J.J. Watt, Defensive End
(On the game)
"We didn't play a good game and they played a very good game. They are moving on and we are not. We came in here at halftime feeling pretty good obviously the long field goal by Shayne (Graham) was a heck of a kick. We came out in the second half and didn't perform and it is plain and simple. We just didn't do the things we needed to do to win. We needed to create turnovers on defense and we didn't do that."
(On the most frustrating thing)
"Losing, I can't stand it. I can't stand any aspect of it. The taste in your mouth is terrible. We lost, we are going home and we are not moving on. Congratulations to them (Patriots) and they deserve all of the credit and it is frustrating."
(On Tom Brady and the future)
"He is a very good football player and a heck of quarterback. Obviously he is one of the best for a reason. We needed to hit him and we needed to knock some balls down and we didn't do that and we lost. Obviously all we can do is move forward. We learn from this season and I am proud of all of the guys in this room and I can't wait to get back to work."
(On the end of the season)
"It is really frustrating because we have been here before and you don't just want to get back to where you have been before. You want to move on and you want to get better and move forward, we didn't do that. We are going to look at it and we are going to figure it out. We are going to come into next season extremely strong and we are not going to wait to get back to work."
(On reflecting on December)
"We are going to look at the whole season and we are going to look at everything, every aspect and we will learn from it. Obviously that is the only way you move forward. I had a lot of fun this season. I love my teammates and they made me look good all year. I appreciate them and everything they have done for me. In the end we didn't do enough as a team. It is a team game and it is never about just one person. I didn't do enough today and we didn't do enough today. We needed to do more. For the season, I appreciate everybody and I love all my teammates and I can't thank them enough for how good they made me look."
Andre Johnson, Wide Receiver
(On the turning point of the game)
"They just made more plays than we did. That's pretty much it. It's about making plays. We had some plays in the first half that we didn't make that maybe could have that kept drives alive and we didn't do that. When you don't do that at a time like this, you don't win. So, we didn't."
(On the mindset heading into the second half)
"In this game you have to play until there are all zeroes on the clock and we felt good about where we were at. We felt like we left some plays out on the field in the first half. But, you can't worry about that; you have to move on from it and just keep playing. In the second half, we just didn't make plays we needed to make."
(On winning the first playoff game but losing the second two straight years)
"I feel bad, especially for the older guys, including myself, because you don't get too many shots at this. Me and Kev [Kevin Walter] were just talking about it at our locker. You don't get many shots. It took nine years just to get two shots. I don't know. We just have to keep fighting and keep working and keep banging on that door. Hopefully it will fall down."
(On getting to the next level as a team)
"We just need to make plays. That's what it came down to today. Like I said, we left some plays out on the field today. That's pretty much it."
(On the momentum shifts in the second and third quarters)
"I don't know. Things were just going so back-and-forth. We'd do something good; then something bad would happen. Then in the third quarter the momentum had kind of swung back to us, and they go back out and make plays. That's the thing when you play against a team like this: they're capable of scoring every time they touch the ball and we knew that. We knew that we had to come in and score points as an offense. Not kick field goals, but scoring when we got in the red zone. Like I said, they made more plays than we made and they won the game."
(On the personal disappointment after the loss)
"It's frustrating. Words really can't describe it because you work so hard to help this organization, yourself, the team, everybody, the city back home – you want everybody to be a part of something special. For it to end like this, it's painful, man. We want to win; we want to keep playing. Unfortunately, it just didn't work out today."
Duane Brown, Tackle
(On the loss)
"It's disappointing, this is hardly acceptable, that this is it for us. I take my hat off to every guy in the locker room we fought hard. Unfortunately what we put out there in the second half, and the forth quarter, wasn't there in the first half. They got up on us and it's hard to get yourself out of that hole against that group. Everybody fought hard and I'm proud of them."
(On what happened in the first half of the third quarter)
"You know, you've got to make plays. We had plenty of opportunities, you know, they're still on the field. They just made more plays than we did. You keep giving that team opportunities it's going to bite you."
Owen Daniels, Tight End
(On his thoughts after the game)
"Whenever the season ends, no matter when it ends, it's really, really hard. The farther along you get, the harder it is to take. It's one we wanted to win really bad. It's tough to swallow right now, but, we fought hard all season and all day today, but one team gets to have a smile on their face at the end of the season and its not us this year."
(On going into halftime with momentum)
"We felt we had kind of swung the momentum to our side. Felt good going into halftime being down four, you can't ask for more than that in this type of environment and this game. That third quarter just didn't go very well for us. We were right there and even when we got down, we kept fighting back, but its hard when you get that far down and be productive on the field and get the big plays."
(On what happened in the third quarter)
"Oh man, I think that was the quarter that we didn't make very many plays and they made a lot of plays. When you play a team like that in their home, you've got to make all of them and we didn't."
Danieal Manning, Strong Safety
(On if they felt positive coming into halftime)
"Yeah for the most part, we knew we were still in the ball game. We cut the lead down to four and we felt our defense had some momentum. We felt like we could go make some more stops and get our offense the ball. Then they end up driving the ball down and scoring and we started playing catch up after that."
(On if they aggravated that Shane Vereen was the player who seemed to do the most damage)
"No, they were using all their personnel. He was just one of those guys that was able to make the key plays at the end. He had three touchdowns, and they were going to him, but they were throwing the ball to everybody."
(On how frustrating it was to settle for a field goal after his 94-yard kickoff return to open the game)
"That's football. They were able to make plays and we felt like we made some plays there, but it is what it is, we got down there and got some points out of it. We had to make more plays than they did."
(On what it means to him to have a big day in the kick return game)
"Right now it doesn't mean anything. Maybe later it will, but right now it doesn't mean crap."
Glover Quin, Free Safety
(On the game)
"We really wanted to win this game and move on. We had our opportunities and we just didn't get it done. It is really tough to end this way and the season is over. We just have to start back over next year and it is tough… you either win or you don't and we didn't."
(On coming out after the half)
"We felt like the game was right where we wanted it. They came out in the second half, in the third quarter and made a couple of plays on the first drive and got a touchdown. They made a few plays and scored a touchdown. We took a step forward and the organization took a big step forward the right direction. We are heading in the right direction. We just have to come back and keep building and get it next year."
Connor Barwin, Linebacker
(On the game)
"I don't think there was any one point where it *(the game) *got away from us. They made more plays at the end of the game and throughout the game than we did. To beat a team like that on the road you got to make all the plays and we didn't make them. They didn't do anything offensively that was surprising. They did everything we worked on. They just made some plays and we didn't. They execute very well. Their offense is efficient. They can do a lot with that two tight end set as far as running the ball and passing the ball and setting up play action. Their offense is definitely a challenge and they do a good job."
(On the season)
"Yes, this was a successful season. Obviously we wanted to continue it and go farther than we did last year. You can't say that it wasn't a successful season. We won 13 games and another AFC South championship. There was a lot of good, but not enough. "
Barrett Ruud, Linebacker
(On the game)
"There were a couple swings. We took a couple shots in the first half but we rebounded and got it to within four at halftime. I think the start of the second half was big. The fact that they had that quick score, you know, that was tough. Every time we kind of got close they had an answer for us. That was the biggest thing. I think if the times we did get close we could have had better answers on both sides of the ball I think we would have been in the game until the very end. They do a lot of unique game planning stuff so we knew they would do something different but there wasn't anything that necessarily caught us off guard. They have that fast pace and they execute it so well that if you are not completely on your stuff they are going to beat you and that is what happened."
(On the season)
"Individually this is the first year I ever won a playoff game. I enjoyed that. As a team we are ready to take the next step. We are ready to get to where New England is. We have been in the second round twice now and it is time to find a way to get over that hump. I think that is the mood of the team right now."
Jonathan Joseph, Cornerback
(On the game)
"They just had a couple times where they made a couple of plays. We just kept battling all day and we weren't able to get back in to it. I think we competed and challenged them all day but there was a couple plays where they had some scores and we weren't able to respond they way we were supposed to. All in all we battled all day but didn't get over the hump. I would say it was a game of runs, but it's like basketball. It is all about momentum and things like that. You have got to match fire with fire. They got a couple unanswered points. As a defense you have got to minimize those and try to get it back to offense in a reasonable position. It is all the same, you never want to lose the game, whether you are in the championship, first round of the playoffs or first opening season game. It is all the same but right here it is just the end. Any time you don't win the big games you are in the same boat as everybody else."
(Asked if the season was a success)
"Absolutely. We ended up finishing in the same spot as last year in the second round of the playoffs but I think this team took a step forward in terms of progress with the younger players and things like that."
Bradie James, Linebacker
(On the game)
"They just out scored us. We didn't stop them. We gave up too many touchdowns. That is where it got away from us. They came out and ran the no huddle very efficiently. They get you when you are trying to communicate and they run the play. That is definitely an advantage that they have, especially playing at home. We had an opportunity this week but we didn't achieve it. Guys fought until the end. We played as hard as we could but they made more plays than we did."
Gary Kubiak, Head Coach
Q: Talk about what happened early in the third quarter.
GK: We really battled in the first half. We had a chance to get off to an excellent start. [We] missed two plays after the big kickoff return that we've got to make. But we battled, had a lot of opportunities in the first half, got ourselves back in good position as a football team. We'd come out, they'd go right down the field and score on us, and make a big play on us. We'd go three-and-out, they'd go down and score again, I think. There's a sequence right there in the third quarter, you're right. And right there when the games' big-time on the line, 17-13, you need to come out at your best, and you miss a couple of turns and that team gets you in trouble.
Q: You felt good at halftime didn't you?
GK: Oh, no doubt. I thought we were in a dang-good football game. I thought we had a lot of plays that we missed in the first half. And yet, we were sitting there in the 17-13 game with a lot of momentum, making a big field goal in the end. But they put together a couple of big drives in the third quarter and we weren't able to match them.
Q: You were moving the ball, and Matt [Schaub] threw the pick, how big was that?
GK: That was a big part, I can't remember what the score was at that time. But, that was a big- 'cause I'm probably in a fourth-down mode there anyway, if we don't pick it up because of just where we were. They zoned on us, they dropped a guy from inside, and Matt didn't see him. Obviously you have a guy looking right there. It's a hell of a play right there, good play.
Q: Can you talk about the success Tom Brady had with Wes Welker in the first half?
GK: The thing that jumps at me, you know, I've got to look at the film. But real quick, talking to you guys, I think we must have had five thid-and-10s in the first half, you know. And they had them too. They made some great plays. When you get in this environment, when you get in games like this, you've got to step up and make those type of plays. I think we had our opportunities you know, so you've got to give them credit for what they did. They not only made them tonight, they've been making them for many years. So, that's what you've got to match if you're going to find a way to beat them.
Q: How much of a distance is there for you to cover and how much was this a team you have to catch up to, to get where you want to go?
GK: They key is ourselves. We're right there, as a team. You know, I'm not one to guess. You know, we got beat. But, we're right there, we ran a good football game. Like I said, I think we're going to go back and be really disappointed in our opportunities to make some plays. I mean, when you can start the game seven-nothing in the first minute, all we've got to do… I mean if we drop a ball, and then miss… those are big plays we've got to make. There's a few of those in the game. Like I said, when you miss them, and they make them, in the long haul, that's the difference between winning and losing in this league. You've got to keep staying in that tough line, as a coach and a player, the hard way. You've got to step up and make those plays, if you want this organization to take the next step. I think it's very capable of doing that.
Q: You talk about making and missing plays. Matt Schaub seemed to be bit uneven – a lot of good plays, but a lot of bad ones.
GK: You're right. It's quarterback driven. I knew it was going to be that way. This team's very difficult to run the ball against. We had a lot of opportunities to make plays in the passing game, and we did make a lot. But, there were some more that we missed. You've got to come in here and play great. And we did a lot of dang great things, and it's my job to keep pushing toward greatness, and the level of play, and those types of things. We were able to get Arian [Foster] the touches in the pass-game, which I knew we could. We got him out in space. We knew we were going to have to get him to touch a ball some other ways. We made some big plays with him. But ultimately didn't make enough of them.
Q: You have got to play great, the quarterback has to play great. What makes you believe if he ca not play great at this stage that he can still get there?
GK: I don't have any doubt if that's what you're asking me. This guy's won a lot of football games. So if you're asking about our quarterback, I've got a ton of confidence in him. I think he's one of the top quarterbacks in football. He's had his team in great position for the last two years. He was a big part of last year. You don't get over that hump unless you're willing to keep going back there and keep putting yourself in that position. It's very, very difficult. I do not take anything for granted, where we are tonight. Because it's hard to get there. But I believe in our quarterback whole-heartedly, and my point is that we are going to continue to push him to a new level as a player. And that's all of us. He's definitely the one leading the way.
Q: Has it set in that the season is over?
GK: There's no good landing in this business unless you're playing a few weeks from now. Other than that, the landing's a crash. It's tough, I've been doing this a long time, it's very difficult. I'm proud of the team, they played their hearts out tonight. But we had to make a few more plays to move on to next week – so, very disappointed right now. I'm disappointed for the coaches and the players and how hard they work – and wanting them to move on and play some more.
Q: Has this opponent become almost a mental road block for this team in some ways?
GK: I don't see it that way. I think every team in the National Football League knows how good this opponent is, and what they've done over a period of time. If you want to achieve greatness, you're probably going to have to go through them at some point, as part of this league. But this organization will keep battling to do that. Like I said, my hat's off to them, they're a great football team. Very well coached, and they've been doing it for a long time. So my hat's off to them, and I'm disappointed for me team.
Q: How about some of the specific defense matchups?
GK: You know there's really no way around that. We've had our issues at inside linebacker all year long. But this team's going to spread you and spread you until they get the right ones. So that's going to happen. We made a few plays. And, boy, they made some great plays. The catch the kid made, I think it was [Stevan] Ridley, on the deep ball. Wow, what a play. I've been doing this a long time, it was tremendous. That's what they do. So there's going to be some mismatches, and you hope you can make him get it going quick.