Quarterback Eli Manning
November 11, 2015
Q: Is this the ultimate when you go up against an undefeated team?
A: Yeah. That’s a big game. We know they’re a very good team coming off winning the Super Bowl last year, undefeated this year, playing great football. So we know we’ve got to play well. We’ve got to have a great game plan, great week of practice, and go out there and play a good game on Sunday.
Q: Are you thinking about this being a shootout the way it was against New Orleans?
A: I don’t know. I don’t know what it’s going to play out to be. Offensively, we will have a game plan to try and score as many points. We know their offense is doing a good job scoring points and they have that ability, but we’ve just got to play smart, protect the football, and execute our game plan.
Q: Could this be a situation where the best defense against Tom Brady is for your offense to do well and keep the ball out of his hands?
A: Well, we have to control the ball, we’ve got to be smart with the ball, we can’t afford turnovers, so we’ve got to be smart and hold on to it, but we have to convert third downs, we have to move the ball, and control the game clock a little bit. Hopefully we can manage that. It’s going to come down to executing well and playing good football.
Q: The fact that you guys were able to put up so many points a couple of weeks ago against the Saints, does that give you more confidence that you have to try and outscore him and you know you can do it?
A: Each week’s different, each game plan’s different, each team you’re going against is unique. We’re just looking at film, we’re going to run a good game plan and we’ve got to play well. Try to figure out how we think they may play us and what their scheme will be. Whatever they do, we’ll have a plan and try to score as many points as we need to win the game.
Q: What is the most difficult thing to decipher about a Belichick defense, if there is such a thing?
A: I think they change up from week to week. They’ll have a game plan for a certain team, whether they want to try and take away certain guys or double guys in certain situations of the game or the whole game. So just trying to figure out what their plan will be and then just still making good decisions. If they try to take away some of our guys, other guys will have opportunities to make plays for us.
Q: Going into the bye week, this would be a great win to finish strongly. You thinking about that?
A: Yeah, just thinking about this game. Obviously, you’re going against the Patriots and they’re a great team and excited about this opportunity and playing them at home and see if we can go out there and play good football.
Q: It’s in the past and happened a while ago, but is there anything you can take from the success you guys had against them in the two Super Bowls? Maybe tell the younger guys, hey they might be undefeated, people think they’re unbeatable, but anything can happen?
A: I think it’s different teams from those games and over the past eight years, we’ve played them four times, a lot of new faces on their team and our team. You can look at the way the game was called a little bit or just a theme to what was going on, but not much in X’s and O’s and, hey, it’s a game, we’ve got to go out there and we’ve got to play well.
Q: Coach Coughlin says there is definitely an electricity and energy in the room for this particular game. Do you feel that?
A: I think there’s excitement. When you’re going against a good team, you’re going against a Super Bowl team, there’s an excitement because you want to go out there and you want to play well. Many other teams have tried and have not succeeded. We’ve got an opportunity. Hopefully we can go out there and play well.
A: That’s our job. Our job is to score points; the defense’s is to slow their offense down and stop them. Everybody’s got a job to do, and hopefully we can go out there and do it well.
Q: Tom Brady’s having a good season even by his standards. Do you admire what he’s done so far from afar?
A: Yeah, he’s playing great. He’s playing great football, throwing touchdowns, protecting the ball, not many interceptions, he’s not turning the ball over. Some games he’s throwing it 60 times, so they’ve got a good plan, a good scheme, he’s getting the ball out quickly, and he’s done a really good job getting their offense in a good place and throwing it accurately.
Q: What’s the key to neutralizing their pass rush, if there is any?
A: They’ve done a great job getting a pass rush. A lot of times just bringing four guys, and they like to bring some linebackers and drop some ends. They have a good scheme, but sometimes they’re getting good push into the quarterback’s lap and disrupting the passing game. Not a whole lot of teams have run the ball well against them, so teams are getting a lot of third and longs and that pass rush can get amped up. So I think we’ve got to run the ball well, get in good third down situations, and then just block them up front and guys have got to get open in a timely manner.
Q: Playing an undefeated team, how much do you think you guys, who have been up and down, will learn about yourselves from this?
A: We’ll be tested. We know we’re going against a good team. We’ll see where we stand. We’ve got to play well, we’ve got to play smart, and we’ve got to put everything together.
Q: When you look at a guy like Brady and his motivation level seems so unchanged over the years in his 15th year starting. Do you wonder when you get to that point if you’re going to still be able to have the same kind of enthusiasm and desire for the game?
A: I think I would. Still enjoy the preparation, the work, everything that goes into it. Enjoy this season, learning a new offense last year, and going out there and each week having a new game plan and trying to play well. Tom’s been doing it well for a long time and is playing at an extremely high level.
Q: At age 38 no less.
A: No less.
Q: Would that amaze you in itself?
A: Yeah. He’s stayed healthy, had the one year that he missed with the knee injury, but besides that, he seems like he’s been healthy and seems strong still and can make all the throws, he moves around. Yeah, he does a good job.
Q: Since Super Bowl 42, they’ve beaten every team in the league except for the Giants. Does that surprise you? I know you’ve only seen them three times since then.
A: Yeah, I haven’t seen them a whole lot. We see them every four years and just kind of caught them on the right nights, I guess. They’re always very good and talented teams. They’re well-coached and good players. So hopefully we can play well and catch them on a good night again.
Q: The last two times you’ve played them in the regular season, you’ve gone on to win the Super Bowl. Do you take that as any kind of omen?
A: We’ll see. We’ve got to win this one, we’ve got to play well, and still got a lot of football. But this a big one and we’re worried about this one.