HOUSTON TEXANS HEAD COACH GARY KUBIAKQ:
Gary, just your thoughts on how this unfolded?
GK: We got our tails kicked. I mean, we obviously had some opportunities in the first half. You know to sit there and go toe to toe with a great team and make some plays. You know, you miss two or three plays offensively and we give up a big return, and all of a sudden you are down 21 to nothing. But that's the type of football team you are playing. Could have really done something about it early, if we played better offensively, made some plays, but you know, give them credit. They got after us all night long on all phases, too many penalties, all those things so, no excuses; they got after us pretty good.
Q: What happened on defense?
GK: Well, first off, they are pretty good. So you've got to sit in there and battle with them. We had a chance to get a turnover, I think, when the score was what, seven-nothing, down in our own end. You've got to fall on that ball and pick it up so you have a chance to change the game a little bit right there. We did settle down. I thought in the second quarter we did play good defensively and then didn't make any plays offensively to get ourselves back in the football game. So, like I said it is across the board. You go through every quarter and bottom line, we got beat pretty darn good. So, we've got to get our chin up and turn around a play in six days. We've got a big, big game we are playing.
Q: You got a few third down penalties that extended drives. Can you talk a little about that?
GK: I was glancing at it as I came in here, but I do know penalties have been an issue for a couple weeks. I think I am glancing at nice penalties if I am right and when they extend drives then it is really, really difficult – some of our own too. I mean, first play of the game, we line up wrong. So, that is a real concern when you know what you are fixing to do in a game for about three days and you line up wrong and get a penalty. That is concerning. Way too many. Special teams, I think we had three big penalties. Doing things that hurt our team when you are playing a team like that, you hurt yourself and you are going to get beat like that. So, that's the way it went.
Q: Protection up front for Matt Schaub and the running attack…
GK: Well, early in the game, to start the game we popped a couple runs out and then we did not run the ball well the rest of the first half. We got down, so we started throwing it a great deal. When I look at the numbers, you know, when you do that you put your quarterback in jeopardy on the road. And they came after us. Like I said, we had a chance to make some plays. We've got to come down with some balls that we didn't come down with that keep us on the field. Help the defensive, help the football game…. So, you know, like I said, I got no excuses for you. We just didn't make those plays.
Q: Can you talk about your defense over the course of the season?
GK: You know, when you play Tom [Brady], you play Aaron [Rodgers], you give up some yardage, they are going to make some plays on you. So people have to spread it out. You know, there are some things we have been going through defensively that have caused people to spread us out. You know, we did get J.J. [Watt] back tonight. We are in position to make a lot of plays, I thought, but when I'm talking offensively and defensively, when you look at the big picture of a game, especially when you are playing a team like this, you know there are eight to 10 plays that flip games or are the difference in winning and losing. And they were making them and we weren't. It was them making a play defensively or them making a play offensively; you've got to give them credit. They made the big plays in the game across the board, special teams as well.
Q: With the Patriots running the no huddle, how much of a toll did they take on the defense?
GK: That's what they do; we expected that. We worked on that. Best thing you can do is do something when you've got the ball. What was it, the first series of the game, we go right down the field and we don't make a big third down, punt to them, we get a big return – seven-nothing. That's the type of team you are playing, so it gets magnified. I told the team this: when you get the opportunity to make a big play, you can't miss it. In a game with this magnitude against this type of opponent…You know, we weren't able offensively to help them out. If we go score, and put some points on the board in the first half, you're battling toe to toe. Then hopefully you are in a different ball game, but we turned around and it was 21 to nothing pretty quick.
Q: When you play a defending conference champ, it is something of a measuring stick game? When it doesn't come out how you want, is it tough to get your team back mentally?
GK: I think that is part of football, regardless of if it was this week or Week 2. One thing about the NFL, [there's] probably a chance you are going to lose a game or two; it is the nature of this business. And how you respond to defeat or how you respond to not playing well says a lot about your team. We have responded this year and we are going to have a chance to respond again this Sunday too. Obviously, you are very disappointed; you are very down, but it never changes the fact of who you've got to go play and what you've got to do next week. You are right, we've got to look in the mirror at what we did tonight and try to fix what we did. But at the same time, I got to get their chins up and get ready to go play again. So, that is part of the business.
Q: The pass interference call on Wes Welker – the 26-yarder…
GK: I'm trying to think. I think that was over on their sidelines and I think it was Danieal Manning – I'm not sure. We thought the ball was uncatchable, but of course we're looking from across the field, but those things happen. You're going to get calls that go your way and that's great and if they don't go your way, you've got to man up and stop people and get it done. We don't let stuff like that give us reasons [as] to why we're not successful; it's got to drive you to be better.
Q: Does that call get called in the playoffs?
GK: The pass interference call?
GK: I don't know. I'd have to see it on film. I'm all the way on the other side of the field, so I don't know.
GK: We busted. We were in a goal line defense and the players have to go out there responsibility wise, so we just busted and that's the type of team they are. They make you look really bad when they hurry up to get in formation or something and you're not on top of your stuff and number 12 [Tom Brady] is not going miss it. He doesn't miss many and he sure as hell didn't tonight. He's just a great player and took advantage of us right there and that's what it takes to get to where that team has been for a long time and like I said, they did it again tonight, so credit to them.
Q: How did your playing match up to what they brought into the game tonight?
GK: From what standpoint? What do you mean?
Q: Stopping them or getting in the end zone.
GK: Obviously, it's not good enough when you get beat like that, so I don't know how to answer your question. It's like anything else – when you think you have a good plan and show up on Sunday, that's why you work all week. But obviously it wasn't very good; it didn't work.
Q: The Patriots have sometimes struggled on defense in big games against big teams and statistically that's showed this year. Did they play better today than they have in the past?
GK: I think they're very opportunistic. I think they do a good job of busting some protection schemes and they do a good job of getting their hands on the ball. I don't know what the score was at the time – 14-0 when we were fixing the score with the interception in the end zone? I don't know, so that was a great example of the type of football plays that they make. Fourth and five – we've got a play to make on the sidelines for a first down [and] their corner keeps playing and finds a way to get that ball out. That's why they're at where they're at because they make those plays like that and we've been making our share, but we didn't make them tonight. We've got to step up and make them.
Q: On the Devin McCourty interception, were you surprised he made the grab on that ball?
GK: He was cheating Andre [Johnson], which they did a lot in their coverages. He was cheating that way and Matt [Schaub] was trying to keep him at home and obviously he was doing a good job of seeing what was going on and getting back to the post route. So, it was just a hell of a play on his part.
Q: Are there any injuries you'd like to point out?
GK: Nothing big to think of. We've got a couple of guys dinged up. [Darryl] Sharpton and [Tim] Dobbins have been kind of fighting things for a while.
Matt Schaub, Quarterback
(On the game)
"We dug ourselves a hole and we had opportunities to make plays. We just didn't do that and then we turned the ball over. We had a drive going and I turned it over. It is on me. We had plays out there to be made and we just need to take this one on the chin and move on. We have a short turn around with the Colts coming up and we have to refocus on that one."
(On losing the game but being 11-2)
"Obviously, we didn't play well tonight across the board. We have to take a hard look at that and be better going forward. Especially next week with the Colts coming in, because they are playing well. We have to refocus on that, learn from this one and move on. In this business good or bad you have to have a short-term memory and move forward."
(On what the Patriots were doing early in the game)
"I don't think there was anything they were doing early on. We hurt ourselves with a couple of penalties and when we were moving the ball, I turned it over down there going in. We really hurt ourselves. I don't think it was really anything they were doing, it was more us not executing. We pride ourselves at being better at that."
(On possibly facing the Patriots again)
"We very well could, but we didn't play well today and we need move forward to next week. It was frustrating because we pride ourselves on being a smart football team, a clean football team and we weren't that in the first half. We dug ourselves a hole we couldn't climb out of and we have to take a hard look at that. This business is very humbling at times and that's what happened here tonight and we have to learn from it, grow from it and be a better football team next week."
Arian Foster, Running Back
(On the game)
"We just got out-played in all aspects of the game. We didn't play well. I didn't play well. It's hard to come back from a deficit when you are playing a team of that caliber. We feel we're a better team than that. We have to take this loss on the chin and get ready for next week."
(On what went wrong)
"They just out-played us, we didn't execute when we had chances to. We had a couple third downs we could have done better executing on. That's part of the game, you want to make those plays and that is the type of plays you make if you want to be a championship team."
(On the missed chances)
"It's shooting yourself in the foot that hurts the worst. If you get out-played, you get beat man to man, you can live with that. It's those things that you do that nobody stops you from doing, you stop yourself from doing. That's part of the game we just have to take it on the chin, go back to the drawing board."
Johnathan Joseph, Cornerback
(On the outcome due to self-inflicted wounds)
"It's kind of hard to say right now. They (the Patriots) did a great job of making plays and things like that. So without going and watching the films, it's kind of hard to say the mistakes we made."
(On moving forward)
"It just makes you work even harder, we got something bigger than this. This is just a game, we got the playoffs coming. To be a championship team you got to go and fight and come out winning games like this."
J.J. Watt, Defensive End
(On thoughts about what happened)
"We played a very good football team and they executed everything very well and had a great game plan. They came in and played a great game and we didn't play a great game and they won."
(On the forced fumble recovered by the Patriots for a touchdown)
"A play like that is just tough luck. I came from the back side and forced a fumble and they get a touchdown out of it, just a tough night."
(On how they regroup and move on from here)
"We're 11 – 2 and we still control our destiny. We control everything. We are going to go back and focus on winning the division and locking that up. Everything is still in front of us."
Bradie James, Linebacker
(On the game)
"I was disappointed, we thought we would play a lot better. We know we really have some work to do. You can't do anything but get better from this. This is a tough pill to swallow. I think we put too much emphasis on this being a huge game and not doing our approach. Sometimes guys get a little tight and things get out of hand. But those guys (Patriots) played lights out. That first half, that's what it takes. I think they showed us what it takes to be a champion."
(On if he was surprised they were able to respond as the game progressed)
"Before we knew it, it was 21-0. We had to settle down and get back to doing some things. We had to stop them on third down. We were not getting off the field on third down and that was our Achilles' heel in the first half, especially the first quarter."
Whitney Mercilus, Linebacker
(On what they can take away from the game)
"It's a teaching moment. This is a good team and we can't slack off. Too many penalties and things like that, beating ourselves. We've got to be able to move the ball offensively and defensively, we've got to get to the passer and help out our secondary. We can't get gashed in the run. We've just got to get better."
(On whether they thought they had a decent rush on Brady)
"Yeah, sometimes we had a decent rush, but we've got to be able to get there. We were able to beat them on the speed rush, but he was stepping up in the pocket like we thought he would do. They're a championship team. We are trying to rise, but we've got to play more disciplined."
Duane Brown, Offensive Tackle
(On the loss)
"That was just a total butt kicking. They had a lot of defense and we expected that. They gave us a lot of different looks, but nothing that really confused us. In the running game we made some plays but we had some plays that were left out there. We came out, not flat, but not executing. The intensity was there and the energy was there but we just didn't execute. We had some plays that we left on the field. When you can't stay on the field you give their offense too much time to operate. It is tough and we put our defense in a tough situation. They got up early on us. When you get down to a team like that it is hard to dig yourself out of that hole. We had a good week of practice and we were prepared. The plays were out there to make. We just didn't make them."
Connor Barwin, Linebacker
(On the game)
"There were some key plays in the first half that we didn't make and there were some key plays in the first half that they made. That kind of blew it up early. There weren't really adjustments (at 21-0) we just stopped giving up plays. They had some dropped passes and we tightened up on defense and played a little bit better but we let it get too far out to early. It is extremely frustrating but it is one game and you've got to move forward. We are still 11-2 and there is a lot left to do this season. We are obviously not at all happy about what we did tonight but there is still a lot of football left. There are still a lot of goals ahead of us that we want to accomplish. We have to move forward. Looking back at that game, there were plays we didn't make early and plays they made early that kind of blew it open. Obviously he (Brady) is a good quarterback and he played well."
Shaun Cody, Nose Tackle
(On the game)
"They made some plays early in the game and they got the score up. When you are behind like that the offense can't do what they want to do. We can't dig ourselves that kind of a hole like that early in the game and expect to go out and win against a championship caliber team."
(On the play of Brady)
"You expect that. Obviously you want to play him better than that but he went out there and they were pretty good. We have to take a look at the film and see what happened but they kicked our butts today. That would be the ultimate goal, to get another shot (at the Patriots)."
Owen Daniels, Tight End
(On the Patriots defense and the early deficit)
"They do a lot of different stuff but nothing was surprising to us. We had some plays to make to keep us on the field in the first half but we didn't do it. They definitely capitalized. You get down 21 real quick like that, well that is hard to come back from. There were some plays there and we didn't make them. It is hard to come back from three scores down but we kept fighting. It wasn't our night. They made plays and we didn't."
Ryan Harris, Tackle
(On playing against Vince Wilfork)
"He is a big guy. He is a smart player, a veteran and a champion. He knows what it takes to win in this league."
Andre Johnson, Wide Receiver
(On the game)
"We know how important this game was to us. It was a good ass whipping and that is pretty much it. We have to respond next week and that is what it is all about. You go out and play a game and win or lose you have to respond the following week. We have a good football team coming in next week to our place and everybody will be looking to see how we respond."
(On why they lost)
"We did not make any plays and against a team like that you have to make plays on third down. We did not make any plays on third down. They scored a lot of points and they converted on their third downs and kept our offense off the field."
(On being down 21 points)
"I have played in several games and been down 21 points and have been able to come back. You have to play for 60 minutes and we didn't do that tonight."