DENVER –The Broncos picked up a 45-21 win against the Washington Redskins in their final game before the bye week. Here's what Head Coach John Fox and some of the Broncos players had to say about it.
HEAD COACH JOHN FOX
On if he has any regrets about not going for it on a few short fourth downs
"Like all game decisions, they all look better after the fact, when you can make the call after the fact. I thought some fourth-down conversions were the difference in the game, the ones we did go for. And I'll leave it at that."
On the defense and the run game being big factors in today's win and if that's promising for the rest of that season
"Most definitely. I think without a doubt that was our best defensive outing. We challenged our guys all week, we had a great week of preparation. The Washington Redskins came in here with the No. 4 offense in the National Football League, so we knew they were explosive both running the ball and some big plays over the top that they'd done earlier in the game review. So I thought [the defense] responded great. They come in bunches as far, as those turnovers. To be honest with you, we left a couple on the table there in the first half. It's a good starting point. We got halfway through the season. As I told them, we're going to be smart. We're going to get some guys healthy and make the push for the second half of the season."
On if he thinks a week enough to get some guys healthy and back
"Yeah. We're taking tomorrow off, the staff will come in, the players won't. We'll practice without pads Tuesday and Wednesday. They're off Thursday through Sunday. Then we'll form back up the following Monday."
QUARTERBACK PEYTON MANNING
On 38 points unanswered
"I felt like that drive was crucial. We were down 21-7, we put our defense in a really tough spot with two turnovers back-to-back. The defense played great the entire game. We gave them an easy 14 points there. I thought that was critical to answer. I knew we couldn't get it all in one play, Washington was trying to make us go the distance. We had four possessions in the first half, all of them were 80-plus, some of them even 90-plus yard drives if we had scored. So we knew at halftime we were going to have to go the long haul. And we did. Those first two drives after the first two turnovers and were able to tie the game. That one to make it 21-14 was critical."
On tuning the ball over
"Well, it's disappointing. There's no question, because you feel like you put your defense in a tough spot. Those guys had a great game plan and executed it and all of the sudden we're down 21-7. The defense had not given up 21 points, they'd give up I guess seven. The offense had really, we really put our team in a touch spot. You do feel – I don't think frustrated is the word. I think determined is the word, to overcome those mistakes. And you don't do it by pressing and forcing things, you do it by going about your business and doing your job. I thought we did that and that was good to see."
On if DT Mitch Unrein is a legitimate pass threat
"Mitch is always a threat out there. Never know how the defense is quite going to play him, whether they're going to double team him or not (laughter). It's definitely good to throw a little wrinkle at the defense"
WIDE RECEIVER ERIC DECKER
On whether there was ever a feeling that the Broncos were in trouble
"No. We've always preached that we're one of the better second half teams. Unfortunately we didn't do enough in the first half and we put ourselves in some bad situations right away in the third quarter. But that thought never crept into anyone's mind. We knew if we just, one play at a time, did our job, everything else would take care of itself. The defense came up big tonight."
On the fourth down conversion where TE Joel Dreessen scored his touchdown
"It's schematically, too, what some of the coaches have put in. I thought it was a great play call in that situation. Washington is a team that is hard-nosed, is downhill and if you spread them out a little bit and do some trick-type stuff, we put them in a hard situation. I thought we converted well."
On the importance of the win
"Oh, huge win. I think this was a huge team win, in itself, because we were down 21-7 and we had those unanswered points to really seal the deal. I think you can rally around this game, you can look at it, learn from it. But again, you can go into the bye week with smiles on your faces and know that we played well and we can keep getting better."
DEFENSIVE TACKLE TERRANCE KNIGHTON
On the Redskins abandoning the run
"You know, when we score and the crowd gets going, it puts a little pressure on their offense. They tried to run it when they had the lead and we stopped it, and our offense kept scoring. It puts the pressure on them, so they had to go back to passing."
On the mentality after falling behind 21-7
"Like I said, (LB Wesley Woodyard) being our leader, he takes charge. He was telling guys, 'Keep your head up, get your hands off your hips and let's win this game.' We've got a lot of faith in him, we've got a lot of faith in ourselves and we're just happy we came out with a win and played that well."
On stopping Griffin III on the ground
"We were just trying to get pressure in his face. Our ends were doing a good job collapsing the pocket. Von gets a lot of attention, (DE Shaun Phillips) gets a lot of attention, so it puts a lot pressure on me and (DT Kevin Vickerson) to really get that push up the middle. Quarterbacks, if they can't step up and throw, they're uncomfortable – so we're just going to try to keep them uncomfortable all day."
LINEBACKER VON MILLER
On turning the game around
"A great team effort. I said last week, I'm proud of the way our guys fight. We were fighting all the way throughout the game and we were able to get some break that lead to score. I'm proud of my teammates. I'm proud of my guys and I'm proud of our performance today."
On his sack-fumble
"It just happened. Trent Williams is a great tackle and I was able to get by, sneak past him and (was) able to get the ball out. We had great coverage on that play too. There was no way if he was throwing it quick I would be able to get the ball out. So shout out to the secondary. It was a great team effort and I'm proud of our performance today."
On if this was the best defensive performance of the year
"I don't know. I know we can definitely get better. I don't think we've remotely scratched the surface of what we can be and I know if we keep taking it one day at a time, stick with the same mentality that we have, we'll be able to get there."
TE JOEL DREESSEN
On being able to contribute this week
"It was nice to go out there and contribute, you hate to see a teammate go down but that's part of it. The next guy has to step in and there can't be any type of drop off."
On his touchdown catch in the fourth quarter
"I'm just glad it stuck right to my chest, so it worked out."
*On how quickly this team can score points *
"That's exactly it. Defense was getting turnovers and giving us short fields. A couple drives there we turned the ball over ourselves and had to settle for field goals, too. So there are things we can definitely do better."