QB Eli Manning
Postgame vs. Detroit – December 18, 2016
Q: Can you talk about the catch that Odell made on the touchdown?
A: Yeah, it was a great catch. One handed, that is what he can do, so that is not uncommon, but a great job going down and making that catch. It was a huge play. Getting seven points right there was obviously big, making it a two-score game, so he made some big time plays for us today and it was good to get the touchdown right there.
Q: You guys rushed for over 100 yards today. How much does that help with your command with the offense?
A: Yeah, I thought that was big, especially the way we started the game rushing it well – on that first series we mixed in the run with the pass, got some third down conversions, a lot of third and threes, third and fours, which were very manageable against a good defensive line and getting that touchdown. Taking the ball, winning the toss and taking the ball down and scoring a touchdown versus a good defense was big for our offense and for the team.
Q: How big was that throw to Odell at the 25-yard line on the left side?
A: Yeah, that was a big third down. Third and 10, those are tough versus this team, they do a good job. They brought some pressure, five-man rush, the offensive line did a good job picking it up, Perkins stepping up and I had Odell on the corner route, so had the time and was able to step into it and get him an accurate ball, so that was a big time third down conversion. Then I hit Shep on a little bubble route a few plays later, got a big play and got us in that position to extend the lead and help us get that win.
Q: With Justin (Pugh) starting today, was running as much as you did part of the game plan?
A: Yeah, I think so. I think that we wanted to come in – we had a feeling that they were going to play a lot of two shell and try to not give us the big play, so we are going to have to run the ball and they are going to give us the looks to run it. We didn’t know what the weather would be, rain, and so we kind of went in saying, ‘We are going to run it and mix it.’ And I think that put us in a position to get us in that third and manageable, and I think the offensive line did a great job, the running backs did a great job running the ball well, being tough and kind of setting the mood for the game.
Q: How important was it for you guys to start with the ball and take it right down the field for a touchdown?
A: It was big, especially coming out of last week struggling offensively. We were not as good as we wanted to be and for us to win the toss and for Coach McAdoo to say that we are going to take the ball and go down and score, I think that is big for the offense, giving us some confidence and also for the defense. It is big knowing that we already got them a seven-point lead, so they can continue to go out there and play great football.
Q: What did you have to correct there with a couple of those drives there in the second half?
A: Yeah, we had one bad drive there where the very first play, you are in the huddle talking about everybody’s routes and we get a bust on one guy’s route and so you kind of think, ‘How does that happen?’ I just told everybody what the route was, what we were doing and to take a sack right there. The next play, tried to hit Perkins and didn’t throw a great ball and it is a drop and then on third down I missed Shane, so kind of three bad plays right there when we were in pretty good field position with a chance to get a bigger lead than we had. But besides that, I thought the guys played well and did a lot of good things.
Q: Even though the offense has struggled this season, when you are in that clutch part of the game where you have to score a touchdown, are you still as confident as ever?
A: Yeah, I am confident in every series, so I thought today was good. We had a lot of completions, we were taking check downs, hitting the tight ends underneath, hitting the backs underneath, just getting positive yards. The defense wanted to play two shell and give us the underneath stuff, then we just have to take it. You can sit there and hold it and wait for things to possibly open down the field, but hey, let’s just take completions, move the ball, give ourselves the opportunity to get some long drives and just understand that that might be our style of play.
Q: Can you talk about the missed play with Odell in the seam down the left sideline?
A: Yeah, we had a corner route, the corner sat on it a little bit and I was surprised I was going to get it and I just missed him. That is just me and him being on the same page. Sometimes those corner routes are the toughest throw because his angle is going to be different every time based off where the corner is, where the safety is, so you try to put a line drive where he can make that catch and possibly get out of bounds or we still had a timeout at that point. We were just inches off right there, he tried to do a great job, turn his body and make the catch, so it would have been nice to get that one and maybe after that, be in field goal range.
Q: You started 11-for-11. Are you conscious of that during the game?
A: No. I mean, sometimes you kind of know when you are starting off and are finding completions or you haven’t gotten a completion, you might feel it a little bit, but you don’t know the exact numbers.
Q: With the way your defense is playing and you guys scoring these big touchdowns, do you allow yourself to become excited that this could be the recipe for something great?
A: I think that I just look at it week by week and understand that our defense is playing good and we have to play smart offensively, but we still have that desire – we want to go out there and score on offense. We know that we can make plays and we can have that game where we score 28 or 35, so we can’t force it, we just have to wait for the opportunities, be patient with them. But eventually – I thought that guys stepped up and made some big plays today. We just have to do that and keep doing that.
Q: You finished 7-1 at home. What does that feel like?
A: It is big. I don’t know if that has ever happened since I have been here, so that is what you are supposed to do – win all of your home games and fight for the ones on the road, so we lost the one against Washington in a close one, so I am proud of the way this team has fought all year, found ways to win close football games and that is a great quality to have. That is what you have to have going into December. You get the weather, you get playoff contention, you get playoff games and you have to win close games and we have been in a lot of them. I am proud of the way the offense and defense have stepped up and made big time plays in critical moments of the game.