At this point of his career, Eli Manning knows that it starts and stops with him in New York. The best fourth quarter quarterback in the NFL, as he goes, so goes the Giants. Manning is the tone setter, but we have to cut the Giants some slack. A week that included hurricane Sandy that ravaged the New York City area, players had to worry about personal issues as well as professional. Manning spoke to WFAN in New York with Mike Francesa about the loss, and the long week dealing with the aftermath of Sandy.
“Coach Coughlin spoke about that and everyone on the team wanted to do that. We wanted to go out there and give the Giants fans and the people around New York something to cheer about. A big game against a good team. We weren’t able to do that. It’s disappointing, just the way we played. There are some games that you lose, but you feel like you did some good things, and you don’t feel as bad. This is one that you just … it was hard to sleep last night. You want to kick yourself and you want to fix it as soon as possible and get back to practice and get back to work and make sure you go back out next week and get a better performance. That’s what we’re going to do, and it will get done.”
“Yeah and we gotta do that. That’s what great teams can do. You are going to have a bad week. You are going to have things when everybody is on you and everybody is, all of a sudden, you’ve been getting praised and now everybody has got you and everybody is worried and starts changing their tone. It’s how you respond to that. It’s, ‘Hey, what is our attitude going to be on Wednesday when we get back to work at practice and preparation?’ I thought the guys had a good attitude [Monday]. We came in and everybody felt bad. It’s easy to sit there and kind of whine and have your head down and blame everybody else for the loss, but I thought our guys did a good job of saying, ‘It starts with me.’ It starts with your own self and you gotta look at it and be self-critical of yourself to make these adjustments, and from there we can move on to be better.”
Even in the Dallas game, we were able to respond in the fourth quarter and get some good drives and have two good drives to go regain the lead, and we had our opportunities this past weekend. We were down four with plenty of time and a two-minute drive and we go three-and-out and don’t get the ball back after that. We need to look hard at ourselves. It starts with each person looking at themselves. It starts with me looking at what I need to do to get better, what I need to do to help out our offense and help out our team and making good decisions and throwing the ball accurately. I’ve gotta be sharper. I’ve gotta make sure that everyone on the offense has a great understanding of what’s going to happen, how plays are going to turn out and what’s going to occur to make sure everybody is going to do the right thing. Sometimes it’s good to get this little reality check. We’ve been winning the two previous weeks without playing our best. We were able to hold on and make plays in the fourth quarter and win games, but when you lose a game, finally, and you play poorly, I think nothing hits home like that. And so we’ve got to really look at our practices, look at our decisions and make sure we’re doing everything really well.”