QB Eli Manning -- December 17, 2018
Q: Is there a different vibe this morning knowing the mathematics for the playoffs did not work out in your teamís favor?
A: I think weíre still just disappointed about the game yesterday. Just got to look at it and make some corrections. Obviously, we didnít play well enough. I had some missed opportunities, just had some bad plays, and they played well. They had a good plan, they did some good stuff. So, I think thatís the mindset. More just disappointed in the outcome of yesterdayís game.
Q: They seemed intent of taking (RB) Saquon (Barkley) away. How difficult was it to overcome that?
A: We can still move the ball. We were able to throw the ball. We hit some big plays in the passing game. We got some shots, and thatís what happens when teams take the run away. It wasnít that they just took the run. Obviously, we had some negative plays in the run game, which hurts, especially on kind of a tough day to push the ball down the field some. We just didnít make enough plays in the passing game. Hit some shots, had some opportunities, had some drives going, but then we had penalties, we had things that backed us up and that hurt us. Teams are going to try to stop the run game. We still got to be somewhat efficient with it, but we have to help and throw the ball as well.
Q: I think itís six out of seven years that the Giantsí have missed the playoffs. Does it feel like missed opportunities here late in your career?
A: You worry about it when youíre at the time. Each year is a different opportunity, different things. Yeah, youíre disappointed weíre not going to be playing for an opportunity to win a championship. Just try to play hard. Got to win more football games.
Q: When you donít make the playoffs, in your mind, does that season become a failure?
A: Thereís only one team that is happy at the end of the season, and thatís the team that wins the championship. Obviously, you want to feel like youíre going in the right direction, or youíre a team thatís close. I think weíre a better team than we were last year. Had opportunities to win a lot of games this year. We just werenít able to quite win some of those tight ones, those close ones, but you keep playing and you just try to get better and start kind of changing the culture and getting that winning culture back here.
Q: I know you feel like youíre heading in the right direction, but do you feel close?
A: Yeah, I think weíre doing a lot of good things. I think we have good players. I think we have a lot of the right pieces, and itís just a matter of Ė when you have a lot of turnover and a lot of new guys that come on to a team, it takes a little time for everybody to kind of get on that same page, and to play well as a team. We started to kind of hitting that stretch yesterday. It was tough, it was going to be a tough one, hung in there until the fourth quarter, and just didnít quite execute like we needed to. I think we are close, and starting to build kind of that winning culture back here.
Q: Some asked Coach Shurmur is he thinks you still have years left, and he said yes. They asked him, why, he said because heís seen you play good football. What does that mean to you?
A: Coach has had my back all year. Heís been great. He believes in me. That makes your job easier, when the coach believes in you. We know we can play better. So, itís a start.
Q: Do you still believe in yourself the same way you always have?
A: Yeah, I know I can play, I can make the throws. Yesterday, I made some good throws. So, it still feels like I can run around and make plays, and do a lot of good things. When there was a stretch when we were playing good football, and we just got to get back to it.
Q: Do you think you will look yourself in the mirror at some point and say I canít do it anymore if you feel you canít?
A: Yeah, Iím sure it will happen at some point.
Q: You donít think thatís close right now at all to you?
A: I donít know. I guess weíll know when we know.
Q: You go back to Indianapolis under less than ideal circumstances playoff-wise, but that is a special place for you. Will you kind of take some time to kind of reflect on it?
A: No, youíre playing in a game. I donít think Iíve ever reflected on past games, or scenarios when you go in to play a team. So, itís just business. Try to go in there. Theyíre playing good football. Try to go get a win and feel good about what weíre doing. Weíre here, weíre going to be at practices, and weíre going to be working hard, weíre going to be doing all the efforts. So, may as well feel good about that on Sunday.
Q: How important to you personally is it to end this season on a good note?
A: I think itís important to everybody. Weíre all fighting for jobs, fighting to play good football. Thatís the goal every Sunday, is to go out there and to win, and try to do your job to the best of your ability. Coaches are going to be coaching. Players, weíre going to be practicing. Weíre going to be game planning. Weíre going to be watching film. Weíre going to be putting in the work, putting in the effort. Sunday, thatís the fun day. Thatís the day where you go get to celebrate. You get to go feel good, score touchdowns, and be with your team, and compete. You definitely want to end the season strong. Weíve been playing good football the last couple months. Football, sometimes you have bad days, you have rough days, thatís fine. Now, we got to kind of prove that we are a good football team still, and kind of those teams that can bounce back, and everybody does it. Throughout the course of the league, the best teams sometimes, all of a sudden, they have a game where they donít play their best, or they lose. Itís about bouncing back. The good teams bounce back, so thatís what weíre trying to prove.
Q: Coach Shurmur had mentioned in a couple weeks when you guys arenít playing, that you guys are going to miss it. Do you still enjoy the grind?
A: Yeah, nothing changes. The schedule doesnít change. The effort, the mentality, the preparation that goes into this game Ė nothing changes. For us, itís the same routine. We got to go out there and play well, and feel good about what weíre doing.