk about the penalties? There were a few that were questionable.
CG: I don't know. You can sit here and talk about them. Should there be calls, shouldn't there be calls. You've got to look at the film and decide. You always have questions about them.
Q: It would seem like today, on the basis of what happened, that the Patriots are one of those teams that are good enough to win when they are not playing their best.
CG: Well, I mean, they got three turnovers, so they made some things happen.
Q: You couldn't get the ball in the end zone in Houston. Today, you had 35 first downs and almost 500 yards. How do you do that, what's the difference?
CG: A lot of different things. Our play action pass stuff was better today, you know. I felt like our pass protection was really good today after about the first series and a half. I thought our pass protection was really good. And so, little things like that make a big difference. I do think that Houston's defense is one of the strongest defenses we played this year, by far.
Q: How hard is it emotionally knowing what it meant to win this game in terms of turning it around the season where nine and seven could make the playoffs.
CG: Still a chance, still can get there. World Champions were 9-7 last year, so it makes our goal harder. It does. If we could have won this one, could have made our goal easier. But, it makes our goal harder. I think we will get there. I know I am in the minority, but thank goodness I've got a group of guys in there that, I think, think the same thing.
Q: About Ryan Fitzpatrick, this was a game where he seemed to be answering his critics and then, in the end, it was like ‘Yeah, well, he is going to throw that late interception.'
CG: Yep, I hate it for him. He played so good and then to have that happen. I've got to help him. I've got to make a couple better calls at the end there that might help him. So, if I do a little bit better of a job, then maybe he doesn't have to do that by himself.
Q: Just the way you used C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson in this game, not only handing them the ball, but throwing them the ball. Can you just talk about the plan there going in?
CG: That's the plan every week, we just don't get it executed like that every week, but that's the plan every week: to use them extensively. They are two of our biggest weapons offensively. The thing about it is Donald [Jones] is starting to emerge as another weapon for us, so as you get Stevie and Donald and Scott and we are starting to develop some diversity. Where they just can't look at one thing and stop one thing, which is where we need to be.
Q: Is there an update on Fred Jackson?
CG: I don't know if they are calling it a concussion. I don't know what the word is. I don't know if it's a concussion or not. I don't know if they said that. They didn't tell me.
Q: With the penalties, whether you agree or disagree, how costly were they in terms of the rhythm and momentum on third downs?
CG: A couple of them, we had half of them offense, defense. I don't know, I think there were a couple special teams in there as well. I mean, they hurt. The one where we had to punt from our own three-yard line and we get the 15-yarder for running out of bounds, that really hurts because they take the ball over there in the third quarter at the 42-yard line or something like that. Hard to give those guys short field and expect to hold them out.
QUARTERBACK RYAN FITZPATRICK
Q: Let us start with the last play of the game, did you expect T.J. Graham to run that rout that way?
RF: We would have had a better chance at [making a play], but that's something ultimately that falls on me in terms of communicating and getting on the same page. It was unfortunate that the game ended like that.
Q: What happened with the read? What happened on that play? Did you see
RF: Yeah they were playing Cover 2 – deep half safety. I thought I'd be able to get T.J [Graham].
Q: Having played the way you played all day in that game keeping your team in it, is there a bitterness feeling today knowing you were right in it and could have won?
RF: Yeah, the only thing you can ask for is for the quarterback to give you a chance to win and we had that today. We held them to a field goal at the end there and drove down and had a couple shots in the end zone, but we weren't able to get it done. I thought we fought out there – offensively that's the kind of team and the kind of game plan – stuff that we want to do – guys were able to get touches, we were able to get some play-action throws the way they were playing down the field a little bit. [Chandler] Scott was involved, [Stevie Johnson] was involved – Donald [Jones] did some good stuff, so we've just got to find a way to pull it out in the end.
Q: I know it is unfortunate that Fred Jackson and Donald [Jones] got hurt, but losing those two timeouts did that change what you were able to call?
RF: I think it changed the thought process a little bit if we would have had timeouts there. We probably on the one would have been on the ball and calling a play and going with two timeouts in our pockets and then with Donald going down unfortunately, we lost out last one there, so it changed it a little bit. Those are just two unfortunate things that happened.
Q: You got into
RF: We aren't going to back down from anybody. I think that Spikes is an emotional player. I think he's a punk at times and took a cheap shot at Scott[Chandler] in the first game and was doing a lot of talking and hitting out there – he's not one of my favorite players – [he's] not high on my list. I think that's all just mentality and I think it's important that you don't back down from anybody.
Q: Talk about the penalties especially in the first half…
RF: Yeah, the penalties were unbelievable. Looking at it offensively, third and one and third and 21 – I don't know if it was on the first of second drive, but we just can't have it. We had some critical holding penalties that you just can't have and we were able to overcome some of them, but there were just too many yellow flags out there for us today.
Q: There are a few phantom ones out there too. Was there some frustration in the huddle or on the sideline because there were a few where you were shaking your head?
RF: That's not for me to judge. I know we jumped offside a few times and that's something we can't do. I don't know about the other ones – we'll have to look at the film. You've got to be able to overcome those if they do call them.
Q: Last week in Houston you did not get the ball in the end zone and today you were up and down all day. How would you compare Houston's defense to the Patriots defense?
RF: I don't want to get into the comparisons. You can look at the statistics and Houston's obviously a top five defense – I really don't want to compare them.
Q: Is the Patriots' defense one a top five defense?
RF: If you look at the statistics they're obviously not a top five defense, but these guys and what they do, they have a great offense and they're going to make you earn it all the way down the field and I thought our guys until the very, very end there, made a lot of plays and unfortunately came up one play short in the end.
Q: The usage of Fred [Jackson] and C.J. Spiller not only running with the ball, but also in the passing game -- can you lay out the way you guys used them today?
RF: Yeah, that's what we want to do. Obviously we talk about it every week and we got away from it with Houston and what they did to us, but today, I thought we came in with a great plan. We had ways to get them the ball no matter what was going on defensively, and even the screens and getting the ball in those guys' hands in space was special and we saw it today like we see it every week.
Q: Knowing what this meant, it could have changed the whole perception of the season. How disappointed are you for that team in there? What are they feeling right now?
RF: We're all disappointed. If we were able to with that game all of a sudden you to turn the season around and you forget about the five losses before that. This is a tough one to swallow for us, especially with the way that it ended, but we've got to find a way. We've got a really short week here and we've got to come out [and] heal up a little bit over the next few days and play on Thursday.
Q: Early on in the game in the first quarter – the sack-fumble when
RF: I don't remember exactly the read or what happened. I know that's something we talked about going into the game – not giving their offense more opportunity than what they deserve and unfortunately that fumble was a big turning point and essentially giving them seven points early in the game and that's something that we weren't able to overcome throughout the game.
Q: You had some success finding [Scott] Chandler early in the game over the middle and that sort of thing. Did that open things up later on?
RF: I think that was just part of it going in. I thought he had a chance to have a good game in terms of some of the stuff we had and in terms of what they ran defensively. [He] made some really nice catches. He's that kind of guy for us – he's a big target – he's a guy that's going to be able to beat linebackers in coverage, and sometimes when you bring in the dime or whoever on the third down, with his big body we expect him to win and he did a good job today.
C.J. Spiller, Running Back
(On being able to move the ball on offense)
“We knew that, every time we’ve played these guys, we’ve been successful moving the ball against them. That’s a great defense that we went up against and I’m proud of our guys, but at the same time, I’m very disappointed because we’re 3 and 6 and its now pretty much a must win from here on out.”
(On confidence level on final drive)
“There was a lot of confidence. You could see it when Donald (Jones) got his touchdown, the guys on the sideline we’re very confident we could go down and win it, but they just made that play at the end to win it for them.”
(On some of his running plays)
“The offensive line did a great job. Early on, it seemed like they were trying to force me to bounce it to the outside, but I just tried to be patient and take what they gave me. But the credit goes to the guys up front who were blocking and the receivers who were blocking.”
Stevie Johnson, Wide Receiver
(On the game)
“This is definitely tough to take, we work hard and it is the same old stuff each week, but we came back in this game. We had a chance to win it and we fell short again. We can’t do anything about it but put it behind us and look forward to the Miami Dolphins on Thursday night.”
(On moving the ball on offense)
“Every week, it does not matter who the team is, I feel like we can move it on anybody. I have confidence in my guys and I have confidence in my receivers, running backs, the line, and my quarterback. I have confidence in my whole offense and the game plans we come out with. It is just the thing about finishing. We need to finish these games.”
Donald Jones, Wide Receiver
(On the game and the Bills penalties)
“We definitely moved the ball good today. It comes down to, we can’t have as many penalties as we had today. That was terrible and it is undisciplined. We have to get back to basics and just handle that first ... it is just something you have to play through; it is not really in our hands. The referees make certain calls and there is nothing we can do about that, we just have to play through it. For the most part we did a pretty good job of doing that, but we just didn’t come away with the victory.”
(On the wide receivers)
“I have been saying all year as a receiving core we don’t feel anyone can stop us on the outside. We were moving the ball pretty good. It was tough I didn’t make that one catch and I take that one on myself. It is hard that I couldn’t come down with that one. We don’t feel anyone can stick with us on the outside and we will keep on playing that way.”
Jairus Byrd, Free Safety
(On the game and the team play)
“It really gets old. It gets old and we just have to finish. It means we didn’t do our job. We came out in the first half and the penalties hurt us, and then when they get in to the red zone it is a short field for them. We should have held them to field goals but they were putting points on the board, touchdowns. This is getting old at some point this has to change.”
Mario Williams, Defensive End
(On the game)
“We got to play better, there are eleven guys on the field we all got to play better. I’ve never seen that many penalties in a game. This is my first year playing with everybody as a group, but I’ve never seen that many penalties. I don’t know what was going on.”
(On the loss)
“I mean we lost and we definitely have to play better, you say we let them off the hook, you can say we did this and hurt ourselves. We lost so it’s tough. Even through all that to be there at the wire, it says a lot. If we hadn’t shot ourselves in the foot, it definitely would have been a different outcome. We had, I think 100 yards in penalties in the first half. That’s just crazy, we got to play better.”
“The biggest thing is trying to cover him, because obviously he’s a quick guy. We respect that, but if you got him, you just got to do what you got to do to cover him.”
T.J. Graham, Wide Receiver
(On the missed reception)
“It was a good pass, I should have made that play. I take blame for that one. That might be why I don’t get on the field as much. ”
(On Ryan Fitzpatrick’s play)
“It was great. I was in awe of his game.”
George Wilson, Safety
(On the penalties)
“They started calling the game real closely on their own. They (the Patriots) weren’t moving the ball with offensive production. It wasn’t anything they were doing to us, we just have to be smarter and not put ourselves in that position. We had opportunities. We had opportunities to make plays and we had a chance to win it. We didn’t do it today. The Patriots made more plays than we did. As a result they came away with the win.”
(On the Patriots last offensive drive)
“They did a great job running the clock down. They made some big third down conversions on that drive. Tom didn’t force the ball and they at least came away with points. We were forced to score a touchdown instead of get a field goal. So they played to their strengths and basically put it on the shoulders of their defense to get the job done and they ended up coming away with the victory.”
Kyle Williams, Defensive Tackle
“We had some good rushes and that is the only thing that will keep you in the game with him. If you give him opportunities to throw the ball he is going to carve you up. It is always a key to the game and at the end of the day they made the plays that they had to have to win the game.”
(On being close but not winning)
“Yeah, it seems like there is too many of those over the years. We got to figure out a way in the end, the way the Patriots do, to win the game. We have a quick week, we need to get back to work and look forward. ”
Stephon Gilmore, Cornerback
(On the penalties)
“I don’t know what happened. I don’t know what else I can do. On the first penalty, he ran into me, and the ball bounced off of him. On the second penalty I was running with him and he tripped on my feet and they threw the penalty on me.”
(On how it felt to lose)
“It hurt, it hurt bad because it felt like we gave them the game. We made mistakes. You got to play better. We didn’t have chances but we have to get some turnovers.”
Marcell Dareus, Defensive Tackle
(On pressuring Tom Brady)
“It was something we worked on all week, to constantly keep pressure on him. Of course he is a great player and he is going to make plays but as a defensive front seven we were trying our best to make him as uncomfortable as possible in the pocket.”
(On the last drive)
“We had a couple of breakdowns. They have a lot of tricky plays and disguised stuff. We got so caught up in the passing game that they got a couple yards running. We tried our best.”
Rian Lindell, Kicker
(On what is it about the Patriots that the Bills haven’t won in Foxboro in ten years)
“We’ve been in position to beat them, like today, but we just don’t beat them. If you want to say we beat them in a certain category, our offense beat theirs today. They are a good team, they don’t make a lot of mistakes. You have to play well in order to beat them.”
(On Brady and Belichick)
“I think there is something to be said for playing together so long, and obviously, the talent that they have, you have to have talent; you just can’t put anybody there and keep winning like they do.”