BALTIMORE RAVENS QUOTESHEAD COACH JOHN HARBAUGH
Opening Statement:"Going into this game and through this season and what our team has dealt with and been up against, we knew what kind of men we had on our football team. Warriors, mighty men, all those things that you guys chuckle about. Those things are all true. What I didn't realize I guess because we don't play them all the time, we knew a little bit about it from earlier in the season, I didn't necessarily know exactly what Tennessee was all about. I am going to tell you what; that is a bunch of strong, competitive warriors on that other side over there. That was a knock down, drag out battle. It was a very well coached game on both sides. I just think that the Tennessee Titans deserve a ton of credit. That is as good of a football team as you are ever going to see. That is as good of a football game as you are ever going to see. We are just very proud to have the victory over such a great football team."
On how the Ravens won:"I think at the end, our guys found a way to win. They were finding a way to win too. It was exciting to see players step up and make plays. That is what really wins in games like this, Joe [Flacco], Todd Heap on offense. On defense, Jimmy Leonhard and turnovers in critical situations. Those are all the things that win tightly contested games. They made their share of plays too. We just made the ones that made the difference. Like they won the first game, we found a way to win the second game."
On Matt Stover's game-winning kick:"Matt Stover has been in this league for a long time. I am quite sure he has lined up for a lot of kicks like that. I don't know how many, he probably does know and he probably remembers every one of them. There is one more to tack on to just a fabulous career by Matt Stover."
On not taking the wind at the start of the game and half:"We gave up some field position in the third quarter. We put pressure on our defense. We put pressure on Rex's [Ryan] guys. They really held up in the third quarter very well. We were able to come out of the third quarter with the lead. That was our goal, to be tied or to have the lead. Or we were just going in [for Stover's field goal at the end of the third quarter]. To have the wind then in the fourth quarter, we just felt like it was going to come down to a field goal in the end."
On what he told the team in the locker room after the game:"I probably could, but I can't remember. You would just have to ask somebody who remembers. It was pretty special. Ed Reed stepped up and gave the game ball to O.J. Brigance. As you guys know, O.J. and his story and what he stands for as a man of faith has been the foundation and cornerstone of our whole football team. When Ed did that and O.J. spoke, I think that said it all."
On winning the battle of turnovers the last two games:"Start with the offense, the fact that our offense is not turning the ball over. That is probably the number one thing. In these kinds of games, you find a way to play with that kind of discipline; that kind of self control and protect the football. That starts with the quarterback and goes to the running backs and wide receivers. Then our defense, to turn the ball over that many times against these two opponents is remarkable. You guys can figure out how it happened. A lot of good hard hits, I can tell you that. We are proud of those guys for that."
On dodging bullets throughout the game:"I think that Tennessee was playing really, really well. That is what they have done all year. You can see why they have the record they have. I am sure as disappointed as they are, they should hold their heads up high because they played a really good football game and moved the ball at times. Our guys just found a way to get them stopped when they had to. There is nobody to blame on that. I think you give our guys credit and then give them credit for what they were able to do in the game."
On going to the AFC Championship game:"We are looking forward to our bye day tomorrow. We have a whole day off tomorrow and we will rest from our bumps and bruises and we will get ready to play."
On injuries:"We will find out. We don't know. I know we have a lot of little things. Hopefully we won't have any big things."
On so many injuries during the game:"We didn't have enough guys to put out there at times in our packages. You have to give Rex Ryan so much credit and the defensive staff so much credit. And the players, guys like Haruki Nakamura and [Tom] Zbikowski for stepping up there and playing positions they don't normally play and packages they are not used to playing. They probably didn't get reps in and Rex figured out exactly how to position those guys and where to put them. It was just great coaching on the fly. I think all those guys deserve a lot of credit for that."
On throwing the challenge flag on the third down Titans pass:"I think Vic Fangio and Mike Pettine, I give them credit for that; starting with Vic. They watched it. The thing came up finally on the TV replay and they noticed that he caught it twice. The second catch, obviously when he lost control of it he wasn't able to get two feet down. That was Vic all the way. He was adamant about it and he encouraged us to challenge it."
On Matt Stover's game-winning field goal: "It is almost unbelievable. We have been together for some game winning field goals. Every time I see it is almost about to come down to that, I walk over to him and always say, "It is already done." The guy that we have; if you believe in whatever you believe in. He always delivers. He is a man of a faith and I'm a man of faith. I just walk by him and said to him, "He is done" and I smiled at him. He is clutch man. Stover is clutch. The way we played football today, I tip my hat off to the Titans team. We limited our turnovers on offense. We got turnovers on defense. We played bend but don't break. That is a good football team. This football team came out and gave us everything they had and my hat goes off to them."
On the defense's philosophy: "We always have got one philosophy in this defense. If they don't score, they don't win. Bottom line, just like when we got to 7-7. Bottom line said if we don't give up no more points, we will come out a winner in this game. You kind of saw the way it was going back and forth. They were putting some drives together, but we were keeping the ball in front of us. As long as we can do that as a defense, we are going to have success."
On it being a physical game: "I was here in 2000. It was physical then. It is physical. Both ball clubs are built kind of similar. That is why the game came down to what it was. We knew that coming into the game. We knew what a hostile game environment we were coming into."
On forcing turnovers in the red zone: "We have a slogan here: they're not in 'til the end. They were moving the ball. They were doing a great job, they were breaking tackles. We just continued to fight and refused to let them in. We made the plays we had to. Sometimes that's the way the cookie crumbles. The ball came out. We'll take it any way we can get it."
On forcing the Alge Crumpler fumble: "He checked out late and I was being nosey. They beat us before on a Yogi Go so I'm trying to help on the backside. I didn't keep my eyes on my luggage, so to speak. So I had to come up there and throw everything in there because it was my fault he was wide open like that. I tried to make up for it."
On saluting Ravens fans at conclusion of game: "They did a tremendous job in giving us a sense of home and coming out and supporting us. You saw them walking up the streets and things like that. They're in a hostile environment as well. They take a lot of slack up there in the stands. I just wanted them to know I appreciate their effort, I appreciated them spending their hard-earned money to come see a good football game."
On whether he considered victory over Titans an upset: "No, I think we're two evenly matched teams. The parity in this league is unbelievable. Anybody's capable of beating anybody. It's a four-game tournament and we're at the final four. This thing's wide open and anybody can win it."
On comparisons to 2000 Ravens team: "It's great to make our own history, our own path. That team was great. We can't be compared to that team. That team has its own identity and we're trying to create our own. Like I said, we're not through yet. We'll evaluate all that stuff when it's over with."
On impact of Chris Johnson's injury: "Johnson's a home run hitter. He made some plays early in the game. We're not going to feel sorry for these guys. We've got five starters on this defense that barely even made it past week five. It was a physical game. We try to do this against any back. We try to make it physical, make it a rough day for them. Sometimes they don't hold up."
On his thoughts as Matt Stover attempted game-winning field goal: "I just watched it on the big screen. I didn't watch it live, for whatever reason. I saw it was going to go in."
On Ravens' final scoring drive: "It's the same as any other drive. We had Todd (Heap) go up the seam and make a big play for us. We did a good job of getting into field goal range. You've got to credit Matt (Stover) and the field goal team for going out there and making the kick. We want to go out there and play our game. You still have to let it come to you. You gotta check the ball down when you need to. We ran the ball a handful of times. We did a great job on that drive. You're on the sideline and see that you get the chance, and that's all you can ask for. You've got to credit the offensive line for battling all game. You've got to credit our receivers and you've got to credit Todd Heap for going up and making a play."
On how close he came to stepping out the back of the end zone for a safety: "I think my foot wrapped around and came back in bounds. I almost pulled a Dan Orlovsky. I don't think I was out. The only place I saw it was on the big screen and it's not really zoomed in there. I wasn't out because they didn't call it."
On long touchdown pass to Derrick Mason: "They were in a two-high coverage and I kind of looked them in on Todd on the seam. I held the safety in there long enough to hit Derrick in the hole."
On two straight road playoff wins: "We've been confident in ourselves all year. It seems like we've been on the road for the longest time. It doesn't matter to us. We're going to go out there and battle the crowd, battle the other team, and give it our best. That's what we did today."
On physical nature of game: "They were the same as I remember them. You knew Coach Fisher was going to have them ready to play and be physical. We're a physical team also, and we got the breaks to go our way today."
On creation of turnovers: "We worked on it. We watched film. When the opportunity is there to make plays, we try to capitalize as much as possible."
On the game: "It was a heavyweight fight. We would have been happy if nobody got injured, but it was a dogfight and there was a lot of bloodshed. The Ravens came out on top."
On his status for next week: "Check my track record. I don't miss games. The only way I wouldn't be there is if I didn't have air in my lungs. I will see you next week."
On creating turnovers in the red zone: "We live by the creed that if they get that far down there we have to just give them three. Bend but don't break. We didn't give them anything a few times when they got down there. That is just the kind of character we have on this defense. Their defensive coordinator called us undisciplined and selfish guys. There ain't none of that in this locker room. They clearly don't know us. I hope they have the keys to the locks on the gates so they can get out of here and keep their sanity. I heard they were going to lock the gates and see what happens. We seen what happened. Hopefully they can escape and see their families."
On next week: "Next week is not here yet. We are going to enjoy this win right now. We definitely have to get healthy as a team. We can't wait for next week. Not everybody gets to play in the AFC Championship."
On why this team has had success: "I think this is the first time we have been a complete team. This is the first time I have been on a complete team in my whole football playing career. There is something special going on around here. We aren't going to say what it is until we find out where the road ends. We are feeling really good."
On Joe Flacco: "You read his eyes and there is nothing to read. You are looking at him and you are thinking does anything faze this guy. That is the way he has been all year. People have been asking me if he is going to be different in the playoffs, if this is going to be too big for him. How are things going to change? I just simply say they are not. He has been the same way since the first day of minicamps. Every game he has had that demeanor about him on the field or off the field. You just know that he is confident and that just exudes confidence throughout the huddle."
On the Ravens fans: "We can't do it without our fans. We have some of the best fans. I can't believe how many of them actually made the trip, how many purple jerseys and purple shirts were in the stands. It is really fun to watch, fun to be a part of."
On their confidence: "Anybody can make a play. It is not on guys just being an individual. It is everybody executing to the "t," being at the right spot at the right time, because as easily as it bounced our way it could have bounced their way."
On the physical nature of the game: "I would like to take my hat off to Chris Johnson. I hope he is well. The play was definitely within the realm of the whistle. The whistle was not blown. I know their o-linemen were protecting him. I am not a dirty player by any means. I never would try to hurt the guy, but the whistle wasn't blown yet. We are taught to play to the whistle and I am sure they are too."
On Haruki Nakamura: "He is used to playing with Jimmy [Leonhard] during practice, because I am usually the guy getting treatment or standing on the sideline. We know that we that we have guys that can step up at anytime. Haruki is definitely one of those guys."
(On the turnovers: "It is about playing a physically football game and causing turnovers. In crunch time like this ball security is huge on either side of the ball. It just bounced our way."
TENNESSEE TITANS QUOTES
HEAD COACH JEFF FISHER
Opening statements: "Let me start off by congratulating the Ravens organization, Steve Bisciotti, and the coaching staff and players, well-played ballgame. I hope they have more success as they run through the playoffs. You know, this was obviously a very, very difficult loss, one that was a result, as I should put it, probably our own self-inflicted mistakes. Penalties at the wrong time, missed field goal, fumbles in the plus-territory, we just didn't take advantage of the opportunities today.I thought we played hard, we just didn't play well enough to win. We just didn't make the plays."
On whether play clock expired upstairs on Baltimore long pass play: "I was told that upstairs. It was not reviewable."
On if having three weeks off made a difference: "Our time off didn't have anything to do with what happened today. We fumbled a couple of balls, missed a field goal. It had nothing to do with it. We were ready to play. We knew we were going to have a physical ball game. We knew it was going to be a field position game and it ended up being just what we thought was."
On whether Joe Flacco was out of bounds in the end zone: "We didn't get a view or a look or anything."
On whether the ball bounced before Derrick Mason caught it: "That ball was a catch as far as I'm concerned. If you're questioning whether or not I review things or had I, I'm usually aware of those things and had I been made aware of them or seen them, then I would have looked into it a little further."
On Chris Johnson's injury: "He's got an ankle injury and just could not return. He was unable to play."
On whether Johnson's absence affected the outcome of the game: "He made some big plays, had some significant plays with his speed in the first half so I would think one would assume that we missed out on some opportunities. We've overcome injuries all year and that's not the reason we lost the ballgame."
On whether he stressed ball protection throughout the week in practice:"It's disappointing but it's football. It is, it's football. You hang onto the ball in both situations you know maybe the game is different. I'm not going to single out LenDale [White] or Alge [Crumpler] as being the reason that we lost this game, or Rob [Bironas] with the kick. We lost it as a team. We had opportunities. We just didn't make the plays that we needed to."
On the success of the offense moving the ball: "I thought Kerry [Collins] did a great job. The receivers, Justin [Gage], they got open and made catches. We stressed going into the week that we were going to need to run after catch and we had to pick up a lot of key first downs. The problem was something that hadn't necessarily been a problem for us all year; it was just getting points once we got into the plus territory."
On whether this feels worse than the loss in 2000: "You think I feel good right now? This is a difficult loss for this team, the fans and there was a great deal of hope and excitement. There's nothing I can tell them in that room that can make them feel better right now. This thing is going to linger and last and we'll overcome it. We met some of our goals this year and obviously we fell short here this afternoon, this evening. As far as comparing it to 2000, yeah, same teams, probably the same situation but different players."
QB KERRY COLLINS
On if the Titans beat themselves today: "No question. The things we did all year to help us win games, we didn't do today. We had turnovers, penalties, all that happened. To say it's disappointing is an understatement. This is a tough one to swallow and that's really all you can say."
On if there is something about the Ravens that causes teams to beat themselves: "I don't think so. Things happen during the game. They're an aggressive, physical football team. I thought we matched that today. Our guys are not going to back down from anybody. It really just comes down to missed opportunities. We had the opportunities and for whatever reason we didn't take advantage of them like we needed to."
On the loss of Chris Johnson and if his injury hurt the team: "Certainly, Chris gives us a burst and he gives us speed. When he got hurt, it took a little bit of that speed out of the game. We still got opportunities and we didn't capitalize on them."
On his intercepted pass: "I was trying to give our guy a chance and I just threw a bad ball."
On the two mishandled shotgun formation snaps: "Communication on one and the other one I just mishandled. It was a good snap and I didn't handle it."
On the various emotions that Titans players have in the locker room following the game:
"All of the above. Guys are angry, disappointed, and I would say a little bit in shock. For the most part in the game we would play well. We would move the ball and the defense was playing well. It makes it that much harder to swallow."
On his future with the Titans: "I don't know. I'm going to think about that one when I stop thinking about this game, which probably won't be for a while. Whatever happens is going to happen. I would love to be here but it's just too soon after a game like this to really think about it."
On Alge Crumpler and his fumble in the fourth quarter: "Alge is one of the most professional guys that I've been around. He is one of those guys that does everything right. I feel bad for him. I feel bad for him but he is not the only one to blame in this situation. We all had our opportunities. We all share the blame. He is a heck of a guy and a heck of a professional. I hope that guys understand and we all rally around him because he is a heck of a guy and a heck of a player."
On getting over today's loss to the Ravens: "You know what; do you ever get over it? I don't know if it's something that you ever get over. You deal with it but it's going to hurt for a while."
On if his successes during the regular season are overshadowed by today's loss: "Right now, it's hard to feel good about this year. I know we really accomplished a lot, put ourselves in a position to make a run at it, but when you fall short it's hard to see the positives. I know there are some, I think we all need to realize that, but it's disappointing to end like this. To think that we'll feel any better about it because of our regular season I think is not going to be the case."
TE ALGE CRUMPLER
On what happened on the turnovers: "What we did was we would get into the red zone and we would turn the ball over down there. It's nobody's fault but our own."
On the feelings in the locker room: "It's a sick feeling because I have never felt like I put my team in a situation that hurt having done so much in my whole career. That hurts me more than anything. It's going to take a while to get over because this team was ready to take the next step."
On if he thought that this was a Super Bowl team: "I clearly believed that this was a Super Bowl team. I felt the magic when I walked into that locker room and we were able to build on those types of things. [Jeff] Fisher has been great. The guys have been great. Guys have stepped up and made plays when they had to make plays all season. For a team to come on the road, that team, and for us to play as well as we played at times, this hurts because we didn't get it done."
C LEROY HARRIS
On how tough it is to lose one like this: "Man it's always tough to lose one in the playoffs like this, especially a close, hard fought game like this. We just didn't make the plays at the end to come out with a victory."
On the fumbles: "We moved the ball effectively down the field, but we did some uncharacteristic things that we have not done all season like turn the ball over and it's even worse when you turn it over in the red zone because you at least get three points out of it. That was the difference in the game today, we turned the ball over in the red zone."
On his performance: "I felt like I did pretty good. [The Ravens defense] made some plays where I did a good job against them. That doesn't matter because they won the game."
RB LENDALE WHITE
On if the turnovers were too much to overcome: "Definitely, I think that the momentum with the fumble that I had before half prevented us from getting three points right there and probably could have boosted us up in the second half. I am definitely taking the blame for us losing this game because I feel like I could have stepped up a lot more and held onto the ball and give us momentum going into the second half."
On if this is hard to deal with because of the success this season: "It sucks man. This is not the outcome that we had planned on or that we thought was going to come. We worked really, really hard from March all the way through until now. We felt coming into this game that we had a team that could take us there."
On not winning the big game: "It happens you know. The best team doesn't always win, but the best prepared team, and the team that doesn't make turnovers capitalizes on the team that does. Unfortunately we were the team to turn the ball over."
On the Titans defense: "Beyond a winning effort. They proved to everybody in the world that they are the best defense in the NFL and I still believe that. We didn't come through on our part. I didn't come through on my part. I didn't do the things that I had to do today. I'm going to probably be beating myself up until this time next year about that because you can't get this back. You never know what tomorrow is going to bring in the NFL."
On if the Titans are a better team if they played 10 times: "Yes. We will beat them nine out of ten times but this time things didn't fall our way. I'm not taking anything away from Baltimore, I lose graciously. Today they were definitely the better team."
DT TONY BROWN
On the loss: "We left a lot of plays out there. Hats off to them. They (Baltimore) came away with a victory on our home field. Unfortunately, we're not advancing. We have to put this behind us and keep it moving. It's still early. We just lost. Everybody's going to deal with it in their own special way. Everybody in here is a grown man, so we'll get it going. I'm the same way 24/7. We lost but I can look in the mirror and know as long as I played my heart out, that's what's going to help me."
On Baltimore QB Joe Flacco: "He's going to be a good one. The guy kept his poise all day. His offensive line did a good job for him, but like I said, our defense left a lot of good plays out there."
LB KEITH BULLUCK
On history repeating itself in the Baltimore loss: "Nine years ago had nothing to do with it. Today, myself, Craig Hentrich and Jevon Kearse came back. It might mean something now for Baltimore fans and everything and that's cool, that's fine. But today, the past had no effect on me. That game had no effect on this game. That game was different. That game was more of a shocking game. When the defense left the field it was 10-10, and when we come back then, it was 24-10. Today, I feel we did our job as a defense. The offense moved the ball. We just couldn't overcome turnovers today. We didn't force any turnovers and we couldn't overcome them. And on the plays where the turnovers were made, is where we would have scored."
On the loss: "We had three turnovers. We gave away nine points. At least nine points. They forced three turnovers in the red zone, so I'm not shocked. I've been around football for a long time and you can't as a team have those type of mistakes and expect to win, especially in the playoffs."
On if he feels sick about the loss: "I don't know if I'm sick. A team that you feel you are better than, but they come out on top – I'm a little dumbfounded, I guess. I'm over it. I'll be over it fast, just because we had all the opportunity in the world. We played so hard for 16 or 17 weeks. Coming in to this game, I already knew there was the realization and a reality that this could be our last one this year. So to me, I've got to think of the location where I'm going to watch the Super Bowl."
DE JEVON KEARSE
On Titans loss: "We had a chance. We had so many opportunities, and we just let it get away from us. It got away towards the end, but it just feels like we really had this one, really had a chance to win this one and we let it get away. They got a couple, two, maybe three big pass plays on us. Besides that, we played a sound football game, but I mean, we just let it go. It makes it a lot tougher to take, especially when we gave it all we had, besides a couple of turnovers and penalties that really hurt us in the end. It's very tough to overcome. Today the Ravens were the better football team. There were things we could have done better, but today I guess they wanted it a little more. We had a chance to get points on the board down in the red zone and it didn't happen and penalties hurt us the whole ball game. Yesterday in the team meeting we talked about a chance to make a team legacy today, but we let it get away. We have a pretty good squad, and we did some pretty good things together all season, and for it to end like this is kind of heartbreaking. We had a chance and we didn't make the most of it."