QB Eli Manning discusses his relationship with the Ring of Honor inductees, as he looks forward to Monday's matchup with the Bengals.
Tom Coughlin, Ernie Accorsi and Justin Tuck wouldn't be going into the Giants Ring of Honor this week without Eli Manning. Likewise, there wouldn't be a future space reserved for the franchise quarterback without them.
During a special halftime ceremony on Monday when the Giants host the Bengals, the three inductees will bring the total to 42 people who have received the franchise's highest honor. Accorsi will be the Ring of Honor's second general manager (George Young), Coughlin its fourth head coach (Steve Owen, Jim Lee Howell and Bill Parcells), and Tuck its fifth defensive end (Andy Robustelli, George Martin, Michael Strahan and Osi Umenyiora).
"All of them I have a special bond and relationship with," Manning said. "All of them are very deserving of getting recognized for their contributions to the New York Giants. They all have a special place in my heart, all three of them. Wonderful people and they did their job at a very high level."
While the Giants hope it's long down the road with more wins paving the way, the two-time Super Bowl MVP is a lock to have his name displayed prominently in MetLife Stadium.
"Hopefully," said Manning, who is well into the top 10 in NFL history in every major passing category – and climbing.
"That would be a great honor. Right now, I'm just worried about playing in a game."
That game is an inter-conference matchup against Cincinnati, a team that has made the postseason for the last five years. The Giants, on the other hand, are looking to get back there for the first time since Super Bowl XLVI, and they're in position to do so.
At the midway point in the schedule, they are 5-3 after three consecutive wins and trying to keep pace with Dallas, the NFC East frontrunner at 7-1. Behind them are Washington (4-3-1) and Philadelphia (4-4).
"It's a big game for us against a good team," Manning said. "They've been a playoff team the last few years. Their offense can score points and their defense has some veterans, a lot of experienced and really good players. We just have to make sure we play sharp, go out there, have fun and continue to make some plays."
*On Wednesday, Landon Collins became the first safety to win player of the week awards in consecutive games since Pittsburgh's Troy Polamalu in 2010. The second-year pro is currently the only player in the NFL who leads his team in tackles (69), sacks (three) and interceptions (three). So does he see himself as one of the best safeties in the game?
"I am working at it," the Alabama product said. "I am working on that. That is my goal, that is my ultimate goal, to be one of the best safeties and one of the most respected safeties in this league."
Meanwhile, rookie Andrew Adams, the other half of the Giants' safety tandem, has stepped up admirably in place of Darian Thompson, the third-round draft pick who was placed on injured reserve today because of a foot injury, and his replacement Nat Berhe, who returned to action last week following a concussion. Adams has 29 tackles in five starts this season and recorded his first career interception last week against Philadelphia. The UConn product said the biggest difference in his game right now is confidence.
"Your first game, it's different than preseason and what not. You've kind of seen how the real game works," he said. "A lot of bullets flying. Now, it's just being able to see and react rather than think about should I do this or that. You just play faster."
*If the first game back from the bye week was an indicator, rookie running back Paul Perkins will see more touches down the stretch this season. The fifth-round pick and veteran Rashad Jennings had an even 11-11 split in carries in the victory over the Eagles.
"He's a special person because he has his own personality and work ethic and he earns it through respect," Jennings said of Perkins. "He's a guy that doesn't just want to take handoffs. He wants to earn it."
However, the Giants have rushed for less than 80 yards in each of the last five games, the first time that's happened since official rushing records were first kept in 1933. Nevertheless, they won three of those games.
"That's not how we want to go about it," Jennings said. "We want to be productive. We want to dominate in the run game, and there's a lot of football to be played in a short period of time and I think we're going to find ways to do it.
"We're going to have to depend on it, especially as these games progress in November and December and it starts getting cold. That's the nature of the game; you've got to be able to run."
A look at the expected starters for the Giants' Week 10 opponent