LB LUKE KUECHLY
On how different was the chess match with Peyton Manning: "They did a good job that first series. They kind of jumped on us. They did a good job. Like I said all week, it's about playing your responsibility, doing your job and you can only worry about that so much. He does a good job, like everybody knows, switching the play up, putting them in a good spot to be successful. I didn't focus on that too much because he's so good at it, you just have to let it play out and do your job."
On the defense: "You just have to make plays on defense. We would have liked to force a couple more turnovers, they were good with the ball. They didn't put on the ground in the run game. We weren't able to get around the ball enough in the pass game. So it really comes down to turnovers and we would have liked to force a couple more."
On if he felt like the defense did what they needed to do against Manning: "He got them in position to be successful and that's what they needed to do. They had a good game plan coming out there. They were going to run the ball, they established that early on. He made throws when he needed to and that's what it comes down to, is people make plays in big, big points of the game. They made enough to go out there and get a win today."
On if there was a strong sense of belief during the fourth quarter when they were within six points: "Yes. It was a one-score game for a majority of the game and any time it's like that there's always an opportunity and regardless of the score our mentality the whole season is, 'Keep Pounding,' whether you're up, whether you're down, you have to keep playing. Like I said, for most part of the game it was a one-score game and we just needed to make a couple more plays and put ourselves in a position to be successful."
TE GREG OLSEN
On the team committing turnovers: "We played 17, 18, 19 games before, and I said that. We picked a really bad day to kind of have a meltdown. When we were on, we were moving the ball; we had things going. We had a couple big plays that sparked us, and then it just seemed whenever we had something going, (we had a) critical error, penalties, drops – obviously, the turnovers were huge. Not even the turnovers, but just that (they occurred at) inopportune times. Just as we were kind of fighting our way back in – for as bad as we were playing in that first half and pretty much through three quarters – to look up and only be down one score, it was a credit to what our defense was doing. But we just could never really find our way."
On why their offense struggled to find a rhythm: "I would say it's a combination of multiple things. Obviously, it's a very good defense. They force you to play at a very small, narrow margin for error, but again, a lot of what we had was just breakdowns in our own scheme, breakdowns in our own plays. So, hats off to them. We knew coming in that it was going to be a challenge with the guys that can get after the quarterback and the guy they have in the backend. We knew if it became a pass-happy game, that it'd be tough, but we obviously would have liked to have given it a little bit better shot."
On how he will move on from this loss: "It's going to take some time. Obviously, it has been an emotional season. It has been an emotional last few weeks. We're proud of how far we've come. We're proud of this team. We're proud of this organization, but we obviously were extremely disappointed. Of course we're disappointed that we lost. I just think we're disappointed in the way we lost. I feel like we never really gave ourselves even a chance. That's a tough pill to swallow."
LB THOMAS DAVIS
On if he thinks the team will be back at the Super Bowl again: "I think we know what it took to get to this point. We have a lot of work to do this offseason. It's never easy. It's never easy to just say that we're going to be back. We have to go out there and we have to work. That's what it boils down to. That's what we did all season long. It's really tough right now to be sitting in this situation knowing that we had the kind of season that we had, but ultimately we came up short."
On if it was more of what the Broncos were doing or what the Panthers weren't doing: "They executed. They executed their game plan. Their defense created more turnovers and more opportunities than our defense did. At the end of the day, that's what it came down to."
On if this game feels different than other games in which they were trailing: "It really did feel different. We put ourselves in situations to make plays and to get the job done. They just found ways at the perfect time to stop our drives, to stop our opportunities. Like I said, hats off to Denver. They did a really good job of executing. They were the better team today."
On if he thinks the team has the mindset that they can come back and win the Super Bowl: "That's definitely the approach. We feel like we still have a relatively young football team. It's all about us staying together. That's something that we've done when things haven't gone our way and that's something that we'll continue to do. We're going to stay together as a team. We'll come in this offseason, we're going to work our butts off just like we did last offseason and hopefully put ourselves in position to get back to this point."
CB JOSH NORMAN
On if he feels the defense was ready to play tonight: "Denver did what they needed to do to win tonight. They really did. Their defense played spectacular. Their offense played good enough and they played spectacular, and their special teams played spectacular in all three phases and they won the game. It's so gut-wrenching and hard to swallow that. There were chances and opportunities there and we just didn't capitalize on them and it's so hard to play one team and play the other one, it really is. You have to tip your hats off to them. They did their job, they really did."
On what he says to Panther Nation: "Keep pounding. Through everything, through this, it's obviously a difficult loss. Keep pounding, man. It will just make us stronger for next year and the years after that and just continue to push through everything and these obstacles because this won't really set in for quite some time. It's (Super Bowl) 50, the biggest one yet and I kept saying the same thing. It just sucks to be on the other side, it really does."
On if there was something that wasn't clicking with the defense: "I mean, we had our opportunities. We had our chances, and the other team sure didn't make it easy for us. Gosh, those guys, man. It's just hard playing two teams, it really is. Gosh."
On what he said to Broncos QB Peyton Manning at the end of the game: "He's one of the G.O.A.T.s (greatest of all time) man. He'll go down as one of the best at everything. I'm just happy to be in the game with him, to go up against him. This was probably his last hoorah. We were just trying to spoil it and we just came up on the end of the stick, but much respect to him and his future endeavors."
HEAD COACH RON RIVERA
On his current emotions: "Well just disappointment more so than anything else. We had opportunities. We didn't take advantage of it. They took advantage of their opportunities. They made some plays on the defensive side that put their offense in position to score points. That's what it came down to. They took advantage of their opportunities. We didn't."
On what he told his players after the game: "Well I told them, for the most part, is we've talked about getting to the mountain peak and obviously we're at the top of the mountain but we're not at the peak. This team out here played their way today, and that's why they won the football game. They did some really good things. Again, we didn't capitalize on the opportunities we had and because of that, they won the football game. So I told our guys just to – this is the same team that a couple of years ago got beat in New York. So we have an opportunity to grow and learn from this experience. So we need to learn from this experience and give ourselves an opportunity to get back here."
On turnovers by his team being caused by nervousness: "No, I wouldn't say that. I would just say we missed opportunities. We tried to put it in position to make plays and we had to look into other ways to put them into position to make plays. You got to give credit to what they did. I thought, again they did some really good things on the defensive side of the ball and made some plays. Pass rush was strong for them, and unfortunately we didn't capitalize when we got the ball down near our red zone. We can't turn the ball over in our own red zone."