HEAD COACH MIKE SHANAHAN
On facing San Diego
"I don't know how you could back away from anything. It is what it is. It's a big game for all the marbles. San Diego has been playing awfully good for the last couple of games. Hopefully, we can play a better game."
On the team moving on from the Buffalo game
"They have to put the game behind them. It's always tough because it's the nature of the game and we have a lot at stake. This is what we've been working for. We had a good practice today with good tempo, and we got a lot done. Hopefully we can take advantage of the opportunity."
On getting big road wins this season
"We've talked about those three wins so far (at Cleveland, at Atlanta, at N.Y. Jets) and we refer back to those (with the team). You just have to find a way to win. We can't turn the football over, especially on the road. You know you are playing a good football team and you got to score in the red zone. It's just different things we've been talking about all year. We just have to go and get it done and make sure we play one of our better games."
On how San Diego has changed from Week 2
"They've done a few different things defensively. They have a new defensive coordinator (Ron Rivera). They basically have the same system offensively and a few little wrinkles on defense that they have changed. Other than that it's the same personnel."
On San Diego WR Vincent Jackson
"He's been playing well. He has good size and it seems like he is comfortable in his role in the offense. He's has excellent hands and he made some big-time catches. "
On whether Denver will kick to San Diego RB/KR Darren Sproles
"You'll have to show up to see. We have a lot of respect for him as a player. He had a tremendous game the first time we played them. He's got all the respect from our players. We are going to have to play well."
On the game being a must-win to get into the playoffs
"Yeah, I think its something you look forward to. That's why you coach in this business and that's why you play in this business-for these types of opportunities. You know what the stakes are. You work through the offseason, you get to this point and then all of a sudden you have the opportunity to have a playoff game in your own backyard. Hopefully we can take advantage of it."
On if was able to sleep well this week
"No, I don't sleep very well after losses. This one (Buffalo) was a little bit tougher, but it will last a day to a day and a half and you get ready for San Diego. (You can't) keep on worrying about what happened, you go back and look at the things you did poorly and the things you did well and hopefully take advantage of it."
On the holiday distractions
"There are distractions for everybody in this room. You have family and you have Christmas coming up. You have kids and relatives, but if you have a mature football team then they understand why they are here and they will stay focused. We had one of our better practices today. I was pleased with the effort and the concentration level. We are going to be here for a couple of hours to take care of business. Hopefully tomorrow we will have the same level of concentration even though both teams are dealing with a lot of distractions. So it's typical of the holidays."
On San Diego RB LaDainian Tomlinson
"Well I've said this for years: I think he's the best running back in the business. He's been hampered with injuries here or there, but I have a lot of respect for him."
On whether he knew no team has ever lost a division when leading by three games with three to go
"To be honest with you, I didn't know that. When you have a three-game lead and you're playing another team, obviously it gives you a chance to control your own destiny. There are a number of teams out there that would just love to win a game to get in the playoffs. But they are not in that situation-instead they would have to win and hope some other team beat somebody else. We are in a great situation. We didn't take care of business last week and that's why this conversation keeps dragging on, but that's over with. You can't worry about that. We just have to have a great week of preparation and take care of business. "
QUARTERBACK JAY CUTLER
On the pressure he faces this week
"I am excited. It is going to be a fun game. I am looking forward to this one. Everything has been up and down and if you would have told us at the beginning of the season that we would have a shot at it (the playoffs) going into the last game against San Diego, we would have taken it. We are ready."
On the reaction he will receive from the Chargers
"It probably won't be pleasant. I don't think it is going to be with the holiday spirit at all. I don't think they like me, which is fine. It adds to the game, the excitement and the rivalry with us. It is going to be a good one. I think these two teams probably dislike each other. I know our offense probably doesn't like their defense and probably vice-versa. I think it is becoming a good rivalry between us. We are both younger teams and they are playing really well right now. Philip (Rivers) is playing well, and it is going to be a good matchup."
On San Diego QB Philip Rivers
"He is playing really well right now but what happened has happened and I haven't forgotten it. A lot of guys on this team have not forgotten it. It is what it is."
On how well he has to play for the team to get a victory
"I think I have to play very well, and our entire offense has to play pretty well. Our defense also has to do their part obviously. I think we are going to have to score some points. They are playing well right now. They have been hard to beat. They went to Tampa and put up 41 points, and that is hard to do. I remember when we saw Tampa it was hard to get first downs. They are playing good football at the right time."
On losing two more running backs to the injury lists
"I am not surprised at this point. It seems like we only get a running back in there for a few series and then they are out. We still have Tatum (Bell) and Cory (Boyd). We are going to have to run the ball for us to really be successful and do the things we want to do and accomplish what we want to accomplish. Those guys are going to have to do their part."
On how things have changed since the first time Denver played San Diego
"They have changed some stuff around. I think there new defensive coordinator is more of a 4-3 guy, but they are obviously more of a 3-4 team. They have changed responsibilities and some of their schemes around but you can't vary that much because they are a 3-4 team-That is what they are built for. They have systematically kind of changed some stuff, but I don't think they are going to do some of the things they did in the first game. They just can't. I think we attacked them a little bit differently than they were in the past and it opened up some windows for us. They are going to make some changes and we have to be ready for it."
On the team's confidence level
"I think we should be confident coming into this one. I think last year we were probably beaten before we even got off the plane. They were a really good football team and they still are now. In the first game, we got hot offensively and the defense did their part in the second half and made some stops. We have the guys to make it happen, that is for sure."
On losing to the Bills last Sunday
"It is disappointing obviously but this time of year you really can't dwell on stuff. I think early in the season with so many games left you can think about games and let it last a few more days. As soon as everyone left the locker room Sunday night, everyone was moving on to San Diego and what we had to get done this week in our preparation. We had a good practice today, and I think we will be ready by Sunday."
On the rivalry with the Chargers
"I am excited for it. It will be fun. Philip (Rivers) didn't make the Pro Bowl, and I guess a lot of people thought he should have made it over me or Brett (Favre). It doesn't bother me. I am going and Brett is probably going. It just adds to the drama and excitement. It is still just a game for us, and we have to do our part and execute."
WIDE RECEIVER BRANDON MARSHALL
On playing the Chargers
"I tried to make it my business to text a few guys and even coaches to tell them to go ahead and be mad because we lost against Buffalo this night but tomorrow get over it and be excited about the opportunity we have. We would love to be able to relax right now and know that we are in the playoffs but this game is going to be so much fun. With the rivalry and everything that has gone on in the past few years, this is going to be a fun game."
On what it will take to defeat San Diego
"It's always big to beat a divisional rival, especially the San Diego Chargers. But football is football, we want to put points on the board and we want to win. It's a game that we need to have or we will be at home come January."
On how he expects Sunday's game against San Diego to go
"This is going to be a good one. It's going to be a hard-hitting game and there will be a little jawing back and forth, I'm sure. We are going to keep it all within the rules, but it is definitely going to be an exciting game."
On working toward Sunday's game
"We have worked hard all season and in the offseason. We are going to see who had the better offseason. It comes down to this last one and the better team will win."
On the responses he received from the text he sent to his teammates and coaches
"The receivers coach (Jedd Fisch) texted me back and said, ‘B, I am supposed to be texting you that.' It took a while for Jay (Cutler) to respond so I ended up going to visit him. There were a couple guys that were like, ‘Man, this one is tough.' I think today's practice helped us get over it a little bit more quickly and we had a good one today."
On the jawing going on between the two teams
"There is a lot of jawing going on out there between a lot of guys. That is just how they are built. The way we responded the past few years made it more than what it is. It is a fun game and this is big. It is national television and Sunday Night Football. You can't ask for a bigger game."
On what he anticipates from San Diego CB Antonio Cromartie
"He is a Pro Bowl corner and he has been doing some good things since he has been in the NFL. I am going to give him my best shot."
On how things have changed since the first time they played San Diego
"I am just going to do whatever I need to do, whether it's two catches, a couple of blocks or 20 catches. It really doesn't matter, I just want this win."
On whether San Diego will adjust defensively after his Week 2 performance against the Chargers
"I hope they double me, triple me, put the whole team on me. That will make it easier for (WR) Eddie (Royal) to get the ball, he will be singled up. (TE) Tony Scheffler; (TE) Daniel Graham. We have some weapons. I hope they pay a lot of attention to me and leave a lot of our guys one-on-one."
On his reaction to having seven running backs on injured reserve
"I think we are all numb to it now. We will just get the job done with the guys we have."