HEAD COACH JOHN HARBAUGH
JH: Alright, obviously a heck of a football game, obviously I don't know, decided 13 minutes into overtime, plus. Hard-fought. Two good teams going at it. Give the Patriots a lot of credit getting it done there. I thought they finished very strong, fourth quarter, found a way to win it in overtime and that's the football game. We are disappointed in the loss, but we certainly aren't discouraged in any way. And we have a big game against Buffalo and we got to get to work.
Q: What do you think turned it around?
JH: Are you looking for like a play, what are you looking for? I don't really have that answer.
Q: How big was the punt by Mesko?
JH: It was big. You know it was a big cross wind coming from the corner in that open end and cutting across, he caught it and cut it. It was basically a cutter that got caught in the wind and pushed that way so Chris couldn't get over there and get it. I think that if he felt like if he tried to catch it, he might muff it, so he got away from it. I mean, that was huge, flipping field position right there. The wind was a factor for special teams, for sure, especially at the end right there. Well, the whole game, but at the end they had it at their back.
Q: (Regarding Le'Ron McClain's personal foul)
JH: Well, the thing you got to understand is retaliation always gets caught. Retaliation gets called and they drew the penalty and he's got to understand that and he's got to understand that.
Q: Last week, you said you were going to use this game as a measuring stick.
JH: Did I say that? I never said that, so I really don't have that answer either. I mean, we feel like we came in here and we fought, and we competed. And we made some good plays and some not so good plays, some good decisions and some not so good decisions. They made good plays, they made some not so good plays. It is a classic NFL football game, two good teams going at it. You're on the road and you go 13 [minutes] deep in overtime and you can't find a way to pull it off. You know, they made the plays, plays like the punt, the dig to the passer, the dig to Branch, I mean, those are the plays that make the difference in the game. Our guys are trying to make plays too and we made some plays on defense and we couldn't quite get over the hump to get into field goal range and that's why you come up on the short end.
Q: Coach, how much of a difference was having Branch on the team?
JH: He is a good a player, anytime you have good players it makes a big difference and they have a lot of good players. Especially on offense, their defense too, they have good players. That's a very good football team, they were ready to play and so were we. They played well. They have weapons all over the place. I thought we did a pretty good job. I thought we did a good job of covering guys and hanging in there, but we didn't do a good enough job to win the game.
Q: What did Branch bring to the table and how is he different than Moss?
JH: He runs some different routes, he runs some intermediate routes really well. He's a different kind of receiver. It's different, but every bit as effective.
Q: (On the third down sneak and going for it)
JH: That's what you do, you think about what you want to do right there and consider that. In hindsight, you could say you should have, but right there the smart play was punting them right down in there and putting our defense out there to try and get a stop and get the ball back with good field position. I think that was a pretty solid decision.
Q: On the effects on the wind on offense and special teams?
JH: Joe (Flacco) just said it didn't, so I am not sure. I didn't see any balls get blown around or anything like that, so I will go with Joe on that. I think Joe has a strong arm. He throws in the wind well. I didn't see the wind affecting the flight of the ball, so I have to say probably not.
Q: Any teaching points come out of the day, losing a 10-point lead today?
JH: I think you learn from all experiences, I mean, you take what you can. We will look at it and dissect it. We will see where we can get better and grow from it. I am sure there are lots of teaching points in the game. We have lost games before. We will bounce back. Our guys are a pretty resilient bunch.
Q: On Brady in the fourth quarter and trying to disrupt him?
JH: We disrupted him pretty good at times. We tried to put pressure on him with mixing coverages. We were running every kind of coverage we have. We got him a few times, he got us a few times. I thought the back shoulder throw to Branch over there was as well covered as you could make it and as good as executed on offense as possible. They caught us on the run defense there a bit with the Branch on the dig, that's probably one he did a great job of recognizing the coverage. That's just Brady being Brady. So anytime you play this guy, he is a good as anybody and better than most of all them. There is a reason he has had the success he has had and we have a lot of respect for him. I thought our defense played pretty darn well for the most part, but there is some we would like to have back.
Q: Did you notice the chemistry with Boldin and Mason and the lack of in the fourth quarter?
JH: Well I think they covered us real well, they did a nice job of covering us there and would have to look at the tape to see if he could have looked somewhere else to see what his decision making process was. Give them credit, they played really well on both sides and obviously they played a little better than us in the fourth quarter and overtime and that was the difference in the game.
Q: On Willis McGahee's playing time?
JH: It wasn't part of the plan or anything like that. I am not sure as far as a rotation. This is a kind of game that Ray (Rice) can excel in, with the type of plays we were running and the surface of the field. Ray was doing okay too.
QUARTERBACK JOE FLACCO
Q: What did they start doing differently in the end to take away your success?
JF: I think they were doing the same things most of the game. I think they stuck with their plan and did the same things in the first and second half and we didn't take advantage. We had multiple opportunities and just didn't do a good enough job.
Q: On looking more aggressive on offense in the first half and the difference in the second half.
JF: I am not sure. I am not really the guy to ask there, but like I said, we had opportunities to do what we needed to do and be physical with them and go down and win the game. We didn't do it. [We] came close a couple of times, scoring a touchdown maybe would have helped us on that last scoring drive, rather than having to kick the field goal. You never know, the game played out and they did a good job and hung in there and kind of outlasted us today.
Q: On whether there was a sense of frustration or disappointment.
JF: It's a little disappointing, it's a little of both. It's tough when you are up and you think got a game won. You got to close it out and have opportunities to close it out and you go into overtime and you are given a couple of opportunities and just don't get it done. It's a little disappointing. We were right there to win the game and just didn't capitalize enough.
Q: What it more you not capitalizing or Patriots playing more aggressive defense?
JF: I think they stayed with their plan, they did some things, they played well. They had some guys shoot their gaps and get on top of our guys quickly. They did a good job all day. I felt like they made it tough for Todd [Heap] to get off the line. When he did get off the line, I felt like it was pretty tough for them. They did a good job to make sure they doubled him a couple of times and made sure it was tough for us to get our routes going. Like I said, I think we played pretty well for the most part, but it just wasn't good enough.
Q: On growing from a game like this.
JF: You've got to move on. I think we will grow from it. We will get better each week. We have a big game against Buffalo next week before we go to our bye, and it's going to be huge to go back home and get that win. We get that win, we go to 5-2 and we are feeling pretty good about where we are. We just have to take care of business and go do that.
Q: Was the wind a factor?
JF: No. It was windy out there at times, but it was no factor for us. I don't think it was a factor for either team throwing the ball at least. Maybe with special teams and things like that, but when you look at both offenses, I don't think it was too much of a factor.
Q: Comments on the third-and-short on the quarterback sneak.
JF: We called it and I went with it. They did a good job and brought some guys over the top and had it balled up right over the middle. I really couldn't get my feet going at all and they did a good job, they stopped it. We didn't convert there. If we convert there, you never know. Obviously, you see the ball that short and you might want to go for it on fourth down, but our defense was playing well and we got to punt them in there just like we did.
Q: On him playing in the longest game of his pro career. Is there any kind of disappointment?
JF: It's just another loss. It's a disappointing one, just like they all are. I think it's one we are going to move on from pretty quickly and just get ready for business next week.
Q: On this being a big game for the Patriots. How much did momentum play a factor?
JF: I think there were definitely a couple of little momentum shifts. They were in a groove offensively in the fourth quarter and we got the ball back with seven minutes left in the third quarter and ran that all the way down and gave them the ball back with like 14 minutes left in the fourth quarter. If we had scored a touchdown there, it may have made a difference, you never know. They still have to go for it, they probably don't kick a field goal, probably go for it and things like that. It definitely makes a difference with our defense, because they are so good at keeping people out of the end zone.
Q: Thoughts on great chemistry with Boldin and Mason throughout the game and them disappearing in the fourth quarter, did the Patriots change what they were doing.
JF: I think they pretty much stayed with their game plan. They were doing pretty similar things throughout the whole game. I think we were ready for it. We just didn't get it done. I couldn't tell you, we will look at the tape and try to figure that out.
CORNERBACK CHRIS CARR
Q: (On the inability to finish off the Patriots)
CC: "It was the inability for us to play consistently. We started off the game really well on defense, then towards the end of the second half, we couldn't stop them consistently. We couldn't get off the field on third downs and were giving up some big runs and we couldn't stop the run. Offensively we couldn't get anything going, we didn't finish, but we really didn't play well consistently throughout the whole game and that was the ultimate difference."
Q: (On the turning point of the game)
CC: "Defensively they started playing very well. They started covering our wide outs and putting pressure on the quarterback. Offensively, they just stuck with it, they weren't discouraged by their problems earlier in the game and they schemed us up pretty well and got a couple of big plays on us. They just kept playing and got better and we just didn't make the adjustments like we should have."
Q: (On giving Tom Brady a handful of chances to win the game)
CC: "We are a good enough defense that would we should be able to stop him. We weren't today, obviously. It's one of those things, it doesn't matter who you play, if you aren't playing well, they are going to go out there and eat you up. We have played them before in the past and he's got a lot of chances. The playoff game last year we stopped him every single time, today was just different."
Q: (Thoughts on the difference Deion Branch made)
CC: "He was running some digs. They would line up with two tight ends in the game in the slot. They ran some dig routes with him. Randy Moss was running those routes too as well. He would line up sometimes in the slot too. Him and Wes (Welker) would run some similar level routes, different, so that was different than the past. Randy Moss never really ran any short routes. It wasn't just him. We just didn't play well. He had a nice catch at the end of the first half, he played well, he's an excellent player. I think they are comfortable with him, because he's been here and Tom Brady has played with him. Whenever you have a guy like that coming back, they are going to be comfortable having him in there."
Q: (On the Patriots nearly converting first and 25)
CC: "That's a big play, those big plays, one play starts adding up. You never know which one play is going to make the difference. Usually it's a culmination of a lot of plays, but definitely when you have first and 25, you can't give up a 25-yard pass."
T.J. HOUSHMANDZADEH, WIDE RECEIVER(On difference between first half and second half)
"Yeah, it was definitely a tale of two halves. You can say they played great, but there is always a cause and effect. We've all played the game long enough to know, it feels like you've got the game, all you have to do is make a timely play or get a timely score. Whether we did or we didn't, they stayed in the game, and you saw what happens when you let a team stay in the game."
(On how frustrating it was to lose the game)
"Very frustrating. There's a feeling that we had the game and we are in here with a loss. It's very frustrating losing a game that I think most of the guys here in the locker felt we should have won."
TERRELL SUGGS, OUTSIDE LINEBACKER
(On what was the difference between the first half of the game and the second half)
"There was no difference. I just think they made some plays. They're at home, they are going to play hard, and it's Tom Brady, he's going to make some plays down the field. Hats off to them, they won the football game, but they better hope they don't see us again."
(On what was different about them moving the ball without Randy Moss)
"They just went choppy. They chopped us up and then sometimes they would go for a medium range route in between our secondary and our linebackers. They played good football down the stretch. We got them off the field a couple of times in overtime, but we just didn't capitalize. But, it's a long season and we're going to get better at closing teams out."
(On being 4-2 and getting Ed Reed back)
"Well, we feel good getting Ed Reed back most definitely, he's one of the best players in the game. We're definitely not happy about being 4-2 because we could have easily been 5-1. We just have to go back to the drawing board next week and get ready for Buffalo"
(On getting to Brady early and not being able to later in the game)
"We still got after him. Even in the three-man rush. Sometimes they keep a lot of guys in to protect him. You can't expect your secondary to cover that long. He just sometimes found some spots and made some plays."
JARRET JOHNSON, OUTSIDE LINEBACKER
(On the game)
"This is a tough place to play, but we have won here before. We had it in our hands, and we didn't play well in the end. They made the plays in the end and we didn't."
(On the end of the game)
"If we were in one thing they would run it and if we were in another they would pass it. That was their scheme and we had a hard time getting it slowed down."
(On Tom Brady in clutch situations)
"He is a hell of a quarterback, and the more pressure there is the more he likes it."
(On Deion Branch)
"That's the thing about this team they never change the offense or the defense they just keep rolling players through. Not that Deion Branch isn't a great receiver, but they have a lot of guys over there that are good at what they do. When you got that scheme with Tom Brady, you're going to be good.
DANNELL ELLERBE, INSIDE LINEBACKER
(On the game)
"We had the lead going into half time, then we gave up the lead and they come back to win. It is just a stepping stone for us because it is a long season."
(On looking for the Patriots in the post season)
"I hope to. It will be a repeat of last year."
KELLY GREGG, NOSE TACKLE
(On Tom Brady)
"They hit some plays on us, anytime you have a quarterback like that with the ball in his hands. He is dangerous especially with sudden death."
MICHAEL OHER, TACKLE
(On the game)
"We just need to find a way to finish the game and find a way to win the game. We have a great team and we just need to finish. We definitely want to win every game we play."
RAY RICE, RUNNING BACK
(On the loss in overtime)
"That's football, you have to respect the team you're playing and you can't win them all. One thing I can say is that we fight. There is no team out there that is going to flat out whip us. Obviously this game played out in overtime and could have ended in different scenarios but they just made the plays and we didn't."
(On the second half)
"They made adjustments and we didn't capitalize on them and that is something that the film will correct. When we get back next week and get ready for the Bills, we need to get back and correct the mistakes we see on film. Again, they made the adjustments out there and we just didn't capitalize on them."
(On the Patriots and Tom Brady)
"I have a lot of respect for him and you never have it (the win) until the clock ticks zero. It doesn't matter if you are playing against Tom Brady or anybody else, you just can't give them time at the end. We fought and this was a battle. There is a lot of mutual respect for both sides and we didn't expect this to be one of those first quarter knockouts. They were fresh off of a bye week but no excuses. We will probably see these guys again in the playoffs."
MATT BIRK, CENTER
(On the offense)
"The difference was the execution. You can point to a few plays, a few conversions where if you make a play you stay on the field or if you don't make a play you get off the field. We didn't make enough plays today."
"We are confident in the players we have and the work we put in. That is what we pride ourselves on. It doesn't matter who we are playing, we have a chance."
CORY REDDING, DEFENSIVE END
(On Tom Brady)
"That's Tom Brady man, he's a good player and he was making plays. That's what happened. Man, that's the NFL. Guys are paid to make plays. [He] stood up and made crucial plays. That is basically what it all boiled down to. We did everything we could. Some crucial penalties on us gave them some opportunities. For the most part they made the plays. That's the bottom line."
KEN HAMLIN, SAFETY
(On his interception)
"Just an interception. The ball popped to me. We were just trying to make sure they didn't score. That was the biggest thing."
DAWAN LANDRY, SAFETY
(On what the Patriots did to move the ball)
"They went to the no huddle. They got completions and kept the ball moving like that. They weren't trying to take big shots (downfield). They kept moving the chains. He (Brady) is a good quarterback. He has good receivers, guys who found holes and got open so give the guy credit."
RAY LEWIS, LINEBACKER
(On the game)
"You can't change field position the way we did. The game was as close as it was going to get. We knew how tough it was going to be coming in here. We went back and forth and field position started getting more crucial. We came here last year, same thing, same type of result. We made some penalties in the 4th quarter that hurt us. I don't think it is about Brady at all. Bottom line is, you don't cause those penalties, you don't change field position. You're talking about playing the New England Patriots, you're not talking about playing Tom Brady. Same thing happened last year. If we see them in the playoffs we will be ready again. I don't think they did anything different other than throw the passes they always throw. We are going home and then we are going to the bye week. It's going to be rough on Buffalo."