Q: You have had a lot of success against the Giants. Are there certain teams that just bring out your best?
A: I just think, for whatever reason, that’s the way it’s worked out. I feel like we’ve always played in some big games; both teams have been successful, so they’ve been meaningful games at different points in the season. As far as the success level or not, I can’t say, other than just those have been games where we’ve been able to execute very well, and for whatever reason, we’ve been able to have success. Q: What are your impressions of the Giants defense from film study?
A: I think they’ve got an extremely talented group of players. Some guys have been a part of that defense for a while now. They are doing a great job of getting turnovers, taking the ball away; I believe they have the third-most takeaways in the NFL this year, which is impressive. I think they do a great job getting pressure on the quarterback with a four-man rush. They’ve got a plethora of great pass rushers. Their front four has done a phenomenal job at that; always has. That’s been their reputation and they live up to that. When you turn on the film, I think they’re very good at what they do. They keep it relatively simple; they know what they play and they play it well. For us, it’s really about execution, just like it is on their end. Q: How frustrating was it last week to have your defense, who has struggled this season, play so well, but your offense wasn’t able to come through in a big divisional game?
A: Yeah, that was disappointing. It was disappointing. You feel like that was an opportunity for us as a team to make up some ground and put ourselves in position where we can control our own destiny, but unfortunately now, we’re kind of at the bottom end of the playoff picture. Maybe some things have to happen in our favor elsewhere and we’ll see how things play out, but we know this: all we can control is our ability to play well in this game and then worry about the other three after that. We know that there’s no margin for error and we’ve got to play well and we have to win. Q: How big a factor is it with your offense to play on the road and outside the dome over the years?
A: Obviously we’ve played well at home; we’ve won a lot of big games at home. I can also point to a lot of games where we’ve won some really big games on the road. The great teams find a way to win no matter where they go, whether it’s at home, whether it’s on the road; when its crunch-time and you’re in a situation where it’s a must-win and you have to play well and you can’t slip-up, the great teams are able to come through. We want to be one of those teams. We understand this is one of those situations. Q: Do you think the Giants have been very inconsistent this season?
A: No, I’d say this: I know they’ve had a tough stretch, and honestly it seems like over the last few years, according to my observations, the Giants, just like last year, they kind of had a tough stretch where they lost four in a row. Then, all of a sudden, you get rested, you get healthy, you go on a bye week, whatever it is, and you kind of pull it together. I know this, they’re extremely well-coached. They have a lot of veteran players that have been around a long time and been through a lot, experienced a lot. They have a great quarterback. They have a bunch of playmakers on defense. They have the ability to turn it on, and when they turn it on, they can be very good. I hope we’re not catching them on the up-swing. I think you know what they’re capable of just like you know what we’re capable of. I think both teams want to go out there and play their best, and if that’s the case, this is going to be a heck of a football game. Q: Are you extra-motivated after your last performance against Atlanta?
A: I would say that was disappointing for me, very uncharacteristic of me and not what I’m used to. Mom always said there would be days like that. You’re going to have a rough day and, unfortunately, it was the timing of it all at this point in the season and against a divisional opponent on the road, you kind of scratch your head. But I think for me I went back and I analyzed that film and everything that happened is correctable and I can fix and I’ve been doing everything in my power to get that done. I also know this – I’m not losing any confidence. You’ve got to have a lot of trust and a lot of confidence to play this position and I believe in myself and I believe in this team, in this offense and our ability to make plays and to score points and to help lead this team. Playing on Thursday night and then you have a whole week to sit there and think about it. That’s the part that’s really frustrating because it’s not like you get right back on the field and go back to work, but I definitely did what I needed to do in order to get myself in the state of mind to come out and have a great week of preparation and get ready to go out and play a big game. Q: Do you pay attention to what other quarterbacks are doing in the league and if you do, what are your thoughts on what Eli has been able to do the last few years?
A: There are guys that I follow. There are guys that I like to watch. There are offenses that I like to watch. He’s one of them and that offense is one of them. I think what’s been so impressive about Eli is the minute somebody sells him short or says that he’s not elite or whatever it is, he finds a way to prove them wrong and you can’t argue his accomplishments and that of that team. They’re the defending world champs. They’ve won two here over the last five years. So they’ve been one of the most successful teams in the NFC. Playing for a team that we won a World Championship two years ago, we’re aspiring to get back. We know how hard it is to get back, but then you see a team like that, they won one in ’07. It takes them a while to get back, but when they do, they make the most of it. That journey that they went through last year and that Eli went through last year and everything, it just shows the maturity of that team and of him and the experience level and also just the grit. So that’s definitely something that deserves to be respected and commended.