DEFENSIVE END ROB NINKOVICH
Q: Can you touch on the drive in the second quarter when they got the ball on your 36-yard line and weren’t able to get anything out of it, and you guys responded with a 98-yard offensive drive? How key was that drive?
RN: Well, I think every drive is pretty important, so I think we did a great job play together, playing in all three phases. That’s what you have to do in the playoffs. You have to play complementary, and I think that our offense did a great job moving the ball. Again, you’ve got to give them credit. They have a heck of a team, and definitely a very good football team that we were about to get a win on.
Q: What does it mean to be able to get to five AFC Championships in a row?
RN: I really think it just goes back to starting all over again every year. Every year is a new year, and really just turning the page on anything that happened last year and building for a new push, new run. So again, it’s an honor because there are obviously a lot of guys who would love to be in that position and play in a lot of playoff games. And I’ve been blessed with that honor.
Q: Every time Travis Kelce left the line, there was somebody hitting him. Was he one of many focuses tonight for you defensively?
RN: Well, he’s a tremendous player. His body of work kind of speaks for itself, so again, anytime you’re going against a guy like that, you have to account for where he’s at on the field and understand that he’s one of the go-to guys for [Alex] Smith. I think that we go against a pretty good tight end every day, and it’s a great look for us.
Q: Considering Kansas City hasn’t turned the ball over much this year, what did it mean for you guys to take the ball away from them on that fumble?
RN: It was a huge play. Again, I just threw my body in there, and I think Chan [Chandler Jones] maybe got it. I’m not sure. I have to watch it on tape, but just running to the football. When the D-line can turn and run and make plays, you know, it was a huge turnover preventing them from scoring points and definitely a huge play.
Q: On the Chiefs final touchdown drive, they took a lot of time off the clock. Was that a small victory there? Read
RN: Well, you always want to keep them out of the end zone and not put yourself in a position where you have to put your hands team out there.