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What the Colts Said After Loss to Ravens

Left: Colts QB Philip Rivers; Right: Colts LB Darius Leonard
Left: Colts QB Philip Rivers; Right: Colts LB Darius Leonard

Head Coach Frank Reich

(opening statement)

"Tough loss against a good football team. I thought our guys came out and played hard. We talked about dictating the tempo right from the start. I thought we did that in all three phases early. It really just felt like, defensively, we shut them down. Offensively we had it rolling, just felt like we were moving the ball the way we wanted to and then had a couple mistakes, had the turnover in the first half that was obviously a 14-point swing, more or less. But we have to recover from that against a good team and we had opportunities to recover from that and we weren't able to finish it. We went in with a lead at halftime and came out and did not start well in the second half, and then they got it going a little bit, their offense got it going a little bit, which we expected. They have good players. They are a very good football team."

(on the refs' explanation on Marcus Peters' interception and his play call on fourth-and-inches late in the game)

"First, the explanation was that they were counting his steps and that he had possession of the ball secured and he took whatever amount of steps he needed to take for that to count as a catch was what I was told. As far as what I was thinking on the fourth-and-inches, I was thinking touchdown because we needed two scores. If we would have needed one score, I would have ran it and taken the safe call, but really it was a play that we felt really good about. We've run a version of that play in the past here, highly successful and thought we're at the right spot on the field that this is not only a first down, it gets the touchdown and gives us an opportunity to make it a three point game. But obviously, we didn't convert."

(on the first half fumble affecting playing time for Jonathan Taylor)

"This team, this defense is the best defense in the NFL at causing fumbles. They are the best. We talked about it all week. That there was going to be premium on ball security, in particular on fumbles that they are better at than anybody. Then Marcus Peters, he's the best intercepter guy in the NFL, has been for years. They played to their strength and made two big plays."

(on stopping the Ravens' rushing game in the first half)

"It's complementary football. The defense did do a good job in the first half. I thought we ran it fairly efficiently as well against one of the better rush defenses. I thought we had some stuff in there that worked, that we had some good yardage. It just came down – in the second half, both sides of the ball weren't good enough. The end of the story was, in the second half as a team we were not good enough against a team you have to play a full 60 minutes."

(on the Peters interception getting the Colts out of rhythm)

"We took a shot. You're going to hit some and we're going to miss some. We had a big turnover on defense. Marcus Peters is a corner who jumps a lot of routes and thought we could get one on him and he made a great play, credit to him. Then they made the most of it. They possessed the ball for most of it. It did feel like – we had a turnover and then a three-and-out and then they were extremely efficient. A great example on both sides of the ball of not being good enough to start the second half."

QB Philip Rivers

(on not being able to connect on deep shots)

"They mixed a little more Cover-2 today than they had played and so they had been such a man team. Obviously, they had played some two. It wasn't like it was completely unorthodox for them but just not as much of it. So, the looks didn't come up quite as good on a couple of those and just a couple close misses and obviously the one that was a turnover that was just poorly thrown, just underthrown. Unfortunate because it wasn't our best day, but it wasn't a terrible day. We were rolling pretty good in the first half. Any time you turn it over and they score with it and then you throw an interception to start the third quarter after the defense gets a turnover, we just couldn't overcome those. If there was ever a week you had to Nunc Coepi as we say, it is this week because Thursday will be here in a hurry, so we have to put this one behind us and get ready for the Titans."

(on the interception to Peters)

"He is not necessarily running wide open by any means. He had his back turned which is what really kind of enticed me to throw it. It was just underthrown. It was a poor throw."

(on whether he thought it was an interception)

"No, I didn't. He didn't. Some of them work in our favor on the teams I've been on over the years and some haven't. It has gotten so really jacked up of how the catch rule is. Nobody that has played any amount of football or that has been around the game watched that and thought that was a catch including the guy that dropped it. But you know you can slow it down to milliseconds and you can just make it a technicality about three feet touch the ground even though you know somebody that is sitting back watching who has probably never thrown a football in his life gets to call it."

(on whether the missed out on making a statement against Baltimore)

"You know it's a long season. Certainly, this is a playoff football team. They have been in it the last couple years. They are a good football team that we played today but I don't know if statements do you any good unless you finish the year off right. It's one we let get away. It's one they earned. They beat us, but it's not anything – shoot we just have to pick up and move forward."

(on the fourth-and-inches play in the fourth quarter)

"I think there you have a chance to go try and make it. It's a touchdown if I get it off. We knew that they liked to run zero pressure. We knew I was going to have to drift and make the throw. I don't know exactly what happened. It was just kind of selling out for all or nothing there. We trust Frank (Reich) and the staff and the decision we made there. I mean you can't kick. You still have to score and go for two. It's kind of part of it. They went for it on fourth-and-three fairly early, late in the third quarter at midfield. Sometimes you just have to go with your gut there. I thought we had a chance. I don't know exactly what happened, but tough play in that regard. Last thing, I want to go back to on the interception because I'll probably get in trouble for saying that about a guy who has never thrown a football, but they called it an interception so it's an interception. Bottom line is I shouldn't have thrown the ball or shouldn't have thrown it short. You throw it short; you leave it up to other people's hands and you never know what will happen."

LB Darius Leonard

(on cracking down on the Ravens run game)

"It just let us know that with all the certain stuff that they run, the college stuff, just playing against the run, We're a good team at stopping the run, but we have to be way better. I think they rushed for 110 yards total. That can't happen. We have to get off the field. We have to make a play somehow."

(on not closing in the second half)

"I just felt like we have to find a way to get off the field. The first half, I think we played okay. The second half, we have to find a way to make a stop. The first drive we had the fumble, then the second we have a sudden change, we have to once again rise up to the occasion and we didn't do that. We have to find a way. If you want to be a great defense, you have to do that and we didn't do that today."

DT DeForest Buckner

(on whether the defense was on the field too long the second half)

"Yes, but we also have to make plays to get off the field. We lost the turnover battle 2-1 and we have to find a way to get the ball."

(on the key to the first half defensively)

"We played assignment football. Everybody has an assignment, especially in the option game. If you have the dive, take the dive. If you have the quarterback, get the quarterback. Guys just have to play hard and win their individual battles. You know for the most part, I thought we did and in the second half we just needed to convert especially third down and make key stops to get the ball back to the offense. We are going to look at that and learn from it."

(on the Peters interception)

"I was a little surprised. It was a great play by Marcus Peters. I'm not a referee, so I can't make that call. We just have to adjust and deal with sudden change and we have to answer as a defense."

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