Postgame Transcript - Week 14 vs Texans


Head Coach John Harbaugh

(opening statement) "I just want to congratulate our team first of all, on finding a way to win a tough football game. I want to credit the Houston Texans for a tremendous effort. That football team is a very good football team. Their defense played extremely well I thought, and that's something they've been struggling with and they stepped it up today. There offense, like always was advertising. When you put that offense back on the field as often as we did, it's going to be tough to stop and they made some plays. We were battling but their playmakers made some plays. First half offensively, field position, (CB/RS) Chris Carr's interception, all those things combined to put us in a good position. I thought our offense capitalized. We even had one drop early on that would have given us another touchdown. Then (WR Derrick) Mason came back and gave us two great catches. (QB) Joe (Flacco) stepped up and made some great throws. Defense and special teams set us up with some good field position. (WR) David Reed's kickoff return to start the half was huge. It gave us a little bit of cushion which we ended up needing every single bit of it. I thought our defense fought but we got a little worn out at the end. We couldn't get there with pressure. You've got those big receivers making plays, a couple fourth down plays that were tremendous plays with tight coverage. Of course (CB) Josh Wilson, hero of the game. Made a play, in a critical situation, on the road, in overtime, in December, in a playoff hump. I think that's the critical thing. We've got nine wins now. We move forward from here. We've got the world champs coming in and it's a short week so it's going to be tough."

(on how concerned he was about the second half collapse) "Concerned is probably a good word. They were closing the gap. I was concerned that they were going to tie it up and they did."

(on his thought about having to punt the ball in overtime) "First of all I think (P) Sam's (Koch) punt was a huge part of that game. I don't know how far it was but it was a huge punt, and it made a difference in the coverage. When you punt the ball that deep and you've got (WR) Jacoby Jones back there, the way he runs, to cover the ball the way we did, our special teams were fantastic the whole night. I was concerned because we were tired more than anything. I thought it was really important that we won the toss. The play of the game might have been the toss. Our defense had been out there so much in the second half and we were tired. They were probably in a position to take advantage of that because their defense was fresh. That makes a big difference in overtime.

(on if playing tight games helps them) "I think finding a way to win in overtime is big for us. We haven't done that at times. This football team has lost a lot of close games by some crazy situations, and now you're down here playing Monday night football, they had the red deal going on, and this place is electric. We quieted it down for a while, but then obviously it was amped up again for the second half. Don't think its easy to go on the road. We've been in eight straight Monday night games on the road here in the last three years. One of these days, we're going to get one at home. Hopefully. Our guys overcame a tough situation and they found a way to win and in December that's really what matters. Do we have things we are worried about? Do we have things we need to work on? Absolutely. At this point in time in the season, you've got to find a way to win."

(on if he felt the need to change the way they were playing when up 28-7) "We didn't really want to pressure with a 28-7 lead too much in the second half with their receivers, and give them a big play with a one on one coverage situation. It's not something that we felt was smart. Make them go the distance. They converted a couple fourth downs. I thought they did a nice job and those were in tight coverage. When we did bring pressure, we did a nice job of picking it up. They made some tough throws and catches against one-on-one coverage."

(on if he was surprised by the decision to pass on third and two) "We had a conversation about that and Offensive Coordinator) Cam (Cameron) felt strongly. I wanted a first down there. It wasn't so much about the clock. It was about getting the first down and our offensive coaches felt that that was the play.You know what, we had a chance and we just didn't get it done. You know you can run and get stuff too. We need to convert. Offensively we need to stay on the field and convert and all that stuff."

(on his opinion on flaws in pass protection) "There were some spread issues. We missed a sight one time, we missed a high another time. We probably got beat one on one a couple times. That's a concern. We've talked about the pass protection before and it goes for everybody. It's the offensive lines, it's the tight ends, it's the running backs, it the receivers, and it's the quarterback. Whatever we need to do to get that cleared up we have to do and we're capable of doing that."

QB Joe Flacco

(on the difference between the first and second halves) "We didn't have many possessions in the second half, but when we did we didn't extend those drives and really make anything of them. We tried to, we were moving the ball pretty well, but we just didn't convert them on the third down. We just didn't have many possessions and that's the key. You've got to make sure you do a good job of converting first downs and putting as many points on the board as you can and we didn't."

(on if he thinks it natural to loosen up after scoring three touchdowns) "No I don't think so. We were trying to put points up every time we were out on the field. Like I said, we had three possessions in the second half and we said to each other every time, 'Hey, let's go put this game away.' We felt like if we put points, we wanted a touchdown, but any kind of points on the board there we really would have solidified the game."

(on if he thinks the momentum dropped in the second half) "You try not to think of that, but at the very end when they get a two-point conversion, that's when you know we've got to get ready to play here. We didn't want it to come to that, but it did. Like I said, we had confidence that it wasn't going to, but it did."

(on if he feels more relief than joy) "Probably a little bit, but we've got a lot of joy. When you see (CB) Josh (Wilson) pick that ball off and go in the end zone. It was a huge play. You don't like to have these kinds of games when you're up like that. Sometimes they're necessary, but when you're up by the amount of points we were you don't want to have this kind of game. To be able to win that after almost giving it up is pretty big for us right now."

(on if he is ready to have a game that doesn't come down to the fourth quarter) "Yeah, when you are up like that, we don't want the game to have to come down to the fourth quarter. We'd like to play good football for three and a half quarters and let our offensive line win a game for us at the end. It just hasn't happened. It didn't happen today. We'll work on that, but as long as we're winning football games, we'll be happy. We're going to work on things to get better. We're a 9-4 football team right now and we're feeling pretty good about ourselves."

(on if he was surprised about the decision to pass) "I don't know. Like (Head Coach) John (Harbaugh) said, the most important thing there is to get the first down. You've got to make the call that you feel is best to get the first down. I think he wanted the first down and we called the play that we thought would get us the best shot at that."

MLB Ray Lewis

(on reaction to a win against the Houston Texans) "Reaction? You want to go to the tales of two tapes? Last week we almost shut a team out and lost. Sick. This week, we win. This is the thing I'm trying to preach to these guys: There's a journey that you have to be willing to go on. Last week everyone wanted to talk about stats and if somebody did this or somebody did that. I talked about it all week coming in here. This is a talented team. They're going to play us with everything they've got. Whether we jump out on the lead or not, they're going to give us everything they've got. We knew that. So when you jump on someone, the only thing you can do is put them away. If you don't put them away in the National Football League, we've seen comebacks from the beginning of time. For us to come in here in a hostile environment, for us to go home with nine victories and four losses, you can't ask for nothing else. Defensively, in December, this is how you win football games. I'm out there on the field telling guys 'We're going to make the play. You just have to be willing to keep playing it out.' That's the beauty of the journey. You're going to have ups, you're going to have downs but at the end of the day if you can end up with more W's than losses you've got a great opportunity."

(on Baltimore Ravens CB Josh Wilson's game ending interception for a touchdown) "It's just one play. It's just one play. You go back last week and look at Pittsburgh's play. The whole game they're losing and (Pittsburgh Steelers S Troy) Polamalu makes one play that changes everything. That's the same thing that happened today but we made the play and it's what good defenses do no matter what. They may bend but when it's time they make a play and today that's what happened."

(on how big Baltimore Ravens CB Josh Wilson's play was for the season) "There's always plays that define where you go. I believe that play ultimately defines where we're going. If we lose to the Houston Texans today, that puts us in that dog fight of not losing no more the games the rest of the year because there are teams under us fighting but for us to get that win the way we got it, in the fashion we got it, if you're not happy then something's wrong. If you've been in the business as long as I've been in the business, you know wins are hard to come by. The [Houston Texans] are fighting to stay in the playoff hunt and for us to come in and do what we did, I take my hat off to my team."

(on if he's frustrated after letting the Houston Texans back in the game) "What frustration is there after a win? We want to keep bringing up all of this old stuff. Last week we played a hell of a game defensively and almost shut them out and guess what yall said? 'Oh the Ravens blow one.' We didn't blow it today. We win. That's the beauty and that's what we've got to grab and hold on to. I keep telling these guys I've been on the number one defense and all of this stuff. I don't care about stats. Keep giving me W's and let's see what we do in the playoffs. We made the play and that plane ride is going to be pretty good. Last week whether we made many plays or not, we didn't finish it. This week we finished it. You look at our locker room right now and you look at the Houston Texans' (locker room). That's a pissed off locker room. Deservingly so but we felt that last week. We didn't have that this time. We closed it out this time and anytime you close out anybody on the road, you better celebrate yourself because no one else will."

(on playing the New Orleans Saints next week) "We know that's the defending champs. We'll be waiting on them. It's football. When the ref blows the whistle, guess what, a new game starts. 60 minutes. It's going to be one of those shootouts next weekend and I think we're up for it."

WR Derrick Mason

(opening statement) "I'm disappointed especially after I was critical of myself as well as the offense last week. I have to be held accountable and I'm the first one to admit that. I was more pissed off at myself than anyone else was and that was throughout the whole game. Even after the second touchdown, I was still pissed off. That was one that I let get away and I owe that to the whole team as well as the organization to catch that. Stuff like that cannot happen and I'm not used to it. I just have to be able to concentrate more and come up with the pass. That's all on me and I take full responsibility of it especially after I was so critical last week of the offense and myself. I just got to go out there and make plays."

(on Texans making the game difficult by tying it up) "I went bleep. It was just a matter of time. Our defense did a great job the first half of stopping them. If you look at their games, they've been scoring a lot of points on some very good teams and you might hold them down for a while, but they still find a way to score some points. We knew it was just a matter of time. The defense played well, but when you're playing an offense like that they're going to make some plays. You've got to be able to withstand the punch and take the game at the end and that's what we did with (RCB) Josh Wilson's interception. We backed him up with a great punt from (P) Sam Koch. We put some pressure on them and he threw it right to (WR) Josh Wilson and it ended the game."

(on last week's lost to Pittsburgh Steelers) "We've put that behind us; we really did. We're not thinking about what happened last week and we knew we had to win a football game. If we dwelled on last week, I can guarantee you that we probably would not have come out of this game victorious. We're very good at putting things behind us wither we win or lose and moving forward to the last game. It just worked for us in the first half that we came out and we scored some quick points. Right after half time, (KR) David Reed hit the big kickoff return, which was great for us. I don't think it had anything to do with last week. There was no residual effect from the lost. We just knew we had to come out and play good football."

(on thought process in overtime) "If we get the ball we're going to score. That was my thought and I knew that was everyone else's thought. We came down and we were not successful at moving the ball. We hit two passes and it wasn't enough to get the first down. I think (P) Sam Koch did a great job at pinning them and the defense held up their end of the bargain in overtime. Regardless on what happened in regulation, as long as we get the win in overtime that's all that matters. Stuff like this is going to happen in the NFL. There's plenty of games that have gone to overtime this year and we're just one of them. I think we've had two now. Luckily we've pulled out this one."

(on being satisfied with today's game) "You're never satisfied. You always want to get better. We're in a pursuit of perfection right now and we know it's hard to attain. Along the way you catch excellence. We're in a pursuit of perfection and as the game goes we know we're going to catch excellence in some way. That's the way it is. We're going to keep on fighting and keep on leaning on one another. Coach is going to lean on us and we're going to lean on him. We're going to continue to fight for these last three games and see where we end up in January and hopefully we'll end up in the post season."

T Michael Oher

(on his team pulling out a victory) "It's about getting the job done. This is what it all boils down to at the end of the day. It's about us all going out the and making it happen."

(on how he feels about the outcome of the game) "Every win is a great win. It's so hard to get wins in this league and I understand that, being in my second year."

(on how he is able to keep himself positive even when he is not playing his best, knowing where he came from) "You never wanna go back down that road. Me, I don't have to go back there. I'm doing something I love to do and it keeps me motivated."

DE Cory Redding

(on the significance of leading the team out before the game) "It was awesome, just to lead my peers in battle, especially going back home and playing in front of my friends and family. Everybody who was watching me since I was a little snot-nosed kid in Houston. It was great to have that support and to go out there and lead my guys. To go out there and fight the way we did, it was awesome."

(on what he did to get back in the game following his injury) "Whatever it takes. I've been on the other side of the ball. I haven't had successful seasons. To have the season we're having now, I give everything I got to get out there and lay it on the line for my teammates. I'm playing to give it all for my teammates because I know the type of guys we have on this team, the type of character and the type of fight. I just want to be a part of it any way I can. I have to be smart, but I'm going to play until the wheels fall off."

(on winning the overtime coin toss) "I called tails. I called tails at the beginning of the game and we lost it. But I said tails never fails so we have to come back with it. I called tails again and we got it so it was awesome."

KR/WR David Reed

(on the last 30 yards of his kickoff return for a touchdown in the third quarter) "I was just anxious. I really didn't think about anything. I just ran into the end zone and tried to do a little dive and that was it."

(on who the first man to him was and what the reception was like) "(OLB) Prescott Burgess and everybody just greeted me. It was love. I loved it. I felt part of the team, big time."

RB Ray Rice

(on how he feels about the win) "You know, it's tough sledding. When you got them beat like that, you want to put them away. This is the NFL. Monday night games always seem to go down to the wire."

(on how he thinks this win will set them up for the rest of the season) "We are just trying to stack wins from here on out."

(on how his faith has made him who he is on the field right now) "I just want to go out there and make the plays That I made out there and try to prove that I belong at this level. First off, you have to have faith in yourself. Then you take it from there."

(on them winning a close game) "One thing I know is that we have been battling through adversity all year. We've always had these tough games all year and it's great to see us squeak it out."

(on if he had a loss on his mind when the game went to overtime) "We got the ball back; we have to finish. It shows the growth of our team to get a win."

(on if he felt the Texans made the right adjustments) "When you have a team beat, you have to put them away. It just so happened that our defense had to do it today. I'm sure our defense is hot. We can't force the issue. We have to just go out there and continue to play. A win is a win. You have to take them how you get them. They played their defense. They played good defense."

OLB Terrell Suggs

(on the win against the Houston Texans) "A win's a win. The story the whole season is you have to put teams away. If you want a chance to win championships, you have to put teams away. We made one play and it was the play that made the game. Sometimes that's not going to be good enough but a win's a win. Move on, we got to nine and we have to try to get 10 next week."

(on making playoff push) "It's huge. You win out and you pretty much write your own ticket. We definitely have to win out. You can't take anything away from the Houston Texans. They fought a champion's fight, rallied back and it came down to one play and we made it. We have to get this ball rolling, the momentum rolling so we can get to the playoffs."

(on the lack of blitzes in the second half) "I say let's win the game. I believe we can win the game no matter what play is called. I just line up and play and get after it."

CB Josh Wilson

(on being successful against Texans offense and Super Bowl appearance) "It's all about winning. It's all we care about. At the end of the day, it is if we win or if we lose. It doesn't matter what the score is, it's as long as we keep winning. If we win out, we're the Super Bowl champs."

(on interception in overtime) "I still can't believe that really happened. It was man to man and it turned in to a little bit of a scramble. I ran out and in the scramble he was running in, then he pivoted back out and the quarterback (Matt Schaub) threw it inside. I said this can't be happening. I was thinking catch the ball, catch the ball, catch the ball and game over."

(on confidence in today's game) "It's the NFL, every team has great players. When talking about the offense, you've got a Pro-Bowl quarterback (Matt Schaub) and (WR) Andre Johnson, one of the best if not the best receiver. You've got (WR) Jacoby Jones and (WR) Kevin Walter. They've got a great running back that is having a Pro-Bowl season. You've got a lot of weapons over there and you've got to understand that. Eventually they are going to start hitting some of these things and you've got to be able to get more points than them at the end of the day."

(on being shocked about the Texans coming back) "For us, we really wanted to stop them but they are capable. They have a dynamic offense and they care capable of putting up points and getting yards. Unfortunately, that's what happened at the end of the game, but I don't really care. We won."

(on Ravens offense slowing down) "We were out there for a little while. Sometimes the offense is going to lean on you and sometimes we're going to lean on the offense. It was both ways in the first half. We leaned on them in the second half, they leaned on us. At the end of the day, you just got to do enough."

(on ending game with an interception and a win) "Welcome to the NFL."

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