Packers react to 43-37 win over Falcons

Posted by Duke Bobber on December 9, 2014 – 1:33 am

HEAD COACH MIKE McCARTHY:
(opening statement)
“Good victory tonight, our seventh victory at home this year. Ten victories has always been kind of the benchmark for us as a football team. It’s always tough to get to that. Obviously with the way things are sorting out in the NFC, 11 wins will probably be more of a benchmark this year. Offensively, extremely productive. [We punted one time.] Very pleased with that. Defensively, really a tale of two halves. You’ve got to give Atlanta’s offense a lot of credit. They made way too many big plays against us in the second half. Our communication wasn’t what it needed to be. Special teams, we did a solid job in our return game. I thought the coverage part started off good and then we had a couple where it got leaky. We have plenty to clean up. We’re on a short week to Buffalo, a very tough contest. I know the preliminary game plan, this is going to be a tough one to go get. We’re happy with the 10th win, 7-0 at home.”

(on tying Vince Lombardi in most wins in Packers history) “Well, I’m excited about the 10th win of the year. I’ve answered this question the last couple weeks. It’s an honor to coach here. I think everybody clearly understands what Coach Lombardi means not only to the Green Bay Packers, to the National Football League, but really the impact he made on society during his time. I’m thrilled to be coaching here and to be able to win games.”

(on the tale of two halves for his defense) “Well, obviously the big plays. You’ve got to look at that. They hit us on a couple double moves. Our boundary communication was poor. Obviously the three timeouts that we had to burn, our substitution patterns were poor in the second half. We had a substitution here on special teams, but we won the game and that’s what good teams do. We talk about it all the time, you have to find ways to win and we’ve been doing a good job of it at home.”

(on the ability to close out these games) “That’s the four-minute offense. It’s been excellent. That’s what you look for. When you get the ball back and they have three timeouts and a little over two minutes left in the game, that’s what you need to do. A great job by Aaron on second down there. We tried to throw versus their overload defense there and James breaks the long run down. Great job.”

(on taking Sam Shields out in the fourth quarter) “Well, we went into the game, really, with Sam not practicing this week, we really went into the game with the mindset of rolling Casey (Hayward), Davon (House) and Sam (Shields) in. That was really part of that decision.”

(on if he saw what happened on the blocked extra point by the Falcons) “Not yet.”

(on the 53-yard field goal Mason Crosby made) “It was a field goal we felt we could make. We have a lot of confidence in Mason. Obviously, there’s a process that you go through each and every week, as far as when you think you should go and not go, based on yard-line and things like that. It was the right decision.

(on if the Packers inability to maintain the big lead in the second half was due to settling in too much) “I think you definitely could make a point for that. Maybe I need to go back and look at what was said at halftime, but we haven’t played four quarters here in awhile. And we clearly didn’t show up for four quarters in certain parts of the game. But once again, it’s a good win. Any time you get that 10th win, to me, it’s always been kind of a hurdle you always have to get over and I’m glad we’re over it and we’re on to Buffalo.”

(on the challenge Julio Jones gave the defense) “We didn’t get the challenge done tonight. Obviously Julio had a big night. He was a focus for us all week as far as the way we game planned, but he won that contest.”

(on if it’s too early to scoreboard watch or pay close attention the standings) “I think everybody understand where we are. We have to go beat Buffalo next. There’s a lot of football left to be played. There are three games left. We have two on the road.”


QUARTERBACK AARON RODGERS
(on why Lambeau Field has become such an advantage to play at)
“The offensive line has been playing so good that we’ve been controlling the line of scrimmage. That allows you to extend some plays in the passing game, [and] we ran the ball really well, [and] had 180 rushing yards plus. When the line plays like that, we can be balanced. We had some years there where we didn’t have a 1,000-yard rusher and were pass first, and now we’re a little more balanced.”

(on if this game shows they can win a shootout) “It’s just a reminder you’ve got to play four quarters. We had 31 [points] the first half and then we had 12 in the second half. [If] we come out and we have a good possession there starting the second half we can probably put them away a little quicker, but [Falcons QB] Matt [Ryan] got hot and played really well. [Falcons WR] Julio [Jones] is tough to stop. Matt [Ryan] played great and thankfully we did a good job of limiting our punts tonight and finishing off our drives.”

(on reaching the most passing yards in his first 100 starts) “It’s been fun, it’s been a great 100 games started. When you’re a young player, you can only dream about these kind of opportunities, and then you get into it and you think ‘I’d love to do 100 more.’ It’s fun to be able to healthy after 13 weeks and to be able to play the way I want to play. Obviously it’s a team effort and the offensive line, again I’m going to say it, they’ve been playing great. When they give me that kind of time, we have so many playmakers outside, we expect to be able to make some plays in the passing game.”

(on Coach McCarthy tying Lombardi’s win total) “Mike, he’s a phenomenal coach. He doesn’t have a big ego, he’s not going to draw a lot of attention to himself. He just goes out [and] does his job. He’s the same person every day. His humor is expanding a little bit (smiling), but for the most part he’s the same person every day and really takes care of our bodies. He’s a players’ coach, in the most respectful way to him, because the guys respect him. They enjoy playing for him and trust him. I’m really proud to be able to be a part of a lot of those wins.”

(on the conversation between he and Josh Wilson on the goal line) “As we were unpiling there, I was getting off and kind of got pushed in the back and accidentally stepped on him. Then there were some words exchanged, and then I think we figured things out there later in the game.”

(on the quiet game for Davante Adams) “I think it’s just matchups. You look at the way they played us tonight, there were more opportunities for Jordy [Nelson] and then Andrew [Quarless] had some opportunities, and then the checkdowns. We talked about before the game and [QBs coach] Alex [Van Pelt] reminded me just to go through the progressions, but look to get it to the checkdowns. I don’t know how many catches Eddie [Lacy] finished with and James [Starks] and John [Kuhn], but if you add all those up, I would expect it to be near 10, which is probably more than we’ve had in a game all season. That was just the way they were playing. It was a softer two shell game with some quarter-quarter halves, trying to roll some coverage to Jordy [Nelson] at times, but really leaving the checkdown spot kind of open. When you have a game like this, those guys are going to get more balls and then when we had some one-on-one opportunities, Jordy was the guy kind of getting the throws. You’ve got to be ready each week to play and you’ve got to run your routes to win every week and every play, and Davante has a really, really bright future for us here.”

(on if he’s feeling the length of the season at this point) “Yes, but it’s also the excitement that it’s 10 wins. We’ve said around here you can’t really talk about the playoffs until 10 wins, so now that stuff starts to come together, and if you look at the NFC you’re going to have to win maybe 11 to guarantee a spot, maybe 12 depending on how everybody plays. It’s an exciting time for the league, for the fans, for the fantasy owners as well. I know this is kind of playoffs and the end of the run here, so it’s an exciting time for football, and it’ll be a fun last three weeks and playoffs hopefully.”

(on the importance of getting home field) “It’s the number one goal.”

(on how he feels about the team going into the last three games) “I’m excited about our team. There’s been some ups and downs on both sides of the ball all season, but we’re really getting this home-field advantage thing going with the crowd noise, with the footing, with the way we’re playing. We’re really balanced on offense. The defense, they’ll look at the film and they’ll correct things. I’m not worried about that. Maybe the injuries [are a concern]. Hopefully whoever got hurt today is going to be back, but if it takes scoring 38-plus points to win then that’s what we’ve got to do. There’s no excuse with our offense. We approach every drive like we’re going to score on that drive and we’ve had some success at home. I think in five of the games we haven’t had a punt in the first half, maybe four, but that’s pretty impressive and that helps our defense out. There may have been a slight relaxation there at halftime, up 24. Occasionally, that can be the natural thing to do. You’re thinking we’re going to keep rolling on offense, our defense is going to keep stopping them, but they did a good job of taking care of the football and Matt [Ryan] got hot. It was a hot quarterback and we were able to just hang on and score enough points.”


WIDE RECEIVER RANDALL COBB:
(on where the offense is at this point in the season)
“Execution, that’s always been a big thing with us and just continuing to find a way to execute and continue to make the plays when they’re there. That’s what we want to continue to do.”

(on the Falcons’ two-high safety defense) “We figured that would probably be a big call for them. We figured they play a lot of two-high and just being able to have that ground attack and being able to check the ball down and make those plays when they’re there is huge for our offense.”


KICKER MASON CROSBY:
(on decision to attempt 53-yard field goal)
“…if it doesn’t go through there they get the ball at the 43-yard line. So it showed a lot of confidence in me, put me out there and I was so happy to capitalize because it was big. Our protection did a great job after that blocked extra point. They really stepped up and did a good job on that long kick.”

(on having the opportunity to kick a long field goal at Lambeau) “Yeah, it was nice to have one like that at home. Obviously, we’ve got another three games here, tough stretch down the road. That’s kind of playoff football right there. You’ve got to play all four quarters and make sure every kick, every situation is important.”


GUARD T.J. LANG:
(on the play of Aaron Rodgers)
“Well, he’s special. I don’t think he really does anything anymore that surprises you. He’s a guy that is playing at such a high level right now that it’s great to be a part of it and it’s impressive to watch. He’s been the best player on our team, on our offense especially, but watching the plays that he makes, it’s a lot of fun to watch.”


LINEBACKERS JULIUS PEPPERS:
(on concerns about defense giving up so many points)
“We were concerned about the win. We’re not going to get too involved with stats and those type of things because certain circumstances dictate what other teams can do. So it was a game where they pretty much had to pass the ball and they passed the ball well.”

(on Julio Jones’ performance) “Julio showed himself to be a great player tonight. He’s an elite player in this league, so hats off to him for having a great game.”


TIGHT END ANDREW QUARLESS:
(on being able to make up for the false start with third-down reception in first quarter) “
Oh yeah, I was a little happy to be able to make up for that false start. We just got them (Falcons) in a zone. We were able to take advantage of the zone. The middle linebacker wouldn’t get to the middle of the field and it was wide open.”

(on home field helping tonight) “Yeah, home field…I believe it’s 7-0, so that’s a positive. Anytime we play at home we seem to be doing pretty good. The fans, the ‘Cheeseheads’, they stay loud the whole game so I think they’re doing a good job. We’ve got to win these next two on the road.”


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