Take a look at top quotes from Chargers Head Coach Brandon Staley, quarterback Justin Herbert, running back Austin Ekeler and more following Sunday's win in Atlanta:
Head Coach Brandon Staley
On what went through his mind during the last play of the game:
"A lot, a lot, because you navigate that drive beautifully, you're in position, you get the ball to the right hash and had a chance for the first down too. It's one of those things where in the NFL anything can happen and we're fortunate, but just a lot happened in that game today and our guys no matter what, because we had to go play after that play, because that's a roller coaster. It's as tough as it gets, now you're back, now you've got to go make a play to get in range, and our guys got back in that huddle, and they hung tough. Justin [Herbert] and Josh [Palmer] connect in great protection and got to have a situation throughout that whole two-minute drive, really a four-minute drive. Our offense just performed beautifully, played together, overcame a bunch of stuff, and finished the game playing our best ball."
On the key to slowing the Falcons down after they got scores on the first two drives:
"The first drive there was that one run into an eight-man front where our eyes playing linebacker just didn't play it properly, outside of that moment and we were doing just fine. I think our guys just settled in and we got into the right personnel groupings that we felt like would match up with those guys and I just felt like our guys really communicated, stay connected, and we did a good job of tackling after that and kept the ball in front of us and then put a roof over the coverage. Didn't let them get any plays in the deep part of the field, so we have taken away the passing game, and then we could really put our attention to the run game. They are a really good running team, and we try to do our best to, after that first series to kind of flush that one and come back and play good ball."
On where he felt he needed to be to get the field goal and how much confidence he had in the kicker:
"He's got a 35 mark. He's got a strong leg as you guys saw on the kickoffs, he's a versatile guy because he's an outstanding punter too, so his leg strength is one of his assets. I thought that you saw today he's got good lift on the ball, we felt good on 35, anything outside of that we were kind of going to be in a 'go for it' type mode. Cameron [Dicker] did a good job coming out Thursday kicking for us. I thought this is the third time, and the second time it's happened, and we've had to go through someone on a Thursday like this. He came in and the guys put some pressure on him on Thursday and he kind of came through, so I thought he earned his stripes on Thursday, and then for him to knock it down. Really happy for him and proud of our team for supporting it because it takes everybody, it takes Josh Harris leading the way, snapper, JK [Scott] is holder and how important that rhythm is and just proud of those guys."
On his first thoughts on the current state of the team:
"Just happy for our team. At this point to focus on our team and it's been a team effort. You go on the road, and I think we've played really well on the road, and we got behind again today and you just know that this was a team win all the way, and I felt like our guys earned it, I felt like our week of practice was outstanding and I felt like at the hotel last night and then warm-ups this morning I knew our guys were going to be ready to give it everything they had and it wasn't pretty for sure but we played our best at the end."
Quarterback Justin Herbert
On reaction when kick went through:
"We weren't surprised. We knew how special of a player he was, and we saw him show up on Thursday. He was perfect in practice, and we believed in him. It's huge for us to go out there and see him compete and play the way he did today."
On the team having been through so much in his short time with the Chargers:
"It's weird because everyone is competing, and no one's given up. Everyone's doing their best all throughout four quarters or however long it takes. Those are games like you mentioned maybe a couple of years ago they go a different way and we felt that in 2020 when the record did not go our way, things kept kind of snowballing out of control, but the way the guys have battled in the past couple of years and really turning that around. It's a fight for every win. It's not easy. It's never easy in the NFL and that's a really good football team that we played against, but for those guys to be able to step up and deal with punches, the adversity and answer I thought that was huge for us."
On the slow starts over the last month:
"I think we made a couple plays in the first quarter. That's the tough part about the NFL is they've got a really good offense and they get the ball moving, and [we] didn't get a whole lot of possessions in that quarter. It's on us to make the most of those possessions when we get them, and so getting a first down and just getting rolling is always something you can do better. You're always trying to get down the field and score so it's just executing and for us to be better."
Running Back Austin Ekeler
On reaction to Cameron Dicker's walk-off kick:
"Thank God. I was just like, 'OK, yes, we got ourselves back in the situation, like thank you.' We've been through so many kickers, had like three game winners from all of them now I feel like. I'm hoping they can all stay healthy. Like let's get this kicker thing situated but whoever is up, as long as you keep making them, that's we want. They came through and Dicker did his job today, so we appreciate him for that."
On if he ever felt déjà vu towards the end of the game:
"That's the NFL, man. The NFL is like, 'Here we go again. That's what it is.' For us, it's a battle and that's what the NFL is. It's going to be a battle all the way, usually to the fourth quarter. You see some of these teams on top of the division that maybe beat their team by two scores, but I feel like it's rare to have two-score wins. These games are so competitive, they're going to come down to a fight. Here we go again is what I say every game. Here we go again, we're about to strap up, it's going to be a fight."
Safety Derwin James, Jr.
On how the Chargers got the win:
"By not flinching. All three phases sticking together, hanging it out. Defense getting a stop, offense driving, and special teams ending it. So, I'd say all three phases."
On his sack against Marcus Mariota and shifting momentum on the drive:
"I feel like the drive before that, when Drue [Tranquill] got his, we kind of just settled in. First quarter, 10-0, they got off to a good start. Then, at the end of the first, second quarter we kind of settled in and got to playing football how we know we can play, and we started to make plays."
On Josh Palmer's big day:
"I'm proud of him man, I told him after the game I am proud of him being able to step up without Keenan and Mike and all those guys. His number was called, and we needed every single one of those yards, and he got it done for us. I am proud of him."
Linebacker Drue Tranquill
On wild ending
"I thought he was down. Looking at the replay, it looked like it was bang, bang. They just went with the call on the field. I just looked over and was like, 'Oh my God.' You're kind of sitting there and it didn't sink in because I thought he was down. I thought none of it actually mattered."
On their run defense:
"They did a good job. Early on in the game, they were moving the ball on us. But in the second quarter I felt like we started stopping the run on early downs so they got into third-and-longs and we could get our pressures going. We just had to make some adjustments there. But we made enough stops to win the game."
On their slow starts:
"We like to be [down] 10-0. We like to get it the hard way," Tranquill quipped with a smile. "It feels like a different thing every week. But I like the way we've made adjustments. They get 10 points early and we hold them to seven points the final three quarters to give our offense a chance. We have things to correct, for sure, but a win is a win is a win."
Guard Matt Feiler
On his reaction to the fumble late in the fourth quarter:
"You know, we always practice running after the ball just in case something like that happens. I was just kind of doing that, I saw the ball come out and luckily it bounced our way and somehow, I just fell on it."
On K Cameron Dicker's ability to step into the game and win it on short notice:
"There's a lot of pressure, especially for a guy that just came in this week. The game-winning kick, he handled it great and made the kick. Kicked it right down the middle."
Kicker Cameron Dicker
On his game-winning field goal:
"I mean I saw it going and I don't really remember actually going through. I just kind of saw it going there and I was like 'Sweet!". Turned to JK [Scott] he was all hyped up and I hugged him."
On rollercoaster of the last week for him:
"Yeah it's been wild. Was planning to go to a Carrie Underwood concert on Tuesday night or Monday night whenever I got the call. I was like "Oh my agent is calling me, this is weird'. And then he's like how fast can you be at the airport. I said like an hour and a half, hopped on a flight and came right out so it's been fun."
On what he does while kicking into the net:
"I usually wait until it's like between plays so to see kind of how the play goes because if they score a touchdown, I don't want to be kicking into the net and be like 'Oh geez I got to run out there'. So it's kind of paying attention to that."
Bolt Up for 2023!
Secure your 2023 Season Ticket Memberships today! Click here to learn more.