Head coach Mike SmithOpening Statement:
Very disappointed in the way that we played in the second half of the football game. You can't make the mistakes that we made in the second half against a good football team because when you do, they're going to come back and haunt you. They did. We never got on track offensively in the second half. Things went so easy in the first half, and we did not play nearly the type of football in the second half as we did in the first half, and in turn we did not get the win. With that, I'll open it up for questions.
On the emotions when the Lions missed the first field goal, got the penalty and made the second field goal to win the game:
You know, that's football. He missed it, and it was a delay of game penalty. The clock was stopped, so there was not going to be a 10‑second runoff. If the clock would have been running it would have been a 10‑second runoff the way it was explained to me, and I thought we were going to squeak one out. Obviously we didn't. We didn't make the plays that we needed to make in the second half.
On the penalties the team had when they were trying to run out the clock:
You know, it's critical. Again, throughout that second half, we couldn't get on track offensively. We had some very untimely penalties. We did some very uncharacteristic things on both sides of the ball. You can't give up the big play like we gave up, and you've got to keep the ball in your possession. We can't turn the ball over.
On the best-case scenario, giving the ball back to them with 45 seconds left:
That is correct. Yeah, very critical. Very critical penalty. It changed the whole dynamic, and then we've got to try to convert the first down. If we can convert the first down, then it's a whole different situation.
On what changed between the first and second half protecting QB Matt Ryan:
We did not execute our training that we spent all week training on. We got our quarterback hit, came right out and started on the first play of the second half. We've got to try and make sure that we play with the same level of efficiency in both halves, and obviously we didn't do that today.
On the effect this loss will have on the team:
When you lose a football game, it hurts. We felt coming into this game that if we took care of what we needed to today that it would put us in a very different situation than what we've been over the last couple of weeks, because of the bye week and two division games coming after the bye week. You know, it's a tough way to lose a football game. There's a bunch of guys that feel just as bad or worse than I do.
On his decision to sit on the ball at the end of the first half:
Yes, we were up 21, three scores. We did not want to turn the football over. That was my decision. You know, like any game, there's many decisions that can be discussed.
On whether or not the players checked out:
Absolutely not. I don't believe there was any complacency whatsoever. We needed to come out and start fast in the second half of the ballgame, and we did not on both sides of the football. We had the three‑and‑out offensively.
Quarterback Matt RyanOpening statement:
Our defense did a great job of holding them to three. We were moving the ball offensively. Obviously moved to left, I was trying to throw the ball, and I never saw him, and that's just a mistake that you cannot make in order to win football games. That one hurts.
On being a 2-6 team making the playoffs and moving on from this loss:
We've got to be the first one to do it. I think that's got to be the mindset that we have to have. This is probably as tough a loss to take as any I've been a part of, and really feel like we had a lot of different chances to win that ballgame and consistently didn't make plays when we needed to. You know, we've got to get back home. We've got to find a way to get better over the course of the bye week, and I think everybody needs to look in the mirror and self‑critique and really ‑‑ when we get back to work, have a great mindset and a great sense of focus.
On whether or not there was any unrest sitting on the ball before the half:
No. I think with where we were at in that game, felt like we had a great first half. We were in the driver's seat, had a lot of momentum going into the second half. I'm okay with that call.
On the sequence:
We did a great job of getting the first two first downs. That's what you need to do in that situation. We had a fresh set of downs with I think one timeout that they had, and first down, run the ball, and then they call a timeout, which in those situations, in four‑minute situations, there's going to be runs that are zero‑yard gains, those kind of things. They've got a lot of guys in the box. On second down, obviously with a penalty, the clock doesn't continue to run. That makes it tough. And then on third down we have a pass play called, and then in those situations we've got to execute, I've got to execute and make sure that it's a completion so that clock continues to run. I think across the board, we feel like we gave them too much time and kind of didn't do our job. Offensively we did not do our job.
On giving the Lions more time that they should have had at the end:
Yeah, I'd have to look at the time chart, whatever, but certainly we gave them way more time than we should have.
On the offensive line breaking down in the second half:
Well, I think we knew coming into it, obviously Detroit is a very good defensive team, specifically their defensive line, one of the better defensive lines in the league. I thought our guys up front did a good job, I really do. I think they played hard. I think they were physical. They did a great job in the first half. In the second half we had some opportunities. We were driving the football on the series where I turned the ball over. I thought those guys played hard.
On how C James Stone did in his first start:
I thought James did a very nice job. First time starting and going against a really, really good front four. I thought James played extremely well. He was on point with his calls and kind of getting everybody on the same page up front. Very, very happy with the way he played.
On the emotions of the Lions game-winning field goal:
That was tough. Obviously you go from where you think you have won the game to where they have another opportunity. And it probably makes it tougher than it wasn't a penalty on us, it was a penalty on them. From a frustration standpoint, that hurts, but the rules are the rules, and that's the way it's set up. They didn't go in our favor today, but that was a tough one to take.
On his experience playing in London:
I thought it was a great experience. I really do. People here in the UK have been really, really nice, very accommodating, and I think the entire organization had a great trip other than not getting the win today.