INTERM HEAD COACH JACK DEL RIO
JD: OK, injury wise, we had Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie with a shoulder [injury], Omar Bolden with a concussion and Kevin Vickerson with a hip [injury]. Those guys all left during the game and did not return or were out at the end of the game. Good, hard, tough, football game. Really good first half for us, really good second half for them and back and forth in the overtime. I thought we had a shot, really felt confident we were going to pull it out. They ended up making a play there at the end and getting the field goal up and won the game. So, it was really a tale of two halves for us. We forced turnovers and jumped on them early and then they forced turnovers and jumped on us in the second half and it was a back and forth affair. A good football game; two good teams. You know, we will deal with this and learn what we can out of it and get ourselves ready, turn our attention to the divisional contest next week on the road in Kansas City. Questions?
Q: How difficult will it be to put behind when you are up 24-0 at halftime and you let it get away?
JD: Regardless of how it goes down, you've got to move on. That's what we do in this business and, you know, it will definitely sting on the ride home, but all you can do is learn the lessons that are there to be learned and move forward.
Q: Jack, did they do anything specifically with your defense?
JD: Well, it's kind of like looking at what we did in the first half. You know we turned the ball over. We forced turnovers in the first half, they forced turnovers in the second half. And you know, they did a couple things, played a lot of tight coverage, they did a couple things with pick routes and wheel routes and things to try to take advantage of some of that. You know, but it's not anything that we weren't expecting. Not anything that we didn't handle better in the first half. But, ultimately, they made enough plays, they got a little momentum going, they made it a game. We were right there in the end, with a chance to win the game, and were just five yards short of what we needed to get to, to have a realistic shot at making a field goal, that's what it was.
Q: Did Matt Prater say he couldn't hit that?
JD: I didn't talk to Matt, I talked to Jeff [Rodgers]. I asked Jeff, I said 'Are we in range?' And he said 'No'. I even said, 'Field goal here?' And he said 'No, I really don't think we can make this kick here'. It was tempting, because it was close.
Q: Did you think of going for it, you know, with your offense? Fourth-and-eight, there..
JD: No. Fourth-and-eight, not really fourth-and-eight but fourth-and-anything shorter. It was just right out of that area where we would want to take that shot. You know, you are in overtime – it is now at sudden death point. You've both had the ball. To go for a fourth-and-eight right there just didn't feel right. In fact, everything worked out just fine. We just had kind of a fluke play at the end or we get the ball back with one last shot to go win the thing. So, we had our chances, we had our opportunities.
Q: It wasn't just the turnovers in the first half, you were manhandling them up front on both sides. And then, the second half, what adjustments did they make?
JD: Well, I'm not sure, I would have to look at it to address that specifically. I thought our lines played pretty well all night. I thought we ran the ball all night. I mean, Knowshon [Moreno] ran for over 200 yards, right? So, that's a pretty good performance. Typically, when you run like that, get that kind of productivity, you win the ball game.
Q: How challenging, I guess particularly in overtime, was the wind for that kicking decision and for the passing game?
JD: Well, it was a factor in that if we had the other direction, we may have had an opportunity with those five yards. That's certainly ended up being to their advantage.
Q: What about passing? Was it harder to go that way?
JD: Maybe a little bit. I felt like the passing, you know, kind of was affected a little bit. But both teams threw the ball well enough that it wasn't completely detrimental to what direction. You know, if you were going against the wind, it wasn't detrimental; you could still throw the ball. Just a little bit tougher, maybe.
Q: Jack, you talked about dominating the run game there with Knowshon Moreno. Did you feel like in the second half you should have run it more than perhaps you did? That you gave up, somewhat, on the run?
JD: You know, again, I just feel like Adam [Gase], Peyton [Manning], and our staff – the things that they do, we generate a lot of offense. We move the ball, we score points. We came up a little bit short tonight, but I'm not going to start to question how we go about our business.
PEYTON MANNING, QB
Q: How disappointed are you tonight?
Q: What changed in the second half after such a great first half?
PM: Obviously, the momentum changed. We turned [the ball] over, gave them some momentum. It's hard when you give them a short field and put your defense in a bind. It's difficult to overcome.
Q: It was obvious your game plan was to try to run the ball?
PM: No. The game plan is to move the ball and score points and, so obviously the running game was hot. Knowshon [Moreno] was running it well, the [offensive] line was doing a great job, so it wasn't necessarily the game plan. The game plan is to move the ball and we were moving the ball and running the ball. Knowshon was hot so we were riding him.
Q: The weather was certainly affecting the kicking game. Did it affect the passing game at all?
PM: Like I said, our running game was working, so that's what we were going with. When you're running the ball well that's a good thing for the offense. When you turn it over and give them two short fields, that's disappointing – that's not good execution. That's kind of the way that worked out.
Q: What's your takeaway from a game like this that was so wild and had so many bizarre plays at the end? How do you process it and go from here?
PM: You'll study the film. It's disappointing – certainly you have a chance to beat a good team at their place. I still felt like we had a chance there getting the ball there at the very end. I thought we were going to have the ball last and that we were either going to score to win the game or I guess it could have ended in a tie. I hated the way that ended and not getting a chance there to get our hands on the ball. We had two good drives in overtime: [we] got down there twice and I can't remember if that was a pass interference call on one of them, but it was very disappointing. All we needed was like five yards on that last play in order to give [Matt] Prater a field goal attempt and we couldn't get that. It was a very disappointing finish to the game for sure.
Q: Where you surprised when they elected the kickoff to start the overtime?
Q: Why not?
PM: Because that's what they do sometimes.
Q: What's the feeling in the offensive huddle when that happens? It's sort of a rarity it seems like in overtime.
PM: We were just trying to go score.
Q: Had you finished this one off you would have been set up in real good shape. Did you feel like you let a lot slip away here in the second half?
PM: Sure. You can pile on the disappointment however you want to. I'm disappointed that we lost the game and everything that comes with that I'm sure just adds to it. We're just kind of thinking about this loss right now.
Q: If we are piling on the disappointment, how hard would it be to get passed this point?
PM: I think that's the test of football teams. I think it would be wrong if guys weren't disappointed and bothered by this loss and so I think you're allowed a night and maybe half the day tomorrow to still be ticked off about it and disappointed. That's part of being a professional: [you] learn from it, study the film, learn from the coaches. We did some good things – obviously the running game was great. We had some mistakes and when you make those mistakes it's hard to beat good teams on the road. I think by the time you start game planning on Tuesday and guys [are] lifting weights and ready to go on Wednesday, it's time to move on to Kansas City. That's what you have to do.
Q: Does playing in conditions like today help you going forward going into the colder –
PM: It's always a possibility these last months of the season and then you're potentially in the postseason, so I think the more you can be in it the better off you can be.
Q: You've gone against Tom Brady quite a bit in your career. When you see him go on a run like that in the third quarter does it still surprise you at all?
PM: They've got a good offense. Tom's a great quarterback. We helped him with some short fields, which is hard to do that to our defense. We give them credit, they made the plays in the second half and we didn't.
Chris Harris Jr., Cornerback
(On the difference between the first and second half)
"The first half we made turnovers and were able to put our offense in a position to score. The second we had turnovers and they were able to get the points on the board. We gave up 31 straight points and that is something that is unacceptable."
(On positives from the game)
"The first half was probably something we can take from. The second half is not how we play and it is something we will learn from and get better as the season goes on and we will be ready for the Chiefs."
(On the game and next week)
"We will be ready and this team learned a lot tonight. We know if we play the way we played in the first half tonight in all four quarters, it will be tough to beat us. It is a tough way to lose. Unfortunately we made that mistake on special teams, we can't do that and that is a game changer. They just made plays, they were able to make some turnovers and we were able to make them in the first half. That was really the gist of the game and we didn't put enough points on the board. We also didn't get enough stops in the second half especially in the red zone. Where we would force other teams to make field goals, Brady was able to score touchdowns and that is something we will work on and get better."
Duke Ihenacho, Safety
(On the first half versus the second half)
"The first half we got a couple of turnovers that went our way. Obviously we had that returned fumble by Von Miller. In the second half we weren't able to generate any turnovers."
(On the first half)
"Everybody knows you don't get credit for playing good halves, nobody cares at the end of the game. At the end of the game everybody is going to see who won and what the score was at the end. Nobody is going to care about what the score is at halftime."
(On the overtime crazy play that led to the game winning field goal)
"It was a freak play, it's not something that you see every day, but you got to learn from it and move on and get ready for next week."
Malik Jackson, Defensive End
(On the Patriots recovering the punt in overtime after the ball hit Broncos' cornerback Tony Carter]
"It was just one of those things that you can't control. The ball took the bounce and hit [Tony Carter] and [the Patriots] won the game. It's one of those things where you've got to go out there and make some more plays before a situation like that happens."
(On what happened between the first half and second half)
"[The Patriots] are a great team. They went back at halftime and made some changes and came out playing high-caliber football. We've got to take our hats off to them. They're a great team and I'm sure we will see them again."
(On bouncing back from a tough loss to play a big game against Kansas City next week)
"Every game is a battle. We are both going to be hungry for that win and we will see who gets the two losses in a row."
Von Miller, Linebacker
(On the Broncos defense shutting out the Patriots in the first half)
"It was a pretty good first half, but the game is played in four quarters. The Patriots came back out. They had a nice game plan and they jumped on us real quick and before you knew it, they were up and it was a battle. The whole game was really a battle, but that was what we expected. Tough team, tough battle, but we came out on the short end of the stick. We will get back in the lab, watch the film and judge it for what it's worth and get a nice week of practice and get ready for a good Kansas City game."
(On what changed in the second half)
"I don't know, I really can't put my finger on it, it's still early. I know we will do a good job of getting in the film room and watching the tape and find out what it is and be able to fix it. We will use this as a stepping stone and keep going harder and trying to finish the rest of the season out like we know we can."
(On the positives the team can take from a game like this)
"Yes, there's some positives but the ultimate goal is to win and we didn't do it. It's unfortunate but we will get back in the film room and we will work on the stuff that we did wrong and get ready for a good Kansas City game."
(On the impact injuries had on this game)
"I don't know, I mean, I came into the locker room and saw a couple of guys dinged up but I didn't really see it during the game, I was so locked in. You always want to have the guys that you game plan with but we've got good second string guys that can fill in for them too."
(On how long the team will dwell on this loss before focusing on Kansas City)
"It's a long plane ride home. We will watch the film in the morning and that's about it."
(On how tough tonight's game was)
"It was tough. It was extremely tough but that's what we expected. You can't really predict how the game will go but that's kind of what we practiced for and that's kind of what we expected. We just came out on the short end of the stick."
(On how the team felt after the Patriots scored their first touchdown in the second half)
"For me, it was like, 'OK, they got a score here, let's get back out there.' Before you knew it, [the Patriots] were up. It was a tough game, we lost to a tough team and we've got to get back in the film room and find out exactly what we did wrong, look at the good stuff and get ready for a good Kansas City team."
Knowshon Moreno, Running Back
(On rushing for 224 yards against the Patriots)
"We lost. We had some chances to put some points on the board late and they played better than us today."
(On whether the game plan was for them to run the ball because of the weather)
"No, the game plan was to do whatever they were giving us. We were able to run the ball, the offensive line was doing a great job blocking. We just came up short."
(On whether it was disappointing to have the big day but lose the game)
"That is all its about. It doesn't matter what you do, when you put more points on the board than the other team, that's when you are happy. Everything else that we did doesn't matter because we came up short."
Shaun Phillips, Defensive End
(On the first half)
"It's part of the game. You win some you lose some, you make plays here and there. So, we played good in the first half but we didn't get the win."
(On the second half)
"They just made more plays than we did in the second half. We played a better first half, and they played a better second half. The game came down to one or two plays, and most games do, especially between two great teams, late in the season when you're fighting for playoff spots or whatever. Hats off to them, we'll learn from this and we'll go back to the drawing board."
(On injuries in the game)
"That's part of the game, I'm sure they got a few guys banged up over there as well. We can't lick our wounds, we're going to learn from this one. We'll go back and watch the tapes and figure out what we need to do better, and get ready for another big ball game."
Jacob Tamme, Tight End
(On the loss)
"Obviously that was a very disappointing loss, playing lights out in the first half like we did and then in the third quarter we just didn't play good enough as a team. We showed some fight in the fourth quarter. When a team comes back on you to take the lead in their place, then we came back to tie it up. I'm proud to be a Bronco, proud of the way we fought. We just didn't make enough plays down the stretch."
Kevin Vickerson, Defensive Tackle
(On the play of the Broncos defense in the first half and the Patriots offense in the second half)
"It was a tale of two halves. We came out aggressive and made plays and in the second half we made plays, but we didn't make enough to win the game. The credit goes to New England. they're a good football team, but at the end of the day, it's really on us and us not making the plays to get the 'W.'"
(On what allowed New England to get back into the football game in the second half)
"They made the plays and we didn't. That's all it comes down to. They had some good plays and made some good calls and converted on their plays. We didn't execute well enough to get them off the field. They came out and scored four straight touchdowns in the second half. That's on us."
(On looking ahead to playing Kansas City on the road next week)
"These games are tough but at the same time it's a short memory league and you've got to try and turn the page real quick and it's another big game next week against Kansas City. They are going to come out and try to get back on track too. It's all about watching the film, making the corrections and getting better."
(On taking the positive out of a game like this)
"We [forced] three turnovers in the first half. In the second half we played solid and overall we had a solid game on defense, but at the end of the day [the Patriots] made the plays."
Wes Welker, Wide Receiver
(On what happened on the last punt in overtime)
"I felt like there was a lot of traffic and it was a high ball. I didn't want to get into a situation where someone was running into me or something else, and I ended up with the situation I didn't want to happen in the first place. I have to do a better job of getting up there and getting those guys out of the way and making sure it doesn't hit them."
(On what it was like being back in New England and seeing Robert Kraft before the game)
"It was a little different for sure. It was great seeing Mr. Kraft and I have a lot of respect for him as a man and as an owner of a team. He's a good one."
(On the Broncos being a third-quarter team but tonight the Patriots had the better third quarter)
"I think that's just going out there and executing the way we need to and playing the way we need to play. Obviously, they made good halftime adjustments and we kind of fell behind there. We have to do better next time and be ready."
(On the play of Knowshon Moreno)
"He brought his 'A' game and he's a guy you love having on your team because he brings it every night and every day in practice and you have to respect that."