Postgame Reaction

Here is what players and coaches from both teams had to say after the Dolphins' 27-23 loss to the Indianapolis Colts on Monday Night Football.


Head Coach Tony Sparano

On kicking the field goal in the second-to-last possession to give the Dolphins the lead: "I was absolutely willing to take the points in that situation. That put us ahead. I have a lot of confidence in our defense."

On the yards after the catch for the Colts: "Yes, it was a big issue. They made some nice plays; you have to give them credit. It is what they do. We knew it was what they did. I think our guys tried to be in the right place. I have to take a look at the film. Thought the tight end did a great job. I thought they did a good job working the tight end in the middle of the field."

On how disheartening the loss is after executing what seemed to be the Dolphins game plan: "It is really disheartening. I would like to ask you guys how many times you have seen games like that where your team has the ball for 45 minutes and they run 39 plays and you have 229 yards rushing and your 13 (for) 18 on third down (conversations). It is exactly the formula to beat that team. It is exactly the formula. We cannot give up big plays on the other side. We know that. [Week 1] we didn't play offensively very well. We have to take a look at the film and see what we did on defense. They only had 39 plays, or 36 plays, whatever it was."

On if it was literally three or four plays from Dallas Clark that cost the Dolphins the win: "I know Dallas had big plays during the course of this thing. I really don't know off the top of my head. I would say, yeah. I thought for the most part Reggie [Wayne] was quiet; Dallas (Clark) was the one that made all the big ones. Certainly the run after the catch was big."

On the clock management at the end of the ballgame: "What happened there, I have to take responsibility for that, we had the wrong personnel grouping in. So we needed to take the timeout at that point."

On the Colts' last drive: "I think we felt like we could just stop them. One of the things we thought was we had pretty good kick coverage. Did a nice job pinning them down in there. We thought it could be a stop. We knew we needed to get around them. They hit a chunk play on first down on the left side. Thought we had pretty good coverage, the guy made the play. Once you give them the chunk play like that and let them out of that end of the field, the candy store is open a little bit. Still felt like we could stop them, felt like we could get to quarterback, thought maybe we would have a chance to get one in our hands, an interception or any of those things."

On what went wrong in the Dolphins' final drive: "I just think time was against us at that point. We had no timeouts, long way to go. I thought Chad did a good job of managing the thing, getting down the field. We had a couple of long-yardage situations, so the longer the yardage – we converted a couple of them – takes longer to move the football and all those things. Thought they did a good job, but I just thought at the end of this thing you don't want to be throwing it up in the end zone from 40 yards away."

On if the Wildcat was based on what they saw from the Colts defense: "No, it is part of our package; it is part of what we do."


On how the team played: "I thought we came out, played our hearts out for 60 minutes and came up short at the end of the game. They made a lot of plays that were significant in the end of the game."

On rushing for 250 yards and having 45 minutes of time of possession and losing: "Yes, but when you got a guy like No. 18 on the other side of the field that does such a great job of getting his guys down the field. Getting his guys in position and putting them in the right place you know it's hard. I thought we executed our game plan on the offensive side of the ball. A couple times we should have gotten six points and we had to settle for a field goal. You know that's tough. Against a team like that you have to get it in the end zone with what they are capable of doing."


On the loss considering the Dolphins dominated the game statistically: "It's a hard loss. We came out, everybody played hard, as hard as we could play. We had some key mistakes. We just got to bounce back next week."

On if he got is hands on the ball in the end zone on the final drive of the game: "I got both hands on it … guy came through and made a good play. That's what this league is about. Everybody's going to make plays, you know, it's who comes down with it."

On losing despite controlling the time of possession: "When you got a great player over there like [Peyton] Manning, you can't do anything but see the greatness in him. No matter how much time is on the clock, he's going to use it and make things work, and work it to perfection."

On if the ball in the end zone was catchable: "Oh yeah, every ball is catchable. I should have came down, I should have made that play. That's why I got the sad face, you know, that's why I'm over here thinking about it nonstop and the only thing you can do is go back and see what you did wrong, and try to work at it."


Opening Statement: "I have been in a couple of games like that to be honest and it has always been against Peyton Manning. In 2003, we had a perfect rating in the quarterback position and lost 38-31. In 2006, we lost 31-28, so that is why the game is not about stats. We try to point out this statistic and that statistic and try to put our finger on it. It is not about statistics. It is about scoring points and winning football games. When you play against a team against the Colts, when you get into the red zone you need to score touchdowns. You can't kick field goals. So, I am lost for words, I really am. I don't know what to say."

On the Dolphins' last drive: "We had a play call, a couple of plays calls that I tried to run the best I could. We didn't get much out of them as we would like. We tried to get the two minute drive started with the draw play and create – our draw has been working all night long – and get some good yards. Anytime you start a two minute drive, you want to start with positive plays. You do not want to start with negative plays. Positive plays so you can keep the defense from making calls when the clock stops. You would like them to make calls when the clock is running because it is harder on them. I thought our guys did a good job of keeping their poise even when everyone in the stands are hung on the edge of their seats and made it a little uncomfortable for us, but our guys did a good job of keeping their poise and when you got down to having one last shot at the end zone."

On the play where it appeared Ted Gin had a shot in the end zone: "Our offensive line did a really good drive of protecting during that drive, especially two big pass rushes like they have. I saw them in a coverage where the safety squeezed on Devone [Bess] going down the middle and Ted was one-on-one going down the left edge there."

On Ted Ginn's third-down catches: "Coverage was dictating he had some one-on-one coverage on the outside. I believe in Ted and believe he can make the plays for us. He did a good job in some key catches for us and did some really good things to keep some drives alive. Tonight was one of those games, as far as you're passing game, it was [running the ball] on first and second down and when we had to convert on third down. I give our guys a lot of credit across the board on being able to do that because that is a lot of pressure. You are having success running the ball and continue to grind running the football and your number is called on third down to keep the drive going and our guys made catch after catch, time after time. So that is encouraging and I am glad to see that."

On if this is exactly what Coach Sparano wanted to do tonight, meaning running the ball and keeping time of possession and if that is the Dolphins' ideal identity as a team: "I think our identity … we want our identity to be centered around winning and that means if we have to win 6-3 or we have to win 26-23 or whatever it is, that is what we want our identity to be. We understand there are certain statistics and certain things that cause a team to win or lose a game such as turnovers and third down percentage and things like that, whatever it takes. If that means special teams got to do something or the offense or defense or whatever. Yea, there are some good things, but if you're a winner, it is not good enough."

On if this was a game the offense can build on: "Sure. There is always things to build on. We made improvement from last week to this week. Did some good things and some guys really step up and our offensive line took the challenge personal this week. We worked extremely hard during the week. There are some things to build on, but it is hard to talk about those things now because the loss is so fresh."

On the difference in time of possession: "I have never seen anything like it. I didn't even know it was like that. I have never seen anything like it."

On the ability for the team to bounce back, like they have before: "It lets you know that it can happen. It shows you that we have guys in the locker room that are tough guys and have a lot of resolve. They keep working and do not get down. We have proven that to ourselves. We don't need any proof whether we can or cannot do it, but it doesn't guarantee anything. So we have a huge task ahead of us, going to the west coast and playing a tough San Diego team that is as hot offensively that this team is and we are playing against a defense that has two great pass rushers. They do a good job so it's a challenge."

On giving the ball back to Peyton Manning with a lot of time on the clock: "You are hoping for the best and preparing for the worst. You are hoping you can stopped them, but at the same time you get your two minute thoughts together, analyze the situation whether you are going to tied or down. You are running those thoughts threw your head."


On the defense not making the big stops at the end: "It's a tough one to take across the chin. It was a great opportunity to go out and get the win today. The offense had them real tired. We just went out there, and when it came down to making a play, they made more plays then we did."

On the final Colts drive: "They ran the screen. They got out. Simple as that."

On whether there were any different protections with the Colts offense tonight: "You know, protections is protections. We still had chances to get to them and stuff like that. You know um, the game plan was pretty simple. Take care of #87 (Reggie Wayne), take care of No. 44 (Dallas Clark), and make the other guys beat us and we didn't do that. We let #44 have a huge game on the end of the day and with Gonzalez being down that was the guy we were supposed to focus on. We kept Reggie quiet for the most part, and on the end of the day, they still made some plays when they needed to and that was the ballgame."

On starting 0-2 and trying to repeat the turnaround like last year: "Nobody's crowned champion after two weeks. True enough we would love to be 2-0 rather than 0-2. We're not good enough to give away games like that. Those kinds of games are going to hurt. When you're in position to put them away you got to put them away. That's what good teams do, and right now we are trying to find our identity right now because giving away a tough game like that at home always hurts. We practiced too hard this week to give that one away."

On what the next step is on both sides of the ball after the past two games: "We gotta play a game when we both hittin on all cylinders. We were doing it for the most part in the first half, you know, but that field goal at the end of the half really hurt. A couple plays here and there that we just let them get out. They made more plays than we did today, take nothing away from them. They hit us with some good plays, and, um, they got the win at the end."

On Peyton Manning making plays tonight: "I didn't feel that way that we gave him the big play. At the times we made him earn it we had a good chance, and we were getting off the field."



About the game: "Well, that was a battle royal right there. You certainly have got to give a lot of credit to our opponent because they did a tremendous job. They ran the ball extremely well. They did a great job in terms of controlling the time of possession. They had 80 something plays and I think we had 35 and they did a heck of a job and kept us off balance. Our guys did a great job of fighting and hanging in there. We took advantage of the possessions that we had and that's how it is in this league. This week is probably no different than any other week that we'll face and our guys did a tremendous job. We are certainly happy to get out of here with a win."

About the time of possession: "I don't know what it was but I know that when it's 81 plays to 35 plays it's tough. Our defense was on the field a long time. We couldn't get them stopped enough and that's something that we're going to have to go to work on and certainly improve upon."

About Pierre Garcon's game-winning catch: "It was great to see him show it out there on the field on game day. He's been doing it in practice, we've certainly seen his promise and I think that we've talked about him during that last few months. He had a great camp and you can see what he can do when he gets that ball. He's big, strong, fast and a very physical guy."

About Peyton Manning's play: "Obviously he's a special guy. He took over Johnny Unitas' record with his 119th win. It's because he can do things like he did tonight. He can lead you on drives with just enough time left; he's very smart and handles things extremely well. We're certainly proud of him and of what he's been able to accomplish. It was a great night for Dallas Clark as well. He has 183 yards and I think he broke the franchise record in terms of receptions so it was a big night in that regard and it's a big win. Any time you can get a road win in this league we'll take it by half a point if they would give it to us."


On the game in general: "We only got the ball one time in the third quarter, so the big plays were important plays. It was a team effort all around. Had some big field goals, the kick team did a great job covering, defense doing their thing and the offense doing our thing. It was a great road team win."

On the opening play of the game: "Hopefully everyone had their chips and their drinks and were down on the couch and didn't miss that one. Glad I stretched so I didn't pull a hammy on that one, but it was a good way to start and, and we needed it. It's really they way you need to start a game on the road, especially in an environment like this. It's just a great football environment and a great way to start the game."

On the last possession, when getting the ball down by three: "Yeah, you know, it was great. It was great for the defense to only give up three points and we just knew what we had to do. Great call, great audible by Peyton to get that screen to (Pierre) Garcon. Everyone made their assignments and got their blocks and when he gets going they're not catching him, he's probably the fastest guy on the field, so it was a huge play."


On the touchdown pass to WR Pierre Garcon: "We checked and it was an audible. They really sat back most of the game and played a lot of double man coverage. On the last drive, on the first play, they came on a safety blitz so it looked like it was a little change of philosophy. We hit Reggie on a little fade route to the sideline. Then we hit Dallas on a play that was not verse the blitz but they blitzed two plays in a row. Once on the takeoff down the right sideline to Pierre and then they came back with it again. I just recognized it and checked to the audible to the wide receiver screen out to Pierre and we were looking for the first down. It was a call to try to move the chains but we got good blocking downfield and Pierre has got good speed and he showed it on that play."

On the time of possession: "We've had some games before when we sat on the sideline but I've never seen a third quarter like that. You feel like you really didn't letter out there in the second half. You can kind of get away with it in the first and second quarter but then it's time to get something going in the fourth quarter. We were down seven and went to our three wide receiver package on first and second down as opposed to just third down and we wanted to try to take advantage of some of that man coverage. There's nothing like starting the first play of the game with a touchdown. I'm glad we got that one in."

On the 2-0 record: "I've kind of said it a couple of time during the week but I've never felt comfortable with these comparisons to Johnny Unitas. I'm very proud to wear the same uniform as he did. He was very nice to me the times that I was around him. Johnny Unitas was a winner. I never saw him play but my dad told me a lot about him and what he meant to the city of Baltimore and what he meant to the NFL. It's very humbling to be mentioned in some of these same categories and individual records but this is a team record. There are a lot of people that were part of those wins. A lot of great coaches and a lot of great players. It's a very humbling achievement."

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