Head Coach John Harbaugh
(opening statement) "It was just one of those kind of games. It was just emotional from beginning to end. It was against a really good opponent. I hope everyone realized what a good win that is, and what a good team that is. I think you saw it, by the way they played, and how tough they made it for us to do things throughout the game. I don't think they scored in the first quarter. That was the first time that that's happened. We talked about that all week. The way we played in the first quarter [with the] time of possession, it really comes down to the one drive that we had. The 97-yard drive, where we marched down the field. That started the game for us. It took them out of the first quarter, basically, with our offense. I think, in that sense, it was a team victory throughout the game.
"The defense was pretty dominant throughout. [The Texans] had the one drive where they hit two chunk plays on us. They did a great job scheming those two plays against what we had. But, other than that, I thought our defense played phenomenally well, especially against the run. But, also against the chunk shots. On offense, we were fighting like crazy to get it done in the running game. They're good, and they were knocking us back for a while. We made a little bit of an adjustment and went to a couple different runs. I thought our coaches and players did a great job of working that out on the sideline, which led us to that last drive, which was just huge in the game. To run the ball like we did…to all of a sudden come out and start running it like we were able to do, was big. I think there were two great throws that Joe [Flacco] made. I thought Joe, from a standpoint of just poise and nerve, holding the ball sometimes trying to get a guy open and getting a little bit of pressure, he made a couple of plays. But, then, to make the plays at the end of the game, and the throws he made at the end, were big. And, then when you win with the minus two [take-aways]. That's hard to do in this league, so I think that's a testament to everybody."
(on finding the balance between Joe Flacco holding the ball for an open receiver or taking a hit) "I think that's the dilemma. No, I don't want him to hold and get hit. I want him to hold it and find a guy to throw it to, or get rid of it. He had the one great [play] when he got rid of the one early in the game, where he found someone to dump that thing off. That was a really amazing play. But, no, you want him to protect the ball in the pocket. I think that's something he continues to work on, because where is that line between protecting the ball in the pocket and making plays, certainly err on the side of protecting the ball in the pocket. He works on that all the time."
(on the team's ability to respond after they fell behind) "Yes, I think it was really encouraging to see the way we responded in a tight game in the fourth quarter. To have to come out and really win the fourth quarter in that kind of fashion, is a huge statement. You have to do it on both sides, to be able to do that. I don't think they got too many first downs in the fourth quarter that I can remember. Our offense got first downs. What was the time of possession in the fourth quarter? It seemed like we had the ball most of the fourth quarter, so that's how you do that."
(on containing Arian Foster) "It was tough. The biggest thing is that we didn't get cut off a lot. A couple of times when he had his run, we got cut out on the back side, which is what they do. That's what their whole scheme is predicated on. We held edges, for the most part. I think, except for one run, we held all the edges. Then, we got knocked back most of the game. That's the top running team in the league last year, so I think that's a big thing."
(on making adjustments to the offensive line) "Well, we didn't really make any changes. I think we kind of just cleaned up a couple of things. The one pressure we had backed up down there [happened] because we misidentified the front. We didn't identify the linebacker the right way the proper way. It really shouldn't have been that complicated. It was a simple mistake, but we made it. Joe expected to be picked up when he wasn't. That's what happened there."
(on if Anquan Boldin was targeted more in this game) "I don't know if we targeted him more. Were the targets more than previously? That's a good question. I think we hit him more. The big play that I remember…I don't remember all the numbers. I remember a couple of screens and a couple of controlled five-routes, a couple inside curls, that we hit against man coverage. That was part of the plan, now that I'm thinking with you. So, we had man coverage a couple of times, and we had Anquan running the 10- or 12-tight out route. We call it quick-5. That was good against man coverage. So, that's what you're talking about right there. Then, the big play against their defense, that was huge."
(on the Ravens' ability to run at the end of the game) "I think it's a testament to the physicality probably. Conditioning is an okay word, for the offensive line. What you want to do is to wear people out early, and then you want to run them over late. That's kind of the philosophy that we have. It's easier said than done, but that's why it's hard to come out just running the ball down people's throat early in the game because they're fresh and the defense is fly around. You get them a little more tired, and it is a little tougher to defend the run at the end of the game. That's why it's good to have a lead at the end. We were able to do that."
(on if it shows signs of a maturing team that the Ravens were able to work out their early problems) "You like for it to be standard. It is probably part more of a maturing team. I think our players are doing a much better job. You talk about guys like Ray [Rice], Joe [Flacco], Vonta [Leach] in the mix, the offensive linemen, Michael [Oher], Marshal [Yanda], even the other two guys- Bryant [McKinnie] and Andre [Gurode]- they're veteran guys, but they are kind of learning the offense, they just know more football. They have a better understanding of what's going on out there and can help with the coaches, and communicate that even better. I thought our staff did a great job. Wilbert [Montgomery] did a great job, with Cam [Cameron], finding some runs, along with Andy [Moeller] that worked for us late."
(on if the first offensive drive showed Joe Flacco's development) "I hope so. That was perfect, right? No incompletions. We'll take that. It was a controlled passing game. I think there were some intermediate routes in there too. We mix those in with the shots [downfield]. Later in the game, we had two huge chunk plays that led to the field goals. It's hard to march the ball down the field. That 97-yard drive was great to have, but you don't see that often in this league. Usually, you have to have a big play in there or a penalty or two to get a drive like that. You keep working for perfection, but you want to have big plays mixed up."
(on what he saw from Joe Flacco standing in the pocket) "I saw nerves. I think that's an old-fashioned word for poised. I saw nerves of steel. When you have a team that knows how to win, and I think our team knows how to win, they find a way to win a really tough game against a good team. At home, that helps too. The crowd was great, by the way. The crowd was outstanding."
(on why he said this game was emotional) "I think [I said that] because it was just a tough game. It was emotional because we were fighting like crazy in there against a really good team. They really keep you off balance with scheme on defense. I thought we did a great job throughout the game. Chuck Pagano and the defensive coaches- Dean [Pees], Ted [Monachino], all the guys on defense, [Teryl Austin] with the passing game, [Clarence Brooks]. I thought they did a great job of staying with their scheme. The [Texans] got us on the one drive with a couple of calls against a couple of things, and we made quick adjustments there and got that straightened out. It was a fight."
(on if he heard about Jim Harbaugh's handshake at the end of the Lions-49ers game) "Jim won [the game], right? (repeating the reporter) Someone went after Jim? Let's put it this way, I've been in fights with Jim before, too. I won some early, when we were in our childhood career. Then, it got slanted the other way for a while. We've got one coming up on Thanksgiving night, don't we?
(on what it would mean to him to have a home playoff game) "First thing you want to do is make the playoffs. Then, you want to win your division. That's all down-the-road stuff. Then, you want to win the conference. Then, you want to win a championship. That's kind of the order of things. So, that would help a lot. I think it would be great for the fans. We love playing here, and we have a good history here. But, it doesn't guarantee us one thing. You have to go win a football game against a really good football team like this. We'll cross that bridge when we get there. We have a long way to go before that comes up."
(on if it's fair to say that Torrey Smith does not look like a rookie) "Yes, it's fair to say I think he's not playing like a rookie. He's making some really good catches. The knock on him… everyone wanted to talk about the knock. It sure hasn't shown up in games that he's played in. I think he's a great kid. He's a hard worker. He's just a really conscientious guy. Plus, he's talented."
(on Billy Cundiff's performance) "We always say, in the red zone we want to get seven. But, we want to make sure we get at least three. I thought our offense did a real nice job- Joe [Flacco] and the whole offense- making sure we got three, and then Billy converting. And, then the kickoffs… Billy kicked a few of those touchbacks going from left to right in front of our bench, into the wind. It was kind of a little corner cross wind coming at us. Those were amazing kicks. The guy has just been phenomenal."
WR Anquan Boldin
(on his deep reception where he grabbed the ball over CB Johnathan Joseph) "Yeah, for me, I was just trying to pretty much box him out. I saw the ball the entire time and kind of knew where it was going to fall, so I kind of bodied him, and he jumped early like you said and misjudged it."
(on whether he and QB Joe Flacco saw something in the defense that allowed him to have so many receptions and yards today) "Just something the defense was giving us. They played man coverage a lot, which is what [defensive coordinator] Wade Phillips does. So, we were able to connect today, but I thought, more importantly, we were able to get the win. We came out with a 97-yard drive [and] looked good that first drive, stalled two drives after that, came back with a field goal. So, we had bright spots, and then we had spots where we had miscues, so I was glad that we were able to come out with the victory."
(on what overcoming the adversity says about this offense) "I mean, you have a defense that we're playing with, you know, they give you an opportunity to find out exactly what defenses are trying to do to you. The defense played great, even with us having two turnovers. We still came out on top, so it says a lot about them."
(on whether he feels more pressure to step up with WR Lee Evans still out) "For me, I don't feel pressure at all. I play football [and] I've been doing it all my life, so I don't feel any pressure at all."
(on whether it was nice for him to have a big receiving day) "I think for me, I'm past that. My whole career has been built around that. I'm just to the point now where I just want to win the championship. Whatever that takes, I'm going to do it."
LB Ray Lewis
(on whether there is something about being out with the defense with a chance to end the game as they did today) "Yeah, that's kind of those moments that you love as a defense. And Chuck [Pagano] came to me on the sideline, and to be considered a great defense, those moments, you've got to close out. You've got to go back on the field; you know that offense is going to keep coming. You've got to take your hats off to those guys. They're going to play for 60 minutes, and we understood that. So, for us to go out there and end it the way we did, that's kind of a staple for who we are."
(on turning RB Arian Foster into pretty much a one-dimensional running back today) "Yeah, we knew what we had to do. Last year, playing them down there, they really came back and did some things in the second half that it really didn't sit well with us. You know, sitting in the meeting rooms, that was kind of one film we didn't watch. We watched every other game, but we didn't watch them, because it was just a lot of things that we didn't like seeing on film ourselves. So, we took it personal coming out this week. We knew the challenge was going to be huge. That's one of the best backs in football right now, you know, leading rusher in the NFL last year. And then dealing with that offensive line, we knew running that zone scheme, it was going to be a very hard scheme to deal with. But I think overall, our defensive line played very well. They stayed on their feet and things… They made a couple plays here and there, but I just think the adjustments we made at halftime all really went in our favor."
(on whether Chuck Pagano tightened the defense up at halftime) "I don't think it's more of Chuck on that one. Chuck was making the calls, and I think it's more on each individual person. You know, whether it's a receiver outside that's just running and hits you, and you've got to put your hands on him. Whether it's [Bernard] Pollard coming out and making the big play on [Arian] Foster to knock the ball out. So, players made plays, and that's the situation that Chuck put us in. So, everybody wins in that situation, with Chuck coming down and doing the things. Chuck is aggressive. Chuck is who he is, and we love it. And I just think when we finally settled in, they are who they are. They really showed their hand to us, and we played very well."
(on what is better about the run defense this year that helps them to lead the League) "I don't know, outside of when you come in the film room, one thing you do see [and] something that we speak very high on; beat your man. That's it. Sometimes there is no blueprint outside of that. We have a very good tackling team. We don't let one person just make the tackle; we like seeing people get to the football. And coaches don't have to coach that. And I think that's the beauty of our team; coaches don't have to coach any of that. If we see somebody isn't doing what they're supposed to be doing, if you're out of shape, we're going to get you extra conditioning during practice and things like that. I think you really have to tip your hat off to our defense, that we're really just playing very aggressive run defense."
OLB Jarret Johnson
(on getting off the field in the second half) "Their caliber of offense can come in and make you look very bad. Our goal every week, and especially with a team like that, is getting them to third and long. They're so good on first and second down, that's tough to do. Early on we were doing that and they were converting. It was a little frustrating but nobody said things—we just kept grinding and slowly the plays on thirds downs started coming. Chuck [Pagano] is always good at halftime. In my opinion, the quality of a good coordinator is his halftime adjustments. Chuck came in and we narrowed it down. They were doing a lot of quicks, so the blitzes we called weren't getting there. So Chuck did a good job with our second half adjustments and it paid off."
(on his sack of Matt Schaub) "They have a tendency with their tight-ends. Number 81 [Owen Daniels] is a great receiver but when he was on the line, he was coming out, so I knew 85 [Joel Dreessen] was staying in protection. I gave him an inside move and the quarterback held onto the ball which helped me out."
(on losing the turnover battle) "It's rare to lose the turnover battle and win the game. It's just a testament of weathering the storm. We gave up a touchdown after the fumble. I wish we would have held them to a field goal, but all-in-all it was a good day."
(on stopping the Texans' run game) "They had some good tendencies, and we did a good job preparing for their tendencies. Guys did a good job of staying on their feet. They popped a couple of runs on us but you know what? An offense like that you can take 92 yards and be happy because they can get 200 in a hurry."
(on the Texans not having Andre Johnson) "The scheme doesn't change. They have a lot of good players. Is Andre Johnson special? Heck, yeah. He's unbelievable. But their scheme's not going to change and what they do is not going to change. They have great weapons. They have [WR] Kevin Walter and [WR] Jacoby Jones. Those guys are good, man."
S Bernard Pollard
(on the win) "Coming off the bye week we did a good job. We made some little mistakes but as long as you play fast, it always makes up for those little mistakes."
(on playing against his former team) "We all need to be playing every week for a reason. A guy didn't get drafted as high as he thought he would. Or a guy was just on that team. Or whatever. It doesn't matter. With this team, we all take it personally every week. The one thing Ray [Lewis] always says is beat the guy across from you. If you beat the guy across from you, nothing but good things can happen. And that's what happened today."
(on being team captain) "I was team captain last year. But that seed doesn't mean anything. Coach [John] Harbaugh took the time to pick me this week. I'm grateful, but at the end of the day it's about us playing. It's about eleven guys going out there and playing. Now we have to be ready to strap it back up for next week."
(on his pass breakup in the fourth quarter) "It's just about playing ball. You play fast and good things happen. We all did that. It wasn't pretty at all times. I don't think you guys saw the mistakes. We all made mistakes, but at the end of the day, if you play fast, it makes up for them. We know what we need to fix. We have a lot to do but we have a long week before we go to Jacksonville next Monday night."
(on whether he got hurt today) "Every play is a car crash. But it's about us stepping up and knowing that if we do get dinged up we have to take our time. This is a veteran team. We know and understand that we have to get our bodies right every week. We have to get our bodies right to play a high level of football. It doesn't matter about the injuries because if I get beat, it doesn't matter if my knee is hurt. It's just he got beat for a touchdown."
(on stopping Houston on third down in the second half) "It's about us going out there and playing. And we know we've got to get off the field on third down. You have to take your hats off to them in the first half. They game-planned us. They schemed us. They knew what to do. We just didn't make plays. Guys are supposed to make tackles. I missed a tackle and I'm [upset] about that. I take pride in what I do. At the end of the day, we still continued to play football and we came out with a W."
S Ed Reed
(on the win) "Those guys always play us tough. [Heck] of an offense and a defense. Heck of a team. What we know about them is that they weren't going to quit. I mean, great players over there and hats off to them."
(on not making an interception) "It was bad judgment. Me and [Lardarius] Webb talked about it. We knew the play was coming. I couldn't believe he [Matt Schaub] threw it, but it was just bad judgment on my part."
(on what the difference was between third downs in first and second halves) "They didn't get much. They moved the ball the first couple series. We just buckled down. We knew what we had to do. It was all about execution. Like I said, those guys have an awesome offense. Even without [WR] Andre Johnson they were making plays. You put Andre in there and they're awesome. It came down to execution and we made plays."
(on how nice it was to see [WR] Anquan Boldin and [WR] Torrey Smith make big plays) "It's nice to see the whole offense making big plays because there are so many weapons. You have to spread the ball around. Six or seven guys have to touch the ball. You've got tight ends. You've got [Dennis] Pitta, [WR] Torrey Smith, Ed Dickson. You've got [RB] Ray [Rice] in the backfield and [RB] Ricky [Williams] coming in. You've got [FB] Vonta [Leach] running the ball. You've got [WR] LaQuan [Williams]. You've got [WR Tandon] Doss on the sideline. You've got many guys that can touch that ball. Even with [Kris] Wilson at tight end, we've got a lot of threats we can use."
(on Ray Lewis being first NFL player to reach 40 career sacks and 30 career interceptions) "Ray Lewis. We're talking about Ray Lewis. Ray is an awesome player. One of the best football players of all time because he loves this game. Me and him were talking before the game, and it's something we were born to do. You do other things off the field, business-wise, but football is what we were born to do."
(on lining up on the line of scrimmage and feeling better this year) "The defense hasn't changed much. It's just a matter of, like you said, how you feel. Just moving around, giving disguises, understand that they are looking at me constantly, and I've got to be in places sometimes where I'm not going to be. Just giving different looks. Understanding that a little deception at the beginning of the play for the offense goes a long way."
RB Ray Rice
(on the fourth quarter blown lead last year and being more aggressive today) "Coach hit it on the nail, we are a poised team, and there were times where we could have blinked; we could have blinked. First off, you have to give Houston credit. They are a great football team. Not a good football team, a great football team. They play though but we are poised, and the difference is you have guys growing up. We said it. Torrey Smith, he may be a rookie in the book, but he is not a rookie on the field any more. You have guys making plays. Our biggest asset today was sticking with the run. We didn't get down on ourselves. We made, I would say, one minor adjustment – outside zone [blocking] to a tighter trap, the inside zone which, it was a minor adjustment because they see the outside zone every day in practice from their own guys. So, I wasn't doubting that they would defend that well, but getting Vonta [Leach] downhill and getting me downhill kind of had the linebackers going over the top, a little bit. We were getting the back-door cut; it was just poise. The greatest feeling for me today was to see Ricky Williams get a touchdown. I learned so much from Ricky that I could have easily kept myself in, but that guy is here for a reason, and I wanted to see him get his motor going. We know what the running is going to do later in the year, and we are going to need Ricky Williams."
(on the adjustments made during the game) "I went to my running backs coach Wilbert Montgomery, and the greatest part of having a running backs coach that played in the NFL is that his eyes are my eyes. We see the same thing, so it actually happened after my five-yard loss down there [in the red zone]. I went to Wilbert and said, 'We have to get the inside zone.' We went to Cam [Cameron], made the adjustment, came back out, and we got the ball rolling. It's great because these adjustments happen on the fly. These adjustments didn't happen at halftime, we were still driving. They scored, they got up on us in the second half, and as soon as the five-yard loss happened, we were lobbying to not go away from the run. Let's get it going with the tighter trap inside. I would like to thank the coaches for not blinking. Coach [Harbaugh] said nerve, but I say poise."
(on Joe Flacco making big throws when he had to) "You know what, my speech at halftime was simple. I don't care whether we run it or pass it, we need to execute. Today was the day that it didn't look pretty at first, but in the second half, we got it all together. Joe Flacco, making the throws that he made, even under pressure, proved that he's an elite quarterback. We're going to go through ups and downs. There are going to be days when teams might have our number. That's the NFL. But today with an aggressive Houston defense who, if I'm not mistaken, were ranked pretty high coming in. For us to put up 400-plus yards of total offense on the defense, that was second behind us, I think, in points allowed and stuff like that. It just says a lot about where our team is going. We go into the game plan versus Houston, but we can only be as good as we want to be; and that goes with execution."
(on if the first half was frustrating and how the team turned it around in the second half) "As much as I can say frustrating, it was a lack of execution on our end. I actually had a guy who has been down this road before in Vonta Leach coming in and said, 'Hey, we're going to get it together.' You just come out, and we want to run the ball, we want to establish the tempo. But like I said, at halftime I just…. I spoke at halftime and said, 'No matter what the play call is; if it's pass, let's complete a pass. If it's a three-yard completion, let's complete it. If it's a three-yard run, let's run it for three yards. But, if it's going to be a big play let's make it happen. As much as I want to say frustrating, I didn't get frustrated because I knew there was a whole second half to play, and we were up. So, I told them we can't play like we're down when we're winning. There was a different feeling. This is the kind of game that we needed. We needed to be in a fight against a good team. The Jets were a good team, but offensively this team can pose some problems. They can put up some points. This is the kind of game we needed at home, because I wouldn't be surprised if we see this team later in the year. I think they've got a lot going for them."
(on if the uncalled facemask penalty against him was motivation for him) "I was hot. Once my neck turned, I felt like I'm in a vulnerable spot. Whether it was his arm or... It was a close call. It got me fired up. I played the game with a lot of intensity. If I think something is out there where a guy could get hurt…I try to play the game within all the rules. Don't cheap shot a guy. [Antonio Smith] coming free like that and me trying to make a move and my neck turned. I felt like I had a facemask penalty. I let it go, but I was definitely hot. I probably said some things I shouldn't have said, but it happens."
DT Haloti Ngata
(on stopping the Houston offense) "We said what [needed] was to stop the run. I think we did well throughout the game. We were careful not to let them get the big runs and be able to stop them, and I think that's what helped us a lot today."
(on getting pressure on QB Matt Schaub) "I think we just had different looks. We blitzed sometimes and we were able to, as a front four, run some games to get the linemen like, kind of communicating too much, and I think we were able to confuse him a little bit."
(on being in tight game in the fourth quarter for the first time) "I'm just happy we came out with a win. I mean, we definitely didn't want to have the same thing happen that we did last year—like they come back, tie it up and [go overtime}. It was great throughout the whole game."
(on the win itself and what it means) "It's huge. I mean, they're a great offense, great defense, and they showed it throughout the game, and to beat a [team] like that, it's a great feeling, and I hope we can take that into next week and get another win."
RB Ricky Williams
(on how it feels to score his first Baltimore TD) "It's nice with a new team to get into the end zone. It's special, especially to do it in front of the home crowd."
(on the TD run) "It was just kind of an off-tackle play, a play that we were running all day long. The guys in front of me did a good job."
(on if it's hard for him to come off the bench) "It's an adjustment, but I think it makes me a better player. When I got in towards the fourth quarter, I hadn't touched the ball at all today, but I just tried to keep my head in the game, and it all worked out."
RB Vonta Leach
(on how it felt to play his old team) "Well, no matter who we were playing, I wanted to win. They were just another team that we had to play against. A lot of my friends are over there. They're a good football team, but we're just a little better."
(on the Ravens' commitment to the power game) "I'm happy to be here. I'm glad I was on the winning side today."
(on if he was playing with a chip on his shoulder) "Not necessarily. I played there for five years, and the guys know what I can do. If I would have played any less, then they would have been dissatisfied."
(on the goal-line sequence in the first quarter) "We were just trying to run the ball in there. We just kept running it and running it. I was happy we were able to push it in there. I'm just happy we got things together. It wasn't always pretty, but we came out on the winning side today."
QB Joe Flacco
(on the offense today) "I think we did a good job of moving the ball today especially early on. We started out with that 97-yard drive and then we did a good job of fighting through that period in the second quarter when we weren't making any plays, and then we made some really big plays and got the run game going a little bit, and we were hitting some big plays in passing game and were able to go over the top. Makes everything easier and when we got to the red zone, we were able to make some plays."
(on the play of the offensive line) "They did a good job. The offensive line fought and fought all game. Houston has some good interior pass rushers on that football team. They've got some good inside rushers, and I was throwing the ball a lot today as I was getting hit and doing things like that. That's the name of the game sometimes. Our offensive line hung in there, fighting, Like I said, they've got some good inside rushers."
(on the win) "It's huge. It's a conference win against a team that's been playing well. For us, to come into our home building, just like we always do, and win, it's going to be huge for us going on. We're going to enter a Monday night game 4-1 against the Jacksonville team that has a pretty good defense. It should be an exciting week, and we've got to get after it."
(on Anquan Boldin) "It was nice. Anquan was able to do some things in the slot early on and create just enough separation for me to get him the ball. He made some big catches, especially on that long one. I mean, that's a pretty good job by him, bodying the guy out and making a nice catch."
(on his chemistry with Boldin and Torrey Smith) "When those guys are out there doing the right thing, it's not hard to have chemistry with them. I think we can be sloppy at times, and we're not as consistent as we want to be throughout the game. But when those guys are out there running those routes full speed, it's pretty easy to be on the same page with them. When they're running by their guys, you just put it out there for them, and they go get it."
(on the offense's ability to make big plays in the 4th quarter) "That's what you have to do against a team like this. You can't shut them down and try to hang on and win a game. Those guys are a good team. They have the ability to score. They have the ability to make some plays on defense. So you have to keep it going, you have to mix it up and really be aggressive. We were able to keep our aggression and really convert on some of those plays with big runs and big passes. We were able to move the chains and getting the ball in the end zone there at the end was huge."