Head coach Mike SmithOpening statement:
"Today's game we didn't do a very good job sustaining the momentum that we had through the first half of the ball game and then through the end of the third quarter. We couldn't get anything going offensively there in the second half nor could we get the stops that we needed. I felt like we played okay in spurts in the first half of the ball game. We are extremely disappointed in the way that the game finished. We've got to be much better, we've got to coach better, we've got to play better. And with that, I'll open it up for questions."
On settling for field goals twice in the first half:
"Yes, those are red zone situations that we would like to have put the ball in the end zone and we know against a good offense and a good quarterback like Eli Manning that when you kick field goals, when you get down there, you really put yourself behind. We had been good in the red zone, our red zone efficiency wasn't as good. I thought we did a good job getting down there, we didn't execute when we got into the red zone."
On third down efficiency:
"Well, I think that we didn't complete the ball, we were under duress there in the second half. At times, we weren't able to throw the ball on time. It was some integrity of the protection, the quarterback had to move around, and we weren't able to convert."
On going for it on fourth and one:
"Yeah, absolutely. There was belief right at four minutes and forty-five seconds. We had talked all through the week that (if it) came up in the ball game that we would go for it. We felt like we had a good play, we just didn't execute it. To me, it was a very makeable fourth down."
On not getting the defense back out there:
"Guys, in this position we make decisions and you can't have regrets. You make those decisions and those are the decisions you think are the best for you and your football team during the ball game and that was the thing that I felt like was going to give us the best opportunity to win the game. So we needed to convert and go down and score a touchdown."
On the inability to win on the road:
"It's very… it's a concern. You play half your games at home; you play half your games on the road. We've hit a stretch where we've not been as efficient as we need to be on the road. To get where our expectations are, as a football team, an organization, you've got to hold, you've got to hold serve on the road and we have not done that. We have not played nearly as effective or efficiently outside of our building."
On being up by 10 and then losing by 10:
"Any time you are up by 10, undermanned, overmanned, it's the Atlanta Falcons that are out there playing. Injuries happen. Guys have to step up. We've got to make sure that we have our guys prepared and ready to go. Do I feel like we didn't play well in the second half? Absolutely. Yes, you want to hold 10-point leads in the National Football League. It's not the players' fault. Its not anybody's fault but mine. It is my responsibility as the head coach, ultimately. And I will, and do, take responsibility for that. It is not about those players. It is not about anything else. There is one person that is held responsible and that's me."
On the lack of pressure from the defense:
"Well, I thought we had a sack. I thought we had some times where we got Manning off the spot. But again, we've got to put pressure on the quarterback. We have to do that in this league because you are going to play elite quarterbacks the majority of the time in the NFL. Because I've said it a dozen to 16 (times), if you don't put pressure on them, they are going to make it hard on your defense."
On getting RB Antone Smith more touches:
"We need to have more plays designed for Antone. When he touches the ball, he makes plays. He did another fine job. We caught them in cover zero and it was a great throw by (Quarterback) Matt (Ryan), getting the ball out of his hands. And in zero, there is no defensive depth and he just outran everybody. I know everybody likes Antone. We like Antone a whole lot as well. We have to make sure that we get our playmakers the ball."
On the offensive line starting off strong, but finishing weak:
"They did, but I thought that they did a very good job. You had three new guys in there and I thought that, especially there in the first half, they did a very good job. I think that there was more pressure in the second half and that led to some of our inefficiency (on) third down. But those guys did a great job. The coaching staff and the players did a great job in preparing themselves for the situation that we had today."
Quarterback Matt RyanOn settling for two field goals in the first half:
"Yeah absolutely. We had opportunities in the first half, off the turnover we get a short field, get the ball down to the, I guess, one or two-yard line and weren't able to punch it in, so that one, that hurts. And then we had another chance right before the half, we got the ball down low again and came away with two field goals and when you're playing against a good team, on the road, you've got convert those opportunities. So to me, it came down to we weren't as efficient as we needed to be in the red zone and obviously we were not as good as we wanted to be on third down."
On the revamped offensive line:
"I thought our guys battled today. I thought in the first half we did a really nice job mixing the run and the pass and we just got out of rhythm across the board in the second half and really, other than the explosive play to Antone, we weren't able to get much going."
*On losing a 10 point lead: *
"Yeah, it's very tough, very tough. When you have a 10 point lead in the second half and you feel like you have some momentum, it's difficult. But it is what it is at this point and we've got to learn from it and try to do better next week."
On the fourth and one play in the fourth quarter:
"Yeah, I mean I thought we had an opportunity to convert, still in the game at that point. And you know, it just didn't work out. Obviously we didn't get the job done collectively. Disappointing, felt like we had a chance to get it done and just came up short."
*On struggling on the road: *
"I thought we came into it confident today. I thought on both sides of the ball, we started fast. I think that we've got to be more consistent and that's kind of been one of the things we've talked about all year. We need to be more consistent half to half and series to series. I don't think we were as consistent as we needed to be across the board."
On WR Julio Jones having an explosive first half compared to the second half:
"No, again, I've said across the board, I just don't think we got into a rhythm and it's not, I don't think it was anything by design. Obviously, Julio is one of our premier guys. I think we're going to try and get him the ball every chance that we get a one-on-one opportunity, but across the board, we just weren't able to get into a rhythm."
On your timing to throw the ball:
"Yeah, I mean, at times. At times I thought we did a really nice job. At other times, I thought we needed to be better up front and outside and myself included. So I think there were some positives, some things we did well, and certainly some things we didn't do well."
On third down inefficiency:
"You know, it's a number of different things. We weren't probably as good as we needed to be up front, we weren't as good as we needed to be outside, and I wasn't as accurate as I needed to be. I thought we had good stuff dialed up in terms of play calling. I thought we were in good position to make some plays, we just didn't execute as well as we needed to."
On getting RB Antone Smith more involved:
"That's up to the coaches when they put those guys in. I think (offensive coordinator) Dirk (Koetter), I've said it all along, I think Dirk does a great job of scheming for all of our guys to get involved. Antone made a huge play today for us at a critical time. I thought it was going to give us some momentum going into that fourth quarter, but I mean his production speaks for itself. He has played really well for us this year."
On being up by 10 and then losing by 10:
"We had opportunities, for sure, to win that game. And it's not necessarily all in the third and fourth quarter. As I mentioned before, I think there was two opportunities where we had the ball in the tight red zone with an opportunity to punch the ball in the end zone. When you're going against a good football team on the road, specifically, you've got to take advantage of those opportunities. But it is disappointing. We had a lead in the second half and we weren't able to get the job done offensively when we needed to."