(Mike, what do you say to your team after a first half like that?)
I'll tell you exactly what I told them. I told them at halftime that this second half was going to be a turning point in our season. It was important for us to go out there and turn this game around and make a run and win this game. I felt that was happening there in the third quarter. We played very poorly in the first half on special teams and offense. I thought the defense played well outside of Johnny Jolly's personal foul down there that extended the drive. I thought there was a lot of positive things...I thought we didn't tackle as well in the first half as we could.
(Having said that, going into the second half, losing the game, what are your feelings now, going forward?)
It stings. You know, losing at home doesn't taste good. I felt terrible for our fans. I thought they were tremendous tonight. I thought the way they were behind this football team... And I'll go back to the third quarter again, I felt the game had really flipped and you need to ride those waves. Especially at home. That's the benefit of playing home football. That's the benefit of playing here at Lambeau Field. We didn't take advantage of that. That's a lesson that needs to be learned. We made too many mistakes to win the game and that's a fact. I didn't do a very good job of getting the offense in rhythm in the first half. The run and pass mix was a starting point. The special teams did not play very well. Partially, Percy Harvin was obviously a big factor in the game. I thought his third quarter return was a huge play in the football game. And defense, we didn't keep them out of the end zone there in the second half.
(What was Jolly thinking of on that play?)
Frankly, I didn't see it. I was told what happened. Not very smart. We had them stopped. Personal fouls in that situation and the way it happened, from my understanding, it's unacceptable, to extend the drive like that and it cost us four points.
(How tough was the decision on fourth and seven to go for a 51-yard field goal attempt?)
What bothered me on the fourth-and-7 was the second-and-2. We didn't do what we were supposed to there and it resulted in an extended third down. I felt that fourth-and-7 with the wind, just with the information that you go with from Shawn and Mason during the course of the game, the obvious was we wanted to make it to a three point game.
(What did you think of your young offensive tackles?)
I'm going to have to look at the tape to give you an honest assessment. I did not want to play this type of game with those tackles. I thought they battled for the most part. We'll look at the sacks again. I mean, 14 sacks in two games, obviously it's a very positive for the Minnesota Vikings, and a huge negative on our part. That's a big part of not being in rhythm, to play with the up and down, down and distances like that, it's hard to overcome.
(Clifton and Tauscher were inactive. Were they available?)
Yeah, they were available. Those are things you talk about, but obviously I made the decision to stay with the two young guys.
(What happened on that second-and-2? It looked like TJ was expecting some help on that.)
It was something to do with the declaration of the protection. So, that was the result of it. Miscommunication.
(What did you think of the pressure on Brett?)
Well, that's a strength of his and playing with the run game that they have and the ability to get the ball out of his hands, we didn't get much pressure obviously in the first half. I felt that Dom was spinning the pressures there. We've got to do a better job winning the one-on-ones. As coaches we've got to look at the things that we've done. Hopefully we'll have another crack at these guys down the road. We've got a lot of information. I just felt that the first half, everything that we did wrong, they took full advantage of it. Whether it was the penalties we had, they had zero penalties two games in a row, zero penalties at halftime. We've just, we've never led in both games. And you talk about applying pressure, well, getting a lead at home would definitely help you.
(Was Aaron in the second half, a matter of more time or was he doing a better job of buying time with his feet?)
Combination of both. He does a good job of you know, the in-pocket and out-of-pocket movement, that's definitely a strength of his, especially for how young he is in his career. I thought he did a good job of extending plays when he needed to and letting our perimeter guys work on their secondary.
(What's the injury report?)
Injury report, Brandon Chillar broke his hand. He did not return. Martin had a head injury, did not return. Nick Collins did return with an ankle. Driver had a shoulder, returned after one play. And Greg Jennings got the wind knocked out of him.
(The Vikings have a significant lead in the division. How much is Brett responsible for that?)
I mean, he's playing at a high level. I think his numbers reflect that and I thought he had a fine performance tonight.
(What did you think of Aaron's performance overall?)
I thought he battled. Very productive in some tough spots. We'll look at the decisions. I'm sure there's good reasons why he did the things he did in the spots that we'll talk about. We did not want to be as lopsided this evening run and pass.
(Is that a function of score?)
Function of the game. Function of not scoring early. Function of getting behind. Function of getting the ball to the perimeter. With our perimeter guys you can make an argument to throw it 55 times a game.
(That kickoff to Harvin in the fourth quarter that he ran back, was there a thought to squib it to him?)
Yes sir, there was definitely thought in that.
(The reason you didn't go that direction?)
That's part of the game. Frankly, the ball was supposed to be on the ground on that particular kick. Mason slipped on the kick and the ball was hit the way it was hit.
(Outside of the obvious going to Tampa next week, where does the team go from here? You talk about the season in quarters, you're almost to the midway point in the season.)
Well, it was talked about after the game. These division games are worth a game and a half, sometimes two. So, you know, this was a tough one. No doubt about it. It was a tough one for everybody. Tough one for our fans. Once again, I can't say enough about the way...I think that was the loudest I ever heard it here in Lambeau, frankly. I'm talking playoff games and so forth. I was so impressed with the fans tonight. But we need to get ready. Tampa is a different opponent with new coordinators and a new head coach down there. So, we've got to make sure we're prepared for those guys. Winning on the road is always tough. But the opportunity to go 3-1 in the second quarter to put us at 5-3 at the halfway mark, that's our goal.