Head Coach Mike Tomlin
Opening statement: "Man, a disappointing outcome, but really nothing mystical about it. We didn't do the things necessary to secure victory. Particularly how these two teams come together and the nature of these match-ups, you know points are precious. We turned the ball over when we were in scoring territory a couple of times, taking points off the board. We allowed a known legendary guy to block a kick. He's probably the leading kick blocker, active kick blocker in the NFL, just get in there in the gap and blocked the kick, and then obviously we couldn't get the needed stop at the weightiest moment on defense. You do those things, you don't win. We understand that. We're disappointed. Disappointment comes with that."
Your run defense before the second half in Atlanta had been pretty good. What did you see went wrong today?
"I just thought we wore down. The pile was falling forward."
Did you feel like especially with [Anthony] Brown in there that they weren't really as much of a threat to pass, that it was mostly going to be the run?
"Yeah, I think everybody knew that."
What was Mitch [Trubisky] able to do when he got in there? He could move the ball all the way to the 25 and then those turnovers killed you.
"You just can't turn the ball over, particularly in the nature of this match-up. Usually, the team that turns the ball over in the red area is the team that loses. They've turned it over some in the red area in recent matchups and we've won those games. We turned it over in the red area in this one, so we lost this one."
QB Mitch Trubisky
What was the mindset with you coming in wanting to attack, and you were able to move the ball and then there was turnovers?
"Yeah, I just wanted to go out there, run the offense. Obviously was overly aggressive at times, which showed up with the turnovers, but it was great to be back out there with the guys. I appreciate everybody battling all four quarters. A lot of stuff I can do better, but coming off the bench, just wanted to go in there, try to provide a spark. I thought we did a good job moving the ball, but I've got to protect the football and that's obvious."
The interception to [Pat] Freiermuth, it looked like 82 [Steven Sims] was also in the area. Was that supposed to be to Pat?
"It was. It was. They did a good job collisioning Pat on the line of scrimmage, which made his route take a little longer. I stuck with him, probably could have used a better -- done a better job with my eyes looking off, but yeah, when it just takes a little longer, two guys in the same spot. I'll have to look at it to see exactly what happened, but the linebacker made a good play. I was being aggressive, at times overly aggressive, probably forced that one, especially early on the downs on first and second. I've got to take care of the football so we can come away with points down there. That's on me."
When you first came into the game, a couple passes to George Pickens kind of right away and got a spark going. Was there any reason that that just didn't continue as the game went on?
"I'll have to watch it on film. I was looking for George. Certain things they were doing. I was just playing within each concept that was called, trying to find completions, trying to move the ball down the field. I thought we did a good job moving it. I've got to take care of the football. I'd love to continue to get George involved. He's a great talent. We've just got to continue to work on the details and see which ways we can get him the football for sure. You came into the game as if you hadn't missed a beat. Did they adjust to you maybe in terms of what you were doing or did you maybe adjust less to them? I mean, every week I'm prepared. I think we were moving the ball, and I think the problem was I was turning it over down in the red zone. We've got to come away with points, at least field goals. When you give up the football three times to a good team and a good defense, they're known for taking the ball away, and I've just got to be smarter with my decisions and not forcing it down there. Credit to them, and I just try to come in, do my job, and at times I was overly aggressive. I wanted to score in the red zone. I wanted to be aggressive. I think looking back at the film, once we look at it, I think I can be a lot better with my eyes and then be smart and know when to check it down. A learning experience for sure."
The deep throw to Diontae [Johnson] that resulted in an interception, was that the call or something you saw as the play unfolded?
"Yeah, I wanted to take a shot downfield to Diontae. I thought he did a good job going inside. He was getting behind him and stacked him. We ended up hitting it later in the fourth quarter going the opposite direction. I just threw it a little too far, and I've got to be better with my eyes. It looked like the free safety had a jump on it. That's why he got over the top there before Diontae did. Yeah, I wanted to go down the field, take a shot and was too aggressive, and could be better with my eyes."
The one Patrick Queen got, was it just a good play by him?
"Yeah, kind of the same thing. I kind of forced that one. I think I was going to Pat [Freiermuth] again down in the red zone. When linebackers are depth like that, there's probably somebody open underneath, so I'm going to have to go back and look at that one."
OLB T.J. Watt
What makes Baltimore so tough to stop from a run standpoint?
"They run a good offense. We just need to do a better job of being assignment sound and making plays when it matters the most."
Is it sort of demoralizing in the sense that you guys are playing high and you have turnovers not in the red zone just on the Baltimore side? Do you guys get together and just continue to rally, try to stop them continuously, and were you just worn down at the end of the game?
"I think it's football. As a defense we take the field when we need to, regardless of what the situation is we need to hold them to as few points as we possibly can. I don't think we got worn down, I think it was just a factor of not executing when we knew -- everybody in the stadium knew what they were going to do, and that was run the ball."
Mike Tomlin was talking about not coming up with the big stops in the weighty moments. Obviously, there was the one right before the two-minute warning there, but also a safety or something when they were backed up right against the 1-yard line, that was that also another one?
"Yeah, look back at the film and there were tons of opportunities. That's always how it is. You never make enough plays. That's something that we're going to have to look at. But clearly, we didn't do enough specifically from a defensive side of things to put us in position to help win the game."
WR George Pickens
How much of a missed opportunity does today feel like for you guys as a team?
"It's a big game, just traditionally. For tradition, a lot of guys just wanted to win personally."
How frustrating is it for you guys to move the ball and make some chunk plays and then have three turnovers in the red zone?
"No team wants to do that, so it's very frustrating. But all you do is go back and keep working."
How much does it help to have Mitch take some shots deep down the field to move the ball in big chunk plays?
"It feels good. That's kind of what we preach on how the offense is. You've just got to execute those plays. Anytime you get an opportunity, you want to seize the moment."
DE Cameron Heyward
What did the Ravens do that made it so that you guys were unable to stop the run late in the game?
"We just didn't show enough awareness. Didn't get off blocks enough to make tackles. Down a quarterback, they weren't going to put their quarterback under duress. They were just going to continue to run the ball. And they had a lot of success with it."
How much of a missed opportunity did today feel like for you guys?
"It's a missed opportunity because we didn't take advantage of it. Just too many mistakes. Especially late in the year. You commend the Ravens. They did their job. They got the job done. On defense, they got turnovers. On offense, they sustained drives. They got field goals when they needed them and got one touchdown."
Did the defense specifically get what you guys were expecting on those last three runs?
"Yeah, and that's the head-scratcher because every play is downhill. We should know where the plays are going at that point. To not get off the field and not get our offense one more chance, that stings the most."