New York Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan
"This is a hugely disappointing game. We thought we had a great chance to make it to the playoffs, but Atlanta found a way to win. When you miss three field goals – and I don't think any of them were Jay's (Feely) fault – that's hard to take. We had some untimely penalties that were very unfortunate. We had the three interceptions and Mark (Sanchez) was just trying to make a play on the last one after we were backed up by another 15-yard penalty. You have to give credit to the Falcons. They had some big conversions on some third-down plays on the last drive. On the fourth-down play, we knew the exact play that was coming. We just never defended it. We never executed it, and what a surprise - (Tony) Gonzalez gets it in the red zone. The kid (Matt Ryan) made a great play in the red zone. He was wide open and stuck it in there. You have to give them credit. This is tough because we're obviously out of the playoffs, and that's unfortunate."
Q: On the Jets last field goal attempt, and whether it was a low kick by Jay Feely.A: "No. Absolutely not. It was a low kick after the snap was way too high. It destroys the rhythm. That's what it's all about in kicking. You can't snap one that high. It was great by Kellen (Clemens) to get the ball down, and then the timing wasn't there. That operation has to be better than that."
Q: On the Jets first two field goal attempts.
A: "I thought we mishandled the snaps on the other two. We'll have to see."
Q: On the personal foul on Jets OL Alan Faneca.
A: "Faneca was trying to finish a play and get a block down field, and they called him for a penalty."
Q: On coverage on TE Tony Gonzalez on Falcons touchdown.
A: "We were rushing three and figured we'd trap Gonzalez by putting a guy over top of him, a guy inside him and a guy outside him. We just never executed it."
Q: On why the coverage was not executed.A: "That's a great question."
Q: On why Jets S Kerry Rhodes was not on Gonzalez on Falcons touchdown.
A: "It's a loaded zone coverage, and they almost threw a pick on the play before. It's a great coverage and hard to complete a ball, especially on a slant pass. We run that a bunch and feel great about it. If I had to do it again, I'd make the same call, but make sure we executed it."
Q: On scoring seven points despite great field position.
A: "Yeah, because we missed three field goals. You miss three field goals, you're not going to win many games. That execution was poor."
Q: On the play of Sanchez.
A: "He had his ups and downs, as did most of our team. At times, he had some great throws. On the first interception, he has to check the ball down. I'll take the blame for that. We should have had him in a different state of mind, but I thought he played OK. (It was) what we expected."
Q: On Sanchez's last drive.
A: "Well I mean it's tough when you get a 15-yard penalty on you. It backs you way up, and at the time, you don't have a whole lot of time. You've got to force the issue down there. That's when you get interceptions."
Q: On disappointment for Sanchez.
A: "It's tough. You get a 15-yard penalty on you, and it backs you way up. You don't have a whole lot of time. You have to force the issue down there, and that's when you get interceptions."
Q: On the Falcons stopping the Jets run game.
A: "I'm just surprised. You've got to give Atlanta credit. They came in and (held us to) 33 carries and a hundred yards or whatever. Obviously, we average a lot more than that, so you've really got to give Mike Smith and his staff credit for coming up with a good game plan to stop the run in these conditions. They did an excellent job."
Q: On what he tells the team.
A: "The team knows we've got to get better. (It's) the same thing we've been saying. If you have a great defense, you make that stop, regardless of what hole you're in, whether it's by a penalty, whether it's by a turnover, whatever. You keep them out of the end zone. That's what it came down to. For us to have the kind of defense that I think we're capable of having, we've got to make those stops. We've got to find a way. It's knowing the assignments inside and out. You have to know it. In that particular instance, there's no way they should be able to complete that ball in that coverage. We had plenty of opportunities to come up with interceptions today, and we must have dropped four or five of them. We're going to lead the League in defense this year. (In the future), we're going to be a dominant defense. There's no question. (Our standards are going to be) when we get ahead of you, regardless of how much time you've got left, we're not going to let you drive the field on us. That's got to be our mentality. Clearly, we've just got to find a way to not turn the ball over (and) do a better job of protecting the football. In these conditions, that's critical."
Q: On the Jets defensive execution on the Atlanta touchdown.
A: "I was pretty shocked. Just say that."
Q: On the pressure the Jets defense feels.
A: "There's a ton of pressure. There's a ton of pressure on them. Our defense has to man up and take that responsibility. They've been doing it for a lot of the year. (There are) two times that stand out where we could have just taken the game - three times really. Be dominant. Sometimes, the game's going to be like that. We put a lot of pressure on them and we expect a lot of things out of that defense because I think that group is good enough to get it done. We've got a lot of pride in that group. I also said that, 'Hey. This group right here is going to win us the Super Bowl. It ain't going to be this year. And the nucleus of this football team is here, and we've just got to get better at what we're doing. We've got to execute better, know the finer details of what we're doing defensively and we'll be just fine.' We don't have to change anything. If we had to change things defensively, every team in the League should because our defense is playing better than any team in the League. Our standards are going to be set so high that when we get a lead, regardless of what time it is in the game, the game's over. And that's the kind of defense we're trying to build here."
New York Jets Quarterback Mark Sanchez
Q: On the loss.
A: "It's tough to swallow. It's never good when you play that poorly. We would play well in spurts and then turn the ball over. You can't win like that as a quarterback. We just have a lot of work to do and a lot to learn from. It's disheartening and very unfortunate."
Q: On if he was looking forward to the last drive of the game.
A: "Absolutely. [It was] third-and-13, we were trying to get a first down, obviously we needed points. Maybe I was trying to look a little too far down the field when it's a four-down territory situation. It's just one of those things you have to remember. You have two downs, so you don't have to get all 13 yards on the first play. I need to learn from that and be smarter next time."
Q: On if it was hard to initially get into a rhythm in the cold weather.
A: "I don't think so. I think [on] the first interception, it was a terrible decision. It was nothing other than that. It's third-and-long in our own territory, we don't need that. If we check it down and don't get a first down, it's early in the game, just punt it. We just need to be smarter in a situation like that. I felt there were times, especially in that two-minute drill before halftime, I thought we were rolling on offense, hitting on all cylinders. [Danny] Woodhead made some big time plays for us. I was hitting the check downs and being smart with the ball and we did well. That's the key right there, just being smart with the football. Other factors – the leg, the wind, the cold – none of that matters if you take care of the ball. I'm not blaming it on anything other than myself. None of the other things."
Q: On the rushing offense today.
A: "I felt we didn't have much rhythm in it. We didn't hit our stride there. That happens. When it does happen, we need to capitalize in the passing game. At times we did and at times we didn't. When you throw the ball to the other team, it doesn't work."
Q: On if he used the color-coded system and if there were any problems with it.
A: "Sure [we used the system]. We could make up new colors, it doesn't matter, you just have to take care of the ball. "
Q: On recovering from his first interception early in the game.A: "It was a bad decision. As soon as I let it go, I thought, 'oh man, that wasn't a good idea.' In this League, they'll make you pay. You just need to be smarter, make better decisions."
Q: On his second interception.
A: "[It was] late and a terrible ball. Just a bad throw. Dustin [Keller] ran a good route and we got the coverage we wanted and we just missed him."
Q: On this loss taking momentum away from next week's Colts game.A: "It's still a big game for us. We want to win. We want to play well. We want to finish up the season strong, and if there's any possible way to get in the playoffs, we know what we have to do. And we knew what we had to do today, so we'll regroup and go out to Indy and hopefully play a little better."
Q: On being unable to make up ground in the Wild Card race today.
A: "More than anything, it's just not a good feeling. We thought we were prepared for the game. We just didn't come out and execute. [We] missed some opportunities. It's never fun to lose, and this game is no exception."
Q: On the reason behind his interceptions.
A: "I don't know. That's a good question. I just have to work harder and improve and get a lot better and take care of the football. We'll regroup and figure things out. There's no definite answer there, [I] just have to play better and play smarter."
Q: On if he thought the touchdown pass to Braylon Edwards would set the tone.
A: "I thought that helped. I thought it gave us a lot of momentum on offense. It was a big play and the sideline erupted. We hadn't had a big play like that in awhile. I felt good. [Edwards] made a heck of a catch, so that was a highlight of the game, for sure."
Q: On the 15-yard penalty on the last drive was too much to overcome.A: "That's something that happens. Alan (Faneca) was playing tough and playing hard. He's trying to throw a block for his guy and apparently they had blown the whistle. Those are tough. But there's no reason to compound that penalty with interceptions. It's not Alan's fault at all. We need to convert."
Q: On his intentional grounding penalty earlier in the game.
A: "[The ref] said I threw it where there wasn't a receiver present. I just have to get better. When you get pressure like that, I guess [I have to throw it] closer to our guy. [The refs] were working hard too and making the right calls, so you can't blame anything on something like that. We need to play well enough to take that factor out of the game. We can't have penalties like that."
Q: On if there were any restrictions with two knee braces.A: "No, I felt good. I felt real good. No, [it did not factor into my play] at all."
New York Jets Wide Receiver Jerricho Cotchery
Q: On the game.
A: "We felt like, despite everything that was happening today, we were going to pull it out. I definitely had full confidence in our defense on that last drive. It all boils down to not leaving our defense on the field the entire game. It's just going to wear down at some point. That's what happened today. We didn't finish out drives. We got down there in the red zone and (didn't) come out with any points. That is the recipe for disaster right there."
Q: On the penalties and missed field goals.
A: "Down the stretch, when you're playing for a playoff run, you have to be focused on everything in the game. Unfortunately, a lot of bad things happened today. Anytime those things happen, you are not going to win the game."
Q: On the implications of the loss.A: "We knew what was at stake. Everyone in this locker room knew what was at stake. We felt like if we won out and took care of our business on a week-to-week basis, everything else was going to fall into place. You have to give the Falcons credit. They got eliminated from the race last night and they still came out ready to play today. We came out ready as well. In the end, they made more plays than we did."
New York Jets Cornerback Darrelle Revis
Q: On the frustration of losing late in the game.
A: "It was really frustrating. They made more plays than us at the right times, especially that last play. It was tough. Fourth-and-6, we knew the play, we knew what was going to happen, and Tony Gonzalez did a great job of finding a space in the zone."
Q: On Rex Ryan's comment that "great defenses should make that stop".A: "Yes, I agree with him. If we want to be the great defense that we want to be and we always preach about, we have to get out there and make plays at the end of the game, and during games. We did not make enough plays on defense. We had a bunch of third down stops but at the end of the day, we just did not get it done."
Q: On the third down and his near-interception at the end of the game.
A: "It was zone coverage again. I think it was Tony Gonzalez out in the flat. Tough catch, tough catch. It was a good throw by (Matt) Ryan. I was stumbling on the play to try to get to the ball, and it was just a tough catch, and I did not reel it in."
Q: On where he was situated on the Gonzalez touchdown.
A: "That was backside."
Q: On if it was frustrating knowing the play was going to Gonzalez and he was not supposed to be in the area.
A: "It's not more so knowing the play is going to him but knowing the play is going to that side. It was a 2-by-2, they motioned Roddy White over to 3-by-1. No, actually it was 4 strong, because they had the back over there offset, too. They had a tight end backside. Me and Kherry (Rhodes) we just knew that we were in the zone, I can't motion with Roddy White going across the field. They put their two best players on that side – him and Tony Gonzalez. I guess they found something, or they saw something in the zone, and he moved and got the ball."
Q: On how the Falcons were able to get the ball in that spot to Gonzalez.
A: "It's tough because we knew the play. At the end of the day, we knew what was going to happen. We knew they were probably going to go to him or to Roddy White. We played the zone. He's a Hall-of-Famer. He found a spot in the zone where (Matt) Ryan could get him the ball. He slid somewhere and Ryan threw it and he caught it. Big players make big plays in big games. Those two did a great job on that play."
Q: On having their playoff hopes end in the final minutes of play.
A: "It's upsetting. It's really sad for us right now. I don't know what's going to happen with the playoffs, but we let this one slip by. I can talk about our defense. We just did not make enough plays. Guys got hands on balls and we dropped a bunch of balls today on defense."
MORE FALCONS-JETS COVERAGE:
GAMEDAY LIVE:Complete Falcons-Jets coverage from AF.com * GAME CENTER:Stats and more on the game from NFL.com * MULTIMEDIA:Game highlights, interviews and more * FIRST TAKE:Matt Ryan, Coach Smith and others chat exclusively with Dave Archer * GAME NOTES:Official game notes kept in The Meadowlands press box * THE BEAT BLOG:John Manasso tracks the game quarter by quarter * J. MIKE'S MISSIVES:Additional thoughts on the game from the AF.com editor * FORUMS:Talk about the game with other fans on FalconsLIFE * IMAGES:Photos of the Falcons-Jets game from The Meadowlands