HEAD COACH PETE CARROLL
Well as we have kind of grown to understand about our team, we're never out. We didn't play well in the first half, and just couldn't get going at all. We really felt fortunate to be at 13-zip. Then, our guys just did what they do, and found a way to get back and get rolling. We didn't dominate the second half, but we certainly put ourselves in position to win a championship right there. It was a fantastic effort by the whole team, highlighted I think by Russ and the offense and the playmaking and the throwing and the catching, and the protection. We got sacked one time by that crew tonight. We had the opportunities; it was there in front of us. It was, like, a perfect win. To me, it was a perfect way to win the championship, and unfortunately it just came up short by a couple inches. It was an amazing effort, it was an amazing regular season. I don't know how we could ask for much more drama. We already have to go, and get rolling, looking ahead. We play Sunday in Philly, and we have to go get that in order and get working in that direction. How could you not be proud of the way these guys played. How could you not? That was fantastic, to put us in position to win that football game after all that. But, it was no surprise either. This was the way we were going to win a division championship. A couple things happened, and it didn't quite work out. So, we have to move on; we gotta go.
On the delay of game at the one yard line:
We were in "no backs" the play before, and we called the personnel and we just didn't quite get it communicated with the backs. We were just late. We were late getting in there. We burned the time. We just didn't get it done. We just didn't function cleanly. When you kill the clock, sometimes you kind of relax like that's a time out. We didn't on the sidelines, but it just kind of felt like that's what happened, and we didn't get the substitution done properly and we were late with it, and there wasn't enough time for us to get the play off. When it happened, with 22 seconds left I think there was, I'm thinking we were going to get into the end zone, anyway. I was disappointed that we screwed that up, time-wise, but it does change the situation, obviously, because you're on the one, or inside.
On sending Lynch in the game, and what the call would have been from the one yard line:
You'll never know.
On it being a storybook ending had Lynch scored the final touchdown:
Yes, it would have been. It was pretty storybook as it was.
On whether there could have been a review on Hollister getting tangled up on the third down play:
I just saw it live and in color, I didn't see the replay of it. Everybody else has an opinion. You guys know more than I do, I did not see the replays on that. I was busy doing other stuff.
On the play of Travis Homer:
Oh, he did great. He played great tonight. He was so aggressive. What a tough kid he is. That's all he's ever shown us. He just did what he always does. I thought he looked great tonight.
On whether he thought Hollister was in the end zone on the final play:
I don't know. It was so close. If they had called it a touchdown, we probably win the championship, but it was the other way around. It was as close as it can get. I'm sorry to all our fans that we weren't able to get another inch, but that's what it was. It was a play that we had won the Tampa game on earlier in the year. Same play, and same opportunity, and we just didn't get in.
On the catch by John Ursua:
I think that was really close, too. You guys, again, saw more than I did on that one. He was right there, too. We challenged them in New York; no doubt.
On what was different in the second half:
It's these guys in that locker room. It's just them. The mentality. There was no wavering in our belief that we were going to be right back in the game. You could see right off the back, the first series with the D. Then, we didn't play great, because we gave them a drive in there. But, just the plays we made. Special teams, made the plays. We just took advantage of what the opportunities were, just like we have been doing, and we've done in the past, and we just wound up being two inches too short.
On how he handles a costly penalty, like the Delay of Game:
We just didn't function well enough. That's me all the way. There's nobody else to turn to. We need to get that done. The mentality of the kill the clock thing, sometimes it happens; we've talked about it numbers of times. But, you kind of take a pause like it's a time out, which it wasn't. That may have been a little bit of what happened on the sidelines with the guys running on. Here we are with Marshawn, his first week and all that. It just didn't work out right. I should have got that done better.
On the play of Marshawn Lynch:
I thought he did incredible. I thought he was incredible just to be out there. He played hard and tough, and he came out OK. There was a play during the week, the goal line play, the play he scored on, and we were not in pads on the day, and he looked like he was going to leap over the top, and I don't know if he heard me, but I said, 'don't tease me.' Because I've always wanted to see him go over the top. Sure enough, he had his chance and he did it. I was thrilled to see that happen. I thought that was a thrilling touchdown, a thrilling moment for everybody.
On whether he could sense an emotional lift with Lynch's presence this week:
Yes. It was pretty obvious. I thought the fans were incredible. You don't all know Marshawn, but you should all be really proud of the way he handled this. He handled it in extraordinary fashion. He has been all in, every aspect, everything that he could have done to get ready and to try to help this team. It could have gone numbers of different ways, it's such a unique, crazy situation that we put him in. But, he handled it impeccably. He got his chances. He got a little space. We got to see him get a little run, which was nice. And then he scored a touchdown for us, which was pretty sweet. He would have had a touchdown on the pass, too, but he got tackled on the one yard line.
On whether there was an expectation of how many touches Lynch should get:
Kind of. What did he wind up with? (12) It was right in that area. We thought that was probably in the right area. The game just worked out that way. He had four carries in the first half. He did his part. There were a lot of other guys that played a lot of football tonight, too. He was part of it.
On whether there was a plan to use Lynch on the final game:
That really wasn't his stuff, for this plan. He wasn't ready for all of that. Four days.
On having to go to Philadelphia, even though Seattle had a two more wins in the season:
That's the way the league comes down. You can't do anything about it. They won their division. Hats off to them. They had a very challenging year and really came through and played some great football at the end to get this done and beat the teams they had to beat to be playing at home. More power to them for getting that pulled off. We don't care. Records don't matter right now. It's ball time. We have to play football.
On how the success on the road this year will factor in:
No question. We've been road warriors all year. Our guys have handled it well. I know why we've done well on the road. Why we didn't win more at home, we'll talk about that in the offseason. We're not worried about going on the road, that's for sure.
On the injury to Mychal Kendricks:
He sprained his knee. I don't know anything more than to say generally that. Same with Jaron Brown.
On the play of Cody Barton:
Yeah, he did all right. He missed some, he missed a couple things. He's a great kid. He's going to be a great football player for us.
On whether Tyler Lockett is ok:
He's not on the injury report right now.
On what happened with Luke Willson:
He fell catching a ball in practice on Friday. Just on his own, he went down for a low ball and bruised his hip, and he couldn't get over it. He did everything he could. It's not his hammy, it's on the same leg, kind of in the back of his leg. He should be OK next week.
On the difference of the execution of the offense in the second half:
It just felt like we did up tempo, we did shift the gears on the tempo, just in general. We seemed to have an edge in doing so. We just functioned better, everything was just a little bit cleaner, a little bit sharper. We had done a little bit in the first half. We went at it in the second half in that manner. Because of sense of urgency, we were down a couple scores and all that. It just worked out.
On the play of Lano Hill:
I don't have a good opinion of it. I have to see the film. I don't know. There were a couple plays that I wish he would have made on some crossing stuff that got out, like the last time we played them. And, unfortunately, it happened again. But, all in all, he did a nice job.
On the chances that Quandre Diggs will play next week:
He has a really good chance to make it back next week, but he still has to prove it, he has to do it. He's a really good ball player. We miss him when he's not out there. We'll keep our fingers crossed that he can get back. He couldn't quite get there. He's running, though. Can he get full speed; full speed change of direction, and stuff like that. We won't know until probably late in the week.
On the effectiveness of the tackling by Seattle's defense:
We didn't tackle Deebo Samuel very well. He looked great. I thought he had a fantastic game. I thought he was a difference maker in the game. Not as sharp as we needed.
QB RUSSELL WILSON
Take us through the sequence at the end:
It was a wild one. We had several different opportunities. We tried to make a play, sure enough we came half inch short there unfortunately.
But I thought it was an amazing game. I mean, I think just the back and forth, back and forth, offensively, defensively. Both teams, great teams going after it.
It's been like that a lot for us this season. We've won a lot of those games. Been an amazing season so far. They've had some tough ones like that, too. I remember the last time we met, it was similar to that.
I think it's a new season, where we're going is a new season. Man, the great thing is it all starts an 0-0 record. Comes down to winning football games. That's the thing we're looking forward to.
I think we showed tremendous fight. I thought we kept battling, kept battling. It was a showdown everyone wanted to see. They definitely got to see that.
What happened with the delay of game?
We killed it. We were trying to get the right personnel in and everything else. It took a little bit there because at the time we didn't have a back yet, so then we did, but it was too late. Rather than trying to run up there and not have enough time once the clock was what it was, okay, listen, we got more plays.
At that point, unfortunately we didn't have any timeouts. It was a hectic moment. We didn't know if J.U. (John Ursua) got in, too. We didn't know if they were going to look at that. When he caught it there, looked like... We were trying to do that, get George, he was down, trying to bring him over.
We had several plays after that. We thought we could have had one of those. Try to get Hollister a couple times. Had him on a cross or two. Doesn't get any tighter than that, the windows, things that we were able to try to do. They made a great play. We almost got it. The game would have changed completely with just that one play right there.
It is what it is. I think the great thing is that, like I said, it's a new season. It's a great time to just focus on what we can do moving forward. We have a tough battle against Philly. We got to go on the road. We've been great on the road all year. We've battled through. Got to play there earlier this year.
It's going to be a tough environment. We have to be ready to roll. They've been hot all year. Got a lot of great players. That's our focus right now.
Question about Marshawn Lynch's newness and its effect:
First of all, I thought Marshawn, Turbin, they were unbelievable all night. Just to see Marshawn dive in the end zone, that was awesome.
To have Beast Mode back, just the excitement when he came into the game. It was like old times. Just felt right him being back there. He played a great game. Especially for him playing his first game this year and everything else. I thought Turbin did great when he was in there. Homer had a great game, too.
The running backs, they couldn't have been any better tonight. Like I said to you guys all week, they were just so professional, so focused, so dialed. It showed on the field. They made their plays all night. Marshawn and Turbin were tremendous all week.
You had such a good second half. How do you take that into the next week, come out with the jump with that kind of rhythm?
I think our second half, we were lights out, hitting things. Guys were making great plays. Line was doing a tremendous job. Move around a little bit when I needed to. Tyler, he made another amazing play. I tried to kick my foot back a little bit, just to make sure I didn't pass the line. He does a great job of scrambling, getting open. Sure enough he gets the touchdown. DK has his.
The game, it was a heavyweight fight. That's what I really compare it to. We knew it was going to take a lot of rounds, we knew it was going to be a battle. Unfortunately we didn't get the decision tonight.
The thing was, there's a lot more football hopefully. It takes one day, one moment at a time, learn from what we did well, and we did a lot of things great. For George to step in the game, play the way he did, I think he did a great job. The line did a great job. In particular in the second half when we really needed to throw it, drop back, do some things. They did great there.
Like I said, the runningbacks were tremendous tonight. To be able to step in like that, Marshawn, Turbin, Homer, they were tremendous.
We have everything we want in the locker room. We have everything that we could need. We have everything that it takes. So it's been a tremendous season. It's been a battle so far. It's been a long one, but it's been a great one so far. The good thing is it's a refresh button, you get to hit the refresh button, start over, 0-0, see how far we can go.
How much can being a good team on the road knowing you've had that success help?
I think being great on the road is tough to do, especially where we've got to come from. We're coming all the way from the Pacific Northwest, top left corner here. We've been traveling great all year. We've been great at that over time really to be honest with you.
I think this year we've really taken that upon our shoulders, been able to do that in a tremendous way. We got to do it again. That's the reality. You got to go do it again. Like I said, it's a new season, it's a new start.
We believe in that locker room. If anybody believes, it's the guys in the locker room, where we're going, headed, what we think. We just got to keep trying to find ways to stay in rhythm, try to find ways for all three parties, offense, defense, special teams, click the whole game.
We can do that, they're there's no stopping us I think.
Did they attack you differently from the 49ers defense perspective?
They did a lot of different things. They changed up their coverage almost every play. They mixed a lot of different things in there. I think we did a great job of seeing what they were doing. Guys capitalizing on getting open.
Coach Saleh, he knows what he's doing over there. He changed up a lot of different things, a lot of different looks, everything. I thought we handled it really well. I thought the line did a great job with it. The receivers did a great job.
I don't have much more to say than it was a great game. Unfortunately we didn't come out on the end we thought we were. I mean, it was as good of a game as it gets.
DK, the kind of season he's had, what has he meant to this team?
Well, I think DK has had an amazing season. I think the reality is the sky's the limit for him. I was talking to him in the locker room, talking to him this week, I thought he had his best practice of the year, he's had some amazing ones. He works his tail off.
Like I told you earlier in the week a little bit, I mean, he studies. I give these scouting report sheets out every week. They're pretty extensive. There's a lot of writing on there, a lot of different things, talking about all the different coverages, all the different pressure, different stuff, personnel, everything you can imagine.
I mean, he really, really studies that. I mean, he really understands. He's thoughtful. He studies. He has the right work ethic. He has high character. He's got all the talent in the world.
It's going to be a pleasure to play with him for a lot longer. Obviously health is the number one thing in this game. He keeps taking care of himself, everything else. I'm excited about obviously what's ahead going into the playoffs with him. I think about the season that he's had, he's as good as it gets. I think he's one of the best rookies in the game. It definitely showed tonight.
G D.J. FLUKER
On playing the Eagles on the road:
They're a great team. We're not going to knock them, they're a great team. They're in the playoffs for a reason and so are we. We just came up a little bit short. But, we're going to go out there and play a good ball game. That's more important.
On what clicked during the second half to put drives together:
We started running the ball to them, taking to them. Started getting more positive yardage. I think that's more important. We mixed it up a little bit, a little play action. That kind of helped out a little bit. Other than that, running the ball to them, no team can hang with us running the ball. I think that's important for us. We just hung tough. That's what it's about.
On Travis Homer:
Homer, he's a special guy. I call him "TD", Terrell Davis. That's how Terrell Davis started. It's good to see the mechanics. That's him. That's the story right there. He's a great guy, always coming into work. He got his shot to play and he showed up. That's what it's about.
DE JADEVEON CLOWNEY
On having a chance to win the game at the end:
We fought back, we fought back. It was rough at the beginning of the game, but we fought back into the game and gave ourselves a chance. That's all you can ask for. We put ourselves in a position to win the game and just finished short this game.
On how crazy it is that a season can come down to an inch at the end of the game:
All of these games are inches. It was very crazy. I've never been in a game like that and at the end of the game like that. It was kind of crazy. It felt like it could be if it was just a little bit more, we could've won. It was crazy, but hats off to my team. We fought back and like I said, it gave us a chance to win. It was a rough first half and we couldn't get anything going. We came out in the second half and put ourselves back in the game. We had a chance to win at the end and that's all that you can ask for.
On where the defensive struggles came from:
I don't know. I don't know. I'm not going to point any fingers. I don't know. Like I said, we fought back in the game from a defensive standpoint, we started to get some three-and-outs late in the game and gave ourselves a chance. In this game, in this business, that's all that you can ask for, stop someone when it's big and when it counts. We gave our offense a chance to score and we put ourselves in a position to win the game. We're not worried about what the defense did early in the game, we just know that we were in the game to win it at the end. We'll watch the tape and make some corrections. We have a big game next week so we'll get ready.
On if it helps that they've seen the Philadelphia Eagles already this year:
Of course it helps. We're going to have to go down there, prepare and have a great week of practice still. The same rules apply, [we still need] to have a great week, study well and go down there and hopefully play another complete game against them like we did before.
On how he felt coming out of this game:
I felt alright. Coach kept my snaps down, he kind of already knew how I was feeling and he knew what I was dealing with so he kept my snap count down. I dealt with it and I didn't question what he was thinking with me. I just let him do his thing. He knows what's ahead. We have a big game next week against Philadelphia like I said. We just have to get back in there, prepare well. We'll see this team again. We'll see them again. It won't end like that next time.
T GERMAIN IFEDI
On how the game could've had a perfect storybook ending:
Yeah. The storybook ending. That's usually reserved for movies, Hollywood movies. In real life, things don't always have the happiest ending like that. It sure is tough. Tough to get that close. No matter what happened, it's just tough.
On playing the first playoff game on the road in a place they've already won:
We have a good game versus them to learn from. A game where we came out knowing we could've played better. It'll be a good game to learn lessons from the old Philly film. We know that they're a force to be reckoned with. The record they've had and the rash of injuries, they still have a very talented team top to bottom. We're looking forward to the challenge.
LB K.J. WRIGHT
On their game plan against George Kittle:
We know they were going to get 85 the ball, he's a guy they want to target. Just studying the film, watching their tendencies, we were able to see what they wanted to do with him.
On the challenge of containing George Kittle:
It's just having good eyes, being disciplined and knowing where he is at all times. He's a talented player and he made a lot of good plays. If we face him again, we have to do a better job of eliminating him and we'll have a better chance of winning.
On how they adjusted to the crossing routes in the second half:
They're a good team. [Head coach Kyle] Shanahan does a good job of keeping guys off balance with the runs and making the runs seem like passes. That's why a lot of those plays were open. Hats off to them, they did a good job and we have to do better.
On if it's miscommunication on those plays or just speed and execution:
Speed and execution. They do a good job of keeping you guessing and making you think it's a run when it's a pass. They do a really good job at that. Us linebackers and [defensive backs] need to do a better job of reading their keys and stopping those plays.
On what was different coming out of the half:
The half was good. I think we did a lot of good stuff coming out of the half and the one thing we didn't do was get the ball back, but we definitely had some opportunities where we could give the offense the ball and we capitalized on it. In the second half, we know that we're that type of team and we did a decent job.
On how Marshawn Lynch helped energize the team:
It was fun. I'm so glad that he came back to help us out. He gave us his all. I'm glad that he scored a touchdown down in the endzone. He got one game under his belt and I expect next week to be even better.
On what he tells his teammates about the playoffs going into next week:
This is it. Win or go home at this point. It's an opportunity for us to get to Miami. We've got three chances at it, take it one game at a time, it starts in [Philadelphia] and we can take off from there.
LB BOBBY WAGNER
On facing the Philadelphia Eagles again:
It's going to be a fun game. I haven't really paid too much attention to their team. They're focused on us. So, I'll watch a lot of film and be ready to go.
On his thoughts about the potential pass interference call on Jacob Hollister that wasn't called:
I don't know. It's part of the game. Stuff like that happens all the time. We've got to play better and not let it get to that point.
On what his mindset is now as they prepare for Philadelphia:
There's not going to be another week that you can bounce back. We're confident, we understand how to win on the road. We definitely have to take that knowledge into the playoffs and play great.
TE JACOB HOLLISTER
On the play call of the final play:
The play call, I had a shallow route basically. So, I pressed up. Come across. It's fourth down, so we've got to try and get in. I just didn't get it done. It was close.
On how confident he was that the team could get it done:
I had all the confidence in the world in all these guys. Our defense, offense. Everybody. I got all the confidence in the world. It was just close. Inches.
On if he thought he got the touchdown:
I thought I did have it. Honestly.
On what it looked like when the play clock went down:
Yeah, we were just trying to get organized and didn't get out there soon enough.
On if they gained confidence from their second half play even after the loss:
Yeah. I mean obviously, we came out in the third quarter and started getting some momentum going. That was really good for us and everybody stuck together like we always do.
CB TRE FLOWERS
On how hard it is to defend their misdirection:
That's a great team. A good team. They coach really well, and they schemed us up pretty good. But, we slowed them down, we had our chance to win. We just came up a little short.
On why they failed to make stops late in the game:
I haven't watched film yet. I'll watch it in about an hour and let you know on Monday.
On if he had any doubt that that Russell Wilson could lead a game winning drive in the final minutes of the game:
We were down about 13 points, I still knew we were going to win. I feel like that every time. If we keep believing as a team, the sky is the limit.
RB MARSHAWN LYNCH
On how it felt to score a diving touchdown into the endzone:
It felt good man. But at the end of the day, I play to win.
On what his thoughts are on next week:
I haven't done anything fresh off of the couch. Your boy just wanted to get some legs. It was a great opportunity for that. A good defense. It was no shortage of a challenge out there.
On what was different about the offense in the second half when the ball was moving and points were being scored:
I think we just settled down. I started to feel some legs come up underneath me. For the most part, I think everybody just settled down and started hitting their keys.
CB SHAQUILL GRIFFIN
On how they feel about their execution on defense:
I felt like they had some good schemes against us. I felt like there was little plays where if we had some communication, we could've executed a lot better. I felt like they did better at making some more plays, getting the ball in their hands, and I felt like that's kind of where we lacked in this game. They just executed early in the game better than we did. That's the part that we have to do better at.
On if the defense feels prepared to go to Philadelphia next week:
Most definitely. I feel like we'll be totally ready for Philly. Going into this week, we're going to be more focused than we ever have. Knowing how we felt tonight and knowing the consequences of losing the next game, right now we're just going to focus on taking it one day at a time. I usually say one game, but maybe it's time to slow it down even more. We're going to take it one day at a time. Knowing where we're at and knowing what's at stake, we know where we want to go. Starting in Philly will be a great test for us. We're totally ready for it and we're going to give Philly everything that we have and we're going to see [San Francisco] real soon.
On why he thinks Philadelphia will be a great test:
Philly is not a team that's going to lay down. There's a reason why they're in the playoffs right now. They battled back to try and even get this playoff berth and they deserve that. We're not coming in to take this team lightly. We're not sitting here thinking we're just going to see [San Francisco], we're going to come here and treat this team like it's a Super Bowl game. They're going to get our best and I know they're going to give their best. Like I said before, we know what's at stake and we're not going to take this team lightly going into this week.
On if San Francisco attacked them in ways that they didn't expect:
Yeah it was different. I thought I was going to get more deeper routes and take more shots. They wanted to do more of a quick game so they brought guys in tight and made sure I couldn't get hands on them right at the line so they could use their speed to get across the middle. They were getting the ball out so fast where there was no way to get help on the inside from the safeties. The scheme was pretty good and I have to give it up to the coach for their game plan and being able to make those adjustments, knowing that we're a team that likes to get hands on now and making it hard for us to really get in a position to make a play how we want to. They made some good plays and I'll give them that. The main thing for us is that we have to continue to battle. That's football. They're going to catch a couple passes and we came in thinking they were going to take some more deeper developing routes and they didn't.
San Francisco 49ers vs. Seattle Seahawks – Pool Reporter Tim Booth with Senior Vice President of Officiating Al Riveron
On final two plays of the game:
Booth: Can you explain why there was no review on the third down incompletion on the pass that was intended for Jacob Hollister, why t was not reviewed for pass interference in the end zone?
Riveron: "Well, we actually looked at it here in New York. We had a great look. NBC gives us a great look of the entire route. So, we actually did perform a review, but based on what we saw, we didn't see enough to stop the game. But we did review it. What we see is, we see the offensive player come in and initiate contact on the defensive player – nothing that rises to the level of a foul which significantly hinders the defender, nothing that is clear and obvious through visual evidence, which hinders the defender. The defender then braces himself. And there is contact then by the defender on the receiver. Again, nothing which rises to the level of a foul based on visual evidence. Nothing happens that rises to the level of a foul while the ball is in the air before it gets there by either player."
Booth: Can you explain what you saw on the final play about whether Hollister had broken the plane prior to hitting the ground?
Riveron: "Sure. There were several things to look at, and we have to start with the ruling on the field. The ruling on the field was that of a fumble and then recovered by the defense and run back, so we have to let the play play out. Remember, we start with the premise that the ruling on the field is correct. So, we stopped that play and we look at several things. Number one, is it a catch? We confirmed it was a catch. Number two, does he break the plane of the goal line prior to being contacted and being down by contact? He is contacted. We see that he maintains control of the football when he hits the ground. Additionally, he doesn't break the plane of the goal line. So, now he's contacted, he's short of the goal line and he's on the ground, which means the play is over. There is no fumble. So, we reverse it to down by contact and short. At which point, there are nine seconds left in the game and the ball turns over on downs. So, therefore, the ball goes to the defense. The defense takes over. First-and-10 coming out inside of the one-yard line."
Booth: On a play like that, can you review for any sort of helmet-to-helmet contact as well as reviewing whether the player broke the plane in that case?
Riveron: "No, that is not one of the reviewable aspects of the play."