It was the type of game I expected it to be. I knew the mindset of the Giants and I knew the mindset of our football team. So I figured it would be a very, very physical football game. I thought our guys rose to the occasion. It wasn’t as pretty as you would like it to be, but I can’t think of a better way to win a football game. This is a team win. Obviously the defense held them to field goals down in there, kept us alive, and gave us, as a team, a chance to win. I don’t think we gave up a lot of big gain plays in the kicking game and on defense and obviously when we had to, we were able to make plays we needed to make to win the game.
Q: Do you think this was a measuring stick for your team?
A: It is for everyone on the outside. Our team is getting better. We’ve gotten better each of the last weeks since the bye. It’s nice to win a close game. It’s nice to win a game this way because I think when you win a game this way, it builds on your confidence and you know you can. We have won games like this in the past, but this one is very, very special in terms of the way it was going in the fourth quarter. It’s something, in my mind, we need to build on because I don’t think we are anywhere near as a good as we can be. We have a lot of new and young players playing. I know I say that every week, but they’re a week older right now.
Q: Can you talk about the last drive?
A: Philip [Rivers], he is in such control. We had struggled with some one-on-one match-ups in the front and obviously we didn’t in the last drive. That was big. We were able to block them in the last drive. We dropped some balls throughout the game that we normally catch, but we caught them on the last drive. I think our guys stepped up and did the things that they’re capable of doing and did them at real high level.
Q: Does Philip blame anyone for that second interception?
A: He’s not going to blame anyone about an interception. He came over to me and I said, ‘What do you think?’ And he said, ‘I just didn’t make a good throw. I had him. I needed to get the ball out in front.’ He doesn’t miss many. He knew we were fortunate that we held to a field goal, we were able to hold them to a field goal. I thought we managed the clock in terms of trying to get them to throw the ball. They didn’t, they ran the ball three times. The holding penalty helped us. Then we had enough time to go get a touchdown.
Q: Third down defense…
A: The biggest thing, we’re growing and getting better on third down in all areas. If you play good on third down, you have a chance.
Q: You weren’t playing good on third down earlier…
A: In the first half they did a good job. We got them in the third and long and we didn’t make the plays that we’re capable of making. I thought we did in the second half.
Q: Rivers’ poise?
A: There are a lot of things you describe in terms of different types of wins, but our guys have great character and they’re awfully competitive. This is a character win. That’s what it is all about. We have all been in situations where you see the circumstances and a team thinks it is over before it is, but there’s no quit in this group.
Q: What happened in that last drive that didn’t happen earlier?
A: We executed a lot better. On the first down play we had a play very similar to a number of the ones we ran in the drive where we went backwards to the five yard-line and we got beat. The one-on-one protection we got beat. We did a great job protecting and there were a couple of balls that we caught in that last drive that we didn’t catch earlier in the game.
Q: What did you see in Sproles’ play down the middle of the field?
A: It’s a great play because it is something that we do and we like and we run against our defense. Darren and LT came over to me and said, ‘Hey, what about the H-seam.’ I said, ‘Great idea.’ The backers were hugging up, trying to keep him in to block and Sproles just blew by him. The guy jumped outside. He blew by him inside and Philip put the ball on him.
Q: How was Vincent Jackson today?
A: The last route is how you would teach a guy to run that route against that coverage. It is as good as you can run a route. He gave him a great move off the ball to get a release. He ran up the field as fast as you can, full speed and when he came out of the break the ball was in the air and Philip made a perfect throw. Philip is so cool in those situations and him and Vincent have worked so hard together that when I saw the release I knew it was going to be a touchdown.
Q: How much impact did defensive pressure have?
A: It’s big. I was disappointed in the first half because we were getting pressure and letting Eli get out of there. He sets real deep and if he’s getting pressure, he doesn’t set his feet. He keeps drifting and runs out of it. We didn’t do a good job of keeping with him. We let him get outside and let him make some plays that we shouldn’t have. I thought we adjusted and did a better job in the second half.