ELI MANNING CHIMES IN ON BIG BLUE’S AWFUL PLAY
The Giants season to forget got worse Thanksgiving Day as Big Blue dropped a 20-10 decision to the Washington Redskins (5-6) who are clinging to a chance to sneak into the playoffs.
The Giants again could not generate much offense. Eli Manning went 13 of 27 (48.1) for 113 yards, one TD pass and one interception. Manning was sacked four times and finished with a quarterback rating of 44.2.
The game was tied 3-3 at the half and 10-10 after three. The Redskins scored 10 points in the fourth quarter on 33-yard FG by Nick Rose and a 14-yard TD pass from Kirk Cousins to Josh Doctson.
Here is Eli Manning’s conference call today, Friday.
Q: Is this as frustrating of a year as you could imagine?
A: Yeah, it’s definitely a frustrating year. We’re not playing great football offensively. The defense is playing well, keeping us in the games and especially some second half of games, we just haven’t been able to move the ball, not been able to get first downs, not being able to get completions and it’s frustrating. It’s not the style of football that I’m used to playing. Not being able to complete the ball, so yeah it’s frustrating, it is tough. We just got to keep finding ways to be creative to put our guys in great position to make plays and be more efficient offensively.
Q: Do you sense guys are pressing too hard to make plays?
A: I don’t sense that. The guys out there want to make plays. I don’t think they’re trying to do too much and therefore leading to. I think when you start pressing, that’s when mistakes happen and obviously some games we’ve turned the ball over, but we’re not turning the ball over, we’re not forcing things, we’re not sloppy. Everybody has their part in it. It’s not one person, we’ve had drops, I’ve missed some throws, we’ve had some mistakes up front. It’s everybody at different times contributing to our lack of success.
Q: So how do you fix that then?
A: We just got to make sure guys are focused. Obviously this is tough. We got some young guys on a short week. Their first time doing this, late in the year on a short week. You got young guys playing, that can happen. It’s not an excuse, but we got some new guys in the mix. We just got to find a way. We tried to slow down the game a little bit and shorten the game by giving them more two tight ends and three tight ends and running the ball, running the ball and we’re getting ourselves into third and manageable positions, we got to convert. We got third and threes and fours, which we had a lot of, you can’t let those pass away. We got to make the catches, we got to make the plays. It just comes down to everybody being that much more focused. It’s been a tough year and with five games left, this is about your pride and if everybody feels bad about the last game, that was bad football offensively. That is not even close to where it needs to be. We’ve had some injuries, we’ve had some guys out, but we got to find a way to come together and find ways to excel our play and win some football games.
Q: How much of a challenge is it to manage the type of football you guys have been playing?
A: We were talking about the styles not being efficient. Not being explosive. But it is a different style and it is a little bit more run, run and then throw it on third down. So yeah it’s different, but hey, it can be effective, it can work and understand that’s the situation we’re in, but we still got to do the part and finish that job and convert on those third downs and put our guys in a position where they can give them a chance to be successful and find out what they do well. So it’s a little bit of playing it by ear and figuring things out and if you think you’re going to have a guy and then with some injuries, different things going on. So we hope to get Sterling Shepard back in the mix, if not, we got to make sure we’re putting guys in third and fives so they can be successful and the team can be successful.
Q: When one unit is having success on the field, how hard is it to be on the short end of the stick?
A: Yeah, it’s no fun. It’s obviously a team game. All three sides have to do their part to win a football game, but you don’t want to be one of the groups that is contributing to the losses and that’s what the offense is right now. We’re not doing our part. The defense is getting the stops, they’re getting the turnovers, they’re getting the fourth down stops, they’re getting in good field position. We got to do our part. We got to stay on the field, we can’t have three and outs and we got to score more points and build them a lead. If we can get a lead, we can do some things to cause the other team to turn the ball over. We got to do our part.
Q: Do you take this week as a mini bye and take the rest of the weekend off to get some rest for the last five games of the season?
A: Yeah, I think that’s a good plan. It was a short week, after a long season and this last week was a grind and we didn’t get home until 4 AM last night. So I think you do have to spend the next couple of days and let the body rest and recover and get away from it and spend time with the family and just get rejuvenated for these last five games and understand we got to be committed and all in and do everything you can these last five games to make sure we get a better product on the field than what we did last night.
Q: Did you have any specific advice for Evan (Engram)?
A: This is football. Things can be going very well and then all of a sudden, you can just have a few things not go your way and not make the plays. So you just got to keep doing the right things, stay positive, want to get the ball, want to get open, want to do the right things and you’ll get out of it, it will snap. You just got to make sure you’re handling these situations correctly and there’s nothing wrong with feeling bad about it or feeling angry about it or embarrassed about it or whatever it is. It’s fine to go through those things, sometimes you got to have those feelings so you do snap out of it.