WEEK 15 POST-GAME TRANSCRIPT
HEAD COACH JOHN HARBAUGH
Opening Statement: "Obviously a very disappointing loss. Credit to the San Diego Chargers who played exceptionally well as they have to do this time of year. Obviously they are healthy, and they were clicking on all cylinders. We did not play particularly well at all. I think the mistakes we made they were able to capitalize on and turn them into points, especially early on. Great for them, but we're disappointed and we're moving on. "
On having problems with generating pass rush: "I think they won some battles and some one on one match ups. They did a good job picking up a couple of pressures. Philip Rivers I think deserves a lot of credit for that. He's a veteran quarterback who knows how to get his protection organized. That's how a couple of those top guys do very well. When they get the ball, they do awesome."
Do you think the receivers were able to match well? "Well, whether that happened or not, we had a lot of difficulties… we messed up. They have one of the best groups of corners or defensive backs in the league. We got our backs to the wall on offense, and that's a tough job. That's why the San Diego Chargers are so dangerous on offense."
About potentially needing to win out to keep their playoff bye: "Well what would have happened if we had won out? To me that's not a factor at all. We don't have the energy or the time or the inclination to give that one second worth of thought. All of our energy, all of our time and all of our effort has to go toward playing Cleveland on New Year's Day."
QB JOE FLACCO
On the surprise of today's loss: "We're definitely surprised. I felt like we were in a good rhythm early on offense. We really only had three possessions in the first half and a 19 second one at the end. When they went down and scored a touchdown to make it 24-7, we realized we're going to have to score. Like I said, we just weren't able to do it."
On the message from the coaching staff: "It was an ugly one. Things weren't going our way. They were playing well and we weren't. You've got to move on. We're going to fight from here on out. We were already really in an all-win situation and we didn't think we'd be in that. We just got to get back on the horse and get one next week."
On today's performance compared to previous losses:"Anytime you lose a game, you're not happy about it. I think you're more disappointed really when you do shoot yourself in the foot and you feel like you could have done something about it. It was just bad. They came out and played well and we didn't play that well."
On the Chargers defensive pass rush: "I felt like we could have had success today on offense. I felt like our guys did a good job upfront. We just got into a game where we were fighting from behind. We've been able to be successful in that situation before and we just weren't able to play through it today."
On the two interceptions: "I think on the one I was trying to check it down to Ray (Rice) and you could see what happened there. On the other one I thought Spikes hesitated a little bit. I was planning to throw it around it and hit Lee (Evans) in the hole and I just didn't quite get it around him."
LB RAY LEWIS
On being disappointed with the loss: "The only thing at the end of the day that is disappointing is you didn't come out and play your type of football. Outside of that, the thought process is the same and getting into the playoffs is the number one agenda. The disappointing part is we didn't come out and do what we were supposed to do. It's one thing trying to get home field but the bottom line is when you get in the playoffs everybody's record goes back to 0-0. "
On what went wrong with the coaches game plan: "It's simple. They made plays and we didn't. It isn't hard when you watch the game, they wanted to throw the ball and they attacked us. "
On playing for the first time in a month: "I felt good. I never injured myself one time and I take my hat off to this organization because we made some real hard decisions the last couple of weeks if I should or should not play. I came out totally healthy and I'm excited because in the long run when you sit back and watch our team we get to go back home to do some special things coming up this next couple of weeks. For me personally I think I came out really healthy and I'm very excited "
On his health percentage:"I'm definitely ninety five to a hundred percent and I'm not even worried about it."
S ED REED
On the outcome of the game:"As a team the Chargers came out and they executed. They executed their game plan and they understood the situation that they were in. They needed this game more than anything and we needed it to but they came out and wanted it more.
On not controlling the teams destiny after this game: "It's the NFL and it's a long season. A lot has to happen, a lot will happen but all we can do is focus on us. It's tough to win on the road but we'll bounce back from this, focus on Cleveland and that's what matters right now."
RB RAY RICE
What happened tonight? "We got beat. Simple, they played a great game. There is nothing you can say about them. They executed at a high level. When they are healthy, they are a great team. Give them the credit, they played a great game. The focus now has to be on the playoffs. It just has to. We have a lot ahead of us. It is simple we have to win out."
Was it known that Baltimore had clinched the playoffs before the game started? "None of that really matters. Honest. We wanted to come in and win. We did not get it done."
On today's play? "In the NFL you have to come out ready to play. That team came out ready to play. They did not turn over the ball. They executed on third downs. Look at the statistics. That is a winning performance. When they got in the red zone they scored. We got down there and put it in one time. But they came out and played a complete football game. That is what the NFL is all about. You can't have lopsided football and think you are going to win. They played a complete game today. Hats off to them. I am not sure what they have at stake at the moment. I know what we have at stake and right now we have to play the Cleveland Browns."
How deflating is it on your opening drive when you guys missed the field goal? "It is more mental. I am not going to say that was the deciding factor of the game. We obviously want to come away with points when we are in the red zone. It's the swing of things. If you look at where we are at five minutes left before half time we would have been tied, if we capitalized in the red zone a little better. They came out with pure execution. When they needed to complete a throw, they completed the throw. When they needed to make a play on third down they made a play. They were sitting on the sidelines waiting for an opportunity to get back on the field. They played a great game today. Obviously there quarterback played at a high level. The Defense played well. I don't think they had to punt too many times. Needless to say, the special teams were not a big part of the game today."
Can't run the ball when you are behind? "I'm never going to talk about carries. When you execute and are scoring points in the red zone it is a different scenario in a game. We did come out and run the ball really well. We moved the ball really well up and down the field. But we need to score points. We missed out on a few opportunities today. Any defense will tell you, when you get ahead on somebody it is easier to call a defense. There are not too many calls you have to make. First and second down stop them and get up the field on third down. That is what happens when you fall behind. There is no time to play around thinking you are going to run the ball up and down the field when you are down by seventeen or twenty-four points."