HEAD COACH MIKE MUNCHAK
How much did the fast start help you?
"It helped us a lot. To get the running game going right off the bat; Chris's long run was huge for us right there. Like we've been saying for a long time, if we can run the ball that well, we become a tough team to stop. I think [Johnson] had two touchdown runs in the first half – it makes you feel good about what you're doing, so that was a great way for us to start."
On Chris Johnson; has something in his game changed?
"I think it's momentum. I think it's finally having things go well for a couple games in a row. The last three out of four weeks, we've run the ball much better. I don't think something has changed [with Johnson]. I think the blocking is better, I think he's getting more clean looks, more clean opportunities, more yards after contact. When you start making plays, I think the momentum starts carrying, and I think we saw that carry over from last week."
On 2nd half game plan:
"Buffalo has come back three or four times in the fourth quarter and won football games. We by no means had a large lead – I've been part of losses here with large leads – I think we all realized that we had a lot of football to play. We came out in the second half, and they got us three-and-out. They did what they had to do. I thought that was a big turning point for our defense. [Buffalo] had a first down in our area, the tight end is trying to make extra yards, we were gang tackling, and we knocked the ball out. That led to us driving the ball for a field goal, and took a lot of time off the clock, and I think that really hurt them."
On Titans' trouble getting off the field on third-and-long:
"I think we knew that [Buffalo] makes plays. We knew that their quarterback makes some good throws; he stuck a bunch of balls in there and made some good throws, and they made catches. We knew that was going to be part of it. Give credit to the defense for not allowing a lot of points – even though they moved the ball at times, and made some plays, they held them. Even the last touchdown, they made it hard on [Buffalo]."
On play of Mike McCarthy:
"He just seems to make plays. That's a unique skill to have, because that's him being around the ball, hitting guys – when he hits them, the ball comes out. Even though that was a fourth down, that gave us great field position with the ball coming out on the quarterback. He's been doing a great job for us."
On Nate Washington's play, injury:
"This game meant a lot to him. I know he's a competitor; he's having his best year. He's been the guy leading those receivers. He just wanted to stay on the field [after the injury]. He came back on that third down conversion for us. It's a credit to how he's played. He's dedicated himself to having the best year he can, and it's showing in that kind of deal."
On lack of offensive third down conversions:
"We made it hard on ourselves. Give Buffalo credit in the second half – we had chances where we had good field position, and they were able to get us off the field. They made some adjustments, made some plays, and put us in some long down situations. That led to the nerve-racking ending of the game. If you can take care of those things in the third and fourth quarter, you can avoid those types of situations."
TENNESSEE TITANS QUARTERBACK MATT HASSELBECK
On the win:
Buffalo is a tough place to come get a win, I think they're 4-1 this year. We knew the importance of it, not only the challenge but also how important it was going to be for us to try to get two (wins) in a row.
On not being able to convert third downs:
I think (Buffalo) made it hard on us actually, there are games where we make it hard on ourselves, but they did a nice job. They played a lot of physical, inside leverage technique mixed with a little bit of pressure, just some different looks. We were able to create some plays, we had some opportunities, didn't take advantage of all of them but I thought it was a pretty good game. We had a lead most of the game, I don't think we were content with the lead knowing that they could come back. They've got a quarterback who is a kind of gunslinger, quick strike guy. We felt like we could run the ball, we were able to run the ball which was nice. With the conditions we threw the ball adequately, it could have been better but it was enough to get it done.
On Chris Johnson:
It's not a one man show, that's the name they use, that's the guy that has the camera on him all the time and that's the guy that people own in their fantasy football leagues. It's not a one man approach, he's done a good job for us the last two weeks, really three out of the last four weeks. We talk about how late in the year you've got to be playing well and you've got to play well in tough conditions. The conditions weren't that bad today but as we go here they could get tougher and we're going to have to be able to do that.
On Nate Washington:
It's hard for me to know what's going on, I see him limp off and I don't get a report. He was in there some, he was out then he went back in. I'm not really sure what's going on but those guys all year have done a nice job of fighting through stuff, whether it be Hawk (Lavelle Hawkins) or Damian (Williams) or all of them.
On starting to win consistently:
It would be nice, we've just got to put one on top of the other and that's what we've got to do. It's just like playing a game, you just go one play at a time, just do things right and the score takes care of itself. I think in the same regard if we just do things right the wins will come.
TENNESSEE TITANS RB CHRIS JOHNSON
On seeing playoff opportunity:
It was pretty good. We have to continue winning. You know, like you said, they're in control. In order for us to get down to the last game of the season we have to continue to handle our own business and keep winning every week.
On the importance of the team starting him off fast:
It's real big because at the beginning of the season the passing game carried us and now it's time for the running game to step it up and that's where the passing game is doing it. Anytime you want to build a full team and hopefully make it to the Super Bowl you're going to have to have all the elements.
On his earlier season criticisms:
It's crazy but you know, like I always say, you work hard and continue to try and get it on track. We know we have the talent here. We have a good offensive line and everything. Hopefully we continue to keep the momentum going.
On his touchdown:
The situation of this game hits you. The first hit I could have went to the outside but I knew I still had to wait on my offensive lineman to come on and make that block. That's pretty much being patient. And then once I came through the line, they watched and were making the blocks on that guy right there and helped me.
On setting the tone for the game:
Basically we know, Coach Munchak told us, we need to come out and try to run it earlier. We have to show them that we can run the ball.
On the playing Buffalo:
They played the same or whatever and we had a chance to break them. They were going to give us some big ones but we had to execute on our own and we did that.
TENNESSEE TITANS CB CORTLAND FINNEGAN
On next week's game:
We've got Drew Brees. We've got to do some extra studying. I might not do another interview this coming week because I'll be watching film. We've got a good opponent coming in.
On the locker room starting to feel positive momentum:
You know what, it's the win streak. We haven't had that in a while since the Denver week. If we continue to put them back to back, next we play at LP Field in front of our home crowd and we need them there to support us.
TENNESEE TITANS FULLBACK AHMARD HALL
On what the locker room was like following the game:
It was awesome. It was awesome even before we came into the locker room just to be able to get a great victory. It was the first time we won two in a row since earlier in the season. It's a great feeling but the job is not finished yet; keep going.
On what the Titans did in the second half to continue to hold on to the lead:
Just like you said, we just continued to do what we did (in the first half), impose our will, run the football, catch the ball when we had it but mainly just impose our will. We want to run the ball and they know that also. You can know what a person is going to do but you still have to stop it. We just continued to impose our will and run the ball and run the clock out and we got a great victory.
On how big it was for Chris Johnson to set the tone for the offense:
It was big. Whenever Chris comes out and sets the tone and has some explosive runs, we know we're going to have a good day if we continue to do that and we did that.
On if he enjoyed carrying the ball today:
No doubt, definitely. Anytime I can get the rock in my hands and coaches have faith in me that I can get something and do something with it, hey, I love it.
On how important this win was in terms of the AFC playoff picture:
I was definitely big, just to keep pace in the AFC and continue to win and keep our playoff hopes alive. It was a big, big win today.
On if he was surprised to get the ball on fourth down:
You guys might be surprised, but I'm not surprised. We have plays in for me every week but it's just called in good situations. They were feeling it today they were able to give me the ball and I'm just happy for them to have faith in me.
On him catching the ball out of the backfield:
Yeah, like I said I practice hard, the coaches have faith in me. I'm just happy they have faith in me to give me a chance to get the ball because a lot of fullbacks in the league don't get the ball. Coach Palmer and Coach Skipper allow me to catch the ball and run the ball in short yardage situations and I'm happy for that.
On starting fast:
A fast start … you have to have that. As you can see, when we win games we have a fast start. When we start slow we somehow find a way to lose the game. So if we can continue to have a fast and finish these games out and make this playoff run.
TENNESSEE TITANS WR NATE WASHINGTON
On coming back into the game after being injured:
It is just the attitude around here. If I have a little injury or I'm a little banged up, I'm going to go out there and give these guys everything I can because I see that they're working too.
On whether the team has momentum now after winning two straight games:
Definitely. Our coaches have been preaching to us lately about not having the start that we wanted. We have been winning one game, losing one game and then winning one game again. At the same time, we are in a position that we have to accept. We have accepted our position, but we have to fight for ourselves. We are going to give everything we have at the end of the season. I think a lot of these guys are growing confidence that wasn't there in the beginning. We are starting to realize we have a good chance at being a great football team here, not just good, but great. We are making great progress right now. We just can't be complacent with these types of wins. Look for us to come in next week and get even better.
On whether he was aware how important his third-down catch was:
I'm not. I just knew at the time that I could give a bit more. I know that these guys look to me for leadership. I don't want to have that mentality where a little adversity hits the fan and we give up. I had a little bruise today and I had to make sure I got back out there and gave all that I had. That is attitude that we have. You have to have the attitude to go out there and give everything.
TENNESSEE TITANS S MICHAEL GRIFFIN
On the defense's strong performance in the second half:
We held them scoreless in the second half until the fourth quarter. We made the stops to keep them out of the end zone. Unfortunately we allowed the touchdown. They scored on a fourth-down from the two yard-line. It's a tough situation.
On Bills RB C.J. Spiller recovering the ball in the end zone after he stripped it:
It was a great bounce at the end. I was watching it thinking it was going to go out. The ball had height, so he was able to get his hands underneath it and keep control of it. You have to give him credit. He had great awareness of where he was and got both feet in bounds. It was a great play by him.
On how the defense performed overall:
We did a good job today. We had a miscommunication here and there, especially on the last drive where they scored. We did our best job against a good football team.
TENNESEE TITANS DEFENSIVE END JASON JONES
On how big today's win was:
We try not to make it close but we always make it close at the end. As long as we come out with a win that's the most important thing. It keeps us alive in the playoff hunt and we definitely want to celebrate this win and we look forward to next week. We've got an NFC South team coming in that's playing pretty good, so we've got to get ready for them.
On struggling on third-and-long but coming up with big plays when it mattered most:
To tell you the truth in the NFL that's all that matters. When it's time to win the game we get the stops right then and there. It doesn't matter what's happened in the rest of the game, right then and there is what matters. We got off the field, they used up all their timeouts and we just knew they had to drive 90 yards to score. We played a nice little zone and kept everybody back and we held them to no touchdowns.
On what it means to start fast:
When we start fast I think it builds confidence on the offensive and defensive side. Chris Johnson was running the ball great today, Matt (Hasselbeck) was making good plays today and the receivers were catching. Nate (Washington) had an injury, but he picked up a big first down, I want to say in the third quarter, to get the first down for us. It gives us confidence. When we play ahead it gives us confidence and helps us go out there and win.
TENNESSEE TITANS CB ALTERRAUN VERNER
On covering Bills WR Stevie Johnson when he scored his touchdown:
I was just a step slow. If I was a step faster, I would have been able to make that play. Hat's off to him (Stevie Johnson) for converting it.
On the secondary stopping the Bills on the final drive:
There was a little desperation. We were trying to keep the ball inside. They had no timeouts left. We were making sure we kept them inside so the clock kept running.
On the importance of forcing the Bills into turnovers:
The one turnover we had in the second half with the tight end (Scott Chandler) was important for us. They had a big completion on the play before. The turnovers came in a timely fashion and really helped us out. That is something we emphasize every day in practice. Hopefully we can build on that by getting some interceptions.
On Titans RB hris Johnson having a big game:
It was refreshing. I made a comment: "That's the CJ that I know." If there is a time you want someone to compete and get back into form, it's now. I'm excited. Sometimes when we go out there in practice and I'm out there against him on the scout team, I try to get him a little excited. If he can perform like he did today, the sky is the limit. He is not even 100-percent. It is going to be scary when he starts having some 250-yard games. I can't wait for that.
TENNESSEE TITANS LINEBACKER COLIN MCCARTHY
On the win and the team performance:
That was a huge win for us, being on the road it's tough. The offense did a great job as far as (drives). They had long drives, six-minute and seven-minute drives which were huge for us. Defensively we were able to force some turnovers. The defense that last drive, to be able to get that stop was huge for us as a defense.
On third down defense:
It was frustrating, on third down I think we had them a lot of times in third and long, they were able to find ways to convert on those which was disappointing for us. Usually third down we get off the field. Turnovers were huge for us, we were able to force those and it was a big point in the game.
On the team believing in playoff chances:
I think coach (Munchak) said it as far as a new season for the second half. Guys are buying into it, you've got two straight wins which is huge for us, and we haven't done that since I think week two and three. We know we've got four more games left, we've got to take them one at a time and whatever happens from there happens.
On his production today:
There are a lot of plays to be made out there playing middle linebacker. I try to make all of them. I think as far as the energy I bring and the energy the defense brings is huge. As far as forcing turnovers, as far as us playing with that kind of energy it's contagious.
On if Buffalo got away from using CJ Spiller:
He's a great back, when he has the ball in his hands he's able to break one at any point. We saw that twice, thank god one got called back. He's a great player; the less they went to him the better it was for us.
TENNESSEE TITANS LINEBACKER WILL WITHERSPOON
On the fact that you can't downgrade the importance of this win:
No, you can't. Coming on the road, in Buffalo, it's always a challenge. You've got to be prepared to play and this is a team that has played well for the most part this season. They've had a couple bumps and bruises but when you come out on the road, any win is a big win.
On what they needed to do in the second half to win the game:
Be consistent. I think that was really what it came down to. We ran the ball well today, made some plays when we needed to. Yeah, we still made some mistakes but overall we executed the way we needed to.
On coming up with big plays on defense when they were needed with a 'bend, don't break' mentality:
Yeah, that's the best way to describe it. You have to look at it and say 'ok, this is what we need to make sure we are better at guys; this is what we can't have happen'. When you get guys in third and long you really want to stop them but when you make the stops that you need and get off the field when you need to that's a big deal.
On forcing two turnovers:
Yeah, [they were] two huge turnovers. Colin [McCarthy] causing one, getting it and (Sen'Derrick Marks) causing another and getting that one. That's a great deal. Anytime you get turnovers and put the offense in great field position. Those are point's right there that you can't erase.
On how playing with the lead helps the defense:
It's definitely a different deal for the defense, it's a different approach. Anytime you have an opportunity and the offense is moving the ball well, both on the ground and in the air, you can't ask for more. You know it's a balanced offense and that it creates a lot more problems for their defense. As long as you're not looking for a one dimensional ideal, you can play.