Extra Points

Shanahan’s take

Post-game comments from Denver coach Mike Shanahan

(Opening statement)
“It’s always nice to win against a team that you know, you’re going against the best, from a coaching standpoint –- offense, defense and special teams. I have the utmost respect for what they’ve done and we feel really fortunate to come away with a win against a team that has played at that level consistently for a number of years.”

(On the Patriots’ performance)
“They know what they’re doing, they are very well coached, they play extremely hard, they play good rush-defense, especially in the second half of the season when they were healthy. In order to beat a team like that you have to make some plays. You have to make some turnovers. Our guys played hard. They played with a lot of heart, they played a full 60 minutes. You’re going to have your ups and downs in a game like that, but you have to find a way to make some plays when it counts, and we found a way to do that. They didn’t really blitz a lot. They changed it up, they were blitzing about 25 percent going into the game. They just keep you off balance. You’re not sure if they’re playing zone or man-to-man. But they do play the running game with their front seven. It was obvious through the game. We didn’t get a lot of yards rushing, but we tried to keep them honest with the run. We got some good field position and therefore we got some points.”

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(On Champ Bailey’s interception return)
“Well, we have the game ball out and he got the game ball, so that gives you an idea of what I thought about that play. That was a turning point of the game, obviously. They were driving down and had a chance to go up. Champ’s a great player. He made a big-time play when it counted. Great players do that.”

(On crowd noise)
“Talk about having an advantage. Talk about the 12th man. With the pressure we got on Brady and the ability to cause as many penalties as we did is a reflection on our fans. They had an impact on a lot of plays.”

(On turnovers)

“Before the game I said the most thing was not turning the ball over and getting turnovers. We were able to do both.”

(On winning a playoff game without John Elway)
“John is a great player and I think John will be the first to tell you that it takes a complete team. I thought when we came back here we were able to do something as a team, obviously starting with the fact that John is such an incredible athlete, but the supporting cast really gave him the chance to do something very special. That’s the reason we won today. It was a group of people playing together and playing extremely hard.”

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(On Jake Plummer’s performance)
“I thought Jake did a good job. He managed the game. He kept his composure. Obviously, we couldn’t get the running game going, which put a lot of pressure on him. The one he threw to the sideline that was reviewed and they got –- that was really the only mistake that he made.”

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