clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

TRANSCRIPT: Los Angeles Rams HC Sean McVay, QB Jared Goff, RB Todd Gurley, RB C.J. Anderson, WR Brandin Cooks, LT Andrew Whitworth, DL Ndamukong Suh, CB Aqib Talib, S John Johnson, DL Aaron Donald post-game media remarks

Here’s what the Rams had to say after the historic win in the divisional round of the playoffs.

NFL: NFC Divisional Playoff-Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Rams Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Rams HC Sean McVay

(Opening remarks)

”Really, I just thought offense, defense, special teams were outstanding from the jump. So much respect for (Cowboys Head) Coach (Jason) Garrett and the Cowboys. That’s a really, really tough, good football team – a lot of great players, great coaches. So, that’s a big-time win for us. I thought the key was being able to hold them to 50 yards and being able to rush for over 270 (yards) tonight. We knew it was going to be a physical game. I thought (RB) C.J. (Anderson) and (RB) Todd (Gurley II) both were outstanding. I thought the offensive line was great from the start. (DT) Aaron (Donald) continued to make big-time plays at the right moments and really, that kind of personifies our team. Being able to get some key stops to close out the game. It’s a step in the right direction and then we’ll see who we play next week tomorrow.”

(On what it means to him to get his first playoff win as a head coach)

”It means a lot for this team. I think that’s kind of what’s special about it is to be able to see guys have that success and then be a part of it and be able to share it with them. That’s what’s so special about football. Talking about a guy like (T) Andrew Whitworth’s been playing as long as he has. To see him play at the level that he played at tonight and then to be able to get his first playoff win with these guys – his teammates that I know he cares so much about and loves these guys. Now, we’ve got a big game next week that we’ll get ready for starting tomorrow.”

(On the Rams being a running team and if he thinks they showed that in tonight’s game)

”I think that was a big part of what we wanted to be able to do and our guys were creating great movement. We were getting efficient runs on early downs, so you’re able to get consecutive ones off. When we had to throw it, I thought (QB) Jared (Goff) made some big-time throws. Guys came up in the clutch. I thought we protected really well when we did decide to throw it as well. You want to be able to be a balanced offense and we were fortunate throughout the year to be able to have some success running it or throwing it, based on what we felt like was the best way to attack. We had so much respect for this defense going in. It was a big challenge. I thought (Run Game Coordinator) Coach (Aaron) Kromer and the offensive line and our offensive coaching staff just getting a great gameplan together and then ultimately, the players executing was special.”

(On the Cowboys defense stopping the Seattle Seahawks’ run game last week and how remarkable it was to rush for 270 yards against Dallas tonight)

”It’s a big-time deal because, obviously, Seattle (Seahawks) led the league in rushing. They’re a great rush offense – very committed to it. But, we were able to do a couple different things tonight where, our players made the plays. That’s a great defense and tonight, our guys executed at a really high level. What else can you say but just great job by our players tonight.”

(On going for it on fourth-and-one at the goal line when they were only winning by eight points)

”I think, really, when you think about what our team is, we always talk about attacking success and never fearing failure. I think that really just personifies our team mindset and mentality. We wanted to come out here and play fearless tonight. We felt good about the opportunity to be able to try to punch that in from where we were at. C.J. did a great job leveling that thing off and the players delivered. But, that’s kind of been what’s kind of helped us get to where we’re at this year – is that aggressive mindset, but being smart about it. We had confidence that if we didn’t convert, our defense has them pinned back on the minus one (yard line). But, our guys did a great job getting some push and then C.J. put his foot in the ground and leveled off. That was big – to be able to go up right there two scores.”

(On the sequence where the Cowboys had two three-and-outs and the Rams responding with two touchdowns)

”That was a big sequence right there. I thought we were able to really control the game for the most part by being so efficient running the football – getting consecutive runs off. Any time that you have 48 carries, the clock’s going to run. Really, we were able to keep their offense off the field. They did a great job being able to match and score a touchdown on their first drive – made a big-time play. But then, I thought our defense tightened down and they played really well tonight.”

(On QB Jared Goff’s run on third-and-seven)

”That was awesome. Yeah, really, great decision by him. We had a little bootleg right there. They were in a man coverage principal. (Cowboys LB) Sean Lee did a nice job covering (TE) Tyler Higbee fast to the flat and Jared Goff showed his athleticism tonight. So, that was a big-time deal, to be able to convert with his legs, stay in-bounds, keep the clock moving and then being able to have a couple more runs where C.J. closed it out was outstanding. It was great to not have to put our defense back out on the field. Jared’s third-down conversion with his legs was huge.”

(On the dynamic with RBs Todd Gurley II and C.J. Anderson and the pressure they put on defenses considering they play with different styles)

”I think C.J.’s done a great job since he’s gotten here and then, obviously, we know what a special player Todd is. We thought it was going to be able to be a nice complement. If you told me that it was going to work out as well as it did tonight, I don’t know that I would’ve said that, but the guys did a great job. I think they are a nice complement to each other. C.J. leveled some things off and it was good just to get Todd back. You could see, when he put his foot in the ground for that 35-yard touchdown run, that looked like the guy that we’re accustomed to seeing. I think just getting his wind underneath them, not having played for so long, he was able to get a bunch of work – did a great job, was instrumental in the win tonight. But, those guys both did a great job and (Running Backs Coach) Skip Peete getting those guys ready – what else can you say about him but, what a great job he’s done, really, throughout the whole year.”

(On having two fourth-down plays within five minutes of each other – including the play where the Rams stopped Dallas from possibly tying the game and the Rams’ fourth-down conversion that led to a scoring drive, which extended their lead by two scores – and the positive momentum that ensued after both fourth downs)

”Yeah, it was big-time. I thought us to be able to punch it in from the 1-yard line on fourth-and-1 was big. Then, even earlier in the game when Jared had the sneak on the fourth down-and-1. We had some big conversions in some tight situations and the defense had some big stops, like they have really throughout the whole year. That again, was a big-time contribution to us winning that football game tonight.”

(On beating themselves in last season’s playoff loss and arguably doing the same on the beginning of the game, but then settling down and turning it around)

”That was big. I thought we moved the football down the field really well in that first drive and then on the third down, they brought a ‘double-A’ internal pressure. It was a bad play-call. I didn’t put our players in a good situation, so then we ended up having to settle for a field goal. Then, we thought we had the touchdown on the next drive when we end up throwing it on the first down. They did a good job forcing that out of (WR) Brandin’s (Cooks) hands and then we weren’t able to convert there. So, you’re starting to think, ‘Man, we’ve got to start punching these in, converting these field goals. We’ve got to score touchdowns once we get into the red zone, especially as we’re able to sustain some drives. But, thought the guys kept their poise – they kept it together defensively. They tightened up offensively. We did a great job. Those guys did an outstanding job. So, that does creep into your mind, but I thought as the game progressed, the way that we finished and the way that we played after those, was a great job by the offense.”

(On what made the Rams defense so good at defending the run tonight)

”Well, I think it was a great plan by (Defensive Coordinator) Wade (Phillips) and our defensive staff and then I thought the players executed. (Cowboys RB Ezekiel Ellitott) ‘Zeke’ is such a great football player. They’ve got great linemen. They’ve got a great scheme with the way they can attack you and then obviously, (Cowboys QB) Dak (Prescott) can beat you with his legs as well. So, there were some different things that we did compared to what we had done maybe the last month that I think was helpful. But, ultimately, it’s the plan from the coaches and then the players’ ability to be able to execute it and they showed up in a big way.”

(On what it was about Anderson that made him so confident in him and that Anderson would have such a big workload in a game as important as tonight’s)

”Well, the way he’s played the last two weeks – and I think, really, over the course of his career. He’s a guy that’s played in big-time games. You know that no moment is too big for him. This is a guy that’s had a big-time role and a Super Bowl champion team. He’s just got a great feel for the game. I think he did a great job again tonight. Was really just impressed with him from the jump – the way that he was able to come in, I guess it would be about a month ago now, and how quickly he was able to pick things up. Really smart, cerebral player and does a great job putting his pads down, finishing falling forward. He’s got a great feel to be able to put his foot in the ground tonight a handful of times when they over-pursued. Again, another 100-yard night for C.J. Anderson. So, that’s three in a row for him.”

QB Jared Goff

(On how good it feels to win against a team that many thought were bigger and more physical than them)

”It feels great, just running the ball the way we did. Two 100-yard rushers. It’s rare and it starts up front with those five guys up front. They played their tails off and then (RB) Todd (Gurley II) and (RB) C.J. (Anderson) followed. Whenever you run the ball like that, it takes a lot of pressure off the passing game and allows us to control the clock.”

(On how satisfying it is to win a playoff game now compared to where the team was two years ago)

”Yeah, it feels good. It feels good. And it really just feels good to do it with the people we have. Two years ago, or one year ago, is whatever it was. To be able to do it with this group, to do it with these people, these coaches and be able to pull off a win at home – playoff win – is big and it’s fun. It’s exciting and hopefully we can get a couple more.”

(On what it’s like to win a playoff game)

”It feels good. We won. We’ve got another game and are in the final four and guaranteed ourselves a spot. It’s exciting. You look forward to these moments all year and being able to get a chance to play in a game like this and play well and come out on top is always what you dream about. We’ve got hopefully a couple more.”

(On how much confidence the team has in Anderson right now)

”A whole lot, man. He’s been running his tail off and doing everything right. I think the last two weeks without Todd, he showed what he can do. Then, this week, having both of them is special and it gives you a real dual-threat of backs and different backs. Todd is obviously what Todd is – in my opinion the best back in the league and can do so many things. Then, C.J. comes in and knows his role and knows what we need him to do and protects and does all that stuff right. It’s just been a really good combo.”

(On if he felt more comfortable in the playoffs this year having gone through it last year)

”Yes, but not because of that game. I feel more comfortable because of having another year of football. That game was a year ago and it was 20 games into my career, rather than 36 or 37, whatever it is now. Just getting experience, getting experience in big moments, big games helps. Felt really comfortable though. Definitely more comfortable than last year.”

(On how big it is to not get sacked and how the offensive line is blocking for two 100-yard rushers)

”Yeah, that’s what I was saying in the locker room a minute ago. I was trying to think of a moment when I got hit – maybe once when I threw it. No sacks and then the way we ran the ball. When those guys are doing that up front, you’ve got a chance. They’ve been our catalyst all year and continue to be and are playing well right now.”

(On what was going through his mind when he took off on the third-down run)

”First of all, wanted to stay in bounds. Wanted to try to pick up the first down. If I didn’t have the opportunity to I was going to get down and try to use some clock. They got depth and I felt a lane and (TE) Tyler (Higbee) blocked it in there and just kind of spun inside and got down.”

(On what changed for the offense in the second quarter)

”Well, our defense is playing well. They were getting stops and then we were moving the ball on offense. Finding completions and running the ball well and just moving the ball down the field. Finishing drives with points is always good, even if it was a field goal those first two times. Just getting on the board, getting points, getting into a rhythm is always good.”

(On how it feels to be one win away from the Super Bowl and how they don’t let that engulf them this week)

”Yeah, you can’t. This was a big game and next week will be a big game as well. Honestly, for us, it’s just another game. It’s a big game. We’re in the final four. Like you said, one win away from the Super Bowl. We’re going to enjoy it, enjoy the moment, prepare our (expletive) off and do everything we can.”

(On what it was like to have Gurley back)

”Incredible. I mean you saw it. He was great. He was himself and you could see how fresh he was. I think, again, with C.J. in there, you can see how fresh they can both be when they’re both going. Todd is so special – such a special player, person, teammate. Any time he’s healthy and playing it’s an advantage for us.”

(On what Head Coach Sean McVay has done to help the team get to this point)

”He’s done a bunch of stuff. Just everything. He’s the head coach and has done everything from a culture standpoint. I think implementing that culture when he first got here and then hiring the right coaches, the right people and keeping everyone accountable. Keeping himself accountable. The way he leads is special. It’s something I’ve never seen before. His ability to relate to guys – from (T) Andrew Whitworth to myself to Todd and across the board and at the same time be that leader, be the voice that we need and be the accountability voice. It’s huge. Can’t thank him enough.”

(On what it’s like to get Whitworth his first career playoff win)

”Huge, huge. I was so excited for him. That’s something we kind of talked about through last year when we lost and then coming through this year. We need to get him his first win. We needed to get him his first playoff win. He’s been in – I think this is eight or nine (playoff games) for him now. It’s incredible. It makes it all worth it seeing his face after the game. I know he’s not satisfied with one though. I know he wants a couple more and so do we all. We’ll be ready.”

(On if there’s a possibility that Gurley’s injury and time to rest was a blessing in disguise)

”Yeah. I don’t think you ever want someone to be injured, but giving him that rest was huge. Being able to give him that rest and still win two games is huge. You could see how fresh he was tonight and how ready to go he was. He wanted more, he wanted more and C.J. was spelling him pretty good. But, he did a good job, man. He’s one of my favorite teammates of all time and he’s a great dude. Expect him to be good to go next week as well.”

(On if not throwing deep as much was a result of what Dallas’ defense was showing him)

”Yeah, I think so and I think just the way we were running the ball. As a quarterback, and I think the way Sean feels about it as well, is when you’re run the ball that way and our defense is playing that way, you don’t need to necessarily be so aggressive. There’s some sort of strategy that goes along with that. I’d say that’s probably the reason, along with they’re a good defense. They do a lot of good things in the secondary and up front with their pass rush. Our ability to counteract that with our run game and getting the ball out quick was our plan and it worked.”

(On if he’ll watch the Eagles-Saints game tomorrow and how he will handle it)

”Depending on what our schedule is tomorrow. I’d love to watch it, but if we’re in meetings I won’t be watching it (laughs).”

RB Todd Gurley

(On how he feels)

”I’m good.”

(On how his body physically feels)

”I feel good.”

(On what it feels like to win a playoff game)

”It feels good. Feels good.”

(On if it feels really good to win a playoff game)

”Real, real, real good. Great, actually. But, this ain’t shit. We still got one more. Keep winning, got to keep winning.”

(On RB C.J. Anderson and himself becoming the first pair of running backs in franchise history to go over 100 yards each in a playoff game and what the approach was coming into the game)

”No approach. O-line did a great job, they opened up holes and we just stuck with the run.”

(On it being said that Dallas was the more physical team and how it felt to be able to be the more physical team and how it feels to be one game away from the Super Bowl)

”It feels good. We were the one with the first-round bye they weren’t so, I tell you that. It felt good man.”

(On if it was somewhat of a blessing in disguise in the sense that he got to rest over the last couple of weeks and how he looked really fresh today)

”They do a pretty good job of taking care of us so, no matter if I was playing or not I would have been fresh either way.”

(On what it means to him to get his first playoff win)

”It means a lot. I’m really not trying to think about it honestly, but it’s a good feeling.”

(On why he’s trying to not think about it)

”It is what it is, this game is over with. On to the next.”

(On if he’ll watch tomorrow’s NFC divisional round game or if he just wants to know when it’s all said and done with)

”Yeah, I’ll watch the game. Ain’t got nothing else to do (laughs). So, I’m definitely going to watch the game.”

(On if he can talk about his touchdown)

”The Red Sea parted, and I ran. Those guys did a great job, Coach called a great play. Everybody did their job. I mean, all I had to do is just cut one time and just run.”

(On when the offensive line plays well and what that does for his confidence and the confidence of the entire offense)

”I mean when we dominate at the line of scrimmage, nine times out of 10, we’re going to win. Those guys have been doing it all year. We didn’t become a top-tier running back, leading the league in rushing – I didn’t do it by myself, I did it because of those guys. Just being with those guys everyday, being in meetings with them, (Run Game Coordinator Aaron Kromer) coach Kromer. It just makes everything so much easier for us. They always give the running backs the credit but you see what those guys did today, you see who led this team to a victory.”

(On the addition of Anderson to the team and what that does for him in the long run and being able to give him breaks)

”I guess it was a good thing I got hurt (laughs). (RB) C.J. (Anderson) got me, was able to come in and was able to do his thing. I mean he’s been doing his thing his whole career. The last three weeks been phenomenal, 100 yards each time, so we just going to keep it going.”

(On if he said anything to LT Andrew Whitworth since it was his first career playoff win)

”No, coach did though. He gave him a game ball.”

(On his offensive coaches and how they’ve had such a great offense play calling)

”Just complementary football. Defense does such a great job of stopping the offense and putting us in great field position. Like I said, it starts with controlling the line of scrimmage. Obviously, you want to have that balance between run and pass, whichever is working for us. Some game (Rams QB Jared Goff) J.G.’s going to light it up, some games the run game in going to be there and then some games it’s going to be both. So it’s just trying to find that balance. But (Rams Head) Coach (Sean) McVay’s been a great coach, obviously. He’s been able to make the playoffs his first two years coaching. You got guys like (Running backs) Coach (Skip) Peete, Coach (Kromer) ‘Krom’, (Assistant Offensive Line Coach) Andy (Dickerson), (Offensive Quality Control) Zak (Kromer), (Pass Game Coordinator) Shane (Waldron), I mean all those guys. Credit to everybody, I mean not even all the guys on the field. But it starts with the coaches and then we just follow their lead and go from there.”

(On the drastic change from the team two years ago to the team they are now and how they got to this point)

”Oh yeah, that’s just how the league goes. You’re not going to have a great year every year unless you’re the Patriots (laughs). But that’s the beauty of it for a guy like (LT) Andrew Whitworth that’s been in the league 13 years and this is his first playoff win. You can’t describe that. Just being in the league the first couple of years, not making the playoffs and then you got a guy like Andrew, like I said, that never made the playoffs and then you got rookies that’s on the team making the playoffs. Sot it’s definitely a blessing because we could be at the house chillin’ and partying like everybody else right now, but we’re still playing and that’s what we want to do. That’s the ultimate goal.”

(On if watching Whitworth accomplish his first playoff win make him appreciate it a little bit more)

”I’ve always appreciated him, man. Most guys in my position, I’ve been winning my whole life. So, when you’re in the NFL, you’re not going to win every game. The chances of that are slim to none so you just got to be able learn how to take those wins and those losses and just be able to get better each week and just bounce back from that. Like I said, just do one week at a time. That’s what we try to do, try not to think about it. Did that in the past and that didn’t end up well. So just going back to not trying to really think about the playoff win and just put this behind us. Obviously, we got to watch film and see what we got to get better at but just take it day-by-day and just keep trying to get better.”

(On how having a bye week helped with being able to self-scout and prepare for this week)

”Bye weeks help, especially if it’s another team playing. I don’t know how they felt, but who wouldn’t want to have a week off instead of play? We had the right approach. (Senior Director of Sports Medicine and Performance) Reggie (Scott), (Director of Strength Training and Performance) Ted (Rath), they had a great plan for us -- and Coach (McVay). We didn’t treat it as a bye week. We treated it as a prep week. I didn’t practice, but we had a padded practice and we were able to get stuff done. We weren’t just, just slumping around and not getting stuff done. We were working on the fundamentals of our offense, making sure we were focusing on the little things. Obviously, that helped us get the win today.”

(On how his mentality was fine-tuned from last year’s playoff game)

”I don’t even, honestly, remember last year. I just know this is a new year. We were able to just come in, lock in. You could just tell. Just looking at (CB Aqib) Talib today -- him and (CB Marcus) Peters. It’s just like, ‘This is it.’ This is the reason we traded for you. This is the reason we traded for Peters. This is the reason we signed (CB) Sam Shields, we signed (DT Ndamukong) Suh, to be in this position like this. Obviously, every team is Super Bowl or bust. That’s why we -- (General Manager) Les (Snead) and Coach -- made all those offseason decisions. We were able to come together as a team and just keep finding ways to win.”

(On if he can allow himself to think about how the next win could catapult the team into the Super Bowl and if he can use it as motivation next week)

”Definitely, different strokes for different folks. However, you want to look at it, as long as you come in next Sunday and give it your all. The chance is slim to none. Like, to be able to even play for a Super Bowl is crazy, man. It is crazy. I can’t even really explain it right now. It’s just like when my boys say when I talk to them. I go to the Super Bowl and I just talk to those guys. Talked to (Eagles WR) Nelson (Agholor) last year, (former Patriots WR) Malcolm Mitchell and it’s just like, ‘Man, how does it feel?’ It’s a good feeling and we’re just getting a glimpse of that feeling. Definitely something you’ve got to think about because it’s so close. But, we know what we’ve got to do as a team and as players and coaches to get that win to be able to go there.”

RB C.J. Anderson

(On how satisfying it was to run through the Cowboys defense today)

”It was just fun. Big boys played really great up front. Me and (RB) Todd (Gurley II) just tried to pick the right spots. Like I said, when Todd wants a rest, you just try to not miss a beat.”

(On what has allowed him to fit in so well with Gurley)

”I just think our game is a lot different from each other. Obviously, he’s one of the best running backs in the league. Just trying to make my snaps count. It’s good to see how we complement each other and try to keep defenses off balance as much as we can.”

(On if he could have imagined being in this spot a month ago)

”It’s how you handle things. For myself, I just always kept my head down and kept pushing. I always believed in my ability and what I could do. It’s not like I haven’t been in these positions before. It’s not like I haven’t been a 1,200-plus yard back, all-purpose – or a 1,000-yard back in this league, a Pro Bowl back in this league. I’ve always found a way to hold my own no matter what. I’d describe it like that.”

WR Brandin Cooks

(On Head Coach Sean McVay being the youngest coach to win a playoff game and the entire coaching staff)

“You talk about a guy like that, he’s so special. Words can’t even explain the type of guy that he is and what he brings to this team and the rest of the coaching staff. The confidence that he has in us the players speaks wonders for sure.”

(On his thoughts heading into the next game and being one win away from the Super Bowl)

“First of all, find out who we play, but just take it one day at a time just like we did this week. Play situational football, be detailed, and just play our game.”

(On if he felt like the offense got back on track tonight and looking like how they did earlier in the season)

“Yeah, it’s just one of those things. We didn’t beat ourselves. Not too many mental mistakes. I think when you do that you set yourself up to be successful.”

(On how he feels on the offensive line)

“We don’t talk about them enough. The way that they come to work every single day and what they do out there on that field. They are the driving force to this offense and it shows on games like this.”

LT Andrew Whitworth

(On how satisfying it is as an offensive guy to have a successful running attack against what was arguably the best run defense in the league)

“You know what, I feel like we think we can run the football on anybody. We were confident coming into this game that we could do it. It took a team effort. Hats off to (Run Game Coordinator) Coach (Aaron) Kromer, (Head Coach) Sean (McVay), and all the offensive staff with the plan, and then guys going out and executing it.”

(On how it feels getting his first playoff win)

“It’s great, but you know what, I feel like this team has potential for more than that. So it’s a great feeling and I’m happy to have it, but I didn’t try to get to the playoffs to just win a playoff game. I’m trying to win a Super Bowl. That’s the only focus and now we are one step closer.”

(On if there is difference in player confidence this year compared to last year)

“No, not really. I think we just executed. I thought last year we didn’t execute very well at all. It was probably our worst game we played all season from an execution standpoint. This year that was in Chicago. I think in some ways it’s benefited us to get that game out of the way, and to kind of have a recheck, and say, ‘Alright, how do we build ourselves back into what we really started this season?’ I feel like we are on that path.”

DT Ndamukong Suh

(On the play he made on fourth-and-one yard to go)

“It was just a bang-bang play. I saw what they wanted to do, played off the center and tried to close up the gap. My hands were tied, so I guess I went head first. It was a bang-bang play.”

(On the defensive plan to stop Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott)

“It was a goal for us. We understood that teams felt they could run the ball on us, a big emphasis for them. I watched a previous playoff game against Seattle. He was obviously dominant and probably one of the reasons why they won that game. Our focus was to shut him down and obviously get after the passer.”

(On his thoughts about this coaching staff and the entire team)

“(Head Coach) Sean (McVay) is great. I came here for a reason. The great feelings that I had with him when I sat down for my visit and all that stuff is coming to fruition, so it’s up to us to go out there and execute. Our coaching staff as well as Sean. Our whole defensive staff comes up with great game plans. We just have to go out there and execute. We do that, and we’ll be successful.”

(On the environment out tonight and what it felt like to get a playoff win for LA)

“The environment was great. We appreciate all our fans. Hopefully we get another home game here soon, we’ll have to watch tomorrow. They did a tremendous job, they were nice and loud and we appreciated that. A lot of fun.”

CB Aqib Talib

(On the defense stepping up to hold Ezekiel Elliott to less than 50 yards rushing)

“We put emphasis on it this week. Of course it was a lot of talk in the media but we just said, ‘Man, it’s postseason. Nothing else matters but this game.’ We prepared for it. Wade (Phillips) did a good job of getting us ready and setting ourselves up to succeed and that’s what we did.”

(On the offense being able to control the ball and keep the defense off the field in the first half)

“It was great. Seeing that one-two punch, back-and-forth run game, it was clock work. Sean (McVay) dialed it up, the offensive line did their job, and the running backs ran the ball hard.”

(On the confidence the run game gives them going into next weekend’s NFC Championship game)

“That’s the key. We know that January football is about running the ball and playing defense. Everybody knows that. You look at all the past Super Bowl Champions, that’s what it’s about so that’s what we put emphasis on, that’s what all four teams next week are going to put emphasis on. It’s who ever comes out and executes the best.”

(On the fourth and one stop in the fourth quarter and what that meant to the defense)

“It was huge, a key point in the game and a huge stop for us. And a great job by our offense. It’s times in a game like that that where the momentum kind of shifts and it went in our favor.”

S John Johnson

(On what gave them the confidence defensively that they were going to be able to stop the run)

“We’ve been flashing all year. We’ve been playing well all year it was just time to play great and I think we did that today. We had a few mistakes that we got gashed on but we can get those fixed. For the most part we played well. It’s been there all year we just had to limit the mistakes.”

(On what it does for the defense when the offense is running the ball effectively)

“We have the most confidence in the world in our offense. That last drive, we knew we were going to get a first down. We were ready to go on the field, but I kind of knew they would get a first down, a couple first downs. As a defense, that just gives us the drive to go out there and prove them right as well because they have confidence in us too.”

(On what was going through his mind on the fourth down play in the fourth quarter and what it felt like to get a stop)

“We’ve been standing up in crunch time, big moments all year. It was kind of routine and hopefully we can carry it on into these later games.”

(On being one game away from the Super Bowl)

“The next game is the biggest game, that’s the Championship game. People don’t understand that that’s a huge game as well. We’re locked in on that and once we get there, we can focus on the biggest game.”

DT Aaron Donald

(On what made the defense so good against the run today)

“We did our job. Stayed gap sound, got out there and made plays. That’s what it’s about.”

(On how tired he was of the narrative that the defense couldn’t defend the run)

“We just did our job. We didn’t worry about anything else. We just played out football. It’s playoff football, win or go home and we know that, we knew what we had to do. The most important thing is that we won. We get to play next week so we have to get ready for that.”

(On how big the fourth and one stop was at the beginning of the fourth quarter)

“It was really big for us. Anytime you can change the momentum and switch the momentum like that, make a fourth down stop and put the offense back on the field, that’s what it’s about.”

(On being one game away from the Super Bowl)

“One game, we just have to keep working, stay focused, get ready, see who we play next week, and get ready to go.”

(On if guys from the team last year talked a lot about the playoffs coming into this game)

“No, it’s a new year so no one really spoke on it we just knew what we had to do this year. We needed to play mistake-free football, play as a team, finish strong and we did that.”

(On the energy in the building tonight)

“It was loud. It kept us in there and when we needed them to get loud they were loud for us. That helped us a lot.”