QB Eli Manning
Postgame vs. Dallas, December 11, 2016
Q: Coach said that it was a good week of practice that you guys had. What is it about Dallas that gets your game up as well as your teammates?
A: It’s Dallas. It’s in the division. They’re playing great football. They’ve got 11 wins already. You know them well; you know what they’re going to do. A lot of times they do a good job disguising it but you know what you’re going to get. We could have played better, obviously, but the second half we had a couple good drives and outscored them 10-0 in the second half that’s what we needed to win. Our defense played outstanding all day; stopping the run and getting some pressure on Dak and it was just one of those days. It was tough; the field was wet, we were getting some wet balls, a couple balls where there was just enough wetness that it was coming out of your hands funny. It was one of those days where you had to run it a bunch and be patient and hopeful we had a couple good plays.
Q: On the fumble that you had in the first half; was it a wet ball that just slipped out of your hands?
A: Yea, it just slipped out of my hand, just slipped. I did a move, thought I was going to have a shot to hit Roger (Lewis) on a big play down the sideline but it just slipped right out of my hand. It was one of those deals where as you got drives going, the longer the drive, the more wet the ball got. It stayed in there and wasn’t getting substituted in and out.
Q: What does it say about you guys that you won this game tonight and beat Dallas twice this season?
A: They’re a good team, we know that, but I’m just proud of the guys and proud of the way we fought. Again, they stayed with it. Defense kept us in the game, obviously. Kept getting turnovers, kept getting stops. Offensively we stayed patient. We had some mistakes; a couple turnovers that hurt us but we hung in there and kept fighting until the very end.
Q: What does it say about a guy like Odell who can have a few key drops and then one big play to turn it around?
A: He’s a special player. You hit him in stride and good things happen, so we’ve got to find ways to hit him on the move, hit him on the run. Early on, Dallas’ defense was doing a good job getting some pressure on and taking us out of rhythm and not being able to get the ball down the field very much.
Q: As a team leader and a team captain, how do you prevent your guys from not getting too satisfied with this win and making sure they come out with as much fight as they did tonight next week?
A: That shouldn’t be a problem. We’ve still got a long journey ahead. We’re still fighting for a playoff spot, fighting for the division. We’ve got some tough games ahead of us and obviously the next one is Detroit. They’re playing good football. They’ve got nine wins as well, I’m pretty sure, so they’re fighting for a playoff spot, so we’ve got to make sure we handle our business and keep preparing and find ways to play better.
Q: Odell had a rough evening; two drops and a muffed punt. Did you have to go say something to him?
A: No, I didn’t say anything to him. I know he’s going to make plays for us and he’s going to do a lot of good things. Again, I knew the conditions were tough. I was getting some wet balls and I’m sure they’re trying to catch the wet balls. That happens on these types of nights. He’s running the right routes and giving us opportunities. I knew eventually he’d make a big one.
Q: You were looking forward to seeing Shane Vereen come back but he ended up being back out again. How much did you have to adjust without him being in the game plan?
A: Not too much. Our backs have done a good job. We had some third-down stuff we had them in or a two-minute and had them in there. Bobby Rainey and the other backs; they know what they’re doing and we didn’t have to adjust too much.
Q: How do you think you played tonight?
A: Obviously we’ve got to fix the turnovers. The ball slipping out of my hand, I had the fumble and the sack, the interception; the guy jumped the curl, so we’ve got to clean up those plays. We can’t afford to turn the ball over, especially some of those when we’re down that prevented us from scoring some points.
Q: After missing the playoffs the last four years, how big of a win is this?
A: It’s a big win but just because it’s the next one. We’ve still got a lot of football left. We’re not satisfied and we know we’ve got to play better but it was a big win. After a tough loss last week and getting another win in the division, it was a good one but we’ve got to keep fighting.
Q: What does it say about you guys that you have the only two wins this season against the Cowboys?
A: It just says we’ve got the only two wins versus the Cowboys. I don’t think we can look too much into it. They’re a good team, we’re a good team. We’re doing some good stuff but we’ve got to keep doing it. We’ve got to keep finding ways to win football games.
Q: Coach said there were issues with the communication you receive in the helmet. How did that affect you?
A: We had two series when they went out; one pretty long one. Just tried to get to the sideline and figure out what he wanted. Odell was running a few and was running down there so we made it work and it didn’t cause any issues.
Q: You only had one pick but there were a bunch of near-interceptions. Were you fortunate getting away without any more?
A: Yea, always.
Q: When your defense is shutting an offense down like your guys did, how much does that frustrate the other team?
A: Their defense did a good job against us also. Our defense played outstanding. They did a great job getting turnovers, stopping the run, holding them to seven points. They played outstanding and that was a big time performance. I’m glad they could step up like that.
Q: Two wins over Dallas, what does that tell the NFC that you guys are serious contenders?
A: I don’t think of it that way. We had to win, it was the next game. We’re trying to fight for the playoffs and hey, we’ve got to get ready for Detroit next week.
Q: You guys had business to take care of here today, but when you guys play a night game, do you watch other teams playing for the wild card; Tampa Bay, Green Bay, Minnesota all getting wins, does that serve as any extra motivation for you guys?
A: No. For us, we’ve got to handle our business and it’s about us. We can’t get caught up in what other teams are doing. If they all lost, it wouldn’t make this game any different or relaxed or not as important. All of these next games are going to be important and we’ve got to find ways to pull out victories.
Q: Do you think the offense made progress today?
A: They did some good stuff but we’re not scoring enough points. It wasn’t ideal out there but we’ve got protect the ball better than we did tonight.
Q: Did you talk to Ereck Flowers at all when he was struggling?
A: No. All of those guys are competing. They know what they’re doing. Sometimes they get a good jump, get a good rush but that’s part of football.