NYG Postgame (vs. Cowboys) Transcripts: QB Eli Manning -- December 30, 2018
Q: What are your thoughts on the first drive out there?
A: Bad decision by me. Tried to get a little high-low in the corner and thought he might sit on it. I just have to see it and push it out. Bad decision by me.
Q: How would you describe how the season went? You lost eight games by a possession or less.
A: I think a lot of close games early in the year. Obviously we were not playing well offensively. I thought we lost a couple of close games and in the second half, we played a lot better offensively and got into a rhythm. We made plays and felt good about what we were doing. We made adjustments but still had some close heartbreaking games, especially these last two. We just were not able to make plays at the end to win but we had an opportunity at the end. We had an opportunity in this game to make it a two-score game at the end and didnít take advantage of that and had to settle for a field goal. We had to settle. We needed 15 yards to get in field goal range and threw four straight incompletions.
Q: Can you talk about your emotions today and getting off the field given the uncertainty of what is next?
A: We just tried to go out and win the game. It is never exciting to play the last game of the season when you know you arenít going to the playoffs. We still wanted to go out and play well. We had that feeling in the locker room where we felt good about what was going on and about the work that was being put in. I think we made a lot of progress. It was just a tough loss. Dak makes a great play on fourth down. We had an opportunity to win it; we just did not make the plays. I am disappointed with the game.
Q: Any big picture feelings?
A: No. Try not to think about that or put anything on that. Just try to finish this season on a good note.
Q: Does the locker room feel different to you this year than last year given similar circumstances?
A: It feels different. We went into every game this year feeling like we had a great opportunity. We had a chance to win games and score points. Last year, guys were injured, coach gets fired during the season, a lot of things going on. This one, you saw the progress. You saw us getting better and felt good about things, what we were trying to accomplish. We just saw hoped that we could turn things around. We lost some tough games towards the end.
Q: You have been doing this for 15 years. Is the passion still there? Is this still fun?
A: Yes. This is all I know. I love coming to practice. I love game planning, getting plays that will work and competing. Winning games, celebrating touchdowns, all of that. All of that is fun. The losses hurt and they are tough to deal with. They are tougher now than in the past because you know your opportunities are running low to make playoffs and championship runs. When you are not doing as well as you want to, it is tough to handle.
Q: You came on the field to take photos with your daughters before the game. Was that anything significant?
A: No. Ever hear the phrase Ďa happy wife, a happy lifeí? I think that fits that category.
Q: What was it like at the end when the fans were chanting your name?
A: I guess I was focused in on what we were doing. I didnít hear it. I wanted to go win that game and make a run. Go have a two-minute drive to win it. Unfortunately, I feel bad. We should be able to do that and make those plays.
Q: Can you talk about Evan Engram and his progression this year?
A: He got off to a little slow start during the year. I thought he had a great camp and was doing a lot of things. He got off to a slow start and had the injury that kept him out a few games. Same deal, second half he came back and has played great. He played great last week and made some huge plays this week. We know he is a playmaker. He was making those plays, felt confident and stepped up his role. Just knew what to do and became a leader of this team and this offense.
Q: What is your level of desire to be here next year?
A: There is great talent and great character guys here. Guys you love to come to work with and you appreciate what they do and put in to get better, learn and listen to do the right things. You appreciate being able to come to work every day when you have guys that love what theyíre doing. It makes it fun.
Q: You didnít take a moment at all today to process this could be your last game here?
A: No. You try not to worry about those things. Just enjoy the moment and enjoy playing football. Enjoy every aspect. That is always your mindset. Playing in games, enjoy the circumstances and the situations. Enjoy the opportunity to go try and win a game. I think you have to always look at the positives and embrace it because you just donít know.
Q: This has been the only job you have wanted and you have been here for 15 years. Why do you think the marriage between yourself and this market has been so good?
A: I donít know. I think I have put all I could into it, playing quarterback for the Giants. I have tried my best to go out there every day and compete. That is all you can ask for from yourself.
Q: How do you feel when your coach says he believes in you just a few minutes ago? Does it impact your thinking at all?
A: No. I appreciate coach Shurmur and everything he has done. He has had my back this whole season, especially during the tough parts of the season. He has been great to me. The whole coaching staff has. I appreciate him. I think he is a great coach and the right man for this job. I appreciate his support and everything he has done for me.
Q: How do you evaluate your team when Odell is out there versus when he is not?
A: I think you get a good evaluation of the guys that are out there. The guys that are making plays and stepping up. Sterling playing in different spots, more outside than normal. Guys have to step up. Evan stepped up. Cody stepped up and made some big plays. You see other guys in situations to make plays and you rely on them. Odell is a tremendous player. When he is in games, he is going to attract the ball. It gives you an opportunity to trust those other guys and to see if they can make plays. They did.
Q: Do you have a gut feeling on if you will be back?
A: No, not right now. We will figure it all out.