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Tom Coughlin, post-game, 11.22.09

It’s nice to win, we were miserable around here for a month, it’s nice to win. We knew going in it would be this kind of game. If you looked at the way the games have played out for Atlanta, most of our games with the exception of two, they all come down to this type of thing. I didn’t anticipate overtime, but we knew it would be a full four quarters, a full sixty minutes. We did do a lot of soul searching, probably, this past two weeks, although not as much the first week as we did the second week. Just in terms of believing in each other, trusting, that type of thing. We didn’t necessarily start the game out all that well. We did finish it okay. We feel really good about winning today. Atlanta is a very, very good football team. Mike’s done a great job over there. Battle in the NFC, and I think you told folks last week that when I saw this game on the schedule at this time of the year, I knew this would be a very important game in the NFC. So, of our seven game schedule we have six games to go, and of course, a very important game on Thursday night.

Q. Can you talk about Eli and his command today?

A. Did a nice job today. I haven’t seen any of the numbers or anything like that but certainly that was a big part of the game. The style of defense that they played, as we watched it unfold, we thought for a little bit it would be difficult because of all the line charges, but that stayed the way that it was for most of the day. We are going to have to take a hard look at that in terms of the run. Our receivers, our quarterback, came up with a lot of big plays today. That was the difference maker in terms of field position and points. We thought going in ‘x’ amount of points would do it, but it didn’t.

Q. What is your assessment of the penalties that the defense had?

A. I can’t comment on that. I’ve got to look at the tape. I get awful upset when there are two teams there, I think in total (they had) a few less penalties than we had coming in, but we were averaging six a game and they seem to be on one side, which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.

Q. Is this the kind of win where it doesn’t matter how it happens?

A. Oh no, win, just like I said in the beginning of the week. Someone asked me and I said ‘we just need to win’. It’s not where or whatever. I am very happy for our fans, I thought our fans were great when we asked them all game long to get involved and get emotional and they did. They had their emotions on their sleeve with 13 seconds left. Nevertheless, that was the way to play that.

Q. Can you talk about the use of Kevin Boss? Was it part of the game plan to get him more involved today?

A. We have had the idea that this would be one way to help ourselves in the green zone. It proved true today. Kevin made some big plays. The play before the touchdown to Madison was a big play.

Q. Did you feel that you were close enough there at the end?

A. We were 23 yards. We were fine. That was fine.

Q. Did you feel the need to get any closer?

A. No, not at all. No. We had opportunities. I thought our quarterback was in control of his game, so we continued to try to move the ball down.

Q. Two games in the row at the end of the game the defense has let up a touchdown. Did you have a feel that the defense had a handle on this?

A. Well, I did, but that didn’t prove to be true. We knew when it was a one-touchdown difference we had to keep the ball on offense. We didn’t. That is something that we continue to have to work on. When those situations are there. You know, we always do a lot of situational work and we do it with our quarterbacks on Saturday morning and inevitably we will include some four-minute drives in there as well. You will see a team like for six minutes is running the ball and running the clock out and that continues to be something that we have to be better at.

Q. What is your level of concern with the defense?

A. I am concerned. We won a game and we will look at it. I think we are capable of playing better. I hope we are able to learn some things from watching the coverage here. The first half and into the third quarter was fine and then they seemed to be able to move the ball in the air against whatever we were in. They did a good job of changing personnel up, getting some matchups that they wanted, we’ve just got to keep working.

Q. Will we see Aaron Ross playing more safety?

A. We’ll see.

Q. You mentioned the soul searching that has gone on recently. When your quarterback plays like that, how much does that elevate the team?

A. Very much so, yeah, very much so. When you really believe that you are going to take the ball, you know we kept talking about defensively three-and-out and offensively finish the drives, finish the drives, finish with touchdowns, finish with touchdowns. When Eli is playing like that and we have great confidence. He did some things today, on third and one and a half he stuck the ball way down the field and Mario made a really nice play on that. When he is playing with that kind of confidence the whole team really rides right along with that confidence.

Q. How badly is Jacobs injured?

A. I really don’t know. I thought they said he could have gone back in the game but we’ll have to see.

Q. How did Michael Boley play?

A. I really have to look at the tape. I know what you saw when he caught on that touchdown there in the end with the all-pro tight end. He scrapped, he worked, he played hard. He was in position to make some plays, which he did. Hopefully we are going to keep getting better as he gets more time.