HEAD COACH JOHN HARBAUGH
(opening statement): "OK, good to see everybody. [I] appreciate everybody being here. Obviously, [that was] a hard-fought game. [I'm] really, really proud of our players. I thought we played a winning football game in many, many ways; [we] ran the ball well, threw the ball well, played outstanding defense, got the turnover. The difference was the two turnovers [we had] obviously; that hurt us – one really big one – but both led to scores, and that was probably the story of the game at the end. The other story is our guys, our guys. Tyler Huntley coming in and playing the way he played coming off the shoulder and the wrist injuries and fighting his way back onto the field and just giving it everything he had and that kind of a performance. Mark Andrews, coming up and just making play after play in the passing game. [The] offensive line, the way they blocked. J.K. [Dobbins] and Gus [Edwards], the way they ran. Then to the defense, I thought our defense was just all over the field and played great football. So, the key is we didn't win the game; we're disappointed in that, but I've got nothing but admiration for our guys. I'm very proud of our football team. What questions do you have?"
(on the third-and-goal quarterback sneak and if there were any thoughts of handing it off to RBs J.K. Dobbins or Gus Edwards instead) "Sure. You decide whether you're going to hand it off, take it off the line and hand it off in the backfield, or whether you want to quarterback sneak it. We felt like we had a good call; it was a push-sneak play. It wasn't executed just the correct way. Tyler [Huntley] went over the top; that's a 'burrow' play – he has to go low on that. That's the way the play is designed. So, that was two [plays] to get it. [If] you take it off the line of scrimmage, there's a chance – you might score – but there's a chance they get you in the backfield, [and] now it's hard to get it on fourth down. So, two to get it there from inside the one [-yard line]. We felt like that was the best call; we just didn't execute it right."
(on running out of time on the final drive and if he wishes they hadn't huddled and saved more time) "No, the idea there was to save the timeouts for the red zone. I think the thing that killed us was the holding penalty, which knocked us back. The idea was, 'We've got time.' We want to keep those timeouts to throw the ball. So, we tried to pop a run there; we're going to call a timeout after that. Then, we still have run-pass options. So, we didn't want to give the ball – we wanted to score without giving the ball back. We think we're going to be in the red zone; we think it's going to be just a certain number of plays and it's going to work right down to the end of the game. Rather than maybe you score with 30-35 seconds, [and] you give them a chance to go kick a field goal at the end. So, I think we played it right. It didn't work out in the sense that after, we had incomplete passes, so you're not going to have a chance to call them [timeouts]. If you complete the passes, you get the ball back in the red zone, [and] you call the timeouts. So, from an elementary level, you could say, 'They should have called the timeouts,' but we had the timeouts worked out right."
(on the defense forcing three-and-outs at the end of the game and if anything changed from earlier in the game) "I don't think that anything changed. I think we played really good defense the whole game. We got a couple of sacks; that was big. We got him [Joe Burrow] down, we forced him to hold the ball with really good coverage. It's that kind of an offense; sometimes the ball comes out. They hit a couple deep outs on the drive before that – the one right before that you're talking about – where they went down and got into the red zone, but I think it's just a function of playing really good defense. We played great defense really the whole game. They're going to make a few plays here and there, but I'm proud of those guys."
(on what he said to the team in the locker room afterwards) "It was what I just said. I'm proud of these guys. We played a great football game. We had a couple plays that we should have executed better, I guess. Obviously, it's turnovers in the end is the thing that gets you, but it's hard to play a perfect game in this type of environment. Obviously, the biggest play is the quarterback sneak; that's the play that turns the game. That's a 10 – at least – point swing, maybe a 14-point swing if we go for it and get it – at least a seven-point swing. So, it is what it is."
(on if it was cruel that QB Tyler Huntley had played such a great game up to the fumble on the quarterback sneak) "I wouldn't use that term."
(on if the preference was to have RB Gus Edwards run in the red zone instead of RB J.K. Dobbins) "Both of those guys can really run all of the plays. Gus [Edwards] is a downhill, physical guy; he has a chance to slam it into the end zone. I thought we'd probably score on the play that you're talking about – the power play – right before that [QB sneak] play. It had a chance to get in there; it didn't get in. I'll have to see the tape and see exactly why it didn't get in. I guess they played good defense; give them credit, but who's in the game at that time... You have two great backs. I don't think you can nitpick, 'Why was this guy in the game instead of that guy,' or, 'Why'd you quarterback sneak it instead of taking it back and handing it off four yards deep.' That's just after the fact, really. You call the best plays that you think you have, and you run them."
(on if there is any consolation in taking the game down to the very end when not many people thought the team had a chance to be in it at all) "We came to win the game; we're good enough to win the game. People can say what they want about our team. If they don't think we're a good team, then I don't think they're paying attention. So, [if] you pay attention, you know what kind of football team this is. If you win the game, then you prove it. We didn't win the game, so they can continue to say what they want, but nobody in our locker room cares what anybody thinks outside of our locker room. So, people that know football [and] watched the game know that we have a heck of a football team. [In] the playoffs, you win, you lose based on a couple plays going your way or not going your way; that's just how it always works. So, we're disappointed with that, but [I'm] still proud of these guys. I love the way these guys play; I love these guys. How could you not? How could you not love these guys and how they fight through adversity and how they come out and compete. Just put the tape on if you want to watch a team that plays hard and is physical, and loves football and plays the game the way it's supposed to be played. Ask anybody around the league, teams that have to play us, what they think of these guys. So, that's what I care about."
(on if it's disappointing for this team to not be rewarded with another week of competing and being together) "Of course; of course it is. That's what you want. You want to be back on the practice field next week. So, that's the toughest part."
QB TYLER HUNTLEY
*(on the emotions he had on the fumble recovery for the touchdown on the goal line) *"It was on what, the one, minus one. I saw everybody packed in. I just tried to go over top. I thought I cleared the line. They just made a play and just happened to take it all the way back."
*(on if he wished he would've went low on the quarterback sneak there) *"I mean, yes. Maybe they wouldn't have returned it all the way. But at the time, I just felt like everybody was packed in. They shot for our O-linemen's legs. The 'backers just felt pretty good up in the line. I just tried to make a play."
*(on how difficult will it be to erase the play from his mind) *"It's going to be hard, because we've got [the] offseason now. I'm going to be thinking about that the whole offseason – just how one play, they won the game. It's going to be hard, but I think that's going to motivate me to grind hard, work hard and be ready for next year."
*(on if he's reading any defender on the quarterback sneak, in terms of where he should position his body) *"You talking about on the goal line?" (Reporter: "Yes") "No. It's a 'QB' sneak, and I'm just trying to get into the end zone, for real."
*(on if he felt like the red zone held this team back all year, including tonight) *"Yes, but … It's just … We've got to score more. [We] can't just keep settling for field goals."
*(on if he saw how close WR James Proche II came to making the catch on the final play of the game) *"I saw it get tipped or whatnot. Then I saw 'Pro' [James Proche II] diving for it. So, I was hoping somebody came down with it, but it just didn't happen."
*(on if he felt like they were playing the game they wanted to play up until the fumble on the goal line) *"Yes, we were controlling the game, controlling the game, driving up and down the field. But it's a whole different situation if that doesn't happen."
*(on if the tendinitis in his shoulder was an inconvenience in limiting his abilities as a passer this season) *"I don't think it played any part. When I was healthy and out there playing, that's when I'm healthy and playing. When I sat down, that's when it was bothering [me]. So, I don't feel like it had any effect on [me], throwing-wise."
TE MARK ANDREWS
(on the range of emotions during the quarterback sneak play that was returned for a touchdown) "It's just tough. I think you look at the offense, and we're moving the ball, making big-time plays, people are doing their jobs to get down to the one [-yard line] or whatever it was and sneak it. For that to happen – just a freak thing – and for them to turn around and get seven [points], that's basically a 14-point swing, that's tough man. With all that being said, we were still in the game. Guys fought hard, continued to fight hard no matter what. You love to see that from the guys. I'm super proud of this team. I'm excited for this team to get back and to get better."
(on if QB Tyler Huntley played a great game before that play and if he said anything to him after it happened) "He played his heart out. I think that anybody that watches this game is going to look at [No.] '2', 'Snoop,' Tyler Huntley, and say, 'Wow. This guy's playing hard and playing good ball.' So, you have to give your hats off to him. He's just going to continue to learn and get better and better. I love that guy."
(on if the outcome of the game is particularly disappointing because the team played the game how it wanted to) "Yes, it does. I think that – like you said – it was some efficient ball, especially offensively, and then you look at our defense and the way they were playing. This is a scary team, and that's what's so hard about this game and losing this game, is that we don't have a chance to fight for another one because anything could happen. We know the type of team that we have, the type of guys that we have, and that's tough, but I'm proud of the guys, proud of the way we fought, and I'm proud of the way the offense battled. This was probably one of our better games."
(on how difficult this season was after going through so much adversity and then coming up just short) "Every year, every year there's ups, there's downs, there's adversity. It's how you react to that, and I think that guys did a great job of staying together. The chemistry in this locker room is amazing. We stuck together, we stayed together, and that's what it's all about; having your brothers' backs. [I'm] super proud."
(on if he has thought about what might have been if QB Lamar Jackson had been able to play) "No, I don't think you can play like that. Obviously, like I said, the way that Tyler [Huntley] was playing was very good and we had a chance to win this game – more than a chance to win this game. I feel like we controlled this game from start to finish, and it just didn't turn our way."
DE CALAIS CAMPBELL
(on battling out there and the game having the chance to go either way) "Yes. We were confident that we could put [plays] together that would give us a chance to win. This game is not always about who the better team is. It's about who plays the best and who makes the plays to win the ballgame. Anybody that watched this game, you watch this game with an unbiased eye, you can see that. We were a great team out there. We played with a lot of heart. We didn't make the plays to win the ballgame. Tip your hat off to them. It's football, you know. It just didn't go our way. We played with so much passion, so much heart and left it all out there."
(on what moments he saw today that maybe he'd like to have back that could have changed the game) "I'm all about, a loss is looking in the mirror and asking myself what I could do better. There were a few plays here and there where I was close to making some big plays and was just a step late, just inches away from batting a ball that would have taken a touchdown off the board. I had my hands up in [Joe Burrow's] face and just missed it. But that's football. Give credit to Joe Burrow for making those throws around me. There's one thing for sure, I'm proud of everyone in this locker room. I went around to as many guys as possible to tell them that it's an honor to play with them because this team has a lot of fight. A lot of teams you're a part of, it's hard. There's guys that don't play with that passion. Then there's guys like every person in here — I know they signed up to work, and they play with passion, heart and left it all out there."
OLB JUSTIN HOUSTON
(on how you deal with the emotions of this tough loss) "This is not my first rodeo. I've been in this situation more than I would like. So, you grow from it. Even though it's tough right now, you can't let it keep you down. You have to use this as motivation to keep going, find a way to let this make you a better person, learn from this, learn from your mistakes."
(on the swing of emotions after the Bengals' fumble recovery for a touchdown) "You don't pay attention to that. It's playoff football. Only thing you're looking at is the score when it says 0:00, that's what you're waiting and hoping for, and hopefully you'll be on top. You don't pay attention to the game. You take it one play at a time, because you can lose focus really quick. You all saw all the games this weekend, there's a lot of ups and downs. So, you just have to stay focused and play one play at a time and hope for the best."
(on if he cherishes the opportunity to play in games like this as a veteran) "I do. They don't come around often. You appreciate that moment. A lot of guys don't get this opportunity. We had an opportunity to go to the Super Bowl, but we fell short. You just build from it and grow from it and move forward."
(on his future) "The way I feel right now – I'll be back. We'll see if the chips work out, and I'll be here. That's out of my control. We'll see what they do. I'd like to be back here."
(on if this season reinvigorated him) "Yes, it was a fun year. Anytime you make it to the playoffs and have the opportunity to go chase a Super Bowl, it's very fun. It wasn't the outcome I would like or desired it to be, but it was fun."
(on what his offseason process will be like) "I'll take a couple of weeks off just to let my body rest. I'll just pray and talk to God and let him guide me through the offseason, and then I'll get back to work. I don't take too much time off, because it's hard to get it started once you cut it off, so I try not to even let it cut off, I let it keep running. I'm going to work out still, and let's see what happens."
(on if the team is frustrated because it feels like it outplayed the Bengals) "I believe in God, so I feel like if it was meant to be, it shall be. God doesn't make any mistakes. His will will be done and always and forever. I just try to find joy in the moment and appreciate the opportunity to be here."
(on if there is any consolation that no one expected the Ravens to have a chance without Lamar Jackson) "We knew what it was before we stepped foot in this building. When we left last week, we knew what it was. We knew we were going to have an opportunity to beat these guys, but we came up short. We shot ourselves. You all saw the game. We gave up too many plays. Every play matters, and at the end of the game, it came back to bite us."
CB MARLON HUMPHREY
(on if WR Ja'Marr Chase was the key guy for the Bengals on third downs, especially in the first half) "I think a lot of [Ja'Marr] Chase's game is to get vertical. They did a lot of what he kind of doesn't do often. We wanted to play a little off here and a little press there, and they did a really good job based off what we were doing, they did something different. Everything they were doing, on third down especially, seemed to work."
(on the swing of emotion from being one yard away from taking a seven-point lead to it going 98 yards the other way) "Yeah, that was crazy. It took me a while to realize that even happened. The ball popped right into his hands. I thought our offense bounced back and were able to make it close at the end. Generally, that's probably the biggest turn that could happen."
(on if he feels for QB Tyler Huntley, who had played very well up to the quarterback sneak play) "Honestly, I didn't even really think of it too much for Tyler, but I know he played pretty well. It kind of sucks that that's going to be the play that everybody remembers. Obviously, you want to get that [ball] over, and he was right there. It seemed like it was so close. It's kind of those crazy fluke things that happen, and the Bengals were right there."
C TYLER LINDERBAUM
(on his thoughts on today with the game having the chance to go either way) "It's a tough way to lose. The whole picture of this season is incredible teammates. [I] just love the guys on this team and all the things they've done for me. It's a tough way to go out."
(on if he felt like anything could have happened out there) "Yes, I mean, we had opportunities. They did a tremendous job and stopped us when they needed to stop us, and they made more plays than us and came out with the win."
ILB PATRICK QUEEN
(on the season ending) "It's tough, just looking at going home last year after the Pittsburgh game and how long the offseason is, all the work that you put in, coming in to mini-camp, coming in to training camp and just taking it a game at a time and just to see all the work that you put in for moments like this, and you go out there to execute and [try to] win. Sometimes, it just doesn't fall your way. It's football, NFL, grown men football. It's all you can do, just play your heart out."
(on being on the sideline when the Bengals scored on the long fumble recovery) "It's upsetting, but as a defense, the mentality has to be, 'Just go out there and get a stop. [The] offense will get the ball back, and they're going to go out there and do their thing, and we have to get a stop after that.'"
(on if the defense had the mentality of a championship defense) "We all knew what we were capable of. At the beginning of the season, when things were going sideways, it was on all of us. We were just not there yet. You can just see the progression, with us shooting up. There's a lot for us to look forward to next season."
(on what he will take away from this season) "Just the progress that we've made, and the chemistry that we all have. I know a lot of us will be back. We'll have a pretty good shot at it again next year. It's not like we're doing a whole rebuild or anything. We just have to come back and put the work in the offseason, don't dwell on this too much, let it motivate us, and then come out there next season."
ILB ROQUAN SMITH
(on his range of emotions after the fumble recovery for a touchdown) "It's definitely crazy, but I think at the end of the day, it's ball. Crazy things happen when you play this game. That's what it's made of. Hats off to those guys for executing what they did, and it is what it is."
(on if they thought they were the better team today) "For sure, but not always the best team wins. Those guys ended up making a play or two more than we did. They get to advance, we don't. It's just more motivation for this offseason and going into next season. We'll see them again."
(on if this is something to build upon as the team looks ahead) "Absolutely, you can't dwell, you can't get down about it. It's life. You're going to face adversity all throughout – and in various ways – all throughout your life. I think we faced adversity throughout the game. And with the loss, obviously, it's adversity as well. It's about how we're going to respond next year [and] letting this motivate us this offseason because we know how good we can be here."
(on the message to QB Tyler Huntley after a big play like the scoop-and-score) "It's like you flush it. You can't dwell on it. It's not something that you can change. It happened, and that's life. There's a lot of things that happen in life that we wish we could go back on and do different things, but that's what makes life like art, really. You're drawing and things are happening. It is what it is. I know he [Tyler Huntley] wished a lot of different things, but we're not going to dwell on it. I know he's going to bust his tail this offseason and do whatever he can to be the best version of himself next year."
(on what he's learned about the culture of the Ravens and where this team is going) "I've always had a great deal of respect for this organization [and] guys who've played defense here for many years since the organization [has] been an organization. I'm just excited to be here. I just think the sky is the limit for the future. We have a lot of pieces defensively – championship-style. And 'O' [offense], we have a lot of pieces as well. So, I'm excited for the future, and I think there's a lot of great things in store for us. We just have to not get complacent, and just keep working and let this here motivate us this offseason."
(on if there's any consolation in controlling the game from start to finish, when many people may have counted the Ravens out before kickoff) "Absolutely, I have a lot of respect for 'Snoop' [Tyler Huntley]. I think he can lead us to victory as well, [and he] has done it numerous amounts of times. [He did] it against me when I was in Chicago. People on the outside always have things to say. Freedom of speech, their opinion and they're entitled to that. Who cares – we don't care about anything but the guys in this locker room, and that's all that matters at the end of the day because we're the ones putting ourselves on the line for each other."
K JUSTIN TUCKER
(on the game having the chance to go either way) "Yeah, I think that's how these games typically go. Division opponent, at their place, a lot of times these games are a play or two away from a different outcome. Unfortunately, that didn't fall into our favor tonight. But the core of this team is strong, resilient, tough, and we have every opportunity to be highly competitive moving forward. I think that's the takeaway that we're all unfortunately getting on this plane ride with. We'll do everything we can to be back in this position [next year] where we can control our own destiny in the postseason."
(on games this time of year being a battle of attrition and having to deal with injuries) "I think that's just a fact that playing in this league, especially in the AFC North, the injuries will pile up, and you might miss a guy here and there. I think what this team did an excellent job of down the stretch was not really batting an eye at any moment. It didn't matter who was playing or where they were playing. We were behind each and every teammate in this locker room, supporting them every step of the way."