DENVER BRONCOS HEAD COACH JOHN FOX
On the loss
"I don't want to blame it on any particular area or people. I think all in all we hung with them physically, but mentally I thought there were certain areas as far as dropping the ball on the ground and the turnovers were really the big difference. You're not going to be minus three against the New England Patriots and win very many ballgames. Having played them very many times, I know that to be true."
"Our guys fought, and we tried to get back into it. But the reality is, we're not at the stage where we can overcome minus three (turnovers)."
On QB Tim Tebow
"It's usually a lot more fun when you win, but I thought he improved. He'll continue to improve. This was a setback no doubt about that, but sometimes setbacks are setups for bigger things to come. That's the way we'll approach it."
"Again, you get into obvious pass situations. As I've mentioned all the way back to Detroit, that's not an enviable position to be in for any quarterback in the league."
On mental mistakes
"We talk about smart and tough—don't take a true sense of the words, but we can't turn the ball over. I'm not saying that we're not very smart, but that's the terminology we use in that locker room."
On WR Quan Cosby's muff catch
"In games, people make mistakes, moi included. That wasn't the way it was designed to go."
On the week of preparation
"Our guys prepared great. I thought we had a great week of preparation. I don't think our preparation had much to do with tonight."
On the Patriots offensive scheme to limit sacks
"They went a lot of empty. They got the ball out quick just from a timing standpoint it makes it tough to get there. We ended up with one sack, but I'm not sure about numbers at this point. That wasn't a surprise for us."
On reasons for the loss
"We'll go back to the turnovers. I think I mentioned that they had three takeaways and we had zero. That team was 10-3 coming in and now 11-3. They haven't lost too many games at that number."
On the New England Patriots
"They're a good team. I think we're a pretty good team, but tonight they were better than us."
On the future
"I can't predict the future. I know we have a lot of work to do to prepare on a short week to get ready to go to Buffalo."
On Tebow's ability to go up against other top notch quarterbacks
"I can't predict that. He's gotten better every week. Six or seven weeks ago people said that he couldn't hit the broad side of a barn, but I think he does that. I think he can do that. I don't think that's why we lost the game tonight."
QB TIM TEBOW
On what went wrong after the strong start
"Well, first and foremost I have to thank my lord and savior, Jesus Christ, first, and, I also want to thank my teammates for the effort that they played with all day. And the coaches coached extremely hard, and we kept fighting for the entire day, and that's something that I'm extremely proud of.
"We did have things going pretty well early. [We] scored on our first three possessions, and we felt like we were moving the ball pretty well, but then we put [the ball] on the ground, and that's something you can't do versus a great team and [New England QB] Tom Brady and [New England coach] Bill Belichick. Besides that, we were right there with them, and there's a lot of great things that we can take out of this game and try to improve and get better. I think every time there's a setback it's just more of an opportunity for a new step up and to make something even bigger and better. We're going to be excited about this week going to Buffalo, and we're going to be extremely motivated. We'll have a good week at practice."
On the team's mentality after the loss
"Everybody is very positive; just encouraging each other. We'll go at it here in a few days and get ready for Buffalo."
On his mind-set entering the game
"It was another game versus another good team, a team that's been a perennial power and a team where we feel like we can compete with, and we did. We just have to do it a little bit more consistently. We'll try to go and see if we can do that and improve a little bit each and every day."
On the feeling of being ahead (16-7) early
"You know that [Tom] Brady is going to make his plays. So we were just focused, and it was unfortunate that our next two possessions, guys made great plays. You've got to give them props for it, but at the same time we've just got to hang onto the ball. That's my fault, and I'll get that straight."
On the effect RB Willis McGahee's short absence had on the offense
"I think there are some other factors that went into that—the turnovers, and then we were playing from behind a little bit, and then we had 58 seconds where we were trying to get the ball down the field, so that possession wasn't one where we would have been running the ball too much anyways. But then [McGahee] came back in the second half and had a few nice runs, so Willis is a great player. But also [RBs] Lance [Ball] and Jeremiah [Johnson], they step in and do a great job as well."
On what he can do to protect the football
"There's something I need to do better to protect it, for sure. [New England DE Mark Anderson] just came in real fast, and I probably should have handed it off. I tried to make a play and get it out to [WR] Eddie [Royal] quick, and [Anderson] got a hand on it and made a great play. You could tell he was well coached with it. He played it very well, so he did a great job. But I've just got to do a better job."
On the Broncos' three turnovers
"That's one of our main keys, is holding onto the ball; no turnovers. If we hold onto the ball in this game, who knows what happens. That's one of our biggest keys, if not the biggest. So we've just got to improve with it and get a little bit better, and I know we're going to do that."
On if he and the Broncos are improving in the passing game
"I feel like we've gotten better throwing the ball. We were able to do a lot of what we wanted to early, throwing the ball. We were right in groove, and we were able to do some good things. Then we got behind and were pressing a little bit, but I think we're getting better, with the timing with receivers, and the receivers step up and do a great job. They definitely make me look a lot better than I am."
On if the Broncos can play in a shoot-out game
"I know for the most part that when we held onto the ball we were able to move the ball. So that was a good sign. We've just got to find a way to get a little bit better and improve, and I know we're going to do that."
On if he heard the hype of this game being Brady vs. Tebow
"I don't pay too much attention to [the hype] anyways. I just know it was the New England Patriots coming to play the Denver Broncos, and it was two teams going head-to-head—I believe two pretty good teams—and [New England] just had an edge on us because we dropped the ball on the ground, and that's something we've got to do better."
On putting together a full game for all four quarters
"We definitely have to be consistent. That's something that we can improve on. That's something that … I think if we don't have those turnovers, I think we're able to keep that balance of run-pass and hopefully keep [the Patriots] on their heels a little bit. It's just something we've got to improve on."
"I think we're just trying to continue to stay balanced [in] run-pass. I think we can give defenses a lot of looks: under center to power run, to sub-formations, half-runs, to play-actions to some of the option game. So there's a lot of different looks the defense has to prepare for."
On how others may view his play today
"Honestly, to me, that really doesn't matter because ultimately you're judged on wins and losses, and that's why we play the game. It's disappointing we came away with a loss, but I know there's a lot of things we can build on, offensively, defensively and special teams—we know that in every phase we can get a little bit better. And I think that gives us a lot of confidence as a team because we were with [New England] for a lot of that game, and we still know there's a lot of improvement that we can continue to make every day in practice and every single game. So hopefully if we got another opportunity we could put forth a better effort."
On Denver's offensive struggles late in the game
"At the end, [the Patriots] are pinning their ears back because they know we're going to pass and we have to. We just don't have enough time to be balanced. They have some great players. [DL] Gerard Warren and [DL] Vince Wilfork and the two guys off the edges, they play hard and consistent, and they keep in their lanes, and they had some good stunts. They played well. I think every time Gerard Warren hit me (he played at Florida, like Tebow) he said something about Florida as well, so that was pretty funny."
"Our offensive line did a great job. They hung in there, and they competed, and I'm so proud of them and thankful for the effort they put forth."
On what New England QB Tom Brady said to him after the game
"He was very complimentary. He was very nice. What a great quarterback, and what a class act he is, and for a lot of young quarterbacks, he does a lot of great things to look up to and try to emulate."
On what New England coach Bill Belichick said to him after the game
"He was very nice. He said very nice things, as well, and he's always been very supportive. He just said that he believes in me, and [to] keep fighting, and he's proud of how I played and stuff like that. It's very nice coming from a coach like that."
On how being down three scores changes the offense's game plan
"If we feel like we don't have enough time than I think it would a little bit, which that was the case there at the end … but we were able to move the ball kind of up and down the field, but then we got sacked and there's the fourth-down play where I was just trying to make something happen, and, I don't know, [I had] a loss of 40 [yards] or something, so that was disappointing. [I] felt like we should have gotten points on that drive. Wish we could have gotten a touchdown. And then at the end, you know, [the Patriots] are pinning their ears back and coming and double-covering some guys. So it's just disappointing. We just can't necessarily put ourselves in that situation."
On if the Patriots were running a 'prevent offense' late in the game
"They've got some great coaches, and they've got a great scheme—offense, defense, special teams. I think the reason they are so good and the reason they win a lot of games is because in situational football they are at their best—on third downs, in the red area, with turnovers. So, just that as an example (New England's offensive approach on first-and-goal from the 1-yard line late in the game) is something impressive that we just have to improve on a little bit."
On being one game up in the AFC West with two games to play
"I definitely feel like we're alright. We've got two big games (at Buffalo, vs. Kansas City). We'll prepare extremely hard for each one; we'll take it one day at a time. We're excited about where we're at, and we're going to continue to be positive and stay motivated and just try to improve, like we've done every single day in practice."
On what Denver coach John Fox said to the team after the game
"He just [stressed] staying positive. We've got some big games coming up, so let's just continue to get better as a team, and we can't make a few of those mistakes. We can't put the ball on the ground on offense, and [we] just [need to] try and improve."
On the play of former teammate and New England TE Aaron Hernandez
"I wished he didn't do it against us, but good for him. He's a great kid and great player, and I'm so proud of him and how hard he's worked and what he's overcome. I'm not necessarily sure why. I guess you could say New England is smart for taking him [in the NFL Draft], but they also waited until the fourth round, so a lot of teams passed on a great player and one of the best tight ends in the league in my opinion. He's pretty good. I was happy to have him on my team for a long time, and it's not always fun to play against him."
SLB VON MILLER
On Patriot's QB Tom Brady
"He is a great quarterback, exactly what we thought. He is a leader of their team over there, a great quarterback. He made all the right decisions, and my hat is off to the New England Patriots."
On the Broncos' turnovers
"That is part of the game; we just have to keep on playing. We have to replicate what the other team's defense is doing, and we didn't do that today. We made too many mental errors and got beat."
On the Patriots play-making ability
"We knew they were a great team coming in, and we knew they were going to make plays. We're disappointed that we weren't able to hold up with all the communication errors on defense. It's just back to the drawing board. We're still the same team we were two weeks ago, one week ago, three weeks ago. We just need to stick to our same formula for success and take it one play at a time, one day at a time."
On the loss
"We just got beat today. They are a great team over there, back to the drawing board tomorrow. We are going to stick to our formula for success and that is taking it one day at a time, one play at a time."
On losing the turnover battle
"We definitely need to replicate what the other team's defense is doing. It is a team sport, all three phases of the games - special teams, offense, and defense. We have to pick it up, get back on track, and stick to our formula for success."
On if he believed the Broncos would come back
"We always feel like we have the opportunity, especially after they didn't score. We just went out there and weren't able to hold up on defense. We gave up a big play, and that is part of the game. When you're going against a great team like that; things like that happen."
LCB CHAMP BAILEY
On QB Tom Brady
"I said it before the game, he is still the best out there in my opinion. When you make mistakes against a guy like that, he is going to make you pay. That is pretty much what happened all day."
On QB Tom Brady's success throwing to tight ends
"He is just patient. He knows his guys; he knows where everyone is going to be. He is the best all-around quarterback that I know. That is what you expect out of him; he has been doing it for years."
On if the Broncos blitzed enough
"You never know. We blitzed a little bit more in the second half, and it did affect him. You can't blitz him all the time; he will find a way to get you. You just have to mix it up; we didn't execute today."
On the absence of SS Brian Dawkins
"He knows how important he is to us, and everyone in this locker room knows how important he is to this team. You can't expect to get the same results when you lose a guy like that. At the same time, you have to have guys step up. It is professional sports; you can't play like that and expect to get wins."
On if he believed the Broncos would come back
"We never quit and that is going to be our identity, a fighting team until the end. We showed that today, we just didn't come out on top."
On the Patriot's not relenting in the fourth quarter
"That is what we expected because what have we done in the fourth quarter? Come back. They knew if they scored one more touchdown that it would put it a little further out of reach and make it even harder for us to come back."
On the Raiders' loss
"We need to concentrate on getting better. We showed today that we're not ready to go into the playoffs and make a push. We need to get better. We have two or three weeks to do it, and if we don't, we will be sitting at home in the playoffs."
On what the team needs to do to get better
"Just practice harder, study harder - whatever we are doing, we have to do a little more. We have to try and pull each other through, because we have a lot of young guys and a lot of these guys can learn how to play in this game."
RB LANCE BALL
On the possibility of the team losing confidence
"No, we are totally confident in ourselves. We just have to play better as a team, I need to play better, and it is on to Buffalo."
On the Raider's loss
"Every game counts for us. Unfortunately, we let this game slip. We can sulk on it tonight but just have to shake it off and get ready to go Tuesday."
On the confidence of the team
"We stay confident and keep going. We are still in this, just had a mild bump in the road and correct what we did wrong and move on to next week."
On QB Tim Tebow
"It is just another guy who can make plays. If you sleep on him, he is going to make a play. If you zone in on him, other people around him will make plays, so it is good that he has that factor where he can use his feet."
On the turnovers
"Things happen, and it is a mild bump in the road, we just have to shake it off and keep playing."
On the adjustments that the Patriots made
"Those guys game planned too. They changed things up a bit, but myself and the team need to execute more; that's it. It's a small bump in the road; shake it off and keep moving. We have a game next week to play."
RDE ELVIS DUMERVIL
On Patriot's QB Tom Brady
"He is a good player, and has been doing it for a while. He has a couple MVP's and Super Bowl rings, and he proved it tonight. They were a better team; give them credit. We have to go to work and get ready for Buffalo."
On the defense being on the field a lot
"It's a team game -- three phases. We could do a better job; special teams could do a better job; offense could do a better job. Collectively, as a team, we need to do better."
On his sack of QB Tom Brady
"I just tried to make a play for the team. I tried to get there, and I wish I would have gotten the ball out, but he is a good quarterback and was able to hold the ball in still. We have a lot of work in a short period of time and need to take care of business against Buffalo."
On the Raider's loss
"Fortunately, that's good for us. We can still control our own destiny, and we have two weeks to do it and are going to start against Buffalo."
On using the Patriots as a measuring stick
"We can't have three turnovers against a good team; we need to create turnovers. It is a good challenge for us; it was a good test, but at the end of the day we expect to get the win. We did some good things in the game and some things to correct."
WR QUAN COSBY
On turnovers being contagious
"It was one of those nights. I think whoever had that voodoo doll needs to put it up and never bring it back out. It was a rough night, and fortunately, we are still in the hunt and can correct it. Tomorrow is a new day, and I think that is the attitude that everyone is going to take, especially me. Get back to work because we still have a lot of our goals in store, and we are ready to go after them."
On the turnovers being the difference in the game
"Definitely. We got off to a great start and let an offense like that get the ball at the five, the three - wherever they got it when I dropped it. Again, you can't do that, especially this time of year. In December, every single possession, every yard, every inch is important. You have to play as close as you can to perfect football to be beat teams and be in the hunt."
On if anyone encouraged him to keep his head up
"Everyone did and that is the beauty of this organization. That is the beauty of the things behind the lines. Every receiver, every DB, everyone involved. My special teams coach [Jeff Rodgers], coach [John] Fox were all like, 'Hey man, let it go.' Eventually, I will, maybe after I wake up in the morning I'll let it go. I have because like I said, all our goals are in store, and we have so many things to go after and are ready to do it."
CB André Goodman
On the loss
"We just have to learn from this and be able to move on quickly from an emotional standpoint."
On New England's tight ends
"They built the team well, and the thing about that team is they find different ways to win and there's something to admire. That's something we aspire to be as a football team, but we can't give them plays. A good team like that you just can't give plays to."
On returning from his concussion so early
"It's hard to miss these games. They don't come around often, especially for me. I haven't been in a whole lot of big games like this, so I don't think anything would have kept me out of it. I wish we could have played better; I wish I could have played better today, but we'll learn from it. "
On Denver controlling its own destiny
"We have to play a whole lot better to get to where we want to be."
On the state of the team
"I think we haven't played our best football yet, but I think we feel good about the position we're in in terms of the division race. Right now, that's the only thing we can focus on— and being able to play better, especially in big games like this."
"There were a lot of plays where, as a defense, we weren't communicating the right way, and they took advantage of some of the things we were trying to do, and we were kind of discombobulated. A team like that, they're good enough to beat you when you start making those mistakes combined with the big plays we were giving up. It's just tough to overcome those things."
On missing S Brian Dawkins
"He's missed, period. His physical presence was missed. His leadership is always missed, but there are no excuses for not communicating."
WR Demaryius Thomas
On ball security
"We had three big turnovers in the second quarter. I think that had a big part in our loss, but the Patriots are a good team. We've just got to take care of the ball and hopefully have a better situation next time."
On the offense after the first quarter
"I don't know if it was adjustments. Once we started turning the ball over, and they started scoring more, I felt like we changed the way we were playing. We had to do it differently, because you know you can't play catch-up with them. They've got an explosive offense, and we just had to change up things and try to just keep up with them."
On changing the offense
"We went to more passes than we're used to doing, and I think that was a big change. We had three turnovers, and they scored points, and we were down at halftime, 27-16. They came out and scored again, and I feel like we were playing catch-up the whole game."
On abandoning the run
"Running the ball, the clocks are running. I felt like we needed to throw the ball a little more just to see if we had a chance to get back in the game."
On leading the division
"That was good that [Oakland] lost, but we're not really worried about anybody else but ourselves. We wanted to get that win and show everybody that we can play with elite teams."
On leading the division
"I feel like if we work on those things, we'll be alright.
DE Robert Ayers
On the Patriots
"They presented a lot of challenges for us. They did a good job of executing, and we did a poor job of executing. At the end of the day, that's what it boils down to—execution. Hats off to them; they're a good team. We didn't play our best, and when you play a team like this, you've got to play your best."
"You've got to bring your A game. What we played today, on all three phases, it definitely wasn't our A game. We've just got to keep working to where we can play our A game every week. That's what we're striving for. I think it's coming, but we just have to keep working."
On his hands-to-the-face penalty*
"My hands slipped up into his facemask, and I couldn't really get it out. His hand was in my face too, but it's part of the game. The referees do a good job. They called it. It is what it is. The great thing is it didn't lead to points. We still got off the field, but it burned some time. It's part of the game."
On how frustrating it is to play against New England QB Tom Brady*
"He's a good player. The records, all the things he's done, they speak for themselves. We didn't play our best. Against him, you've got to bring your A game. That's not what we showed today."
On the Raiders' loss
"We're just worrying about winning next week. Buffalo's a tough team. We're thinking about going up there and winning. It's going to be tough. It's going to be Christmas weekend and a lot of distractions. We just want to get a win next week. We're not worrying about divisions or all that. We want to handle business next week."
On CB Champ Bailey's sentiment that they have a long way to go to be contenders*
"I definitely feel somewhat the way he feels, because we've got to be able to play our A game against top competition, and today, we didn't. We definitely are making strides, but you've got to step up when we play a team like that. We can't give up big plays, and we can't give up big runs. We're definitely going to keep working. We've got a tough challenge next weekend. It will show a lot if we can step up next week."
On what he hopes the young players have learned from this game*
"I haven't seen the film. I don't know what they did. I know myself, in my first year, you can't let it be the end of the world. You've got to keep fighting. I think they do a good job of doing that."
On putting the loss behind him*
"We just have to prepare for next week. Buffalo's a good team. We've got to go up there in a tough place and get a big win. That's all we're worrying about. We're not worrying about trying to stop losses. We're just worrying about winning next week."