How would you assess your first start?
“I just didn’t do enough to get it done. The job of the quarterback and the offense as a whole is to score enough points to win a football game, and we didn’t do that today. Not good enough.”
On the interception, did you think you had a play you could make there or, once you let it go, did you think, ‘Uh oh?’
“That was a play that I could make, it was just a very poor decision. When you get under pressure like that, you just have to be smart with the football, especially when you’re down there getting in position to score points. That was just a really poor decision, and it hurt our football team. Just a bad decision and bad throw.”
You didn’t get a lot of opportunities to get out and make plays with your feet. Was that a product of the game plan or what the defense was giving you?
“I thought Denver did a nice job of not giving me the looks to really get out on the perimeter and run the football, but that opened up lanes for our backs. They hit the holes really hard and ran through tackles. That was a product of how they were playing us.”
What’s that like, spending the whole day with Bradley Chubb and Von Miller coming after you?
“They’re premiere edge guys, and we knew that and it’s tough. It makes it tough. At the end of the day, you have to be able to play on time, get the ball out and not take sacks and strip sacks, like I did at the end of the game. You’ve just got to be able to get the football out and get it in your playmakers’ hands early, because we knew they were coming at the edge all day.”
How difficult was it to keep the offense on track, given the number of penalties by the O-line?
“It’s always tough when you get behind the sticks. We preached all week about being great on first and second down and not setting ourselves back. As an offense, I thought we were in some tough spots. As a play-caller, when you’re third-and-long, that makes it really tough. There’s not that many calls on the sheet when you’re third and ten-plus. We didn’t give ourselves enough opportunity to really convert on third down, and that was tough.”
It appeared early in the game that they had you doing a lot of short passes, and that that might have been progression stuff. Would you have liked to have rip it down the field earlier than you did?
“Early on, we had a really nice drive there. It was (11) plays, 60 yards, and then we stalled out. We were moving the football in third-and-manageable, and we were moving the sticks, so it was working.”
Did you think you would get more carries as a runner?
“I don’t know. Sometimes, those things happen naturally. The way that Denver was playing defense today — they were playing a lot of single-safety, box-type looks and that happens sometimes. You’ve got to be able to throw the football for them to back off, and for there to be more running lanes.”
You guys had a new quarterback, new left tackle and new left guard. Is that part of the reason for the penalties?
“I think that’s part of it. That’s not an excuse. We’ve all got to be out there and be on the same page and eliminate those penalties. It’s something that we worked this week, all throughout the week. We knew it hurt us last week, and it hurt us again this week. We’ve got to continue to work on it, and we can’t let that affect us in games to come.”
A.J. Green went down with a foot injury today and didn’t return. Considering he’s a leader on this team and a prime target for you, what were you thinking?
“The play he went down on, that was one of the first plays he had single coverage. When you lose anybody, especially a guy like him who can take over a game, it makes it tough. I’m just hoping for the best for him and his health. Any time you lose an A.J. Green, it takes its toll on the football team.”
You were sacked on the play he went down. But if you had been upright and he wouldn’t have pulled up hurt, you probably would have had him ...
“It was a one-on-one look, and I’m going to take A.J. every time. My eyes were down the field, I looked over, and unfortunately he was down. Like I said, I’m just hoping for the best for his health.”
On the intentional grounding call, did you see C.J. Uzomah and throw toward him? It looked like he was there. Were you surprised by the call?
“In that situation, we knew we had points. We were down in the lower red-zone. I was just telling myself, ‘No sacks here. Get the ball out.’ I thought there was somebody over there, but obviously they weren’t close enough.”
It looked like you were having an animated conversation with OT Bobby Hart after that play. Was that confusion there?
“You know, we were out there, we were battling. Sometimes, you get a little heated and you have to talk things out, and we did. We moved forward. It was really no big deal.”
Have you ever faced a third-and-39, like you did at the end of the second quarter?
“That’s tough. That’s tough when you’re behind the sticks like that. You can’t really put yourself in that situation — that’s the best way for me to explain it. We’ve got to clean some of that stuff up. In weeks to come, give ourselves better opportunities on third down, because I thought when we were third-and-manageable we did a good job of moving the chains.”