Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Post-game Quotes: Nick Bosa, George Kittle, other 49ers players react to 29-22 loss to Falcons

Dec 15, 2019 at 8:15 PM--

The following are select post-game quotes from San Francisco 49ers players following Sunday's 29-22 loss to the Atlanta Falcons.

Quotes provided by the 49ers Communications staff.

DL Nick Bosa

We're going to all mention it, is it possible there was some emotional letdown after the last three games you guys have played?

"At this point in the season, it's just a grind so we have to prepare better. Get our bodies more ready. We've got a short week this week so we've got to really take advantage of our time off."

How tough is it with the injuries you guys have been dealt? Earlier in the season you had so much depth, but now it's pretty limited.

"Yeah, that happens. Every team is dealing with it, but I trust every guy who goes out there. I know I let all of them down."

Why don't you think you played well?

"Because I didn't win my rushes. I did the wrong things on a couple plays and I just needed to be more of an impact player."

Any consolation at all that you guys clinched a playoff spot, or is that something that you're just not thinking about?

"It's our goal, so it's a great thing, but it just hurts to let one go like that."

DL DeForest Buckner

How do you take this win in the big picture, can you look at clinching a playoff spot or do you kind of focus on this loss?

"Yeah, I just heard about playoffs. It's a nice consolation, but we didn't handle business today. Thank God it's a short week, we can go onto the Rams. But we've got to look at this loss hard and fix our corrections because they played hard today."

What were some of the things that weren't working right from the defensive line perspective?

"The last drive, we've got to make something happen up front. We know a lot of people depend on us to make something happen, especially the back end. We can't put them in a bind like that. Like I said, we've got to watch the film. We've got to get after it and just take it like a man."

You guys had some success today stopping the run. How did you guys adjust to that without DL D.J. Jones and some of the depth you guys lost?

"Yeah, that was one of the emphasis going into this week, stopping the run and making sure we get opportunities to get after [Atlanta Falcons QB] Matt [Ryan]. We got him a couple times, but we didn't get him enough. It's a testament to the whole defense taking on that challenge since the past couple weeks we've been struggling against the run. It's just every guy stepping up in that aspect."

FB Kyle Juszczyk

What were some of the challenges presented to you guys by the Falcons today? I mean, it went literally down to the final seconds.

"Yeah, they had a great game plan. They came out and they gave us something different that they haven't shown all season. They came out with five bigs, three linebackers and took a DB out, so it was just something we had to adjust to. I felt like at times we did a good job, but could have done a little bit better."

What does that say about you guys, though, just knowing that guys are gunning after you?

"Yeah, I think it says a lot about us that teams have to switch things up. They know if they just give us their vanilla defense that it might not turn out the way they want. It's a compliment to us, but it's also something that we've got to handle better."

What's it been like these last five weeks? Outside the Green Bay game, every game has been crazy and down to the last second.

"Yeah, it's been high drama, but I feel like we're built for it. I just keep saying that this is going to be good experience for when even more is on the line, you know? So, we know that we've got some big games coming up with the playoffs and this kind of stuff is just good experience for us."

TE George Kittle

Can you take us through what happened on the third and short fumble?

"Just dropped it. I tried to switch hands with it, so I could get a stiff-arm in. It didn't work out well for me."

What does this game teach you guys going into these last two games and then the playoffs?

"If we don't play at our level, like we played last week or like we've played all season, anybody can get beat on any Sunday. We definitely have to play better. I don't think we played with any type of intensity that we've been playing all year. We've got to figure out that."

There have been a lot of close games recently. Is there any consolation that you can learn anything from games like this? Last year, you would've lost them. This year, you're winning a few of them.

"Yeah, close games, you definitely learn what your team is made of. I hope our team learns from this game that if we don't bring the intensity, then it will be a quick season ending."

T Mike McGlinchey

TE George Kittle is a leader on the offense and is very vocal about it, but what's the message from his teammates to him after that fumble? It may or may not have cost you guys a first down.

"Nobody's worried about that. George Kittle, what he does for this football team far outweighs a glimpse like that, you know, could of, should of, would have, I don't care. That play, we got to protect a little better, maybe the ball gets him a little more time to get down the field. Nobody's thinking about that."

I assume that this doesn't feel like you just clinched a playoff berth.

"No, it doesn't. That is something to be proud of, but no it does not. We would have liked to have been on a victory and had done that. Unfortunately, we didn't, but we're in the dance now and we got to close out these next two weeks and hopefully put ourselves in position for a nice road to the Super Bowl."

Is there any solace in the fact that if you guys do take care of business in the next two weeks, everything that you want is still right there in terms of positioning?

"Yeah, I think it's one game. [Head coach] Kyle [Shanahan] hit it on the head, it's one game. We are going to bounce back, we are going to get better from this. We are going to see things on tape that we aren't going to like and things that we do. Most importantly, we've got to clean up the ones we don't like the most and capitalize on them in the future. Like I said, we left too many points on the board on offense. That game shouldn't have gotten to the point where it was and we got to be better."

T Joe Staley

I know you don't go against him much but, Atlanta Falcons DT Grady Jarrett seems like one of the better defenders in this league. Did you guys have trouble with him today?

"Yeah, he was playing inside. He is a very talented player, we saw that on film. I don't think he gets a lot of love, but he definitely gets a lot of love from players in the league because of the way he plays. He is dynamic and does a lot of good things for them."

You probably have been through more games like this than any other player in this locker room. Is it just going back looking through tape? What is your process of getting over stuff like this?

"We get back and we watch tape. That is what we can do. You watch tape and you learn from it. This loss doesn't define our season going forward. This isn't something that is going to linger in this locker room. It is a bad loss, and credit to them. Obviously, we would love to be sitting here with a win. It would be a different story. We are going to learn from this, we are going to own it and then have one hell of a week of practice, and that is all we can do."

Is it a weird feeling to clinch a playoff spot this way?

"Yes it is weird. I don't even feel good. We want to clinch by winning. I think the main thing is we have two games left in the season and we take care of business, and we play how we know we are capable of playing in this locker room. I think we will look back and this is a huge learning experience from the season, and we will carry that forward to the playoffs."

DB Jimmie Ward

Any consolation, despite the fact you lost, that you guys are in the playoffs? Win or lose, you're in there.

"No, we kind of lost today. They made more plays than we did and an L is an L, so we just got to watch film and get better."

How confident were you that you stopped him on that last play?

"I was confident, but at the same time, I didn't know how close he was to the goal line. It was a bang-bang play."

Doesn't seem like there's any weak teams in this league, even the Falcons came in here playing pretty well. Do you have to have that mindset even if you're playing a team that's not that good all of the time?

"Oh yeah, you've got to. You can't take anybody for granted. You've got to come prepared, you've got to play great, and then you've got to show up each game day."

LB Fred Warner

Can you pinpoint as far as the difference in how they were able to finish against you in the final two drives?

"They just made more plays than us honestly. I was trying to think back in the locker room of anything I could have done differently. There were so many chances in that game to close it out. I wanted us to be in that situation honestly so the defense could be the reason that we end the game, but unfortunately, they made more plays than us on that drive."

In a tight game like that, do you miss someone like CB Richard Sherman on the field and sort of his expertise and experience?

"I mean, Sherm is the leader of this defense. Of course, we were going to miss him in the game, but we are fully confident in the players we have in [CB] Ahkello [Witherspoon] and [CB Emmanuel] E-Man [Moseley] out there at corner. It didn't make me any less confident in what we were capable of."

DL DeForest Buckner said, 'Thank god it's a short week' so that you can move right on to the Rams. Do you feel that way, that you can't wait to get back on the field?

"Oh yeah, absolutely. Anytime you lose, you hope that you can get back going quickly to get this taste out of your mouth. Obviously, it sucks to be in this position, but we have a great test ahead of us."

Even after this week, you still control seeding if you win out. Is there any solace to be found in that?

"Yeah, we're onto L.A. I think we're going to focus on them right now and all that other stuff will take care of itself as long as we take care of business."

CB Ahkello Witherspoon

What were the challenges covering Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones?

"Trying to get a beat on what route he was running. He did everything on the route tree. I think they did a good job getting it in his spots to break some of the coverages we were doing to try to contain him."

After the long the road trip is it hard to get up for this one?

"No, when they put the ball down we are ready as a team. Our character, from top to bottom on this team, really doesn't waiver. You have a game like last week, where we competed our tails off, and then you come out this week you have to do it again. No one really cares about the circumstances on this team. We just care about when the ball is snapped."

You have played in so many close games and I know there is little consolation when you lose. Is that something that helps because of the fact you have been in these close games, and maybe late in the season or in the playoffs you might face a similar situation?

"The next close one we win, I will give that to you and say that we won it because of this one. Until then, I don't like losing close or any type of losing. As far as learning from it, we go in and watch tape on the close losses, just like we do the blowouts. I think learning is each and individual play on getting better on coverages. I don't think you really learn by getting beat by only two points. It is just about football and getting better every week."

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