All season long, head coach Norv Turner has preached playing a complete game to his team.
After showing glimpses for stretches at a time through their previous seven games, Thursday night the Bolts finally showed they were capable of putting one together from start to finish.
“I thought that we played a complete game,” said Turner. “The biggest thing for me is that for three quarters of the New Orleans and Denver games, I thought we played better than we played last night. But last night we made plays in the second half. There were two things we did. We created a sack-fumble instead of giving up a sack-fumble. We created an interception for a touchdown and defensively scored twice. We did not give up big plays defensively. We’re the ones that made the big plays. So we were able to finish a game and play a complete game which was the most positive for me.”
While he rattled off a long list of things he was pleased with in the victory, above all else he was proud of the way his team competed for the entire 60 minutes. Unlike the previous games against New Orleans and Denver, they maintained their high level of play for the entire game.
“Getting a win was big,” he said. “I’m disappointed in the fact that in the games I mentioned, we played at a high level through extended periods of the game but were not able to finish them. We made the big mistakes that kept us from winning games. That does give me encouragement because we’ve played at a high level against really good teams. We just have to do it for an entire game.”
A key factor in doing that is making big plays on defense instead of giving them up. To that end, Turner was thrilled by what he saw out of his defense last night against the Chiefs.
“Number one, we want to go out and not give up big plays,” he said. “And we’ve done a good job over the past couple of weeks of doing that. There are certain teams you go against where your goal is to not give up big plays, but they have capable guys who are going to make some plays. And if you can create takeaways that can either set up scores or actually score, I think that’s outstanding.”
In the end, Turner’s words proved prophetic regarding what this team can accomplish going forward when they put together a complete game. Hopefully they can continue to produce them over the final eight weeks of the season.