Possibly the closest Super Bowl matchup in history also poses the question: how much does it mean when certain aspects of an NFL team improve dramatically in the second half of the season?
20 Dec 2013
compiled by Rory Hickey
"We weren't going to count on getting any stops as we went into the ballgame. That's not being negative, that's just a strategy. As the game unfolded and we got a lead and we were stopping them, then we adjusted. What happened when we came back out frankly, we probably had to be shown that they were going to be able to score almost at will -- which they were in the second half." -- Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, after the Cowboys blew a 26-3 halftime lead to the Packers and went on to lose 37-36 (Eye on Football)
"I ain't going to take no credit for the kick, but my two yards probably helped out a little bit. I think it was a good call, a safe call. We were at least able to get Tucker a chance." -- Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, on his two-yard gain which set up Justin Tucker’s 61-yard game winning field goal on Monday night (Baltimore Sun)
"I felt like I got kicked in the head." -- New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan, on Justin Tucker’s game-winning 61 yard field goal that mathematically eliminated the Jets from playoff contention (The Star-Ledger)
"We've had a great 16 years. Sally said yesterday, 'four presidential terms.' So that's a long time. We have had a blast."
"I want to make sure everyone knows that I was treated fairly. I was told I could stay, but I don't think its best that I stay."
"This is a top five program annually. It could be the top job in the country, and you should be in the mix every year. There's great young players on this team, and the future's very bright. We're leaving it better than we found it, and it's been a fun ride." -- Former Texas head coach Mack Brown, at his final press conference (SB Nation)
"The last thing you want to be is embarrassed. And this is a team that, if you're not ready to play, they will embarrass you ... and then laugh at you about it." -- New York Giants defensive lineman Justin Tuck, prior to the Seahawks embarrassing the Giants 23-0 (ABC News)
"Tom Coughlin has done wonders for the Giants. Personally, I don’t know if I could play for him, but the guy is a winner, he is a fighter. But I think it is time for him to take his talents on the road. He’s done all he can do for the Giants. If he wants to coach, I think he needs to take his philosophies to another team. After a while, the players just stop listening. I respect the man, but it’s time. As much as I like Coughlin and the job he has done, it’s time for a shakeup." -- Hall of Fame New York Giant Lawrence Taylor, calling for an end to the Tom Coughlin era in New York (New York Post)
"I have to follow someone home, I need a GPS." -- Miami Dolphins defensive back Michael Thomas, who was making his first appearance for the Dolphins and intercepted Tom Brady in the end zone to seal a Dolphins victory (quote source)
"We make some good plays and we make plenty of sh*tty plays. Thank you." -- New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, in a 72-second postgame press conference after losing to the Dolphins (Eye on Football)
"Swagger. I'd have to go in the dictionary." -- Miami Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin, apparently clueless as to what the word swagger means (Sun-Sentinel)
"Am I playing for Jim's job? I think that's a part in it. Everybody wants to win. Owners expect winning. I don't want that coach to go anywhere. I love his scheme." -- Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, showing his support for head coach Jim Schwartz (FOX Sports Detroit)
"Would u like it if u slaved for someone 4 5 yrs then when you arrived @ adversity they abandon you & tell potential employers not 2 hire u?"
"Actually I encourage all students to go to Iowa. Hellava party school. Screwed up my morals. Student-Athletes should not attend IA under KF." -- Former Iowa wide receiver Derrell Johnson-Koulianos, on Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz. Johnson-Koulianos is planning to write a book about Iowa football (Dr. Saturday)
"This has been by far the worst officiated National Football League season in the history of the National Football League. I really think the replacement refs were doing a better job some time." -- Former NFL quarterback Shaun King, calling out the officiating in the NFL this season (Shutdown Corner)
"You feel like it's time for you to spark your team and you get so anxious and you see the ball go over your head again and again and you get frustrated." -- Denver Broncos kick returner Trindon Holliday, on returning kickoffs. 49.4% of all kickoffs this year have been touchbacks (Denver Post)
"This defenseless thing, I don't really know what it means. It kind of sets us back a little bit as a position." -- Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee, reacting to Bengals punter Kevin Huber suffering a broken jaw and a cracked vertebrae after getting laid out (ESPN)
"It's changed so much with the way the job has evolved over the years. A lot has to do with the popularity of the sport. So many people with opinions -- whether it be the Internet, talk radio, blogs -- those different outlets, they seem to influence owners. You just have to be careful." -- Minnesota Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier, saying that media seems to influence owners on coaching moves (Eye on Football)
"I thought it was hilarious. Even the guys in my own huddle were like, 'What are you doing?' I'm just glad nobody blindsided me as I was trotting down the field. That's the only way to keep from getting blindsided, out-run 'em." -- Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen, on filling in for long snapper Cullen Loeffler during the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game (St. Paul Pioneer Press)
"I absolutely could [come back], but it’s the end of the road for me. I put everything out there and I’m completely satisfied. I don’t have any regrets and I look forward to what’s next." -- Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez, confirming that he will be retiring at the end of this season (San Jose Mercury News)
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