Tom Coughlin, post-game, 12.06.09

It was an outstanding win for our team. The big thing I think was the contribution of all three areas tonight. That is the way we want to play. Offense, defense, and special teams, all making outstanding contributions. I don’t know what the numbers are, but I think our defense obviously did a much better job against the run. We capitalized on some things offensively although there is always work to be done there. But I thought Domenik’s (Hixon) punt return and the spirit and way in which he plays and the great lift he gave to our team with that outstanding return and the way that the players rallied around him to set the wall up over on the side there, that was quite a thing to see. I am very happy for all Giants obviously, but for our team and our players, bouncing back from a week ago, having all those days to listen how poorly we played, etc. I was proud of the way they battled back and showed that mental toughness tonight.

Q. What does this reaffirm for you about this team?

A. They are a scrappy, competitive bunch that wants to win. That can win. We do have the ability to do that. Dallas is an outstanding football team. The thing that I was most proud of was all three areas combining (to contribute to the win).

Q. Can you talk about the tackling by the defense?

A. We had some people flying around to the ball tonight. We were physical. I was very, very glad to see that. The tackling was much improved. The defense was much improved. We gave up a couple pass plays, but overall it’s a good football game and something now we can look at in a very positive way and hopefully build on for the remainder of the season.

Q. Can you talk about your decision-making process in juggling your defensive lineup?

A. I just wanted to play..we have an outstanding team, we talk about team defense, offense, special teams. We wanted to try to be able to utilize our whole team in the process and I think that the guys accepted those moves well and I am just glad we won the game.

Q. How important was it when you are down there near the end of the first half, (Mathias) Kiwanuka forces the fumble and you guys score a touchdown back the other way?

A. Right there at the half that change of events was huge. To get the seven, then turn around and have an opportunity to score again right before the half with the turnover and Osi (Umenyiora) picked it up to put us in good field position there. That’s the kind of thing, we did not win the turnover battle, I guess. We certainly capitalized on that. Now, they got a turnover at point blank range, we got a turnover that we advanced and put it in relatively, good short range.

Q. Have you ever seen Brandon (Jacobs) break a catch and run like that in practice?

A. I have never seen him run that fast. I just reminded him about that, too.

Q. Can you talk about that play a little bit? What was your reaction on the sideline?

A. He caught the ball in the flat. Most of the time in an attempt to turn up the field, most of the time people get ridden out of bounds. Then he made the turn and, boy, I could see him then start to run by people, then he had some type of collision once he turned into positive territory and didn’t go out of bounds. Where I am standing from I am seeing the different bodies flash by then I see him surge into the end zone and just a great play. You need big plays to win games of this stature. We certainly did get a big one there and throughout the game we had any number of them.

Q. The end of the Hixon return you showed a lot of emotion. What were your feelings?

A. That was a huge emotional moment for everybody on that sideline. It pushed us up 14, number one. Number two, we got a great, we talked about our return, and it was time, it was time for a kickoff return, time for a punt return. To be honest with you, when Domenik got hit there I was a little concerned because he was spinning and all those type of things. They were perhaps going for the ball. But he came out of it with the balance that he shows. I just thought that would be the one thing that we needed to allow us to win the game.

Q. Can you talk about the running game? The numbers weren’t off the charts, but it was effective.

A. Well, it was. We planned on that. We talked about the run and the play action. They are an outstanding pass rush team. We are in trouble pass protecting, obviously. We just got some off, didn’t get others. We tried to make that the key part of our game. We started the game that way. We didn’t have many snaps in the first half. That was the important thing about getting the long drive for the touchdown. Then the turnover; we didn’t have many snaps in the first half. But, we were able to come away with 14 points.

Q. Only two penalties today?

A. We strive for that all the time. When we played in Dallas we had four and they had four. I don’t know how many they had.

Q. You don’t throw to Brandon all that often. Why was that play in your mind the right play at the time?

A. There was a progression read involved. They took two of the reads away, two of the throws away. It came right down to the flat. In that situation it’s first down, you’re going to live many days by getting five or six yards on first down with the ball in the flats. So, that was a good decision.

Q. Do you feel this team will continue forward to play with added passion and emotion?

A. I do. Fastball down the middle of the plate, thank you. I do. Why wouldn’t I? I am hoping the taste of victory and being in the division and the excitement now of playing another divisional opponent next weekend. I think we are excited.

Q. How bad is Chris Snee’s knee?

A. I don’t know. We are going to have to wait and see.

Q. Was there any one thing that made the big difference in the rush defense tonight?

A. I think we did a good job, I haven’t seen the tape, just as you haven’t, but I think we did a good job of getting off blocks and getting more people to the ball. In the beginning, they were running a delayed draw and it looked like they had some gains, I am not saying that they didn’t have some gains. But we got some folks to the ball. I will be interested to see how many running plays were negated for a loss. That will be an interesting stat.

Q. You face the Eagles next Sunday night. Could you ask for a better scenario?

A. No. We are certainly going to enjoy this one tonight and we will start thinking about that in about an hour.

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