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QB Eli Manning Interview


Q: Was there a collective attitude that you wanted another chance against the Packers?A: We thought we played a good game. We played them tough. We know they're a good team, but obviously we have another shot. We played with a team who's been playing better football than anybody all year. We played right with them to the end. There are a few things we can do better to give us a shot to win this time.

Q: Does it add anything that you're going to play a 15-1 team in Lambeau field?A: Yeah, I think so. I think anytime you're in the playoffs, you're playing a team who's had a great season and playing in Lambeau Field – it's going to be cold, it's going to be conditions – it should be a great environment. We should have a great week of practice and preparation and go out there and play our best.

Q: The fact that you've been down this road in 2007, is that a factor?A: No, I don't think so. We have a lot of guys who have never been out there. We just have to know it's about our performance. It's about our preparation and going in there, taking our preparation to the field on Sunday and playing our best ball.

Q: Would you say that the confidence level of this team is at its season-high?A: I think we're always confident, but obviously guys are playing well. Our play is at an all-time high for the season. That's the most important thing. The defense is playing outstanding. Offensively, we didn't get off to a fast start, but we never lost our faith and kept playing hard, didn't make mistakes and eventually we got things going and played very well in the second half.

Q: How much do pay attention to the weather forecast? Have you looked at it yet?A: I haven't looked at it. I heard a little – that it's going to be in the 20s. That will be 40 degrees warmer than the last time we were there a few years ago. We know it's going to be cold, it's January, it's cold everywhere. It's not something I'm going to look at every day or get concerned with.

Q: Do you think it was a good sign that you guys had the game that you had with Victor Cruz only catching two passes?A: I think that's the way the offense goes. We're not trying to force it to certain guys. We have a lot of playmakers on this team. With Hakeem and Mario, you get those guys in the mix and making plays. Victor will get his shots and get his chances. He made some big plays for us in the game. It's just a matter of running the offense, everybody knowing they're going to be a big part of it and they're an option to get the ball on any play.

Q: What did you think when you heard that after the game JPP said, 'We're going to win in Lambeau'?A: I didn't hear it. Obviously he's confident. That's always the attitude – that we're going to go in there and we're going to win. That's what you're preparing for.

Q: Why do you think all phases of the game are clicking right now?A: It's tough to say. Obviously getting some guys back healthy, having all of our guys playing is one thing. I can't speak for the defense. Offensively, I think just having all of our weapons back and getting the run game going, just being confident and sticking with what we know and what works.

Q: Do you like getting a second shot at a team that beat you earlier in the year?A: I don't think about it like that. I think, 'Hey, we have a great shot.' We're playing in the playoffs. We're playing a good team and just have fun with that opportunity and go out there and play our best football.

Q:  How critical is it to not only have the running yardage, but the physical running yardage that seems to fuel you guys?A: Brandon's running hard. He had a couple of big runs. The fourth down was huge – where the linebacker met him behind the line of scrimmage and he ran over him, spun and got the first down. He and Ahmad are both running great and the offensive line has opened up some holes. That's what we like to do, especially when you get late in the season. It's all about controlling that line of scrimmage. The offensive line is doing that.

Q: Does the fact that you guys scored a lot of points and were tied late against the Packers mean anything to you?A: I know we can make some big plays and do some good things offensively. We're going to have to block them up. We're going to have to have a good plan to [block] some unique blitzes and we're going to have to be well prepared for that. If we stay patient and see if we can get off to a fast start and just run our offense efficiently.

Q: Have you ever guaranteed a victory?A: No, I don't think so.

Q:  What does it mean to be one of eight teams remaining?A: It's fun. These are fun days – when you come in after a win knowing that you are one of the few teams still playing football right now. The guys should feel good about that. The coaches, everybody's in a great mood that we're continuing our season. It's good for the guys to feel good and relax and have big smiles, but all of a sudden now it's about  getting focused and turning our attention to Green Bay, start looking at the film and look at our old game and figure out what we're going to have to do to win this game.

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