QB Eli Manning
November 25, 2015
Q: Does this feel like a first place game?
A: It feels like the next game. We know it’s an important one, in the division, and every game counts right now. Everyone is important, everyone is big, and it’s going to be a deciding factor in how the season ends. So we understand that and we got to go out there and play good football.
Q: When you look at what happened in the bye week though and see the opportunity here, if you guys get the win here against the Redskins, how much does that make it a little more critical?
A: They’re all critical. Whether we win this one or don’t, every game from now on is going to be important. Yeah, it’s a big game. It’s a big game, it’s an important one in the division and we got to play our best football at the end of the year. Get into November and December and you got to play solid football and that’s what we got to do.
Q: I’m sure you’ve probably thrown a thousand times to Hakeem Nicks over the years. Now that he’s back, how much can that help?
A: Yeah, he looks good, he looks like he’s running well, grasping the offense. We just got to be smart and put him in there, make sure he knows what he can do so we can put him out there and play fast. He was running some routes and there’s obviously certain routes we’ve thrown many times and read his body language and go over things. I think he’s picked up things pretty quickly and hopefully he can come in and help us out.
Q: They’re one of two teams in the league that hasn’t allowed a 300-yard passer this year. Are they that good defensively with the pass or is it people are just running on them?
A: I think they do a good job against the pass. They do a good job getting a pass rush, you don’t have a whole lot of time to hold the ball and they’re not giving up a ton of huge pass plays. Some teams are running the ball well against them. Hopefully we can have that mix and be able to run the ball, be successful at that. We’re going to have to throw it, we’re going to have to get completions, and just be efficient. Whether we throw for 300 yards or not isn’t going to make the difference, we have to be efficient in our pass game and our run game and scoring points when we get opportunities.
Q: They’re not viewed by people as contenders. Are they more dangerous than given credit for?
A: I think they’re playing good football, especially at home. It seems lately they’re protecting the football, they’re getting turnovers, and we know they have the ability to play well and score a lot of points and be effective on defense and get turnovers. So we got to be on our toes and ready for their schemes and execute well and play smart.
Q: Anything different about their defense from when you last saw them, especially up front?
A: Well they’ve lost a few guys…linebackers, DB’s and safeties. But they still do a good job up front getting pressure on the quarterback. A lot of times its bringing four guys and making the quarterback get off his spot or getting sacks and making him throw before he’s ready. So we got to do a good job up front blocking up their pass rushers, that’s one of their strengths.
Q: It seems like by game 11 you kind of are what you are, but is there a way this run game can actually become more consistent and more powerful than it is or has been over the course of the final month?
A: Yeah we just got to keep running. I think we’ve been effective, we’re not going backwards, we’re getting positive yardage. But you never know that day when you break a couple long ones and sometimes that’s the difference in rushing for those big days is you break a 50-yarder, 60-yarder. We just got to keep staying with it but I think we’ve done a good job getting those four and five yards a pop and getting us in good down and distance which is nice. Yeah, if we want to break a couple long ones we’ll take that as well.
Q: It has been three years since this team at this point, late November going into December, was really playing these meaningful games. Is it different to prepare for these games and a different approach at all?
A: It’s fun. It feels good to be in these circumstances and feel like you’re playing for opportunities to make the playoffs and win your division. I think guys got to sense that excitement and make sure it shows in our preparation and our play.
Q: You guys are relying on a lot of younger guys, first and second-year guys.
A: I think we just go about our business, keep preparing well. We have young guys, I think as you get late in the season just make sure they’re staying focused and keep paying attention to the small things, the small details, and don’t forget everything that you relied on that’s been working for you. I think just enjoy the opportunity that we’re in and kind of at this point, if you are a rookie, you’re not a rookie anymore. If you played in enough games and you’ve been through the season, you need those young guys to step up and play well for you.
Q: You talk about small things, small details. What do you refer to, especially at this point of the season?
A: Just protecting the football. Whether it’s a tight end in their run blocking stuff…just the things you work on every day, you keep working on those things. Or my mechanics or my drop, don’t forget about the basics. Don’t forget about your training and everything you’ve done, keep doing those things well. You got to grow and improve on other things but don’t forget about the basics and doing the small things correctly.
Q: For the guys that haven’t experienced it before, is there a difference in intensity this time of year or is that not something you really feel until the playoffs?
A: For me, I think every game is important, every game is intense. It’s about just going out there and doing your job.
Q: You’ve had some success down there. Anything in particular about that stadium, the team?
A: No. No we’ve been put in some good positions. Every game, every season, every situation is going to be different. So hopefully we can go out there and we can execute well, guys can make plays, defense can do their job, get us some stops, get us some turnovers and offense don’t make many mistakes and be efficient.
Q: What are you thankful for this time of year?
A: So much to be thankful for. Obviously my family, my teammates. Just to be here with the Giants playing football, preparing for another game. Excited about this opportunity and the opportunity for the Giants this year.
Q: At this time of the season is it more pressure or more fun, the fact that you can get the division or get to the playoffs?
A: Exciting, it’s just fun. This is the things you prepare for and hope for, to be in these moments and to have a chance, have a shot. Guys got to enjoy that. It is a time to make sure our preparation and we’re doing the right things and taking care of our body and prepared for everything going on. But it’s an exciting time.
Q: Did you throw at all last week?
Q: Is that break helpful? Does your arm feel a little different?
A: Yeah I think the break is always good. After so many weeks and getting a little rest on the arm and do some stuff to keep it loose and keep it strong. Felt good today coming back there and throwing.
Q: You mentioned body language with Hakeem and that seemed to play such a role when he was here the first time around. Can you regain that in practice this week and have it pay off as quickly as Sunday?
A: That’s the goal. There’s obviously some things—similar routes, similar things we’ve run many times. He knows how to do it. I don’t know what the plan is on how much or where’s he’s going to be or what all the thoughts are but he practiced today and made some plays for us.
Q: Hard for you to believe he’s only 27 years old?
A: Yeah, he’s young.