Rex Ryan, Head Coach
RR: Well, obviously they are the better team right now. The score obviously indicated that. I was encouraged though, from our team. We did some good things. I thought we got back to some runs and completions. I thought we did a good job offensively there. But, obviously, against New England you have got to get off the field and they did a great job sustaining drives and you have got to give them all the credit. They earned it. That's an excellent football team and we got to be smarter. We have got to play smarter. You know, if you make mistakes against that football team, they burn you. I mean they absolutely kill you. And they don't need any help, you know, with the offense that they have. But you can't make mistakes and we made just enough of them to help them. You know, again, that team doesn't need any help. That's a good football team. They are the better team right now than we are.
Q: Is there anything you can help to do with the offense? They got 11 possessions, seven of them went three and out...
RR: Well, again, I thought we did some good things, but lacked a little consistency obviously, and you have got to convert on third down. That's the difference. They were 50 percent on their third downs and we were 27 percent. And, you know, I thought both teams ran the ball fairly effectively, but I think that that is probably a key. We have got to convert on third down and we have got to stop them.
Q: What happened on the last field goal drive? Why couldn't you slow them down?
RR: Well, we were trying some things and you know, we lined up wrong on one, then gave them a big gain. You know, we had an injury and the guy was filling in for a couple spots. But again, you have to give them credit. I'm not here to take away credit from them. They earned it. The guy ran the ball kind of hard at the end. Kind of surprised me, I thought [Tom] Brady would throw it there. We did have a loaded zone over there, but he found a way to get through and get that first down.
Q: The deep ball to [Wes] Welker to start the half, what happened there?
RR: Kind of looked like one of those, 'I got him, you take him'. Obviously in that defense, you know, we expect the runner to take a shot, but we never had anybody deep. I mean, that's obvious to everybody in here.
Q: You have lost three straight games now, how do you correct this and don't let it snowball anymore?
RR: Well, we are searching and we'll find the answer. Like I say, there were some encouraging signs, but not enough of them.
Q: Has the team lost its identity a little bit on offense because in the past two years you knew what you were going to do?
RR: No, I mean, you know, what are you going to run the ball 50 times? I mean, we can throw the football. You know, I thought we mixed in a run at times, I thought we ran the ball well. But again, you know, three losses in a row hurts. There is no question. But this is a good football team and there is a reason they have won 18 in a row at home.
Q: (Inaudible)...are the Patriots better at running the ball than you saw on film?
RR: No, I think it's tough. It all starts with Brady. And their receivers, they make you play in seven-man spacing. You have to do a great job at stopping the run in seven-man spacing. And if you want to play eight-man spacing on them, you know, they can still get a hat on a hat, and you got to make some tackles. But you have got to give them credit, they are running the ball hard and it seems like they are more balanced.
Q: Was there a reason why [Derrick] Mason wasn't out there in the first half?
RR: No, it was just, we have been trying to give [Jeremy] Kerley a few more shots. We played a lot more regular personnel as well. But we tried to get Kerley involved as well.
Q: Can you comment on the report about receivers coming to you individually? Is that true?
RR: That's 'Ripleys' to me. If it is, then maybe I got hit in the head or something. I don't remember that.
Q: Have you had any players come up to you in the last few weeks and question or complain about the offense?
Q: Is there any temptation on your part to look to throw the ball more than you did today because of the way the Patriots defense has struggled with the pass?
RR: Well, I just think that if we got off the field on defense, we would have a few more opportunities on offense. So, again, I was encouraged by some of the things we did. I thought we ran the ball well at times, you know, but we want to be more balanced. We talked about that this year.
Q: Rex, considering the expectations this year, are you concerned about splitting in the locker room?
RR: No, shoot, we got a long way to go. I mean, no one said it would be easy. We just got to play better and better. And I thought we played better today than we obviously did last week. Hopefully we will play better next week than we did this week, and hopefully we just keep building and building and building. And the team that plays best at the end of the year is usually the team that walks away with the championship.
Q: Rex, you said you were a little surprised by how balanced they were on offense. Would you say that they out ground and pounded you?
RR: Whatever you want to put in there. They out rushed us. I can tell you that much. Thirty-five rushing attempts for 150 yards. We had 25 for 97, so write any story you want.
Q: For the 3 and outs, you mentioned that it would help the offense if the defense would get off the field, but how does that explain all of those three and outs. What does that have to do with the defense getting off the field?
RR: Well, I mean, they did a good job. Obviously I've said we have to do a better job on third down. We are productive on first and second down but when you are 27 percent, you obviously have to be better on third down.
Q: Is it possible for you to describe how you felt three weeks ago before this streak started and now?
RR: I never thought I would be here, losing three straight, but that's where we are at right now. We've earned it and we've got to get better. I have seen this team, it's a resilient team, and I think we will be right there and I think we will get better.
Q: Is this maybe the toughest circumstances that you feel you have faced so far with this team, or no?
RR: It's probably right there with them. You know, we are the only NFL team in history to go to the playoffs having overcome two three-game losing streaks. We've been down that road before, but to get back to winning, you have to roll your sleeves up and get after it. And start working and preparing and believing in each other and we can turn the tide.
Q: Rex, what did you think about [Deion] Branch's fumble? From your vantage point...
RR: You know, that's what the call was. I thought there were some other opportunities. You know, sometimes you don't agree with every call that's out there or whatever, but you play with what is called. I thought he was kind of getting up and the ball was moving, but again, that's not why we lost the game.
Mark Sanchez, Quarterback
Q: Why did the offense struggle so much early on getting going?
MS: I don't know. Those third downs early, we had a couple of third downs where - we've just got to convert. [Had] some underneath passes - we've just got to connect. I don't know the reason why we came out so slowly. We probably had the best week of practice all year this week - guys were into it, we knew the plays, knew the game plan. It was just frustrating and I know once we got going and once we kind of got in our rhythm in the middle part of the game we were rolling. There was no doubt that we were going to go down and win the game and it just never happened. It's pretty frustrating. We're going to have to work through this. I never thought [that] we would have a three-game losing streak like this. I hate seeing Rex [Ryan] like that at his press conference talking about [how] this is one of the toughest stretches and it is, but it's just frustrating. We've got to watch this film and get ready for Miami next Monday. It's really too bad, we've got to come out faster on offense.
Q: You guys are facing a secondary that has been struggling all year. Why only 166 yards against that group?
MS: I think we wanted to establish the run today - I thought we did that in spurts. I think our run game was pretty effective, especially on first down. I thought we gained a lot of yards on first down - [it] put us in a couple of third-and-manageables early and we just need to convert on those. But it was similar to the divisional game, we just didn't convert when we needed to. I really did like the game plan. I thought we had some throws that were there. We got down in the red zone and took advantage of being in a scoring position. I liked the game plan, so I'm not worried about throwing it or not throwing it.
Q: How agonizing was it on the sideline when Tom Brady marched down for the winning -
MS: That's exactly what we did last year in the divisional game and then we busted the long run instead of kicking the field goal, so that's hard. You just want to get back out on the field. I know our defense is trying so hard, so it's really too bad. These guys are fighting. It's not for lack of effort, that's for sure. Just a couple missed assignments here and there and we're right in this thing. But I was proud that the guys just hung in even when we got down - I think it was 10-0 or whatever. We just hung in and fought through it. We've just got to come out on top.
Q: How frustrated is this team right now?
MS: We're use to winning and we haven't been on a three game skid like this in a while - since my rookie year, I'm guessing. We lost two in a row last year but we bounced right back from it, so this is a little different territory, so we're going to see what a lot of guys are made of on this team and it's my job to get guys ready to play this next week against Miami. We'll have an extra day to prepare, an extra day to get guys healthy and it starts at the quarterback spot. Whatever it is, whatever we've got to do to convert, I've got to make sure we're converting on third down.
Q: You really didn't seem to struggle but you still came up short. Can you talk about how you would assess your play tonight?
MS: We lost the game, so it's hard for me to get into stats or anything like that. I'm glad we took advantage of scoring in the red zone - that was huge for us. I knew we were going to need some big plays on third down and that's where we really lost the game. What were we, three-for-10 or something like that? You can't win like that - not against these guys. You've got to keep them off the field and make it easier on your defense. I don't know what the completion percentage was. I know we threw a couple touchdowns and I know we didn't turn it over, but 30 percent - that's the only stat I judge from this game - I don't care how many touchdowns we throw or anything. Thirty percent is no good.
Q: Your completion percentage was very high. When you were clean in the pocket you could have completed any ball you wanted to. This team was last in the league in pass defense. Why were you happy with the game plan if you could throw the ball at will?
MS: We moved the ball fine when we converted on third down. Our first and second down production was great. We just stalled on third down. And I knew it was going to be a good balanced attack and that's how we beat them in the divisional game. It's not just one thing is going to beat these guys. You don't just come out and throw it 50 times. That's not really our identity, I don't think, and I know we got away with that early in the year. I thought we passed it effectively. We ran the ball well and opened up some of our run action stops, some of our quick play actions. It's easy to say from an outside perspective, 'Oh these guys are last in the league. Just throw it every down.' We're not built like that. We're built for the long haul and this team can run the ball - I know we can and we'll even get better than today. So, I'm more frustrated at the loss than a great game plan I thought it was.
Q: Before the season, Rex and the players talked a lot about piling up wins and trying to get that home playoff game. Do you almost have to change the mentality and just grind at this point and forget about that idea?
MS: Forget about the post season right now. It's not like we're out of this thing, but we need to just win. Just win [and] get back to our winning ways and be better on third down - that's what got us beat tonight. It's got to start against Miami, but forget where we're going to be seeded and all that - it doesn't matter. We just need to win. [We] just need to win on this coming Monday and we'll get right back into our grove, hit our stride, hit the bye week [and] and come back strong. We just need to win.
Q: With this loss coupled with some comments players have made publicly, are you concerned at all about in-fracturing on offense?
MS: No. No, not at all. Our guys are better than that. They care about this team and our season and that kind of stuff won't happen to us.
Q: Did you hurt your hand on that -
MS: I just dinged it up a little bit. It ended up being fine. It just kind of hurt for a series or two, but it's fine.
Eric Smith, Safety
(On the game)
"It is frustrating, these three losses on the road. We have no other choice but to rebound and get back on track with another divisional game coming up. "
(On the defense giving up big plays)
"We were in one of our quarters coverage and when the tight end blocks, we are supposed to cover them high and low and we didn't have either one covered. There were a few times or situations we needed to get off the field towards the end of the game and get the ball back in the offenses hand. We didn't set the edge and we weren't necessarily in our gaps where we needed to be and they gashed us for some big plays."
Jamaal Westerman, Linebacker
(On the loss)
"Our offensive line looked good and our defense at times looked great with holding them to three and out. Whatever it is, we just have to get over it. We don't know what it is, but we have to find it and go back to work this week. We have a big game coming up on Monday night so we have to find whatever it is ... and the only way you find it is through hard work and try to get better. No matter how well you did, it is what it is."
Darrelle Revis , Cornerback
(On the losing streak)
"It is a lot of frustration, you know we lost three games in row. It is tough. It feels tough right now. We have to stop committing the mistakes out on the field. We have to be consistent in our game play. It was tough game tonight but we did do some great things. We also did some things that hurt us."
(On covering Wes Welker and the big play)
"We tried to switch it up on them a little bit. I was on him a couple of times and a couple of other people were also on him. We were just trying to give them a mixture of things. He made a couple of great plays today, especially with the big one. It was like he was going across the field and got us on a double move and he was gone up the field."
Dustin Keller, Tight End
(On losing three straight games on the road)
"Being 2 and 3 right now is a little different. I can't recall starting off like this. We've got to fight back. We have a lot of football left, but we have to fight back."
(On lack of consistency from offense)
"I feel like more than anything, overall, it's just a slow start for us. As the game gets going, we start playing better. We've got to be more consistent throughout the whole game."
(On play of Patriots defense)
"I've got to give them credit. They played well against us, for the most part, they held us down pretty well, but I think there are a lot of things we can correct that will make us better."
LaDainian Tomlinson, Running Back
(On the loss)
"At times we didn't handle it too well. Coming in here we knew it was going to be a tough game. I actually thought we played pretty good. That offense and that team is a heck of a team to beat at home."
(On whether the offense let the defense down)
"I certainly think we could have helped them out and sustained some drives. Obviously we didn't want our defense running back out on the field especially after some of the drives they had."
Joe McKnight, Running Back
(On whether they can build on this game)
"Yeah we can build on this. We did a lot of good things today. We just have to finish the games out."
(On his return)
"I just saw a gap in the middle and I hit it. That's what we are supposed to do and it worked out well."
Shonn Greene, Running Back
(On the play of the offensive line)
"They did a great job today, every last one of them. They are the reason we were able to do what we did do today."
(On what they can build on)
"Win, lose or draw, you've got to look at the game. We did some good things and we did some things that we have to get better at, but we've got to stay confident no matter what."
Brandon Moore, Guard
(On the running game)
"I just think we did a good job. Guys rose to the occasion and played pretty well. I think Shonn ran hard. I know he had some good runs. "
(On the loss)
"It was tough, because you lose sometimes and you feel like you should have won the game with another possession, that's the unfortunate part. We just need to execute better as an offense. If you don't get those third down conversions you don't get the chance to stay on the field and get more opportunities to score touchdowns. We are 2 and 3 but I don't think we're a losing team."
Mike Devito, Defensive End
(On three losses in a row)
"We just got to bounce back. We did a lot of positive things out there today. The outcome wasn't what we wanted, but we're going to stick together and bounce back. We're going to watch the tape and get better."
(On the Patriots running the ball)
"They did a good job and we didn't execute like we should. We need to go back and watch the tapes and make corrections."
Jeremy Kerley, Wide Receiver
(On expecting to see so much time on the field)
"This was something we had been working on all week, so I was prepared."
(On the touchdown)
"I just made my way to the back of the end zone. I'm just glad Mark found me."
Sione Pouha, Defensive Tackle
(On the end of the game)
"It is a double-edged sword with an unconventional offense, because you get unconventional runs thrown at you. I think our defense is real close. We are on the edge of being who we are, but we are going to do what we do and tighten up the ship going forward."
(On the losing streak)
"Our head coach has confidence in us. We are a close team. We are going to hang together and get the ship going forward."
Antonio Cromartie, Cornerback
(On the defense)
"They did a great job spreading the ball around. We have to make sure that we do the things that we are capable of doing, in order to win the football game."
(On what was the toughest part of the Patriots' offense)
"They did not do anything special. They did everything that we focused on in practice. We have to make sure that we make the plays that we are capable of making."
Plaxico Burress, Wide Receiver
(On the amount of passing plays)
"We wanted to come out and execute our plan. Shonn (Greene) did a really good job running the football and hitting the holes, but at the end of the day we did not execute the plays that we needed to execute. I left a few plays out there myself."
(On the lack of execution on third down)
"You have to be sharp. You have to focus on the little things. That is what is going to help us get over the hump and at the end of the day we did not score enough points."