Head Coach Tom Coughlin
(Opening Statement) – "Well, it's fun to win, it's nice to win and to be able to finish the game with the ball in our hand was really fulfilling tonight because we talked about playing 60 minutes and we haven't been doing that. We hadn't been finishing, that was a major goal and we did that. I thought that the fact that when we did turn the ball over the one time our defense held them to a field goal and that was huge as well. It was a well played game on both sides and they played well. They didn't play well last week, they came out firing tonight and had a lot of good ideas and good thoughts and challenged us. We knew a lot about their defensive front. They were very good obviously coming in. I really have a hard time anticipating why their run stats weren't quite as good because they are physical up front. A really solid game for our guys, disappointed in the one turnover and disappointed that we didn't get more but it certainly is good to win and it does keep us alive."
(Can you talk about your team's resilience?) – "Our guys have hung in there. They've taken all the shots from the outside and they've continued to work hard, believing they can win and tonight that's what it took. We've played a bunch of games where at half time we were well in the game and leading many of the games but we hadn't done that in the second half so it was good to see that tonight."?
(How bad was Odell Beckam Jr. when he had to go in for treatment?) – "Cramping. I saw him and I didn't know what was going on and then I was told what he was doing so I knew he would be right back."
(About the play of the defense) – "We had talked a lot about recognizing when something doesn't go the way you want it to go, hey, grit your teeth, believe in what you're doing, look each other in the eye and find a way to overcome it and tonight I thought they did that. There were times in other games when we had that situation, the balls at mid-field, the balls are in the air and we hadn't been able to stop them. Tonight we had a couple of very, very good stops and of course that last one was huge."
(About the play of Eli Manning tonight) – "He played superbly tonight and I had a good feeling that he would. He had a nice week of
practice. He again was in command of everything out there and the play, the slant to Harris to give us the first down there in the four minute drive was huge. The big plays to Odell, we thought we had another one early on, the pressure kept him from really being able to launch the ball the way he wanted to but otherwise he was well in control and played outstanding."
(Can you talk about the third and three at the end and the decision to pass the ball?) – "To be honest with you we've been in those situations before. Sometimes we've thrown and not achieved what we've needed to, sometimes we've run and not achieved. We hadn't really been very good in the four minute offense. Tonight we ran the ball a couple of times and Ben (McAdoo) asked do you want to run it and I said whatever you feel is the safe way to gain, we only needed four yards, you get four yards and the game's over. It was risky from the standpoint of stopping the clock and the whole business that goes along with it but we were confident. He put the ball down low where if we didn't get it, nobody was going to get it and Odell made a heck of a catch keeping his hands under the ball."
(What does it say about Odell Beckham Jr. coming back from injury and scoring an 84 yard touchdown?) – "It says a lot about him. It says that he's a great competitor, he loves to play and he wants to win. Nobody wants to win harder than he does."
(How much did Odell Beckham Jr.'s confidence that he kept his feet in on the first touchdown influence your decision to challenge?) – "You can get caught in those kind of things with players because sometimes they don't see it all. And I didn't see it all because I couldn't see through bodies to see where his feet were. But he was sure he was in and of course there was no show upstairs so I kind of hemmed and hawed over there and fortunately had enough time for the guys in the box were saying, 'he's in. He's in. He's in.' That was relatively a formality at that point in time."
(You changed things up with your running game as the game progressed. What went into that?) – "Well, we put a lot of
pressure on our people to run the ball this week. This team had given up 134.8 [yards] per game; six rushers over 100 yards. So I wanted to stop hemming and hawing and do it. Let's go do it. You know, it wasn't all clean. It wasn't all pretty. I don't know what the final numbers are."
(How badly were you hit on the sideline?) – "Actually, it helped. It snapped my neck. It feels a whole hell of a lot better right now. Thanks for asking."
(You had a tumultuous end to your week with the Damontre Moore situation. How bad did you need this win to get over that?) – "I think the guys moved right past that and right into the next session. We were trying to get ready to play."
QB Eli Manning
(Opening Statement) – "It's a big win. We obviously knew what happened yesterday in the division, the other teams, so we had to stay on track. It was a big win also for the fact that it came down to the fourth quarter and we had to make some plays and we had a four minute drive at the end there where we had to get some first downs to keep the ball and we did that.
And it's something we haven't been able to finish. We've had some good four minute drives and got close or scored points or did some things, but this, we had a third and five, we needed a first down to end the game, to seal it, and we made the play."
(Can you talk about the decision to throw vs run it at the end of the game for the last first down?) – "I think we had to throw it
. We had to throw, we had to get the first (down). Let's be aggressive and go get the first and win the game. That was the opportunity. We've been throwing the ball well, getting completions, had a one on one match up with Odell (Beckham Jr.) versus a corner, and we took it, and we made the play.
(What about the big play to Odell? Can you talk about that play?) – "Yeah, just a little double move. They were playing quarters and the safety was getting low, and just got him. Kind of ran a slant and go off him. It's something we haven't practiced in a while, but we talked about it, talked about it today with the guys, it might come up if they want to play some quarters. They hadn't shown a whole lot of that, and sure enough we got it called and talked about getting it on the sideline, had everybody alerted to it, and got the coverage we wanted. I was thinking it would be a big play, or had a chance to, I didn't think it would be that open, but it worked out. I'm not complaining about it."
(You completed 87% of your passes tonight. Did you feel like you were in a zone?) – "Yeah, I just felt like guys were getting open quickly. I thought we had a lot of clean looks. I thought we had a good game plan in. And just talked about it all week, just getting the plays that we, you know, how can we play fast, how can we get the ball snapped and guys playing fast and knowing exactly where they are going to be, and have great timing, and I thought we did that. Had a good plan, guys were getting open on time and we didn't hold the ball a whole lot, we ran the ball well, we didn't get too many, had a couple third and longs, but not too many where we could get the ball out quickly."
(You spread the ball around, are you excited about the way your teammates responded this game?) – "I thought early on we
did a good job just seeing how they were going to play and just getting completions to Rueben (Randle) and (Will) Tye and getting the backs involved and running the ball and kind of getting everybody going, Dwayne (Harris), getting everybody in the mix. You know we run the ball to get that safety down a little tighter, mixes up, and makes them change up their coverages to try to slow down the run and then can open up some big plays for us."
(What was your reaction when you found out Odell (Beckham Jr.) was cramping?) – "I didn't know. I found out whenever it happened, we kind of talked about it on the sideline. (Offensive Coordinator) Coach (Ben) McAdoo said hey, we're thinking about this play or this play, you know, pick one. And then he says Odell (Beckham Jr.) probably won't be out there, he's getting an IV, so I said okay.
(You said okay?) -- "What else are you going to say, you know? Just so I know who's out there and who's going to be playing. Myles (White) will be at "Z" and you know to go from there. You know just having a plan so it didn't shock me when he wasn't out there."
(Was it a welcome sign when he came back on the field?) – "Yea it's always good to have him back on the field, but other guys were playing well and I think that is when we are at our best when everybody is in the mix and everyone is getting the ball and I am just making my reads, and the ball is going to where it needs to go."
**(When Odell caught that first touchdown and he saw he was in and the referees weren't sure. What does it say not only can
he make the play, but realize that his feet were down?)** – "I mean he has great body control and knows where everything is. He has a great feel for the sidelines and doing with his feet. He was talking about it and we were getting lined up for the next play and the coaches were figuring out if they wanted to challenge it, but obliviously it was a great challenge by Coach challenging that and getting the touchdown big play for us."
(Tom spoke during the week that you guys need to step up and play. Players need to make plays especially down the stretch. Did you kind of sense that it was going to happen this week?) – "Yeah, I mean I think guys did. Coach spoke about it and we can't shy away from what is happening this past few weeks and hope we don't get into a close game. The fact is we might get into another close game, we had a fourth quarter and it's going to be a tight game. This is the way the NFL is, it's going to be tight in the fourth quarter you have to make plays and we have to be excited to make those opportunities. We have a lead and we have to extend it. If we are down we have to go make plays to win it. I think guys knew we were going to get in those situations and we have to attack it and not shy away from it and we made those plays tonight."
(Did you like the way the running backs are used because it was a little different tonight, it was more of a featured back?) – "I thought Rashad ran hard and ran well. We got Shane in there for some passing things. Rashad (Jennings) did some good things in the pass game; unfortunately he had the one fumble with Andre (Williams). I'm not sure what happened there. I knew when I handed it off it just never got to him and it wasn't clean. I have to look and see if I was too high or what accrued there. I trust all the running backs and whoever is in there. They all run hard and they know what they are doing and you know whoever is in there I have confidence in."
(How much of a luxury is it to play with Odell?) – "I'm grateful for all the guys that we have. These guys practice as hard and they
play hard. They want the ball and they are not selfish and they are team players, Odell included. He sets the example and the guys see how he practices. They see how he plays at full speed in practice. There is not a difference in his game speed and his practice speed. That is a tribute to him and the way he goes after it. It is contagious and other guys see it and realize the way you have to play and practice."
(Eli, JPP just said that the playoffs have started. Do you feel that?) – "I mean this situation we have to win and we have to all games. We have to stay on track, we have three games left and we have to win all three. It's going to be tough. This is a short week; we have Carolina coming in and we have to have a great week of preparation and see if we can play well and finish another game."
WR Odell Beckham Jr.
(How did you feel going in to this game?) – "I knew it was a must win, it's a playoff game for us. The rest of them are playoff games for us. We have been on a losing streak for three games now and we needed to snap it. We all just stepped up tonight. We did a great job, offensive line blocking, Rashad (Jennings) running, Eli (Manning) getting us in the right formations, right play call, receivers making plays, and defense making stops. I think we did a good job at connecting on all cylinders tonight."
(Did you start licking your chops when you saw the running game starting to work knowing that the defense would have to put an extra guy in the box?) – "Definitely, but it was great to see Rashad (Jennings) be able to make these crucial runs. These are seven, eight-yard, 10-yard gains that are huge, and its stuff to build on going into next week as we prepare for the Panthers."
(Can you talk about the 84-yard touchdown play?)- "That's something; we watched a lot of film this week really not a play call that
we had in practice. Was a phenomenal job by Eli to just check in to it, see the coverage something we watched on film. We had a couple extra sessions of film to be able to see some things. He brought it up today, and sure enough it was right there. He put us in the right position. He always finds a way to put us in the right position to make plays. He had that one dialed up."
(How much fun was it to play against Dolphins WR Jarvis Landry for the first time?) – "Words really don't even do it justice. It's truly a blessing. It really is. God has done a lot of things for us, to be able to put us in this situation. It's something that just forever thankful for."
(Talk about getting cramped up) – I came out at halftime and I was feeling good and I usually do a little run down to the end, maybe a run backwards. As I took off running I could just feel both calves cramping and my legs, starting to cramp, quads. I knew that I wasn't going to be able to make it through the game. I didn't want to miss a possession. I knew we had the ball first. So I was going to try to get through that possession and then run in and unfortunately, praying that he's okay, (Bobby) McCain went down. He was alright right? They said it was probably going to take a while because of precaution and things that were going on. So we just ran in and took advantage of the opportunity. They do a great job here of getting us back out on the field as fast as possible. Two, this is three bags today. Being back home, back in the South, it was hot. It was hot. I was sick all week leading up to the game, trying to stay hydrated on fluids. God is good."
(Did they put anything special in there?) – "The same juice in the Space Jam, that they put in the Space Jam bottle was in there."
(Where you sick during the week?) – "I caught a stomach virus or a bug or something and then allergies just kept up with me throughout the week. Probably feeling better, a little adrenaline right now and once we get back on the plane I don't know exactly how I'll feel but it was great to be able to come out here and; this is one that we needed. We definitely needed this one."
(How gratifying was that 3rd-and-three catch at the end?) – "It just felt good to not have to put our defense back on the field. To even to put them in situations to where teams could go down and score. We have the opportunity right now to take advantage of it. Let's go ahead and do that. Let's not leave in anybody else's hands. We have it right here in our own hands, our own destiny. It was a great job. I think we started at the five yard line on the last drive and drove it down the field methodically and was able to execute the four-minute drill and end on the best play in football which is the victory formation."
RB Rashad Jennings
(On the impact that he and the other running backs had on winning the game) – "It was body on body on the line and running backs and we found a way to make those ugly yards. We slid through a couple times, we capitalized, we moved the chains but it was complimentary to the passing game to. Collectively offense, defense, special teams this was a team win. We came through in the fourth quarter and we are excited to have everything sit right in front of us."
(On how it seemed like the offense really opened up, and all of a sudden the safety started creeping up and then the passes down the field started become open) – "Yes, that's complementary football. That's how it should look. That's what we are capable of doing. Since we have proven it we have to keep that stamina."
(How important was that for you as an offense for the defense to get off the field and run that four minute offense the way that it's supposed to be run at the end of that game?) – "That's huge. Anytime there is an offense we can keep the first downs, coming out backed up and finding a way to get that first first-down, keep the clock moving, keep our defense fresh, and frustrate the team, that's what we are supposed to do. (QB) Eli (Manning) did a great job with commanding everybody in the huddle. Again the offensive line was stout, they put body on body and that kind of changed the game."
DE Jason Pierre-Paul
(After so much fourth quarter disappointment this season, knowing you guys needed to get a big stop, talk about the impact the defense was able to have in the fourth quarter) – "I think we played a very good game. We executed our plays very well. We came out with a win. Simple as that."
**(Other side of the ball: your leader on offense, breaking the record for completion percentage in a game, what can you say
about QB Eli Manning's performance today?)** – "That's my quarterback. I expect that from him."
(A lot of momentum shifts tonight – talk about that)– "Yeah. We did our part. As a defense we did our part. We played great. This whole week of practice we practiced hard, and the guys came together and it showed out there so we're on to the next game now. It's one game at a time and our playoffs started."
CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
WR Rueben Randle
Tackle Justin Pugh
TE Will Tye