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Postgame QB Eli Manning Interview


Q: Is there anything in saying the team is playing better?A: I think there is. Obviously the goal is always to win. We're disappointed we didn't get a win in this game. We thought we had some opportunities, but we did play better. We got off to a fast start. We did some really good things and they're the best team in football right now. They're playing the best football and we had them tied up with 58 seconds. I think we have to try to take something from this game, take some momentum into these next games and know we have four games left. We have two versus Dallas, who's in the lead, three in the division and a big one at home against the Jets, or it's their home [game]. But we have four big games left and we know what's ahead of us and we have to take whatever we can from this game, clean up a few things, but we have to play good football if we're going to run this down.

Q: Does it sting a little more knowing Dallas lost?A: Well, in a sense it gives you a little relief knowing that we're still right in the mix. We know that we have to play them twice and if we handle our business and play the way we can and win out, then we'll be in the playoffs.

Q: Does it wear on you knowing every game is must-win?A: I don't think so. That's playoff atmosphere. You want to play in must-win games. We know if we win, then we're in the playoffs. That's exciting. That's exciting to have something to look forward to. It starts this week with [Dallas]… We have to get ready for them, play our best football and find a way to get a win.

Q: Missed opportunities?A: Yeah. You can't settle for field goals. We gave them a touchdown on the interception, close on a few touchdowns. A lot of reviews today that could've gone either way it seemed like, but obviously they got the calls right. But it seemed like ours they didn't call touchdowns, theirs they called touchdowns. It is a game of inches and close calls, but they're a good a team and we hung in there with them, played them as good as anybody else, we just didn't finish.

Q: Feel like you got your running game back?A: We ran the ball really well today. That was good to see. They had the plan that they were going to keep two safeties high and challenge us to run and we did that. We ran the ball well. They started dropping safeties down low and hit some big plays in the pass game because of some play action. We had a good mix, a good flow going and that's what we need to do.

Q: Tough when the ball's not in your hands with 58 seconds left?A: Yeah. You root for our defense and they played great. Hoping maybe they get a sack-fumble or get an interception, maybe we can have a shot to get the ball. But Green Bay is good in those situations and Aaron does a great job leading his team down there and getting them in field goal range. You have to give credit to them. With not much time they were able to hit a big play on the sideline and they're a good team.

Q: Any thought that you gave them too much time?A: No. You have to score a touchdown. We scored on third down. You don't have a whole lot of options in that situation. We had to score. We had to go for two. Then the defense has to go out there and try to get a stop.

Q: On the last touchdown, Coughlin said you had a run/pass option.A: We could have run the ball. We had a run called and just had Hakeem on a fade route if things didn't look good. Same play he scored on earlier. So Hakeem's new favorite play is to run for it I think - a little different for a receiver.

Q: Did you audible that at the line?A: No. It's just called. It's just the way it's called.

Q: What did you say to Travis Beckum after that touchdown?A: That was a great job. A great route by him and that's what he can do. He has great speed. He just ran right by the safety, ran outside of him. I moved the safety with a little pump to Hakeem, the other one so I was able to throw it deep down the middle. He did a great job catching it, zigzagging in for a touchdown. Good to get him into the mix and get him a touchdown.

Q: Does this remind of you of the regular season game against New England in '07?A: Hopefully we can take that same approach. That game we lost, but I think everybody felt good about the way we played and had a little momentum going into the playoffs. Obviously it's going to be a similar feel with these next four games. They're all going to be playoff style games where we need to win. We need to make sure that we have that attitude. I think in the locker room, guys are obviously disappointed with the loss, but there was a little sense of energy and sense of, 'Hey, we can get this thing going now.' We played good football and arevexcited about where we stand.

Q: What do you say to the team to put this behind them?A: Guys will put this behind us. We know what we have ahead of us. We know what we have ahead of us. We have a good [Dallas] team [to play in Dallas]. We have to get ready for them. I thought we had great energy today, throughout the whole game - pregame, through the ups and downs everybody was enthusiastic, everybody was upbeat, complimenting each other and we have to keep that. It showed in our play. A lot of big plays, a lot of good things so we have to make sure we keep that attitude into this week of practice and going further on.

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