I'll start with the injuries. Korey Hall had a knee sprain. He did not return. Atari Bigby had a groin strain and did not return. With that, I'll take your questions please.
(I know you haven't looked at the film yet, but when you do, will you be surprised if that isn't one of your better pass protection games of the season?)
Yeah, I'll just say this: I thought we commanded the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, particularly on offense. When you're calling plays, that's something I particularly pay a lot of attention to. And the ability to run and throw the football, particularly in normal down and distance, I thought it really benefited our play-action game, our fake game. I thought Scott Wells and the offensive line really set the tempo today and even on the other side, I thought our defensive line commanded the line of scrimmage. We knew this was going to be a battle that started up front and I don't need to see the film to say that we definitely commanded that battle.
(Given what happened the last time they were here, was there any satisfaction or vindication in that you were probably the more physical team today?)
Well, when we walked out that locker room, there were two things we said we were going to do. We were going to be more physical than our opponent and we were going to be more disciplined than our opponent. We feel that we accomplished that. But '07 was a different time. They got to play in the Super Bowl, I think that speaks for itself.
(Would you qualify this as your most complete game of this season so far?)
I would say it definitely ranks up there as one of our most complete games. I thought we performed very well in all three areas. The field position was a little bit in their favor earlier and I thought Tim Masthay at a big point in the game changed the field position with the big punt. Six turnovers, that says a lot about our defense and special teams. It was a major emphasis for us. We just felt that we weren't doing a very good job the last two weeks taking care of the football and weren't getting enough takeaways. We were able to accomplish that today. We knew there was going to be big-play opportunities, there always is in these playoff-type games, and we definitely had our share of big play opportunities and point production, time of possession, and all the key statistics that you're looking for. But it starts up front. We had tremendous energy. We had an excellent week of practice. I'm a big believer in that preparation carries over. I love the mindset of this team. These guys step up week in and week out and we've got a big one here in seven days. It can't get here fast enough.
(Does it feel like a playoff win?)
Absolutely. You have to put it in that category. We had no choice. Our record is what it is and to have an opportunity to play at home, I can't say enough about our fans. I thought they were tremendous today, just able to get out in front there early. I thought they played a big part in our success. Everybody knows what the score is. We're at nine wins and we must get to 10 wins to get in the tournament.
(You've seen your quarterback have some good performances over the past couple years. How would you characterize this one, considering what he went through?)
Well, it's one of his better ones because I pay more attention to the decisions and the ball accuracy and some of the type of the small, detailed things that he does. I thought he was extremely sharp especially after not playing last week. He did an excellent job at the line of scrimmage, keeping us in favorable down and distances, and when the big-play opportunity presented itself, him and Greg Jennings, Donald Driver, Jordy Nelson, all the way through, were able to convert on those plays.
(When you threw downfield-and you threw downfield quite a bit-was that Aaron making that decision based on what he saw, or did you see something that you could attack?)
Well, defense dictates a lot of times where the ball goes. They are an aggressive team defensively, the way they line up and challenge you schematically. They get a lot of production out of their front. I think it goes once back again to the fine performance we had by our offensive line today. It created the one-on-ones, the time clock needed for us to take advantage of those one-on-ones on the outside.
(You had more than 500 yards of total offense. Is that the most efficient the offense has been?)
I would say so. It seems like every time I come in here I have to talk about something negative. We had the one fumble inside the red zone so let's get that out of the way. But other than that, I don't know if you can play much better than that on offense. 45 points says a lot. We score 45 points, especially with our defense, we expect to win significantly.
(Speaking of red zone, has your game plan been to specifically get John Kuhn more in the mix there?)
Well, when we have a red-zone meeting, we don't sit there and talk about John Kuhn, but I think our fans think we do. I'm a little nervous about that. He's put together two outstanding football games. John is one of the veteran leaders on our team. He's a tough guy, he's a detailed guy, he's a smart guy. He knows what to do when you put him in position to be successful. He had three touchdowns today, that's outstanding.
(Aaron was only sacked once today, I believe. They are the second-leading sacking team in the league. You have to be happy with how that turned out.)
Offensive line. Scott Wells set the tempo in the pregame. He was the captain that called up the team in the locker room beforehand. Those guys were ready to play. They were sick and tired of hearing about how tough the Giants were all week, and they took it personally. Make sure you do that again this week, because it worked. But they came out and played big today. I was proud of our offensive line and proud of our defensive line, because we knew we had to do a very good job in the trenches because that's where this game was going to start. We were able to shut them down running the ball. They got a little bit one-dimensional when the score, when we were able to get out in front of them. That's what you want to do at home, and the takeaways come and the game fell in place for us.