HEAD COACH JEFF FISHER
You know obviously that we are very disappointed in the outcome of this ball game and I was proud of them for the way they bounced back, prepared, fought this week, and played hard. You know, we had some chances early, some chances late. You know, we just couldn't control the game. But, we certainly did play a lot better in the second half. We ran the football, we threw the football, and we got some defensive stops.
I am just disappointed for the guys, because I thought effort has not been the issue with them and I thought they put forth a winning effort, deserved to win, but just didn't find a way to do it.
(on what he attributed to team's slow start)
Well, a number of things. You know, we had penalties on the first couple of drives and we kept them on the field. We had opportunities to get off the field, got them in third down three times on the first drive and couldn't get them off. Cort (Cortland Finnegan) slipped. I have been doing these a long time, I can't remember having a punt (snap) sail over my punter. And you know, I don't think I ever remember seeing that. And certainly that contributed to us falling behind.
We got the score before the end of the first half and we came back and got another score. You know, we're right back in it.
(on if he considered attempting field goal on last drive)
I did, I had been considering it all the way through. We were talking about it, but a touchdown against them is hard with the way they are built defensively. And once we got chunks in, I was hoping we would get some shots at the end zone there and we did. I actually sent the field goal team out there, but at that point we needed the touchdown. It was a consideration.
(on if he second guessed himself not going on fourth-and-one)
Yes and no. It was fourth-and-one and the ball is on the 30-yard line and had three timeouts and there was 4:57 (left) when I looked up at the clock. And I thought we needed to have the ball last to beat them. You know, we had three timeouts and they had been running the football and we have a second-and-10 and we can't make a tackle on a slant.
So, yeah you can always second guess that, but I felt that we could get a punt, we could get a stop, get the ball back and all we need is a touchdown with a chance to win the game. As it was, if they miss the field goal, we still have a chance to win the game.
(on what factors into his decision to go for it in similar situations )
No. At that point, the way the guys are playing, I mean, I gave Mike (Heimerdingerr) two shots down there when Ring (Javon Ringer) picked up the first down. You know, down there I told Mike we were taking two shots. That's why when Ringer got the first down, he even got the touchdown so, yeah, we were aggressive and I had some others things called and we checked out. We certainly were aggressive but I don't knock the way that they were playing today. They were playing hard all the time, but they were playing and I felt like we'd get a stop.
(on Kenny Britt seeing more playing time than Randy Moss)
Well, they're playing the same position and so we try our best to rotate them both but Kenny was feeling good and he made some plays for us.
(on if Kenny Britt seeing more time means Moss is not playing well)
No, no. It's just that Kenny was a starter here and he came back. He fought back. I'm pleased with everything Randy has done. He's been great with the guys and great in the locker room and he'll continue to play.
(on Chris Johnson being in a rhythm tonight on the run)
We did, yeah. We did. I mean, we got going here at times and you know Mike (Heimerdinger) was…they were obviously saying throw it so we threw it a little bit. And we had a couple of drops and had the turnover but C.J. got going. It was good to see him going again.
(on being eliminated from the playoffs with tonight's loss)
Yeah when they tell us we are eliminated then we'll say okay. We'll keep playing but right now we're just going to keep playing.
(on keeping the spirits up of the players with the possibility of playoff elimination)
They're professionals. I mean, watch the way they'll bounce back this week. They'll bounce back. We'll benefit from the rest this weekend and we'll get back and give it our best shot against the Texans.
(on the decision to punt on the fourth-and-one being affected by coming off the three and out)
I also felt like that they had chains. I felt like we would get a stop, an early down stop, which we did. You know, when you can predict what the Colts are going to do by situations, you have a chance. But when you can't predict what Peyton's (Manning) going to do then you have to play honest. We can commit, stop and run, for example. We did.
(on if he can pinpoint any one thing in the difference in the number of losses from seven weeks ago to today)
Well, it was a combination of things. I think it was just the uncertainty at the quarterback position. That's been the biggest issue. You know, now that Kerry's (Collins) got the second start in a row and he's feeling good, obviously we're seeing, we're generating some offense now which is good but it just happened too late.
QB KERRY COLLINS
(on the offense getting back on track)**
I'm proud of our guys the way we came back. Obviously, we've been struggling a lot. I thought that everyone was focused this week coming into it. We just knew we had to make the plays that were there. Unfortunately, we did some things to ourselves in the first half that kind of stopped us, but we were moving the ball. We came out in the second half, first drive, go down and score. Really, I thought the guys fought their butts off. It's unfortunate the way it ended up.
*(on Kenny Britt's performance in his first game back from injury) *
I thought he did well. He played hard. He made a couple of plays. The fumble was unfortunate but the guy's fighting for yards. It was an effort thing. I think overall I thought he did very well.
(on being able to pin-point the six-game losing streak on one issue)
Well it's hard to say. There's been one thing or a couple of things each week that have kind of set us back, been our Achilles' heel. We've just never seemed to find that rhythm and take care of the ball, convert third downs. Whatever it might be it just was a lot of things that held us back. It's unfortunate because we were in a good position at 5-and-2. We realize it is what it is, and that's what we've got to live with.
(*on there being a snowball effect with mistake after mistake) *
Yeah, but I didn't sense it that our guys even blinked when that stuff happened. Obviously, it's easy to do that. It's easy to start doubting yourself and lose confidence, all that kind of stuff when those things happen. Especially since it's been happing the past several weeks. Our guys stayed in it and fought. We made some plays out there. Unfortunately, we just didn't make enough of them.
RB CHRIS JOHNSON
(on not going for it on the fourth-and-one)
I think I would've, but if we wouldn't have got it then they would have had great field position. So, if he calls it and we make it, it's a great call, but if he calls it and we miss it, then it's a dumb call. Me, myself, I feel like playing a team like Indy, there are some things you probably have to go for, but at the end of the day it's his call and he's the coach.
(on how the team went from 5-2 to 5-8)
Not sure, to be honest. I don't know.
(on offense getting back on track)
Yeah, I feel like the offense got back on track. We got back to what we are known for doing and that's running the ball, and that's running the ball first and when you run the ball that opens up the passing game. So I feel like as an offense we got back to what we normally do and that's running the ball, so that's a plus.
(on coming back from a 21-0 deficit)
Playing a team like the Colts and Peyton Manning, that's very hard. He has long drives, completing third downs and things like that, eating out the clock, so being down 21-zip that's a very hard task to do.
(on plan to get him out of the backfield and into the passing game)
I'm not sure if that was the plan, it just…when we came out like in the first couple of series, we saw how they was playing us and how the linebackers were dropping deep in the cover eight and things like that, and they weren't really covering me much – they were dropping back in the zone, so we made that adjustment pretty much on the sideline.
(on having a shot at the playoffs)
I'm not sure how that works out but we're 5-8 right now. We went on a 5-6 game losing streak, so that's something that's not really in my mind right now is the playoffs; it really is trying to at least get one victory.
(on struggling despite talent in the locker room)
Yeah, we have so much talent in that locker room. Guys on the receiving corps, quarterback, running back, guys like that, and that's a crazy situation right now. We started off 5-2, looking good, we've just been on a slump right now and we can't do nothing but keep working hard trying to get out of it.
LB GERALD McRATH
(on the Titans loss)
I feel like the guys played with tremendous energy and I feel like we answered a lot of questions about us lying down. I think we came out today and showed them we are not going to lay down. We are not going to lay down. It's a game that you just have to make the plays that you have to make. You have to eliminate the mental mistakes. You know we had a turnover on special teams … that didn't help out our cause. It's a team game. I feel like we had an opportunity at the end of the game to score a touchdown, get the onside kick and kick a field goal to win the game. Even though the game went down the way it did, we always, always felt like we were in the game.
RB JAVON RINGER
(on Titans effort)
I am definitely proud about the way we fought tonight. Of course, it was definitely talked about how we needed to bounce back. I definitely feel that we were able to bounce back this game. We played hard, but we just didn't come away with the win. I am definitely proud watching how our defense continued to fight, our offense continued to fight. We just have to come in tomorrow and hopefully just try to put the pieces together so that we can at least end the year on a positive note.
TE BO SCAIFE
(on Titans effort)
I am proud of my team and I'm proud of my teammates. We hung in there and we fought against a good team. We hadn't been playing well the last couple of weeks so I think we came out and even though we got down early, we bounced back and played well. In this league the only thing that matters is wins.
CB ALTERRAUN VERNER
(on Titans defensive effort)
We fight to the bitter end. The offense got it going in the second half, we just came up a little bit too late. A little too short. Every week I am proud of these guys. Proud of our effort. It just showed a little bit more today, but that's how we play every week.
COLTS HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL
(on running game)
Yeah, we just were trying to find some space. I think we stuck with it. Clyde (Christensen) did a nice job making certain that we were, even though we didn't have some success. Certain times we were tackled for a loss here and there; we didn't give up on it. I think it certainly helped us.
(on the fourth down call)
Whatever it takes sometimes. You know, you have to do some things, just depending on what they give you. It was a nice call, it was kind of one of those plays that has a couple of options to it and Peyton did a nice job getting into the run.
(on the fourth down decision)
Every game we take a certain area of the field that we look at that we know that we are kind of in no man's land. Too far to kick a field goal and don't want to punt from the area. So, we designate that on the wind and all that stuff every game. So, yeah, if we are right smack in the middle of no man's land, yeah.
(on Pierre Garcon's play for the first down)
Well, they had some momentum going, so that was huge. They had taken the ball down on us and put it in the end zone. They did a good job, they were feeling good about what they were getting accomplished from an offensive standpoint. That play was great effort and certainly flipped the field for us
(on the Peyton Manning's performance)
Yeah, he played well. He threw the ball well. He did a nice job. I think he did a nice job just managing the game altogether. Peyton is Peyton, I'm sure he felt good about his performance, and certainly we did as well.
(on the ability to go down field)
It kind of caught me by surprised because I think Reggie (Wayne) caught a deep post that was down the field quiet a bit of distance. We may have had one or two here or there but maybe not at the frequency that we usually have in plays over 20 yards. Today they gave us some favorable situations from a coverage standpoint that gave us a few opportunities. For the most part, I think we had a pretty solid control-passing game that made a difference for us.
(on surprised about the use of Randy Moss)
We have got enough problems to worry about ourselves. They choose to do what they do according to how they feel. They got all the information in that regard. We just try to take care of our own problems.
(on the benefit of a short week)
Obviously the short week give us a chance, we were a little shaky from a physical stand point during this time, but after it's over with and done with, obviously now we get a couple of extra days. So hopefully, maybe we will get a guy or two back.
QB PEYTON MANNING
(on being successful on first and second down)
I thought that was really important. I don't think we had a ton of third downs. We were pretty good on third down. I feel like they were all third and manageable, which is always important to stay out of the third and long. The Titans are always tough on third and long, or any defense is. First and second down production was good. I thought we had a good mix. I thought Clyde (Christenson) really mixed it up good. We had some ugly runs. We had some that were effective. We had the big play to Reggie (Wayne) off of play action. We had the run on fourth and four, which I don't think anybody saw that coming. Like I said, just enough of a mix, I thought, to maybe get us back in sort of a three dimensional offense, which you're always shooting for. I thought that was important tonight.
(on the call on fourth and four)
I can't really tell you a whole lot. We play these guys like tomorrow, I think. I can't get into too much strategy. I just thought that you have got to be able to stay somewhat committed to the run. Early on we had some negative plays. I thought Javarris (James) really ran hard all night. Donald (Brown) had some good runs. We have been really good in the red zone. Our red zone production has been good. It is just we haven't gotten down there as much. It has taken us a little while to get down there, although we did hit two big plays to Reggie, which I thought were huge. We protected the ball better, which is always key. It was just a really good win on the road in the division.
(on if he can remember the last time they ran the ball on fourth down)
No, I don't. Actually, we had a pass called. I don't want to take any credit, but I did call it, I guess. It was a big hole in there. That was a pivotal play. I was appreciative of Coach Caldwell of giving us a shot to go for it. He told me on third down that we were going to go for it, so we took a shot on third down, which I think is always what you want. I took that shot on third down, knowing you are going to get one more shot at it. I thought that was a pivotal series.
(on the big play by Pierre Garcon)
Not pretty, but that was very pivotal. Key play. They were starting to come down with the safety in the box and stuffed us on a couple runs, they stuffed us on the third down before, stuffed us on the first down play. They had us outnumbered. The guy really had pretty good coverage and (Chris) Hope did a good job kind of leaving his man and falling off. It looks like he may have knocked Pierre's guy off. Pierre did a heck of a job. We were looking for a six or seven yard completion and Pierre did a heck of a job getting down the sideline. Huge play.
(on if this win is extra sweet after the recent slide)
This is one game. This reminds me of high school. You have to win each game to advance. This was kind of a playoff type game and approach. Our backs were against the wall. We have an extremely tough test against Jacksonville next week. I think we can use these couple days off. I'd love to get some guys back. I've been saying that for a while. I hope Charlie (Johnson) is ok. We were scrambling there at the end. I was sitting there talking to Reggie and Clyde kind of comes up and gives me the report. He said, "(Jamey) Richards is down and Charlie is down. They are going to get Brody (Eldridge) ready to play guard possibly." He left and I said to Reggie, "Tell me what he just said." He said, "They are getting Brody ready to play guard." I went, "ok." That is not the exactly the most comforting thing to hear when your tight end is going to guard. We are all beat up. We need to get some guys back. We have got to continue to play better. We have a great test next week.
(on all the media wondering what is wrong with his throwing)
I don't want to offend anybody, but I don't read your column or anybody. I really don't. I think people like delivering bad news. I really don't read it, but people tell me. They come up and say, "Did you see what he wrote?" I went, "actually I didn't, but thank you for letting me know." A lot of people do read it. Eli taught me about five years ago, that I don't read the good and I don't read the bad. I really feel that I have stayed really even keel throughout this whole time. I don't really think this has been a humbling experience. I feel like I was pretty humble going in. I don't get too high and I don't get too low. I think it is a test of faith and working through adversity. People always say, "Hang in there." I went, "I never was out there, wherever 'there' is." I have always been in "there." I will always be in "there." Wherever "there" is, I never have left. I have kept working and I have really tried to keep a positive attitude. My teammates have been great. This is where you like to have good veteran teammates that stick with you. Like I said, this is just one game. We have to find some consistency and build off that. It sure is better.
K ADAM VINATIERI
(on the 47-yard field goal to clinch the game)
It was one that definitely needed to be made at that point. It kind of solidified the game for us a little bit. Little bit of pressure on that; can't call it the same as a game winner, but it's as close as you can get to it.
(on key to maintaining composure through the pressure packed situation)
Just keep your mind focused in on what is going on, and just when it is your time, block everything else out and do it. I've got a great long-snapper and a great holder, and the guys up front block really well; so it's going to make my job a little easier.
WR REGGIE WAYNE
(on thought process after the Titans made a comeback)
Finish. Don't get complacent. Keep playing Colts football. Keep that edge.
(on Peyton Manning bouncing back to win this game)
No matter what people say, just come out there and play Colts football. Just come out there and have a good game. He (Peyton Manning) led our team to a great victory today.
WR PIERRE GARCON
(on the win)
We needed this to get it started right now to get us going in the right direction.
(on his big play)
We figured out the defense they were playing late in the game and we just attacked it. It was a good throw and I got lucky and got up out of there. I just stayed on my feet and kept driving.
(on if the team helped Peyton Manning through his struggles)
Every time we play we try to help each other. Everybody is going to go through their criticism throughout the season. You just don't listen to them and keep playing. One week it is somebody, another week it is somebody else until you win. You win, then everything is all good. When you are losing, they find everything to pick about.
DE DWIGHT FREENEY
(on the game)
I have always said this is the National Football League and there are no guaranteed wins. It wasn't the prettiest, but it was pretty enough.
(on the quick turnaround)
Monday you are barely walking and then you are back on the plane on Wednesday and you haven't had a chance to really prepare. Both teams have to put something together and suck it up.
(on the media criticism)
I understand it. That is the nature of the beast. That is your guys job, to dissect things and put your opinion on whatever is happening. We don't really pay attention to that. Actually I haven't turned on the TV in three weeks, so I hadn't heard anything. That is part of the game. You have to be able to handle it just like you handle the victories and the success. I think we have done a good job of that.
(on Peyton Manning)
You don't see a lot of interceptions most of the time, I think because of how good he is and how consistent he is on a normal basis it is a shock to everybody when you see anything like turnovers. He is human, like everyone else. We knew he would turn it around. He is doing a good job now like he always does.
(on breaking the losing streak)
It feels really, really good because you have to stop that losing streak, you have to stop the bleeding. We stopped the bleeding for one game. Hopefully we can continue that streak.