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Game Quotes: Panthers at Falcons

Posted Dec 27, 2015

Notable quotes from inside the Panthers' locker room following the team's Week 16 loss to Atlanta.


Thoughts following the loss: “Just disappointing. Had some opportunities in the game and didn’t take advantage of those opportunities. Quite honestly, we didn’t coach to our abilities, or play to our abilities. Give them credit, Coach (Dan) Quinn did a nice job. He had his guys prepped and ready to play. They played hard and physical and took advantage of the mistakes we made. They made some big plays when they had to. At the end of the day we weren’t good enough as a football team, and that’s the bottom line.”

On whether they took this team lightly: “No. We did not take this football team lightly. They had some things they did nicely, and you have to give them credit. They played a good football game. We didn’t play very well. Give Coach Quinn credit. He deserves it. Truth of the matter, we came in and played hard, they played better. They coached better. We have to do better at everything we do if we expect to win football games.”

On the defensive struggles on third down: “That was probably our biggest disappointment. We had some good third-and-long situations, and did not get to the quarterback. Again give them credit. Their guys made some plays with their feet and got outside the pocket a couple of times, the biggest one obviously the touchdown to Julio (Jones), and again credit to them. They did some things, stayed alive and made some plays.”

On how big was the defensive penalty on the Falcons' first drive of the game: “That was huge. That’s one of those things we will have to look at and talk to the league office about what happened, and what transpired and take it from there. There is nothing we can do about it. Again, they got out there and drove the distance on third down. We should have gotten off the field and we didn’t. I’m not making any excuses; they scored the touchdown and it’s 7-7. Bottom line, you’ve got opportunities you have to make plays.”

On the offense not being able to get going after their first drive: “We missed opportunities. We had some blocking we missed, some runs we missed, some catches we missed and some throws we missed. Again, we didn’t play very well, but you have to give them credit. They played hard, physical defense. Again this is who Coach Quinn is and what he likes. They did some good things against us.”

On his thoughts on the Julio Jones/Josh Norman matchup: “I thought there were some good things. Unfortunately for us a couple of their big plays stand out. They caught us in the right defense, and Julio had a couple big, deep plays. Obviously, the big one over the top for the touchdown. Again, it’s why he’s a Pro Bowl  player.”

On today’s game: “We lost. Credit goes to the Falcons. They made more plays than we did and at times, like Coach said, we played lethargic. We can’t just sit back and especially when we put ourselves in the position to be beat. We knew these Falcons were going to be exactly what they were today. We didn’t match their intensity at times, and they just made more plays than us. Shout to those guys, they played better.”

On why the offense struggled to get going: “We have to play better. That is unacceptable, specially this time of year. We have to be gelling and meshing together in better situations than we did today.”

On the fourth-down play at the end of the game: “It was a 50/50 play, but yet at the end of the day I wouldn’t expect the referee to make that type of call. He was well over five yards, but we shouldn’t have put ourselves in that type of situation. You are not going to hear me complain about not making that play. It shouldn’t have come down to that. Again, give a lot of credit to the Falcons, they made plays out there and we didn’t have the antidote for it.”

On losing the undefeated season: “It didn’t tickle.”

On how you shake off the loss: “Just come back and get ready for a week of practice. There are no magic words that need to be said. We don’t wave a magic wand or anything like that. We got our ass kicked today and to a degree we deserved it. Offensively, defensively, and special teams, I’m talking with a mirror in front of my face. There are some plays that we left out there. We knew it. Yet we know what we are capable of. We are 14-1 right now. We put ourselves in the situation where we can use this as fuel to the fire.”

On getting the ball back at the end of the game: “We didn’t do anything about it. It was kind of how the game was - we do something positive, stall out yet we know what we have to do. We are not going to feel sorry for ourselves, we will get back on board, get back on our feet. We will look at the film and not let this happen again.”

On the week of preparation and him missing practice time: “The same thing. I didn’t miss enough practice to have it be a problem. I left with five plays to clear that up. This week of practice, when Coach gives us opportunities and takes care of his guys like he has been all year. We can’t make him question if he should have or what he should have done in that situation. We have too much great leaders on this team. Too much riding on this season to sit back and say this week wasn’t important. That’s bullcrap. We had a couple great days of practice. We were completely off on Christmas, but yet knowing what we have moving forward and getting prepared for Tampa.”


On how the Panthers played: “We just didn’t play as good as them. That’s it. That’s what it came down to. It was a great gameplan. We just didn’t play as good as them.”

On what the loss feels like after being 14-0: “Losing is not fun. It’s been a while since feeling like this. We have to fix it, move on and get better from it.”

On what went wrong with the offense: “We just missed opportunities. A lot of third downs we left out there. We put ourselves in some bad situations. They just had more positive plays than us. We had some great opportunities, but we didn’t finish. The offensive line has to play better. I thought we did a great job with the run game, but we have to protect better especially with those championship- type drives at the end there to give ourselves a chance, but it didn’t happen.”


On the loss: “This is a minor little speed bump and not what we wanted to do to end our streak. We will look back and grow from this.”

On the end-of-game situation: “It’s not what we expected. It’s the NFL, and no one is going to give you a game. They played a good game and like I said, we will learn from it.”

On the missed opportunities: “Yes, every game there are always some things that you wish that you could take back. Whether it’s holding your block a little longer, or whatever. We are going to look back and get better from this.”


On the loss: “We picked a bad day to have a bad day. Obviously we knew that this was their Super Bowl, and that their whole season came down to this today. We wanted to win one game, and we are obviously disappointed that we didn’t. We played poorly. Give them credit. They did what they needed to do to win and we didn’t.”

On the difference between today and the game two weeks ago: “I just think that we picked a bad day to not play well. Thirteen points on offense has to be our lowest on the year, right? We were doing well and getting on their side of the field, but weren’t doing well in the red zone, other than the opening drive of the game when we took it right down on them. We just didn’t quite find that there at the end of the drives.”

On what plagued the offense: “I don’t know. Probably a multitude of things, but at the same time we aren’t going to panic or over react.  We are 14-1, and 31 other teams wished that they had our record. We aren’t going to sit here and act like the world is coming to an end. We are obviously disappointed as we wanted to win this game. There is no doubt that we gave it everything that we had. We just came up short, and that happens in the NFL. It will burn for a little while, especially if things go for us next week we will look back on this. That’s the nature of this game. It’s hard, it’s competitive and every team comes out and plays for their lives every week. We just picked a bad day to play poorly.”


On today’s loss and moving on to next week: “You get to move on. Tampa is another team that we have to get ready for. Doug Martin is a good player. I think Jameis (Winston) is playing better, and they have some guys on the edges that do a good job. We are still sitting in a good spot. We have a big game next week. We have to focus on winning it.”

On what to take from today’s loss: “Just learn from it. If you told us that we would be 14-1 at this point in the season, then everyone would be happy. Obviously, this is not what we wanted to happen. We want to win every game, but sometimes you have a little bump that you have to get over, focus on the next game, and learn from it. This is what we are going to do. We are going to learn from it.”

On the biggest takeaway from today: “We are not perfect, and that is the biggest thing. In the NFL, every team is good, every team can make plays, and every team has great players. You look at these guys, and they did a great job today. We just need to tighten some things up and give ourselves a chance to get a win next week.”


On the execution of the Falcons: “We reacted to the run, and they did a good job on play action and creating some open opportunities for their receivers.  Like I said, they did a better job executing than we did.”

On how they can improve from today: “We will go back to the film, correct some of the mistakes we made today, and we will be ready next week.”

On missing out on a perfect season: “That is something that is in the back of your mind. You think about it from time to time, but the focus is winning the game that you are playing that week. The game we played this week was against Atlanta, and unfortunately we did not win the game. It is not the end of our season, but it is the end of that streak and now it is time for us to do our job and start another one.”


On dealing with a loss: “In our most adverse times, God still smiles down upon us. Even through the adversity we had out there today, I do not think we had any injuries. I think the guys came out and fought hard, and even in our failure, we still give thanks. This is not going to define us, but it is only going to make us better in giving thanks and credit to all that God has given us. Even those guys had something in them, those guys fought a valiant game today, and they came out victorious. We know that, we understand that, and we just have to be better. We will get opportunities the next time.  Like I said, even though we struggled today, I still give thanks, and I am just so happy that nobody got hurt.  We will manage to press on.”

On the execution of the Falcons: “They did a good job understanding their game plan, working out their game plan, and executing it flawlessly. They went out and did what their coach asked them to do, and they got the job done.”