Quotes from Denver Broncos coaches and players on the loss to the Chargers

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Head Coach John Fox, quarterback Peyton Manning, and a number of defensive players talk about Denver's 20-27 loss to the San Diego Chargers Thursday night.

Head coach John Fox on if he thinks they came out flat tonight

"I'd say that we didn't have our best stuff tonight, I'd agree with that. They obviously did a better job getting ready on the short week than we did. I thought our guys battled back in the second half. We couldn't get them off the field on third down and we couldn't stay on the field enough on third down. I think basically they played better than we did in all three phases."

Fox on whether the San Diego Defense caused the Broncos to have fewer snaps than last game

"I'm not going to sit here and make excuses - they played better than we did. They executed better. We'll come back tomorrow and look at it, learn from it, correct it, have a couple of days off and then get ready for Houston. It kind of is what it is. Unfortunately, we came up on the short end. I give our guys credit - we battled back and played a little bit better in the second half, but it wasn't quite enough."

Fox on if he feels they missed an opportunity tonight to secure home field advantage

"You get 16 opportunities, and we've got two left. You know, we'll see what happens. We came up short in this opportunity. Our record is what it is and we'll see what happens."

Quarterback Peyton Manning on the game

"I give San Diego's defense a lot of credit. They played well on defense and we were not as sharp - we just didn't play as well and didn't stay on the field. We didn't have the ball much and when we had it though, we didn't do enough with it. Give San Diego credit, they played better than we did."

Manning on what went wrong offensively

"Probably can pinpoint first and second down - we weren't good enough. Got some third-and-longs and never got into much of a flow. Often times when we're playing well, we're getting first down, second down back to first down. That's kind of how it was that first drive. And then when you get a third down, you have some rhythm. We had some three-and-outs backed up, didn't do a good enough job changing field position. As a result, gave their offense better field position. I think 1-of-7 on third down tonight - that's not good enough. There's not many third downs, but like I said, the ones we have, we have to try to convert them."

Manning on whether he felt they weren't prepared for the game

"I didn't get that sense. I thought we had pretty good practices on a short week. You can analyze it any way you want. The 95 plays we had on offense, did that take a toll? I can't tell you that. I thought we prepared to play a division game on the short week and thought we were prepared to play. We certainly just didn't play as well as we would have liked. It's hard to pinpoint a reason right now. We are certainly going to try to address it and learn from it and improve from this game. There were some mistakes made out there in all three phases that were critical and we weren't able to overcome. We have to correct those and address those and be better for it. That's the plan starting tomorrow."

We just didn't match their intensity tonight. Terrance Knighton

Defensive tackle Terrance Knighton on the game

"They did a good job of executing third down [and] second down. We just couldn't get off the field. That's a good team. They're fighting for their season and we just didn't match their intensity tonight."

Knighton on errors like having 12 players on the field and other mistakes

"I don't know what's going on. I just feel like we're a little bit too laxed out there. They played with more intensity than us. They executed and they kept the ball away from our offense. We know teams are going [to] try and do that and we got to do a better job up front of stopping the run and making the team one dimensional. They broke a few runs -they broke a few passes. We really couldn't stop them today. We just got to find something. We got to find some type of resolve."

Cornerback Chris Harris Jr. on the defensive effort Thursday night

"We definitely didn't come together today as a unit and play as a unit. That's something that we have to do - we have to get it fixed. A lot of it we just got to get the young players up to speed. Collectively as a unit we didn't stop the pass or stop the run - that's something that we got to fix. That's really what happened."

Defensive end Shaun Phillips on the defensive effort today

"We didn't play good enough, I mean we know we can play better and they're a good football team too so we can't take nothing from them. They outplayed us today, but it humbles us and it gets us back to the drawing board, and realize what we have to do and how much farther we have to go to be a better football team."

Linebacker Danny Trevathan on this being a wakeup call for the Broncos' defense 

"We already know what it is, each game is going to count. We need to take this game as they just came out here and they were the better team, today. You hate to say that, but they were and we're going to take this upon ourselves to take approach each week better and get better, use this to get better."

Linebacker Wesley Woodyard on San Diego controlling time of possession

"Absolutely, they controlled the game by us not getting off (the field) on third down. If you don't get off on third downs then teams can run the ball on you. That's something that we have to continue to get better at. We can't let a team control the clock on us like that."

Cornerback Kayvon Webster on if he feels like offenses are targeting him on the field 

"I don't look at it like that. If they feel like that's where they want to go then I have to put myself in a position to make the best play. I want them to keep coming after me because that is just making me better week-in-and-week-out."

Running back Montee Ball on why the Broncos lost tonight

"Really it just came down to players making plays. Players were stepping up and they were the better team tonight, plain and simple. We need to make more plays and get back to playing our style of football."

Wide receiver Andre Caldwell on thinking they had a chance until the end

"Yeah, I definitely thought we had a chance until the end. This is a no-quit team, that's what I love about these guys, they go out and play hard every day and we never feel like we're out of the ballgame."

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