"They played hard. It was a good week of preparation. The defense obviously had listened to enough and they played with good physical play. They made plays out there today and got a lot of stops... I could be standing here 17-16, but instead we're standing here with a loss, but I was pleased and proud of the way they played.... I thought we were in good shape when we challenged on the fourth and one inch play. I thought that [Odell] Beckham was over the line when he caught the ball. What the determination was there, I'm not sure. They just didn't have any evidence to overturn it. We should've got it on the fourth and one inch anyway, but we weren't able to do that."
On the four plays from the 4-yard line, was there any thought of kicking a field goal there? What were your thoughts?Score. Score while we're there. Here we are – four shots. I know what you're saying. Blame it on me, but we were going to try to score a touchdown right there. *Tom, the first three plays were fades. Did you have a problem with those plays? That's how we've scored a bunch of times. I have a problem that they didn't score. *
You said in hindsight you would've liked to run the ball. What was the line of thinking at that point not to run?
That's easy. Well, it wasn't that, it was to score. We did have some runs in the second half – not a lot, but we did have some decent runs. But we're trying to score right now.
Tom, what did you think of [Odell] Beckham's catch?
It was a great catch. What can you say? The kid made a play to give us a chance to win. We put ourselves in position to win.
At the end of the game, he [Odell Beckham, Jr.] threw his helmet down. Was that frustration, injury?
I'm sure it was frustration more than injury, I hope.
What was your thought on the onside kick? Was it something you saw on film, or just trying to get a spark?
We did and we had prepared for it. They played it pretty darn good. They weren't surprised by it, I don't think. The guy in the middle, when we started to shift and move, when he turned his body rather than stay squared to the kicker, I thought we had a good chance. It's risk-reward, but we didn't do anything with the ball. We ended up having to punt the ball.
Did they guard him [Odell Beckham, Jr.] differently?
They had a lot of zone coverage.
WR Odell Beckham Jr.You seemed frustrated after that fourth down play to end the game. What was going through your mind?
Just got to catch the ball, got to hold on to it. That is a play we have to make and I am just frustrated that I couldn't.* When you slam your helmet down, is that frustration over your play or just the loss in general?
I just love this game. Sometimes it's hard to control your emotions when you're in the heat of battle. Something I shouldn't have done, but it is just part of the game. You are okay, though? You were down for a minute, we weren't sure whether you were injured on the play or not.
Yeah, I am fine. *
That final play of the game, that was just frustration slamming your helmet down?
Yeah, absolutely. That is just the love the game, that is just the passion, in the heat of the moment. I shouldn't have done it, but it happened.* *
What did Colin Kapernick say to you when you guys exchanged jerseys?
Just, "you're a hell of player, just keep grinding, keep inspiring, and keep doing what you are doing."* *
QB Eli Manning
Is that a four-down sequence where you had to put the ball over their head a couple more times before…?
Yeah, you have four downs from the three-yard line, you expect to be able to score in that scenario. Disappointed, disappointed in myself. I could have thrown some better passes, some better balls. We could have made a play and gotten the lead right there.
What about on the first three throws on the goal line, they were all fades. What about a different kind of pass? Something in the back of the end zone, a pick, something like that? Is that a consideration?
Yeah, one of them we had kind of a pick play called, a roll out, but they were doubling Odell and keeping a lot of guys to that side. I had one-on-one to Rueben, so I took that one-on-one. They were doubling Odell down there a lot to his side and everybody else was one-on-one. We had some opportunities on some fades, we've been really good in those situations of hitting fades. We had some good looks at it, we didn't complete it today.
One of the interceptions, did the ball slip or…?
I just tried to pull it back. We had a little quick out to Rueben and the corner jumped it. I tried to pull it back and couldn't pull it back enough and it kind of slipped out and went to the linebacker.
You were under duress for quite a bit of the game. Justin Pugh goes out, how big of a factor was that?
Any time you lose an offensive lineman, it's going to be a factor. I thought Charles Brown came in and did a good job and competed. They're a talented front four and have good players. I thought we had opportunities to get the ball downfield and make plays. I thought our guys competed, we just fell a little short.
After that last one, you were by yourself for a while standing on the field. What was going through your head?
Just that hopefully the defense could get a stop and get us the ball. They were going to be backed up, there was still time to hopefully get the ball back and go score and get a touchdown and thinking about how this could be ugly but it could be a great win if we could get the ball back and go get a score.