What was the problem with the struggles the offense had today?
We never got into a rhythm. We never moved the ball consistently. We had some opportunities. We fell short on two fourth downs. We just came up short. In a playoff game against a very good football team, you have to make those plays and we didn't make them.
The third drive it looked like you found something to get it going. What happened there?
We kind of went into a no huddle. I thought we'd move the ball pretty effectively. We got the run game going and ran the ball really well. We hit a couple passes to get us down the field. We started backed up. I think we changed field position. But, we had an opportunity and we fell short. I had a pretty good look on fourth down. We weren't able to convert. It's one of those things. You've got to make those plays and we didn't make them.
On the quarterback sneaks, what happened?
They made a good play. They had guys in the box. I've got to do a better job of finding the crease and trying to find a hole to get in there and get the yard. I didn't do that.
You mentioned not being in a rhythm. Was their pass rush the cause of that?
Yeah, I think their front four played very well. That's kind of what we expected. We expected them to play well. We had opportunities. We were in a rhythm at some points and just didn't make the plays on crucial third and fourth downs when we needed them to keep drives going. I think that's probably why we stalled out a little bit.
How does their rush compare to others you've seen this season?
They're a good football team. We've played against some good football teams this year, for sure, and good defenses. This is certainly right up there. They're a good defense.
Can you try to look into the future as to how you will move forward after your third playoff loss in four years?
It's a motivating type of thing. When you're in the playoffs and obviously you don't win a Super Bowl, it's incredibly disappointing and difficult to deal with at first. But you have to move past it and you have to move on and you have to learn from it. At this point, we'll have to figure out a way how we can learn from it and get better.
Did they do anything differently in terms of coverage or was it strictly the pass rush?
In the back end, I thought their guys played well. I thought we had some opportunities and just didn't make the plays when we needed to. Up front their defensive line did a great job. I thought our guys played hard up front, but we played against a very good front four. It was one of those things where we had some chances and we just didn't make any plays down the field.
Where would you rank their pass rush in comparison to the teams you've played this season and in the past couple of years?
They're good. It's hard to put a number on it, but they're very good.
Is it the best?
They're up there. They're certainly up there. They've got talented guys.
On the first quarterback sneak, did you think you got it?
Yeah, I think any time you go on a sneak you feel like you get some push and you get it. It's always difficult to get the spot. I thought the officials did a good job all day. We've got to make it to a point where there's no question about it.
Were you surprised Smitty called for a second one?
Not really. Smitty is an aggressive guy. I think guys take it as a vote of confidence from him in us when he does that. We just need to make those plays when we have the opportunity and we didn't make them today.
Do you recall situations where you could have taken chances and you didn't?
We had some play calls with some guys running down the field. Some of it has to do with good defensive calls at the time designed to keep some things in front. The coverage was good. The pass rush was good. We just didn't make the plays for a number of different reasons.
Were you surprised that you guys didn't hand it off to Turner?
No. We have confidence in Smitty and Mike Mularkey. Whatever comes in, we feel like we can get it done. We just have to execute better.
Were you a little surprised that you weren't able to run the ball like you normally do? You found yourself in a lot of 3rd and 7s, 3rd and 8s. Were you surprised at the way they were able to shut down the run?
Yeah, I thought one of the things that was important for us coming into this game was getting ourselves into and making those 3rd and 5 and less. For whatever reason, we weren't very efficient both in the run game and the pass game on first and second down. When you're going against a good defense, that puts you in a tough spot. We were in a lot of 3rd and longs today and they're difficult to convert. I think our production on first and second down wasn't very good.
The first time you dropped back Canty drilled you. Did any part of you say that was any indication of what was coming the rest of the day?
No. That's just part of the game. That's part of what you learn as a quarterback as you continue to play. You just have to keep getting up, keep throwing it, keep going through your progressions as best you can and not really worry about it.
Was there any thought at all after Ross went out with a concussion and they put Amukamara back in there who hasn't had much play and he was the one that was covering Julio? Did you think maybe Julio could get the ball down the field?
I think there was some of that. They were smart. They put some safety help over the top in that situation. Obviously they kind of understand what was going on, too. There was some of that. We just didn't make the plays. I think they had good calls at the right rime.