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QB Eli Manning on Jets Rivalry


Q: Does it matter that you're playing the Jets or is it all about the playoffs?

A: Every game is important. This one is a big game because both teams are fighting for playoff spots. The fact that it is the Jets and they are the other New York team and we only play every four years, it does add something to it. But I think it's bigger this year because of the importance of the game for both sides.

Q: How awkward will it be being the road team?

A: We've dealt with that in preseason games playing against them. It's nice not to have to travel for a game. We're just going to go in there with the mentality that we have a game. We don't care whether it's home or away. We're the away team. We're worried about getting ready for the Jets and going out there and playing our best.

Q: How do you beat the Jets?

A: We have to play great football. They're talented on defense. You have to try to play smart. You can't give them turnovers, can't make things easy for them and hopefully there will be a few opportunities to drive the ball, get some big plays and take advantage of those.

Q: How much of a playoff atmosphere will this be?

A: Whether you call it playoff atmosphere or not, it's a big game. Everybody knows it. Everybody knows what we're playing for. You just have to go with the mindset that we have to play our game. We have to be relaxed. We have to come in there and just play our best football.

Q: Do you appreciate what this means to New York football fans?

A: Yeah, definitely. This is exciting. I've been here eight years and this is only the second time I've been a part of this. It is exciting for the New York area, for sports fans and the fact that it's at the end of the season, it's Christmas Eve and both teams need to win to get into the playoffs. A lot is on the line.

Q: How good is the Jets' pass rush?

A: They're good. They show a lot of different looks. They have the ability to blitz a number of people. You have to have a plan for that, try to have some solutions, whether you have to pick it up. Behind it is a lot of man coverage. Guys have to get open in a timely fashion. Obviously if we can get some completions and guys can make some guys miss, there are opportunities to make some big plays.

Q: How do you expect your team to respond to the disappointing loss?

A: I expect us to come out ready to play. We've had a good week of practice and good concentration. I hope everybody comes with a great game plan and once you get there it's just about executing.

Q: Do you embrace the opportunity to have your destiny in your own hands?

A: Yeah. If you said at the beginning season we would be in this position – have two games left and knowing if you win you're in the playoffs – you'd take it every time. That's a spot you want to be in. We're here. Now it's how we handle it.

Q: Do you prefer the personality of Coughlin or Ryan?

A: I agree with Coach Coughlin. It's not what's said before the game. Everything will be decided, in this case, on Saturday. That's the mindset around here. It's going to come down to how we perform on the playing field.

Q: What have you figured out about why this team has played poorly in the second half of seasons?

A: It's all going to come down to how we finish. These last two games will dictate a lot of things and whether our season can be a good season or not. That's how we're looking at it. We have two games. We have to finish these last two games strong.

Q: Do you have any sense of what's going on the second half of the season?

A: Yeah. We haven't scored more points than the opponent. We'll try to fix that and go out there and try to find a way to win.

Q: I have to think your analytics go further than that.

A: Sometimes it's that simple.

Q: Are you going to take some shots at Revis?

A: Yeah, we'll have to. Obviously he's a good player and you have to be careful on certain throws. We're going to have to test all of the guys. I'm just going to try to go through my reads and throw it to the guy who should be getting the ball.

Q: Against Revis, is that a time where you can really use your downfield accuracy to your advantage?

A: Yeah. Obviously he's talented and the fact that it's a lot of man coverage, he likes to get his hands on the receivers, but what separates him is he has great ball skills once the ball is in the air. You have to be select on what throws you want to try to go after him [with] and [be] confident with the throw that you can put it in the perfect spot.

Q: Is there any concern that your great season might be forgotten if this team doesn't make the playoffs?

A: My goal, whether I consider myself having a good season or not, is how the team does. We have two games left and a big one this week. We need to play our best football. I need to play my best football in these last games.

Q: Do you think the teams have adopted the attitudes of their coaches? As in the Jets seem to be loud and you guys seem to be, 'We know what the job is. We just have to go out there and do it.'

A: I think so. I think that's what the coach does. You try to have his attitude. Whatever he expresses to his team, the way he conducts himself, that's the way he wants his team prepared and run. I think that's the mindset of a lot of the players around here also. Maybe not everyone, but a majority of ones, we don't have to say a whole lot. We're just going to go out there and play our best football.

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