Head Coach Mike Mularkey**
"I'll start with just an injury thing. I think we're pretty healthy. (Da'Norris) Searcy was the only one that did not return with an ankle and I think he will be fine. But he was the last one that did not go back in the game. Everybody else went back in. So, we're pretty healthy. With the exception of Rishard (Matthews) obviously."
What happened with the run game you found in the last two series?
"We made some adjustments. That's what you do. They did an outstanding job with stuffing us. We came in at halftime, made some adjustments and our guys kind of took it personal that we weren't running the ball very well. I think that made a big difference and obviously helped us win the football game."
You talk a lot about patience. Can you talk about another example today, where it was not pretty all the way but you found a way to finish?
"Again, there's nobody on this team that is panicking and flustered like some others. Our guys are very composed, know how much time is left in the game, how many drives we have left in the game and that's just the way they are. That gives us a chance every time we play as long as they believe in what we're doing, and they do."
Very similar to the first game against these guys?
"Yeah, very similar."
How big was the momentum swing when Byard recovered the fumble down there?
"That was obviously big. We had the option to go for it on fourth-and-two. A lot of guys wanted to go for it. It was a long two. I thought at the time the best things for us to do was to punt them, pin them back and make them drive the field. We get a turnover because of it. We were due one anyhow at some point the way our guys were playing defensively. It just so happens that that one time we made a good decision to pin them back and get the ball."
Were your seven or eight sacks a part of that decision? You had about seven sacks when you made that decision.
"Yeah, I mean they had one big run. I think it was Gore that scored, and other than that it was our defense that had done a pretty darn good job. Especially with our turnovers that we did. So I just felt like they had a long way to go and let's make them earn it if they are going to do that."
What was the discussion like on the third down with DeMarco in the backfield? What did you see?
"Well, they play a lot of man coverage against us most of the day. I mean, pretty much majority of the day, and we thought we could sneak him out the back door. We call them 'rubs' that they got a defender has to go through. We had multiple guys over there running shallow routes trying to make that linebacker work to get through there. It was very well executed. Fortunately, they played man. If they don't, we have another play we go to and another good play to go to. But, very well executed by our guys."
Can you talk about the impact that Derrick Henry had for you down the stretch?
"Big. I mean, he made some runs that, some were designed to bounce, some were not, and he made some yards. He made some really good decisions by staying in bounds and made those guys eat the clock. That last run was amazing to put it away to where we could go to a victory formation. Just smart running on his part."
Do you know why he's been having success while DeMarco has been struggling?
"No, no rhyme or reason. Some of the runs we put him in (are) specifically designed for him; some (are) designed for Demarco. But no, he's hit some big runs, and we've blocked them pretty well, too."
How unusual is it to come back from a 10-point deficit in the second half and not have the game rest on your quarterback's shoulders?
"Yeah, it may be a little bit. I hadn't thought of it that way. There was so much time left in the game. We felt like we could still run the offense. We wanted to see how the adjustments in the run game were going to pan out - they did. We hit a couple of the same ones over and over before they could go over to the sidelines and adjust we just kept running some of the same plays. It just felt like if we could get a drive together, I just felt like we had the momentum. Especially after we got the turnover for the score."
What happened on the two Mariota picks?
"One I think sailed on him. There was some pressure right in his face."
The one where he fell down?
"No, that one we got under cut on it and the defender made a good play on it. The other one I think it sailed a little bit because he had a guy right in his face."
How important was it for him to bounce back in the second half?
"He always does. It's important. He needs to keep doing that - not the interceptions, the bouncing back after negative plays, and he does. I don't need to tell him that. This guy can do it."
Was Delanie's CPR on the ball in reference to his lack of touchdowns or reviving of the offense?
"Was he what?"
He did CPR on the football.
"Oh, I didn't see. No, usually it is the next day that I get to see all the celebrations. I'm just celebrating with the rest of the team."
I know all of them are important, but how critical to get out of here with a win?
"This time of the year, all of these games are very important to get wins. Very important. So, again, all the streaks that we keep having to face, we're trying to knock those off at the same time. Not intently, but it's important to win. If you want to win the division, you got to win the division games and you got to win them on the road."
In a game without Rishard, you get the unbelievable catch from Delanie on a throw over three or four guys, and Andy's first touchdown. Thoughts on that?
"Yeah, Delanie made some great plays as he has all year. He's played steady, he's a go-to guy, he takes a lot of coverage off other guys and that was a big play for us to get that second score."
Do you think that DaQuan Jones being disruptive early set the tone for the defense?
"Pretty disruptive. That was important, that was the point of emphasis that we needed. We needed to put pressure on their quarterback to take pressure off of our secondary and I think our guys responded to that."
How good was it to see the breakthrough in sacks as a team?
"Well I hope it gives us confidence in what we're doing and see we can be disruptive. It was a relentless rush. That helps. I thought Coach (Dick) LeBeau called a great game to get some guys freed up to put the pressure on."
I know you haven't been here for all of it but this is this franchise's first win in this building. How significant is that? How much pride do you take in that?
"Not a whole lot. No, we have to win on the road wherever it is, so it's probably something more for you guys to write about that you won't get to write about again."
With Jalston Fowler, was it just kind of a better matchup or better look?
"Yeah, with the snaps and really, the special teams, we feel like this is a team that we had to match up very well. told him the special teams was a game within a game. They're very good like we're very good and I wanted to get Nate Palmer up and (Kevin) Dodd and even allow him to get some defensive snaps and that's just the way it worked out."
Do you think Rishard Matthews is close?
"Not for today."
What's your sense of him going forward?
"Probably a day-to-day thing. I just thought it was a smart move on our part and his part. We've got a lot of football to play."
With Taylor Lewan and Jayon Brown, I know they came back...
"Taylor has got an elbow but he went right back in, didn't do anything, didn't tape it - did nothing. Jayon just banged knees with a player."
Is that the best your four-minute offense has looked this year?
"I'd say yeah, probably. Looking back on it, especially with the struggles early in the first half of running the football, you've got to be able to do that to win games."
What did you see on the challenge?
"I thought it was close. I thought it was very close and I think they did, too. That's why they rushed up to snap the ball. I got cleared from upstairs, 'Hey, it looks very close.' And it was, it was close. The difference was it looked like it was worth a challenge, especially with where the ball was put that tight down the red zone."
With the touchdown run for DeMarco Murray, Derrick Henry's big drive and not having Jalston Fowler, were you hoping to sneak him in at fullback with all the attention on 22 (Derrick Henry)? Is that what the idea there was?
"Yeah, well, we didn't have a fullback and we just saw a play that we could counter that we had both of them step in the same direction, you have both those big backs going one way and we countered them to get the flow going opposite of where DeMarco (Murray) was going to hit it. We needed a yard, it felt like if we just hold up front he could get in there."
Do you anticipate the roof being open? Do equipment guys pack for both scenarios?
"No, we're always prepared. Our guys are great and always getting us dressed right and there were no issues for the day."
Did you say anything to the front that allowed the running game in the third to open up?
"I think Coach (Terry) Robiskie did. Coach did a good job at halftime letting him know his feelings on the run game and I think that set the tone. Obviously, some adjustments we made."
How key was your red zone defense holding them to the field goals?
"Big, it's what we've been doing all year. Difference in the game, especially when you turn in over to get to that point."
It's been a bad streak for Marcus Mariota with the interceptions. Is this happenstance? Is it something that he's doing something different?
"Again, when you've got a guy in your face, you can hold it and you can take a sack. I thought he felt like he had Taywan (Taylor) pretty much wide open on the play. I thought he could get it in there. The pressure more than anything than the route. How they defended it, the pressure in his face. No, I don't think it's a trend we're setting."
So that wasn't Taywan Taylor just falling down on that play, you think he just sailed that ball?
"I think that ball was going where it was going."
Quarterback Marcus Mariota**
From your perspective, what was Coach Terry Robiskie's halftime speech like?
"I thought it was good. Very motivating. I think he was getting everybody going and I thought it helped us in the second half."
What was his tone?
"Frustration, and I think everyone felt that way. So I thought he just really echoed how everybody felt."
Have you seen him like that before, or does he get that way sometimes?
"Every now and then, so I thought it was good. I thought it helped get guys going in the right direction."
What happened on the interceptions?
"Just poor throws."
How unusual is it being down ten points in the second half that you didn't have to shoulder the offense to make it happen?
"Overall, I thought the offense made plays when we needed to, and I thought that was huge. Derrick (Henry) came in and made some big runs, really carried us all the way down on that touchdown drive. When you have a back like that that can do that, that you can lean on, it's very pivotal, and we're very fortunate to have him."
What's it feel like in the huddle as you guys are kind of picking up momentum and moving the ball on the ground like you were?
"I think it was just really – it just came down to everyone was motivated, everyone felt good, everyone was excited and we were just making plays. Again, you give a lot of credit to the guys up front. They did a good job of making some holes for the backs and found ways to make plays to help us win."
Jack Conklin said he was excited that the offense didn't give up on the offensive line and they allowed them still in the fourth quarter to take control.
"Absolutely. When you have a front like we do and you can lean on those guys, it's huge. Their abilities, the way that they can dominate the line of scrimmage is huge. I was very happy and very pleased with how those guys played and we were able to lean on them and they took us home for the win."
Offense really seemed to get sparked by the fumble recovery that set you guys up goal-to-go. Talk about that play; maybe that turned the game around for you guys offensively?
"Huge, huge. Awesome job by the defense of getting the turnover and just giving us an opportunity, and Delanie (Walker) found a way to get open and made a play. I think that really just kind of carried the momentum throughout the rest of the game, and guys didn't blink and knew that we could finish the game on top."
You guys punted, I think from about the 45-yard line before that play. I'm guessing you guys wanted to go for it at that point though?
"Well it always comes down to the coach. Coach (Mike) Mularkey felt that was the best move and it worked out. No matter what, we trust his instincts and believe in him all the way."
It's been a rough month for you with interceptions these last couple of games. Can you figure out why it's been that way?
"Honestly, it's just coming down to throwing. I'm missing – either I'm sailing it or leaving the ball behind. You know, I've got to find ways to improve. I've got to get better. I can't keep hurting this team. And I will – I will definitely get better."
Is there some sort of consistent mechanical issue cropping up?
"I'll look at it. But for now, I'm not sure."
Are you effected physically by some of the injuries you have had?
"Everyone plays with injuries. It's part of it. And you know, I never allow that to be an excuse."
Is it hard to stay aggressive when you are in a stretch like this? You know, in the second half and still have to try to make throws into tight windows when you've thrown a few picks.
"Not at all. I trust those guys to make plays, and you can't be shy as a quarterback. You've got to go out there and make the throws. I never shy away from an opportunity to get a completion. I'll find ways to get those guys the football."
You made a heck of a throw, on the throw to Delanie Walker, in the first quarter over like four guys. Can you talk about what you saw on that play?
"It just really came down to Delanie. He got behind him. He makes it really easy, and I just gave him an opportunity to catch the ball."
On the third down dump to DeMarco Murray, can you tell us what the other play would've been if you had seen zone pre-snap there?
"Obviously, I would have tried to get past the sticks and get a first down. It was just a simple concept."
Overall, being able to get out of here with a win when things didn't start off too well, how big is that going forward? I mean, this is a game that you guys pretty much had to have.
"It was very important. I thought overall, whether it was special teams, defense, even offense, we just found ways to make plays when it mattered most. These guys continue to lean on each other like that, we will continue to win games like these. Again, we like where we are at in December, hopefully we can get in the mix of everything."
Wide Receiver Corey Davis
You guys didn't panic, but was there frustration?
"Not really, because we came in and we were all poised. We weren't really down that much. We knew what we had to do. We knew we had those guys. We went out there and we made it happen."
How much was a swing was that fumble down there at the five-yard line?
"That was a big swing. It was big. Our defense, they came to play today. They did their thing, forced turnovers and they had a franchise record eight sacks. So, they did their thing and I'm proud of them."
Tackle Taylor Lewan **
What kind of speech did you get from Offensive Coordinator Terry Robiskie at halftime? Mike Mularkey was saying that he challenged you guys?
"Yeah, he lit a fire under us. Robiskie is a hell of a coach. He calls the plays to put us in position to be successful, and he does it every single time. We weren't making him look good with his good play calls, and sometimes he goes back and forth but for sure this time we had to focus on get the run game going, focus on sustaining blocks, get it moving. Derrick (Henry) and DeMarco (Murray) did a great job at the end of the game finding holes. So, as long as we keep improving, go off of this – have a sense of urgency in the beginning to run the ball and get it done. That's what's important."
How fiery was the speech?
"It was fire. What do you want? One to 10? The place didn't burn down."
What did he say specifically?
"I think those things are better left in the locker room just because it's a team and that should stay between the team, but he said enough for us to say, 'Hey, we got a figure out, we got to look in the mirror and get it done.'"
Jack Conklin was saying how we was excited that they didn't give up on you guys (the offensive line) and allowed you guys to win the game."Yeah, that means the world to us. I know we started the second half not great, going three-and-out, and then we threw it a few times on that second drive and sustained a big drive. Just got it done, man. That turnover by the defense really helped us out. We can't make those kind of mistakes going into the future, because It'll come back to bite us like it did when we played Pittsburgh."
Outside Linebacker Derrick Morgan
Eight sacks for the Titans defense today. What was working with all the defensive pressure against Brissett?
"All I can say is that we had a lot more time than we usually do, and that's a credit to our back end. They were letting us play, giving us a little extra time to get back there, get to the quarterback and we took advantage of that."
It looked like things carried over from the second half of the previous game against the Colts. Brissett was really slowed down in the final two quarters back in Nashville, and it really started from the first series here.
"Yeah, I mean we just kind of picked up where we left off there. Our defense was playing very well collectively at all levels. I think collectively, as a team, we did a great job of playing complimentary football when we needed to, to close out the game."
From my vantage point, I got the sense that the defense felt like if the offense could ever get the lead back, the game would be back in your hands completely. Did you feel the same way?
"Yeah. We were actually talking amongst ourselves in the TV timeout, in the huddle, we were saying, 'We need to get a turnover.' And then two plays later we had a turnover. So, that kind of turned the tide for us as a team, and we really made big plays on defense. We need to get turnovers, we preach it every week and we did a good job of getting the ball out."
Cornerback Logan Ryan
Can you tell me about the forced fumble when you had them backed up against the goal line?
"It was actually a great play call. We had a blitz into the toss and I think they saw me coming a little bit, took his eye off the ball. It's one of those 50-50 balls and I felt like I wanted it, so I literally tried to hit him, and I knew I had guys swarming. So I tried to hit him and dislodge him from the ball. Of course, KB (Kevin Byard) comes up with it like he has been all year, so I'll take the assist. We needed turnovers. We needed it and that's just how it's been going. We were fortunate to get one down there and get our offense the ball in the low red."
So no surprise to turn around and see that 31 pounced on the football?
"No surprise, man. It's been that type of year for him. To me, he's the defensive player of the year. I don't know too many guys on defense playing better than what he's doing. Johnny-on-the-spot, you know, and he came up with it."
I was just talking with Derrick Morgan. He gave all the credit to the secondary for the time allowed for the defensive front to get to the quarterback. Was coverage that great?
"It was good complementary football. I mean, when you're a franchise record in sacks it's going to help the coverage. So those guys went out there and got eight sacks, tackles for loss, tons of pressures and that made our job easier. We knew we had a tough assignment with T.Y. (Hilton) and those guys at home – they're a pretty explosive offense. When those guys are rushing like that, it's going to make our job easier."
Linebacker Avery Williamson**
How much did the fumble turn this game around?
"It was huge, just to get that momentum shift, and we were saying that we needed one and they gave us one. Just good awareness by KB (Kevin Byard) to recover it. So, happy that we got it back and that really sparked this win."
Byard is like a ball magnet, isn't he?
"Yeah, I saw it on the ground, and there was just too many bodies flying around. But I'm glad that one of us got it. Glad he did."
The defense got eight sacks today. How did it feel to get the pass rush going?
"Really good. I didn't even know until we got in here that I had one. Indy was handing them out, so we took advantage of it. We did a good job blitzing, and just I feel like we did a good job of helping our coverage and taking advantage. We got the job done - the fact that we were able to get him down. It was huge. We haven't been getting the sacks like we thought we would, but they came in bunches today."
This game was so critical. How big was it to be able to come back and get out of here with a win?
"Yeah, it was huge. It was bad in the first half, and we just came in here and was like, just kind of re-group.Offense, they got their minds right, and we got the turnover and it all worked out. We didn't give up, and we just continued to fight."
Head Coach Chuck Pagano
"Obviously, another disappointing loss. These are 60-minute ball games. They are not 30 minutes; they are not 45 minutes. They are 60-minute games. Plenty of opportunities to put that team away, we didn't take advantage of those opportunities. Played well again in spurts. But you turn the ball over like we did in your own territory, you have eight or nine penalties and you can't hold a team to 11 yards rushing in one half and then give up the yards that we gave up in the second half – then they get in the four-minute. It's about doing your job; it's about finishing and playing 60 minutes."
What are statuses of Rashaan Melvin and Ryan Kelly?
"Melvin has got a hand. He'll get an MRI and be evaluated. That obviously kept him out for the game. Then, Kelly has got a concussion."
Can you talk about the impressive performance from your defense through three-and-a-half quarters?
"It was outstanding, but you've got to play 60 minutes. The same thing happened in the first game – bring in 22 (Derrick Henry), who is kind of their closer. They got a big back. Doing your job and doing it over and over and over and over again for a complete game."
How big was the Marlon Mack fumble? Did you feel like the game turned the other way after that?
"You've got to be able to overcome it. It's a (crappy) thing for that kid, excuse my language. The kid works really hard and it's unfortunate. They go in and score and it stinks for him. But you've got to be able to overcome. You still got the lead. You've got to be able to overcome, you've got to be able to answer and fight through adversity. You can't do it; you just can't hurt yourself like that."
Were the eight sacks on the offensive line or Jacoby Brissett or does everyone take responsibility for it?
"At the end of the day, it comes down to blocking, tackling, throwing, catching and finishing – and doing it for 60 minutes. You can't be on for a couple plays and then three quarters, three-and-a-half quarters. You've got to play 60 minutes so it's on all of us."
Did you consider going for it on that fourth down late in the game?
"Yeah, we talked about it, but there was enough time and timeouts. The defense had played good enough to that point where you go out, got a four-minute situation, you get a stop and you get the ball back. Couldn't get it done. Credit Tennessee."
How much did the red zone issues hurt you?
"It's killing us; it's killing us. You're one-of-four and you've got opportunities, you got to score. We talked about it from the beginning of the week on, red zone, we had to be at least 66 percent, hold them to 33 percent. If they had three trips, they're one-of-three. We had three; we're two-of-three, now one-of-four. You've got opportunities down there. You can't have a first-and-goal at the eight (yard line) and then settle for a field goal. You've got to score touchdowns in this league. You've got to put touchdowns on the board. Let people hang around and see what happens."
What adjustments did Tennessee make that allowed for their run game to open up?
"Ran the same stuff. They just blocked it. We got to do our job better for 60 minutes. It wasn't nothing magical about it. It's just doing your job and being where you're supposed to be and taking on blocks, setting edges, getting knock them back, tackling – the whole nine yards. Credit them down the stretch."
Quarterback Jacoby Brissett
How much did the offense's performance in the red zone hurt you guys today?"Big. We've got to score touchdowns when we're down there, and that was the difference in the game."
They brought a lot of pressure and got a lot of sacks. How much of that was due to you trying to get through your progressions or not having enough time or holding on to the ball too long?"It was just a mixture of everything. We've just got to do a better job of understanding what teams are doing against us because that's what teams do against us. I've got to do a better job of trying to save a lot of those."
On some of those situations, it seemed clear they were blitzing. Is it just a matter of getting the hot reads out there or getting rid of the ball quicker?"No, that's all of us being on the same page." * *
Did you get a good look on what happened with the Marlon Mack fumble?"No, I didn't. I tossed it to him, so I didn't see."
There was one situation where you were in the red zone and you threw a ball to Donte Moncrief. What happened on that play?"He got held. He got held."
Is that why you were frustrated?"Yeah, but hey, what can you do?"
What's not worked. What's not happened in the fourth quarter?"We haven't finished."
Is that what it is for the final five games, being consistent over the course of 60 minutes?"Yeah, no doubt. You do that for 60 minutes and then whatever the score is at the end of that then it is."
What changes? You guys for three quarters, in most games, you guys are playing well, and then come the fourth quarter things just change for you."Just focusing towards the end of the game and just taking care of our job, just staying on course with what we've been doing the whole game. We kind of get away from ourselves a little bit. We panic, but I've got to do a better job of calming everybody down."
Is that more of just a learning experience for you as a quarterback when these situations come about?"Definitely. You understand as a quarterback, I've got to be able to step up and be that leader."
Jack Doyle had another solid performance. What makes him so good out there?"He just makes plays."
Safety Darius Butler
Does this just feel like a movie, or Groundhog Day, or something?
"It's kind of the same thing over and over and over. It's on us. Off the top of my head, I can think of two games where a team came in here and just kicked our ass. But outside of that it has been things that we have let happen, usually in the second half, put us in a hole. We have to correct it."
How frustrating has this been for you guys, week after week, to have the same thing happen?
"It's very frustrating. It's one thing if you're a team where you're just not good enough to win; you don't have the players, you don't have the coaches, you don't have the scheme. That's one thing. But, we are obviously good enough to play with any team that comes here or we go in their building. It's even more frustrating when we lose these games, especially the way that we have lost them. It's kind of the same song over and over. The only way we can fix it is to get back to work."
It seems that a mistake here and there can really kill the team. Does it feel like the margin of error is that small?
"I mean, that's how most of these games go. There's usually about 60 plays that go back and forth and then there's about five or six plays that determine winning or losing the game. More times than not this season the ball has bounced the wrong way for us."
Tight End Jack Doyle
What was going right for you on offense today?
"I don't know. I just try the same thing as always. Try to get open and sometimes the ball finds you, and Jacoby did a good job finding me today. But, you know, it really doesn't matter when you lose. I'd rather have no catches and win."
How frustrating has this been week after week having these outcomes?
"Yeah. I don't have a word for it. It's tough. Just stinks."
Does it just come down to sustaining drives? It happens, but not consistently.
"Yeah, for sure. It comes down to the little things usually. We just got to do a better job of taking care of those things. We will have to go back and look at it to see what we can do better. It just stinks, it's tough right now."
This team is close, you think, isn't it?
"Yeah, for sure. We aren't getting blown out. We have leads in most of these eight losses, which makes it more frustrating in the moment, but when you look at it, you know we are close. You just got to keep working."
Safety Clayton Geathers
How'd it feel to get back out there, especially your first play when you got to the quarterback?
"It felt good to be back out with the guys, running around, having fun. It was awesome."
I know this is the final box you had to check. How did it feel and how do you feel now?
"On the final box, to get out there and actually be in a game, get live reps – that was huge. The more I got reps, the more I started trusting it more. It was good. Even though we didn't finish like we wanted to. It was good."
Can you take us through that first play? The sack obviously didn't count.
"It's good though. There'll be many more I know that. Just coming off the edge, I saw the opportunity and I was like, 'Please don't throw it, please don't throw it.' The back end was covering it nice so I got there in time."
Running Back Marlon Mack
What happened on the fumble? Did you just take your eye off the ball or did it just slip out of your hands?
"Yeah, I just took my eye off the ball. I should have just locked in and squeezed it in tight."
How tough is this to swallow? You guys were up ten points, had a chance to kind of extend the lead and then all of the sudden you guys are in a scoring drought.
"It's definitely a hard pill to swallow, going out there and messing up you definitely feel like it's on you. So it's definitely a hard pill to swallow."
Did you think about falling on the ball or trying to pick it up?
"Yeah, I was trying to fall on it. I just didn't get to it and I missed it so that was on me."
How tough is it when you're in the red zone three times and you have to settle for field goals?
"I mean it is what it is, it's the game of football. We've just got to get better at it and make sure that we finish and score points."
Running Back Frank Gore
Re: The game:
"You know that's football; we've been doing it ourselves. We need to make a fumble or whatever. That's football. And we've just got to take care of the little things. That's what we haven't been doing when it gets to crunch time, and when you handle the little things, the big things happen."
Do you feel like you're capable of doing that though? We've been asking the same question every week.
"The thing is it's the little things, we've got the guys in here to compete but then again we lost. You see what I'm saying? We've just got to take care of the little things. We take care of the little things, I think things will turn out different. I'm still going to play my behind off for my teammates and try to finish these last five (games). I think as a group, me and all the guys in here are going to do the same and that's what it is."
The Tennessee Titans take on the Indianapolis Colts in Week 12 at Lucas Oil Stadium. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)