"We've Got To Finish"

The Bengals played their best game of the season but it wasn't enough as they lost in overtime against the New York Giants.

BENGALS AT N.Y. GIANTS; POST-GAME QUOTES

Head coach Marvin Lewis

Opening Statement: Obviously we're as disappointed as you can be losing the football game. There were again, as I told the guys, we made some positive plays, but you got to finish the thing out. And we didn't get that done today. They fought their butts off, and did a lot of good things. But at the end of the day, we got to finish the thing off and make a play that gets the ball back and finishes the game out or find a way to score a touchdown on the last drive. So I think all in all we did a lot of the things we set out to do today, we've just got to do them more consistently for a longer period of time. And the things we've been talking about: improving on third down, running the football, defending the run and don't give up an explosive play in the passing game and make some on ours. I think in some of those areas I know we improved today. We've just got to keep churning and keep getting it done.

Question: You mentioned scoring a TD at the end of regulation. With the time on the clock, what was the thought process?

RE: We were trying to score a touchdown. We only had one timeout left. If we used it there, you can't kick the field goal.

Q: With the TD pass to Houshmandzadeh, did you see a letdown on the defense?

RE: No, I didn't see a letdown. I saw them come and churn out a couple plays against a couple pressures. They got the guy blocked. We had the ball in the air a couple times, we had it tipped, and we didn't intercept it. They were able to convert the third down and were able to move the football. Q: Do you build off of this?

RE: We build off a week ago, and two weeks before that. So you build every time you come out here. And, again, we're not satisfied, we got a lot of good things done today but not enough long enough, and that's the key point.

Q: You were down in the secondary and had some kids play a lot (Castille and Jones), how do you think they held up?

RE: I don't know. I'll watch the tape and then I won't tell you (laughs).

Q: Burress is a big play receiver. Went down on the fade and then Manning-Toomer?

RE: Plax made the double move there and got the ball over the top on the final drive. Same thing on the wheel route. So they had a couple plays that they executed well and beat the weakness of the coverage and got the ball to the right spots on those two plays.

Quarterback Carson Palmer

Question: 0-3 Carson, where do you guys go from here?

Response: It's definitely a tough situation and a situation we never envisioned ourselves being in, but we have to keep coming together as a team. It may sound crazy, but we have improved, not enough, but a little bit. We have to keep improving and just find a way to scrape out a win and give us that confidence we need. That will give us the confidence we need to take a deep threat and say, "Alright, now let's roll."

Q: What was the difference in the offensive game plan today that created the feeling that you guys could do what you wanted to do?

RE: There's no difference. We had a good game plan against a very good defense. Nothing spectacular, nothing different. We need to find a way to end up with some touchdowns instead of just field goals there. We'll try to do that this week.

Q: They had pressure, one of the best pass rushes in the league. They really put you under pressure.

RE: Yeah. I don't know how many times I was sacked, but they did a good job getting pressure on the quarterback. That's one of the better front fours in this league.

Q: Did you come out expecting that because of the pressure it was going to take a series of short passes and screens, which were pretty effective for you guys?

RE: Yeah, we wanted to get the ball out quick and not be in situations where I'm holding onto the ball and we're letting Tuck and some of those big guys loose. We did a good job getting rid of the ball early, and we got it out quick and got it to our playmakers.

Q: On the game-winning FG, were you surprised that they didn't take an extra minute just to make sure Toomer was in bounds?

RE: Yeah, I thought his feet were out. I don't know exactly what the rules are. Were his feet in (I couldn't tell)? I would have taken a timeout. I don't know what they saw in the booth, but you'd like to have the opportunity to review the play.

Q: Antonio (Chatman) said that on the last offensive play to him before OT that you were supposed to spike it and you called an audible there. Was he your primary receiver and were you going for the touchdown?

RE: Yeah, we had enough time to try to get in there, and from my angle I thought he was. He shook the first guy and I thought he was going to split them and get in. It was just a situation where we had enough time, and they were in the right defense to try to get a cheap one with making a guy miss, because with Antonio that's his specialty. He almost made the guy miss to get in there, but we had enough time to set up the field goal.

Q: You were going to spike it there, but audibled. Did you think about calling the timeout with third and one?

RE: We didn't need it. Like I said, we had enough time to try to get one more play in the end zone. Stop the clock if it's incomplete. Call the timeout if it's complete and you get the first down.

Q: Did the field position on the drive in OT dictate the play-calling which seemed to be a little bit conservative the way the offense had been running at that time?

RE: No, with the way we were moving the ball on the ground, we felt like we were getting four a pop. We tried to get eight the first two with two runs to get us to third and two and have the chance to run the ball again for a first down or throw it. Unfortunately, we weren't able to move the ball, and then on third down, I didn't throw a good enough pass to TJ.

Q: TJ said there were a couple of plays where basically you two were going off each other freelancing. Do you feel back in sync now? Were you ever off?

RE: It's tough to say. Last week when the wind is blowing like it was 50 mph, it's tough to find a rhythm with somebody. TJ and I definitely had a rhythm tonight. He did a good job doing his own thing and getting open in a couple different situations. We had a botched snap where the ball was on the ground and he saw it and did a good job of adjusting his route. That's just what TJ does. He's a football player. He makes smart plays, heads up plays.

Q: He made a tough play on the TD, too. Did you expect him to?

RE: Unbelievable catch. He's got two guys on him. Right when I let the ball go I knew he was going to make the play because that's what he does.

Safety Chinedum Ndukwe

Q. There were a lot of nice things you guys did out there as a team. Did you guys think that you could win this game coming in?

A. We knew coming in that we could beat this team. Unfortunately, we couldn't come up with that one big play to put us over the top. We showed a lot of fight out there and there were a lot of nice things that we did out there on both sides of the ball, but in the end, it's still a loss… nothing good about a loss.

Q. With all those injuries you guys had, you sure showed a lot of heart in this game.

A. Yeah definitely the one thing we did show out there was heart. I mean now we're just looking at our matchup with Cleveland next week, that's all we can really do.

Guard Bobbie Williams

Q. Thoughts on the game?

A. It's tough to go out there and play so hard and not end up with the win. I mean there's a lot that we can build on, and I can honestly say that we got better as a team today. We've got the Cleveland Browns coming in next week and the best way to get this taste out of our mouths is to get ready to play them.

Q. What happened to the offensive line today?

A. There's nothing but upside. We're just going to keep learning from what we're doing and keep gaining momentum…just got to keep trying to get better.


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