QB Eli Manning
Postgame vs. Baltimore, October 16, 2016
Q: Going off the first couple series, it was pretty slow; then, you changed the tempo. What does it mean, offensively, that you guys can go to a quicker tempo?
A: Yeah, I thought that was what we needed. Coach did a good job to say, “Hey, we’re going to go fast; we’re going to get up there and get the ball snapped.” I think that helps out our offensive line; it gets our receivers going. It gets us plenty of time to see what the defense is doing and get the good plays – better plays. We get some good defense, and our guys were able to hit a couple big plays. It was fun; it was fun to get out there and see our guys making the plays that we expect them to do. It was a big win for us.
Q: Eli, of course, a win comes first, but you achieved some personal history today. You joined the 300 touchdown club. You passed Elway in the process; you passed Drew Bledsoe in completions. How does it feel to have your name alongside these NFL legends?
A: You know, my focus is really just on this season – on this team; and going out there and getting a win. When I’m done playing, I’ll look back and see where I stand – maybe or maybe not; I don’t know. My focus is on getting this win and getting this season back on track and getting to where we want to get this year.
Q: What’s it like going out there and watching the way Odell [Beckham, Jr.] played today – especially that second half he had?
A: Yeah, that was fun. That’s what we expect him to do. We got some looks that we wanted. We were able to get to a couple plays that we’ve kind of had on the shelf for a few weeks, we just never quite got the looks that we wanted to get to them. Today, we got some of those and converted on them. It was good to see him make some bigtime plays in crucial moments. There’s nothing better than just catching a slant and going whatever it was – 60 or 70 yards for a touchdown to get the game-winning play.
Q: Take us through that first one where he [Odell Beckham, Jr.] kind of sat down and spun off.
A: Yeah, just a move off a play that we run a pretty good bit, so finally got a look that we could get to it. Tried to move the safety left a little bit, came back to him; he had good patience, kind of waited for my eyes, kind of lulled the corner to sleep and then a little whirly-bird out of it. It hit him in stride, and make the corner miss and go score the touchdown; so a big play in that moment.
Q: How often do you usually run the double-move off that? You say you run that play a lot, but do you run the double-move?
A: It’s just kind of one of those [plays] that we’ve had on the shelf for three or four weeks and just haven’t got the look that we wanted to get to that, and we finally got it today.
Q: Eli, how did it feel to have Roger Lewis, Jr. get involved in the offense and get his first snap which also happened to be a touchdown?
A: Good to get Roger. He’s been doing a good job; he did some good things at training camp and early on. He’s kind of waited for his opportunity to get in there. We had some things where he wasn’t able to get in anyway with some four receiver stuff, but today he pops in there and all of a sudden – a good job of knowing the offense and knowing the plays – not really a play we’ve run a whole lot, but we put it in this week. He stepped up and knew what to do and did a good job to beat man coverage and making a catch and getting a touchdown. So a big play at that time with a third down conversion and a touchdown.
Q: Eli, when you break the huddle for the one that went for the game-winner, at 4th and 1, are you just thinking he’s going to sit down at that spot and just get the first down? Or do you think, when you’re at the line, that it’s going to be a game-winner?
A: You just try to get one yard. So you look at the defense a little bit – they were playing man-to-man, so opportunity for one on one with your best player on a slant route. He did a good job of beating the guy and making him fall down. You hit him in stride, and good things happen. It’s tough to make a play on the safety – he outruns everybody and gets a touchdown. It was a huge play and the team needed it.
Q: On that play, do you have time to look away from him? Coach McAdoo said he’s the first in your progression, but it looked like you might have been looking away from him, at least initially.
A: Yeah, I was just trying to see what they were doing. We had a good play to the left as well, but with the linebacker, I thought they might try to keep a guy over to the side. The linebacker and their nickel both ran with the running back, and I knew I had one-on-one at that point with Odell. The safety coming down and guarding the tight end, so I knew there was going to be a lot of space in there where he could take a little time to work, and have a great opportunity to give him the ball. He did a good job winning and hitting the play.
Q: On your second interception, did you and Shepard have any conversation after that?
A: No, just unfortunate. I probably could’ve hit Odell for the first down on the right side. Saw the safety kind of working that side. I knew I had Shepard working one-on-one on the corner route and maybe I got a little greedy at that point. I tried to put it up for him to make a play. His feet got tangled. Unfortunate that it ended up an interception. The defense did a good job just holding them for a field goal at that point.
Q: Why do you think it wasn’t working early? It took you 20 minutes to get a first down. What were you seeing that made it difficult for you guys?
A: We couldn’t convert on some third downs. Had some third and longs. Obviously the first play we had a fumble. Had a completion there. We just couldn’t quite get the third down going. They had a couple blitzes and got to us. Knew we were going to have to throw it hot and get it out quick. That’s just football. Sometimes it doesn’t work out exactly the way you want it. We weren’t sure quite how they were going to play or what their scheme was. Eventually we settled down and started playing fast and making plays.
Q: I know a lot happened after that, but the 4th and five to Cruz. The fact that you guys decided to go for it there. How big was that play?
A: Definitely, we needed to get something going. Hadn’t had a whole lot. Finally had a good drive going right there and had a fourth down. Appreciate having Coach McAdoo having faith in us that we can execute. Odell goes out and put Victor over there and he ran a good route and had a big play right there to get that fourth down conversion.
Q: When you take a step back, how do you feel you did in this game?
A: I thought I had some good plays. When we had some guys open, hit the plays that we needed to. Still some things to clean up and get better but thought I made some good decisions, threw the ball accurately and made the plays that were needed to win the game.
Q: Going to London this week. What do you think you guys have to do to prepare for the change with the time zone?
A: We just have to do a great job early in the week, make sure we’re getting our preparation. Once you take that trip and get over there, things are going to be off a little bit. You’re not in your own facility so we have to make sure we have great preparation here in the States. Getting our sleep, getting hydrated. Do all the things we have to do because once we get over there it’s going to be different. We have a good team, good leadership and we’ll handle that and make sure we’re prepared. But we have to know it is a work trip when we get over there. We have to do everything we can to prepare while we’re here in the States.
Q: How do you think you guys stayed with it mentally?
A: That was big. That is what we have to do. We have really tough, have to stay with it, you have to believe. You have to believe that we’re going to make the plays that we need to. The defense did a great job making stops. Offensively, same thing. We didn’t start off great but we got a great rhythm and kept going. There were some unfortunate plays but we bounced back and made the plays that we needed to so that’s what we had to do this week. It’s not always going to be easy, it’s going to be tough at times. There’s going to be lulls when you’re playing great and not playing great. But you just have to believe you can do it every time and make the plays you need to make to win the game.