Quotes and locker room sound from the Seahawks following the team's 36-20 Divisional Round playoff loss to the Falcons in Atlanta.
Head Coach Pete Carroll
(Opening...)"It's really hard to finish a season like this with so much out there that you come for. You come for an opportunity to get a win, you keep going, move this thing forward, and our guys came to go. I was really fired up that we came out smoking, moving the ball and doing the things we wanted to do. We really had a chance to take this game into a whole different kind of storyline and we weren't able to capitalize on it. We missed out on an enornmous turnaround with a big return and the field position and all that stuff and they answered really well. So it's hard to end it like this. If I can't describe it really well, maybe in the next couple of days I'll be able to explain it to you.
"I love the way this team fought all season. I love the way they battled. We had trouble getting over the hump for millions of reasons. We couldn't capture what the way we wanted to but we kept fighting and clawing and scratching to give ourselves a chance and be here, gave ourselves a chance to win this football game today. But Atlanta won today and they played a very good football game. I was really impressed all the way around. They didn't turn the ball over, they took care of it on third down, did their thing, and their strong guys came through — the quarterback played well, the running back game was plenty good enough, their big receivers did what they needed to do, and so they got the game they deserved, quite honestly."
(On the biggest challenge the Falcons offense presented...) "They just functioned really well. They mixed well, they caught the ball well. They did a nice job. Got some guys open on us. It wasn't down field big plays and stuff, it was a lot of catch and run stuff, good design, things that got us — a few mistakes in there, as always — but I just thought that the mix was really good. They didn't run for a lot of yards today, but they ran well enough and they ran with authority I thought, and I thought that was a very impressive part of it. Somewhere in the fourth quarter they were pounding us pretty good and we needed to stop them. It was hard to stop them. I just think they functioned really well and they played like they play when they play well. They've got a lot of momentum — this is what they've looked like the last four weeks — and they carried it over to our game."
(On what you saw offensively after a quick start...) "It got harder. The field position got harder and each team took care of the ball for so long there weren't a lot of opportunities so you needed to go and score. The way the field shifted when we got the ball back we were backed up and they took charge of the field. Again, very impressive on their part and we weren't able to get them stopped. I don't know what their third downs were but they must have done okay."
Quarterback Russell Wilson
(Opening...) "Obviously a tough situation, a tough loss. The Atlanta Falcons did a great job; they're a great football team. Matt Ryan is a great QB and they played a great game. Happy for Coach Dan Quinn; He deserves it. He's a great coach and a great person. In terms of us, it seems very, very similar to five years ago and that's a good thing. Coming off the field I was like "man we still got the same great guys, we still have the same great coaches. We still believe in everything that we're doing and there's no doubt.' This year was a little bit tough, we had a bunch of injuries from myself to other guys, and we still battled through and were still able to overcome situations. We were still able to obviously be here today and we had a chance. We had some big, big plays that unfortunately got called back and we got a little crazy there. Unfortunately, it wasn't our night, we believe that next time we get to step on the field it's going to be our day, and hopefully for the whole season. There's a lot of confidence in our locker room, a lot of belief we still have great players, we still believe in what we're doing, and we still believe in the 12."
(On whether he has the same hunger as he did in 2012...)"I'm probably even more hungry. You love the game so much, you know what it takes, you're passionate about your job, early mornings, late nights, and the offseason; doing everything you can to be committed to be great so we're a little disappointed obviously to not have won tonight but the good thing is you still have all the fire and passion and love for the game. And even more. So I'm looking forward to what's ahead. I think the best is ahead."
Cornerback Richard Sherman
(On the outcome...) "They just played a good game. We didn't execute like we should have and they came out with the win."
(On Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan...) "He was just throwing the ball. It was lack of focus and attention to detail on our side."
(On Atlanta's offense...)"They do a lot of things well. Quarterback gets the ball out, he doesn't turn the ball over. That'll do it."
(On if there's a confident feeling surrounding the team similar to last year's playoff exit...) "Yeah, a similar feeling. We've got all the pieces we need to get the job done, so we feel great going into next year."
Linebacker Bobby Wagner
(On the challenges of facing Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan...) "He's really accurate. He was getting the ball out. He was finding the open guy every time. He was playing at a high-caliber level. That's the reason why he's in the run for MVP."
(On how much more this defense can grow...) "I still feel we're a great defense. I still feel like we have room to grow. We just have to learn from this. This season is pointless if we don't learn from what happened."
(On his career-year...)"I think right now it's kind of hard to look back and think about. I hate losing, so all the great year and things of that nature is cool, but I hate losing."
Defensive Tackle Ahtyba Rubin
(On taking away the Falcons run game for a majority of the afternoon...) "It just makes them one-dimensional. You take away the run and they have to throw the ball, so hats off to them. He's a great quarterback and he did his thing, got the ball in the end zone, and we couldn't get it out of the end zone, so kudos to them."
Strong Safety Kam Chancellor
(On the performance of Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan...) "Matt Ryan played like Matt Ryan. We could have covered better, could have got off the field more on third down, there's a lot of things we could have done better — could have fitted better on the runs, could have tackled better. … Hats off to them. They played a great game, executed. They played well, they played hard. They played together."
(On the defeat...)"We did want to make it to the Super Bowl like every team that's in the playoffs. That's the final goal, but you have to take it week to week; and this week we didn't execute well, we didn't stay together the whole game. We believed but didn't stay together from an attitude standpoint. We got too caught up in things that they were doing, and it kind of took away our energy from us, but hats off to them, they played well."
Wide Receiver Paul Richardson
(On what worked so well during the team's first drive that ended in a touchdown...) "We were clicking on offense. We were converting third downs, we were moving the chains and guys were excited. We did that together and that's why we were able to punch it in on the first drive."
(On why that first drive was hard to recapture later in the game...) "We didn't overcome our mistakes. That's another NFL team. That's a great team. … They overcame theirs and we didn't overcome ours and they capitalized on our mistakes and they came out on top."
(On when the team felt a comeback wasn't possible...) "At no point. We were encouraged the whole time. We just didn't finish well. At no point did we think that a comeback wasn't possible. We were still fighting the whole time."
(On coach Carroll's message to the team...) "That it's not over. Maybe the season might be, but our drive and push to where we want to be as a team is not over."
Defensive End Cliff Avril
(On the Falcons offense...) "They had a great game plan. They were getting the ball out fast, we missed a few tackles and what not, and that's really, essentially what we messed up on on defense."
(On how the Falcons' quick passing game impacted the pass rush...) "For us as rushers it can get annoying. It can get frustrating if you pass rush and they're getting the ball out fast. But when they do actually hold it you've got to get after them."
(On coach Carroll's message to the team...) "Keep chopping away. We have a great team. It's unfortunate the way the season ended, but we have the right guys, we have the right personnel. Continue to keep getting better, and that's all we can do. The future is bright for us as long as we do that."
(On if he can take time now to appreciate his career year...)"No time soon. I'm going to go home and relax and hang out with my kids and be a dad, be a normal person, get away from all the madness and hopefully just put away this nasty taste that we have right now. Go to the Pro Bowl and we'll see from there."
Running Back Thomas Rawls
(On the outcome of today's game...)"There's going to be a winner, there's going to be a loser, but I feel like it's how you lose. We fought. Even with three minutes, two minutes left, everybody on the sideline we felt like we were going to win the game. There was no doubt in my mind. We've been in that position before, we've been in those situations, and we just didn't get it done. We played a great Atlanta team. Hats off to them. I'm ready to rest up, get ready for the offseason, get ready this summer and get healthier and play a full season."
Fan photos from the Seahawks' Divisional Round playoff game against the Falcons at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.