QB Eli Manning
Postgame vs. New England, November 15, 2015
Q: Eli, there were obviously a lot of opportunities to seal this game. Is there one part that is particularly frustrating to you?
A: Well, I think just at the end of the game, not getting the touchdown right there. Had a couple opportunities and we just didn’t make it. For the first throw to Odell [Beckham Jr.] to the corner route and then on third down, they played it well. Went to the play and they passed it off and played it well and right there, just had to go down and make sure we get the field goal, but yeah, we had some opportunities. Obviously can’t turn the ball over in the red zone—earlier in the game on the fumble. Our defense gets a turnover, we go backwards on the sack, so you know we definitely had some opportunities. You have to look at it at the very end, we had a chance to win and that’s what you want and defense did a great job getting us some turnovers. We put a great drive together and we’ve just got to find a way to get the touchdown right there and give us a little more lead.
Q: You’ve obviously had success in late game situations, not just against these guys, but a lot of them. You come up in a situation like that, are you surprised it doesn’t work out, you’re not able to put it away?
A: We had a good drive, we needed to get the field goal. We were close. We had some opportunities. Sometimes they play well and make some plays. They did a good job. They make it tough for us, went to goal line personnel. First play had opportunity with Odell [Beckham Jr.]—makes a good play, knocks it out of his hands. Second down they had pretty good pressure and what you do in that situation is an all-out blitz. You don’t have enough blockers to block them all and just didn’t quite get to hang in there and wait to see how the play was going to develop. Played it well on third down, but just one of those tough situations where we didn’t run enough clock and had to settle for a field goal right there.
Q: You missed a pass to [Jerome] Cunningham in that first half. Was that route ever open in the second half where you could have run to the other side because it seemed like the safeties began to come up as the offense was moving forward?
A: Yeah, I had the opportunity right there to hit one and you know it’s one of those he’s got a post route and he got inside on the guy, so it was hard to throw as you don’t want those line drives because the defender might undercut it and throw it right to him. So, you try to put a little air and let him run under it and just overthrew, it just enough where he couldn’t make the play. We ran some similar routes later on, they covered it pretty well, they did a good job being physical with ends kind of hitting them at the line of scrimmage and making their releases tough.
Q: Eli, you mentioned not running enough clock. Was there any thought at all to running the ball there?
A: We had some runs called and they weren’t going to let us run. They had goal line personnel in and they just weren’t going to let us run the ball in that situation, so the one to Odell [Beckham Jr.] on first down was actually a run call, but threw the pass on the outside and just kind of the way it was going to be, they weren’t going to let us run the ball right there.
Q: When you kick the field goal and you go ahead, how comfortable or uncomfortable are you with about 108 seconds left as you’re standing […]?
A: I’ve got confidence in our defense. They played well throughout the night and had done a good job slowing them down and obviously had some opportunities right there. You’ve got to give Tom Brady and their offense credit. They converted on a fourth down and made enough plays to move the ball and got close enough to the field goal, but you know our defense played very well all night and I had confidence in them that they’d get the stop.
Q: Were you surprised that the touchdown was overturned?
A: No. Just looking at it, it’s kind of the way the rule is, making the football move, especially in the end zone. You’ve got to have it the whole time and so I wasn’t surprised after seeing the replay.
Q: Do you feel again like you let one get away today? A winnable game got away?
A: Yeah, we’ve had a lot of close ones. We’ve just got to be able to hold onto a lead and so you can always look back and see where there were opportunities lost and where you could have been the difference in making the play, but you never know how that’s going to turn out. It’s all a matter of getting it to the end and making the plays when it counts in the fourth quarter. We made some good plays, we had a heck of a drive going getting the ball on our own three-yard line and driving down there to the five and the big third down conversions and some nice great plays and just close, you know. Close, but not as good as it could be. We could have actually got the touchdown and would have given us a bit of more breathing room for our defense.
Q: Eli, after the early touchdown to Odell [Beckham Jr], they seemed to really contain him almost to the end of the fourth quarter there. What were they doing that was…
A: They did a good job mixing up their coverages, playing a lot of two-high safety even a single-high, rotating the safety to his side, not giving us anything easy. So they had a plan for him, we knew they would. I was surprised on the long touchdown they weren’t over to his side even more, so we kind of figured that might be the plan. But after he hit that first one, that was really the emphasis to keep a guy kind over his head. But it opened up opportunities for other guys to make plays. But offensively we played pretty well, moved the ball, had some opportunities and even gave away a few opportunities not getting touchdowns and getting in the green zone and not getting points out of a few opportunities.
Q: Any concern that your group needs to once again come back from a difficult game? You were 0-2, you kind of evened things out, but you’re back in that situation. You’ve got to recover again.
A: I think the fact that, if I’m not mistaken, I think we’re still in the lead in the division, so if anything, we’ve still got a great opportunity to finish the season strong. Obviously we’ve got a bye week right now, which is late in the season so guys will be able to get healed up, to get healthy and we’ve got to come back and our season’s going to depend on these last six games and that’s the way we look at it. We’ve got six games to go, if we handle our business and play well, play the way we need to play and win some games, make the playoffs, and we’ll be happy.