Below is a look at what various Detroit Lions players had to say after Sunday's loss to the New York Giants. (Quotes provided by the Lions.)
LIONS QB MATTHEW STAFFORD
On the interception while intending to throw to TE Joseph Fauria: "Just tipped off his hands I guess."
On his emotions after the game: "It's tough. We have had two, back-to-back, heartbreakers at home with games that were decided by field goals. I am proud of the team, they fought extremely hard, battled through a bunch of crap and kept fighting it just didn't come out our way."
On the decision to go into overtime at the end of regulation: "Yeah, I thought it was the smart play, you're at home. We played for overtime, our defense was playing really good at that point."
On how limited WR Calvin Johnson was: "He wasn't his full self. I wouldn't say"
On the message in the locker room: "He (Head Coach Jim Schwartz) said that it was obviously tough. He said he was proud of our work ethic all year. He said we have to keep fighting, keep pushing."
LIONS WR NATE BURLESON (Lions Radio Network post-game)
On if the Giants did anything unexpected on defense: "No, they didn't do anything different. They did exactly what we saw on film. We just didn't make the plays we needed to make, similar to about every other loss we've had. We had opportunities through the games to take the lead or extend the lead and we just don't make those plays. Whether it is a tough pass not being held onto or not making the right decision with the ball in our hands. That's pretty much what it boils down to. I'll give the Giants credit, but they didn't do anything different."
On putting the season in perspective: "It's tough. It's one of those things that's going to hurt as time goes on. Right now it's frustrating, but this is going to be right up there with the most difficult losses of season. Just have to deal with it. Handle it like a man, take you lumps and move on."
LIONS RB REGGIE BUSH
On the loss to the Giants: "It's tough, no other way to put it."
On his lost fumble: "It's very tough. As a playmaker and as a running back, that's a cardinal sin is to turn the ball over and to fumble the ball. It's been a tough year, but we still have one game left. We still have to find a way to get better and finish this thing strong."
On what he would say to Lions fans: "Obviously, they have every right to be frustrated. We lost two games in a row and we had a shot to kind of stay in first place, so they have every right to be frustrated."
On having a 6-3 record at one point to now getting eliminated from playoff contention: "It's just tough. It's tough when you work so hard, especially for me being a part of the reason why we lost this game or turnovers, or stuff like that. It's tough, there's no other way to put it."
LIONS LB STEPHEN TULLOCH
On putting this loss into words: "Man, it's so much talent. What can I say? We put ourselves in a bad, bad situation. Unfortunately we can't dig ourselves out of it now. It is what it is. We eliminated ourselves from the playoffs. It's crazy, man, for three quarters of the game we're winning, we're doing our thing and we find a way to fall short. I just can't wrap my head around it. I know the guys in this locker room work hard and we were prepared. We just have to get over that hump."
On what went wrong the previous six weeks of their season: "What went wrong? For one, we need some more turnovers on defense. For two, we just have to put up points and be able to control the game. Unfortunately, we haven't been able to do that the last couple weeks."
On if he is shocked about how their season ended: "‘Shocked,' I think that's a good word. Very shocked. I could never imagine, the way we started, the way we came into training camp. We just knew we were going to roll. After that 6-3 start, things started to kind of unravel a little bit. I'm not sure what it was, but it's a tough situation."
LIONS DT NDAMUKONG SUH
On the loss to the Giants: "We didn't do enough to win, plain and simple. The Detroit Lions, this team, offense, defense, special team, we didn't do enough to win. It's unfortunate because we had opportunities, that's what it came down too."
On who is to blame for the team missing the playoffs: "Personally, I think it is on us as players. We have to execute. We are put in great situations and when it comes down to situational football we haven't done our best to come out on the right end. That's where I think the blame should be, is on the players. Especially myself included, especially as a starter."
On his emotions after the game: "It is unfortunate. Things happened and we have to deal with it as grown men and as players and professionals. It is sickening, but we just have to go back to work."
On losing five out of their last six games: "It simply comes down to that we didn't execute. We didn't get the job done. It falls on the players and I don't see it any other way. Us as players, we didn't commit to getting it done for whatever reason. We will have to go out and figure those reasons out, make some changes with us as our players and fix it. I feel like we have a great group of guys, a group of guys that can definitely win, so hopefully we can stick together. There will be some changes in some form of fashion. No NFL team stays exactly the same. We have to get ready for Minnesota."