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QB Eli Manning


Q: Is the confidence level higher this week?
A: I think your confidence is always high. It doesn't matter how you played last week. We have great confidence in our team. We know we have playmakers. It's just about going out there and executing. This week we have to have the same focus and determination that we had last week, have a great week of practice, and go out there and perform on Sunday.

Q: What do you have to do to get a victory against the Cardinals?
A: Both sides of the ball have to be very sound. We've been playing smart football, not making too many mistakes. We have to be aggressive. We have to hit some big plays and be smart with the football. Hopefully our defense can continue to play well also.

Q: Is it special going into the same building you won the Super Bowl in?
A: I think it is, but once you get there it's going to be, 'Focus on the game at hand and get ready for the Cardinals.' Try to understand their scheme and see what their game plan is going to be and go out there and just play our game.

Q: Can you see how much smarter you were with the ball against the Eagles?
A: To win games you have to protect the football. You can win games and turn the ball over, but it makes it tough. It puts a lot of stress on the defense and makes it harder for everyone. I think we're doing a good job of being smart with the ball and making better decisions than we did last year.

Q: Did you miss the offseason?
A: I think everybody misses the offseason when you have new players and you lose guys and you have new guys stepping in. There is some of that, where it might take a little bit to get into rhythm. I think we've gotten better every game. I think that we have to keep taking strides. We're not exactly where we need to be. We're not playing perfect football. There are still areas of improvement, but as long as we keep getting better, keep getting stronger, making strides toward the right way, we'll be in good shape.

Q: What is it that the Cardinals' defense does so well in the red zone to make it tough down there?
A: We're just looking into that right now. We haven't put in all of our red zone plays as of right now. They play very sound, they mix up zone and man, they don't let many teams run it in and they're good against the pass down there.

Q: Do you think the trio of Nicks, Manningham, and Cruz can be more productive than last year?A: I hope so. They're very talented receivers and all have made big time plays. It's just a matter of continuing to do that and being very consistent and working together. They are doing a great job and I have great confidence in these guys.

Q: Is Cruz better suited for the outside?
A: I think he's probably had more work as an outside receiver. I think you're trying to get him confident in all areas so he can play inside and outside and move guys around. That's what we're working on. Last game he had a touchdown from the slot and a touchdown from out wide. I think he's going to get work at both of them, but we need him to step up and be a good slot receiver also.

Q: You started two for 11 against the Rams. Since then you have been at an 80 per cent completion rate. Is there an explanation for how something like that happens?
A: Sometimes you're just having the right plays and guys are getting open and having protection and things just working out, seeing things well and hitting the open guys. It's always a combination of things. Just get in rhythm, get in good down and distance. The guys protected well and we had a good game plan and [were] going to the right places.

Q: Do you feel like you're in a groove?
A: I always feel confident in what we're doing. No matter if at first you had a few incompletions or something happens. I always feel this series will be the one where I can complete every pass. I think we're doing a good job of putting guys in a situation to have an understanding of what their routes are, what our combinations are. Guys are understanding [the offense] and getting open in a timely fashion.

Q: How many of the interceptions are 50/50 balls that go the other way?
A: I don't have the exact answer to that. Got fortunate on the one to Victor [Cruz] and he made a big play. I'm just trying not to make a habit of that. Sometimes you get fortunate, sometimes you don't. You just don't want to take too many chances. You can probably go back to last year's film and say it could've been 30 interceptions or it could've been less. Q: Is that margin pretty thin?
A: Sometimes there are tight throws that you have to make and that's part of football. Sometimes it's just not a wise decision. It's about making smart decisions. If it's a tight throw, being a confident throw and seeing that you can get it in there.

Q: After a slow start is it easy to get on an even keel and know that you are going to get into rhythm?
A: You just know as the quarterback you're still finding out what's your best personnel, what's the best thing that's going to work for us, what is going to be our best way of finding completions. Sometimes it just takes a little longer or you have to work at it, building confidence and guys getting more experience and game-time experience, understanding what it takes to get open. It's different. It's different once you get into games than practice. We have young guys and new guys doing it, but I think they're making improvements. We're getting better as an offense every week. That's got to be our goal.

Q: How's the development of the three tight ends coming along?
A: We just have to keep calling plays for them and it all depends on coverage. You call plays that they have a shot to get open in. It's just a matter of, obviously, what the coverages are, but they're doing a good job. They have a good understanding of what's going on. You never know when it's going to be their game, when they have eight or 10 catches between the three of them.

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