Giants head coach and players react following the team's matchup vs. the Lions.
Head Coach Ben McAdoo
Great team win versus a very good football team. All three phases played a part. It's a short week, we have to enjoy this one fast.
Q: What did you think of the run game today and how much did that help?
A: It was good to get the attempts up. I thought we pounded it in there pretty good. Big guys were coming off the ball and it's encouraging.
Q: Can you talk about the punt game and the field position that put you in?
A: We had a good day on the punt team. Jonathan Casillas left a little bit early on the one block where they got the tip there. We were doing a nice job outside, getting down, covering those things and downing the ball inside the 10.
Q: What is it about playing at home that's helped you guys this year?
A: I think we've got to give the crowd some credit. They were loud today, they got after them a little bit and that's always encouraging when the crowd gets behind you. I think from a communication standpoint, it helps offensively and the noise helps on defense.
Q: On Dwayne Harris and the return game.
A: Dwayne's a good teamer. He really helps our coverage teams, whether it's kickoff coverage or punt coverage. He's a tough man to handle out there and a load for a receiver, very physical.
Q: On the defense holding the Lions to six points.
A: The defense, they hold teams to six points, we're going to win a lot of ball games. That's tough to do in this league, especially against a team like that with that many weapons. But defense played lights-out today.
Q: How's Janoris Jenkins?
A: He took a knee to the back and he's still being evaluated.
Q: Was he taken to the hospital?
A: As far as I know, he's being evaluated.
Q: The touchdown to Odell, what did you see there?
A: We sent a formation out there, they adjusted, we adjusted…they adjusted, we adjusted and it was a tremendous effort by Odell to come up with that catch, getting it over the pylon for the touchdown.
Q: How did you think Eli Manning played?
A: I thought Eli was very good today. I thought he was solid in the conditions. It was a different type game to play quarterback in, but he took completions and you can't go broke taking a profit.
Q: On the importance of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie's play on the long completion…
A: We knew it was going to be an effort day. You need to play the down and finish. As long as we can keep playing defense after another play, then that' s great. Chasing the guy down on big plays and it was big. If we can come out and keep playing defense after a big play, it gives us a chance.
Q: Were you going to go for it on 4th down if you didn't make the touchdown?
A: We were thinking about it.
Q: How did Justin Pugh do coming back and how did Ereck Flowers rebound from last week?
A: I thought the big guys came off the ball, played physical upfront, played as a unit. We'll have to go back and take a look at the tape but it was a good day for the big guys.
Q: As these games get tighter and tighter, do you still think of Eli Manning as that clutch player who can go win it at the end?
A: Yeah, without a doubt.
Q: Why do you think your defense has been so successful the past few weeks?
A: I think the last couple of weeks they're playing well together as a unit; they're feeding off of each other, feeding off of the crowd noise, that helps. They seem to be gelling as a unit, doing their own job, playing hard, playing with great effort and executing.
Q: Eli sat at his locker the day and said he had to play better. For him to say that and then come out and play like he did, did that tell you anything you didn't know?
A: No, saying it and doing it, they're two different things. We talk about I need to coach better and our offensive players need to play a little bit better and I thought we played a better game offensively today, put up 17 points but we played better as an offense.
Q: On the challenge that you lost in the first-half, what explanation did you get?
A: We saw the ball moving a little bit and a knee on the white, it was the first half so we took a shot at it.
Q: Over the past two weeks you've taken down two of the NFC's best teams. Do you think a message has been sent to the rest of the league?
A: No, we won a ball game during the course of a week. That's all you can do, win one a week. We've got a short week; we have to get ready for this one in a hurry.
WR Odell Beckham Jr.
Q: How would you rate the quality of this win?
A: I feel like we left some meat on the bone. The breakout game is coming soon. I have to do a better job of keeping myself under control knowing that everyone is watching. Knowing that guys on my team are watching and looking at me. I have to make sure that I'm giving off the right energy and that I'm not giving off any bad energy.
Just finding ways for all of us to grow. We have to continue to get better. It's a short week, short memory going into a hostile environment. I've only been in there once since I've been on the Giants. It's going to have a nice touch to it.
Q: You always work on the one-handed catch in practice. It finally came to fruition today. What was it like to do it in a game?
A: Just blessed. The fact that God gave me that ability. I practice it and it just kind of happened. It's always an instinctual thing. The biggest thing for me was the corner route, Eli dropped a dime. It was the first time I caught a ball over the shoulder.
I just felt comfortable catching it over the shoulder. We're making the right strides and getting the right protection. It's just a matter of continuing to keep getting better each and every week. Finding ways to be more effective each and every time the offense steps on the field.
Q: What are the things that can help that breakout game happen?
A: Execution. It's that simple. It's just execution. Whatever the play call is, just execute that. More explosive plays, better play calling, better execution just as far as on our end, making sure we do everything.
Q: Is it bittersweet because you're winning but not getting out of this offense what you want?
A: I can agree with you to some extent on that. I think that comes with me being a perfectionist. It's just hard for me to accept good. I need it to be great. Above that, legendary. It's got to be that way every single time. If you really put it in perspective, we work six and a half days a week for one hour of football. When you really break it down, that's once a week that you're getting the opportunity to do your thing and be on the football field. All the meetings, all the practices, getting up early and driving to work.
All that goes into it, it's a lot of sacrifice. When we get out here, I just want it to be our very best foot forward. Otherwise, well now we have to wait all the way till Thursday. Usually we have to wait until Sunday. This might be the first time you hear a player not complain about a Thursday game because I wish we were still playing right now. We'll have a short week and be able to get our plan ready to go. Go into a hostile environment against a division rival.
Q: Do you think about your numbers at all when you say you want to become legendary? They're pretty impressive.
A: I hate saying it like this and I hope it doesn't get taken wrong, but I'm very greedy with myself. I expect more out of myself, no matter what it is. It's almost never enough. It's unfair for me to do that but it's just how I've always been. It's never going to be enough for me in a sense. I just need a way to find that balance.
Q: Have you thought about it, though?
A: Yes. I don't want to feel ungrateful for what I've done. I'm very thankful for every opportunity, achievement, accolade, all of that. I'm just very greedy for more. I hate saying that but I'm hungry for it and I want more.
Q: You made the touchdown catch with your left hand. Are you comfortable doing that?
A: It just kind of happens. You practice it and practice it. That's why you practice right hand layups and left hand layups. It's just kind of, I don't know.
Q: You guys are making two or three big plays a game on offense. How far can that take you?
A: I don't know. I said it before, I heard that offense wins games and defense wins championships. If they keep playing like that, I guess we have nothing to worry about. At the same time, going back to the greed thing, I just want more. I want to see Vic in the end zone twice, I want to see Shep in the end zone twice.
I want to see the running backs rush for 175 yards total. Putting up 35, 40 points a game. That's just how I am. I like seeing the numbers. Video game numbers. As selfish as it is for me to request that every single time and not be okay with anything less than that, that's something that I'm working on.
Q: What do you like best about this defense?
A: I think it's the swagger. It's everyday. They don't just come here Sunday and turn it on. It's everyday of practice. They come up with turnovers in practice and stops in practice. They practice the way that they play. What it is, this is a family team. The O-linemen, the offense, we go out to eat. They've been skipping on us the past couple of weeks.
Make sure you all let them know that we have dinner this week even with the short week. It's great to be on a team that feels like family. It's been that way since the beginning of the year. I've been preaching about Super Bowl this. You don't say that stuff just to say that stuff. You say that if you truly believe that. That's what we're doing right now. We're truly trying our very best to get to the Super Bowl. That's our goal. It starts one game at a time. QB Eli Manning
Q: Can you talk about the catch that Odell made on the touchdown?
A: Yeah, it was a great catch. One handed, that is what he can do, so that is not uncommon, but a great job going down and making that catch. It was a huge play. Getting seven points right there was obviously big, making it a two-score game, so he made some big time plays for us today and it was good to get the touchdown right there.
Q: You guys rushed for over 100 yards today. How much does that help with your command with the offense?
A: Yeah, I thought that was big, especially the way we started the game rushing it well – on that first series we mixed in the run with the pass, got some third down conversions, a lot of third and threes, third and fours, which were very manageable against a good defensive line and getting that touchdown. Taking the ball, winning the toss and taking the ball down and scoring a touchdown versus a good defense was big for our offense and for the team.
Q: How big was that throw to Odell at the 25-yard line on the left side?
A: Yeah, that was a big third down. Third and 10, those are tough versus this team, they do a good job. They brought some pressure, five-man rush, the offensive line did a good job picking it up, Perkins stepping up and I had Odell on the corner route, so had the time and was able to step into it and get him an accurate ball, so that was a big time third down conversion. Then I hit Shep on a little bubble route a few plays later, got a big play and got us in that position to extend the lead and help us get that win.
Q: With Justin (Pugh) starting today, was running as much as you did part of the game plan?
A: Yeah, I think so. I think that we wanted to come in – we had a feeling that they were going to play a lot of two shell and try to not give us the big play, so we are going to have to run the ball and they are going to give us the looks to run it.
We didn't know what the weather would be, rain, and so we kind of went in saying, 'We are going to run it and mix it.' And I think that put us in a position to get us in that third and manageable, and I think the offensive line did a great job, the running backs did a great job running the ball well, being tough and kind of setting the mood for the game.
Q: How important was it for you guys to start with the ball and take it right down the field for a touchdown?
A: It was big, especially coming out of last week struggling offensively. We were not as good as we wanted to be and for us to win the toss and for Coach McAdoo to say that we are going to take the ball and go down and score, I think that is big for the offense, giving us some confidence and also for the defense. It is big knowing that we already got them a seven-point lead, so they can continue to go out there and play great football.
Q: What did you have to correct there with a couple of those drives there in the second half?
A: Yeah, we had one bad drive there where the very first play, you are in the huddle talking about everybody's routes and we get a bust on one guy's route and so you kind of think, 'How does that happen?' I just told everybody what the route was, what we were doing and to take a sack right there.
The next play, tried to hit Perkins and didn't throw a great ball and it is a drop and then on third down I missed Shane, so kind of three bad plays right there when we were in pretty good field position with a chance to get a bigger lead than we had. But besides that, I thought the guys played well and did a lot of good things.
Q: Even though the offense has struggled this season, when you are in that clutch part of the game where you have to score a touchdown, are you still as confident as ever?
A: Yeah, I am confident in every series, so I thought today was good. We had a lot of completions, we were taking check downs, hitting the tight ends underneath, hitting the backs underneath, just getting positive yards. The defense wanted to play two shell and give us the underneath stuff, then we just have to take it.
You can sit there and hold it and wait for things to possibly open down the field, but hey, let's just take completions, move the ball, give ourselves the opportunity to get some long drives and just understand that that might be our style of play.
Q: Can you talk about the missed play with Odell in the seam down the left sideline?
A: Yeah, we had a corner route, the corner sat on it a little bit and I was surprised I was going to get it and I just missed him. That is just me and him being on the same page. Sometimes those corner routes are the toughest throw because his angle is going to be different every time based off where the corner is, where the safety is, so you try to put a line drive where he can make that catch and possibly get out of bounds or we still had a timeout at that point.
We were just inches off right there, he tried to do a great job, turn his body and make the catch, so it would have been nice to get that one and maybe after that, be in field goal range.
Q: You started 11-for-11. Are you conscious of that during the game?
A: No. I mean, sometimes you kind of know when you are starting off and are finding completions or you haven't gotten a completion, you might feel it a little bit, but you don't know the exact numbers.
Q: With the way your defense is playing and you guys scoring these big touchdowns, do you allow yourself to become excited that this could be the recipe for something great?
A: I think that I just look at it week by week and understand that our defense is playing good and we have to play smart offensively, but we still have that desire – we want to go out there and score on offense. We know that we can make plays and we can have that game where we score 28 or 35, so we can't force it, we just have to wait for the opportunities, be patient with them. But eventually – I thought that guys stepped up and made some big plays today. We just have to do that and keep doing that.
Q: You finished 7-1 at home. What does that feel like?
A: It is big. I don't know if that has ever happened since I have been here, so that is what you are supposed to do – win all of your home games and fight for the ones on the road, so we lost the one against Washington in a close one, so I am proud of the way this team has fought all year, found ways to win close football games and that is a great quality to have.
That is what you have to have going into December. You get the weather, you get playoff contention, you get playoff games and you have to win close games and we have been in a lot of them. I am proud of the way the offense and defense have stepped up and made big time plays in critical moments of the game. Wide Receiver Victor Cruz
Opening Statement: It helps a lot. Obviously it keeps defenses off balance because they don't know what's coming to you….you want to make sure that you are keeping them off balance…Being that way today really helped, especially that opening drive, getting the ball in the end zone, running the ball well, getting the first down, that's what we want to do.
Q: Finally, nothing's clinched here, but you guys have a good chance now getting to the playoffs, it's been a while, must feel pretty good, right?
A: It feels fantastic. Anytime you are in a position, this is what Coach talks about. Being in contention, playing meaningful football in December, and that's where we are. And we just want to continue that trend and obviously work towards a playoff win.
Q: How does it feel it's a chance against Philly on Thursday to get there?
A: It is what we want. It is next on the schedule. It happens to be a rival, a (division) rival. We will be ready for it.
A: Not sure, just a multitude of things, whether it's execution or miscommunication or whatever the case may be, it's just those little, after that first drive, those lulls that we had that we just have to figure out how to manifest some points to get some things going.
Q: That was the most improbable would-be touchdown in your career, I guess, right?
A: Yeah, man, it felt weird, I would of took it either way. The energy was weird, I was like was something off? Odell was like, do it again! I was like, alright, I'll do it again [salsa].
CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
Q: Has it surprised you that there are so many good things happening on defense?
A: It is not necessarily surprising. I think that our mindset is to just always play relentless ball. Play as hard as we can, for as long as we can. That has been the motto around here and I think that we have to keep going out and keep fighting.
Q: What happened on the play where you got beat?
A: I tried to jump some and I came out of my zone. I was being undisciplined and that is a thing that I have to work on. That play should have never happened, but I just kept fighting and made sure that I caught him before he got the touchdown.
Q: So that play was on you?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: How tough was it seeing Jackrabbit go down?
A: That hurt, man. I was on the field like, 'No, don't do that. Don't do that.' I thought it was just a little wind or something that got knocked out of him, but to see him go down and what he means to this secondary, it gave us the mentality that we have to go out and play that much harder because it is going to be tough without our brother.
Q: Can you talk about the turnaround of the defense this year?
A: Nothing has surprised me because I know the guys that were brought in. They brought in some playmakers, guys that are known to make plays, and anytime you come in Spags' defense, you hop on a lot of things and, for the most part, we just go out there and execute.
Q: You were part of it in Philly, when they brought in a lot of new faces and it didn't work. What is different here?
A: We gel better, as far as everybody coming together, hanging on and off the field and being accountable and it is just a loving atmosphere and anytime you can truly feel like your brother has your back, it makes you want to play that much better for him.
Q: The way the formula seems to be is that the defense plays well every week and the offense makes two or three big plays. How far can that formula take you?
A: At some point, you know what our offense can do. The weapons that they have, it is going to click when it needs to click. Right now, they are doing just enough for us to win and we are going out there and holding on, so it is still a team game. But what we do know is that if we get stops and get them the ball, good things will happen. DB Leon Hall
Q: On his forced fumble that was recovered by Olivier Vernon
A: Just going for the solid tackle, first and foremost. Anything better than that is icing on the cake.
Q: How's Janoris Jenkins doing?
A: You know, I don't know. I haven't even seen him.
Q: He's been so good for your guys this year. When he goes down, what's the feeling on the sideline or on the field?
A: It's unfortunate, obviously. You want a great player like him to be on the field, but we've got a lot of talent on the back end, so the next guy has to step up.
Q: You went through that period where you were inactive and now you've come up with a couple big plays. How does this feel for you?
A: It feels good, but at the end of the day I'm not really trying to make a point. I'm just trying to do my job and go from there.
Q: There seemed to be a lot of little things going on today. Did you sense that the assignments were on point?
A: Yeah, I mean for the most part that's how it's been all season. We've been trying to focus on doing our job and a little bit more. So those little things come to account. We've been working on that week in and week out and in games like this, those things show up.
Q: How rewarding is it to make a play like that and it's such a critical moment in the game?
A: Like I said, it's essentially about coming down and doing your job. Because I was inactive in previous weeks, I'm not trying to prove a point that I should have been out those weeks. I'm just trying to come in, make the plays that come my way and help this team and this defense to get to that next level. DT Johnathan Hankins
Q: This was a matchup of an offense that finds ways to win late in games and a defense that finds a way to close out games. How were you able to win that battle?
A: Just trusting one another. Just going out there and executing. Coach put a good game plan in and we just went out there and executed.
Q: 10 wins is a big number.
A: Yes, it is. Especially since I've been here. You can't really look at the wins. We just have to continue to focus on the one we have at hand. We have a big turnaround against Philly, so we have to get ready for them.
Q: Was this a bittersweet win? It was a good win but you're still expecting more. What does that say about this team?
A: Yes, we left some plays out there. We didn't execute the best that we should. There's always room to get better. You don't want to say you're perfect or doing the best that you are in that situation in time. Just have to continue to get better each week and win games.
Q: How has this defense been able to hold it together?
A: Just trusting one another. Just going out there and believing that the other guy next to you is going to get the job done. Just playing and having fun. When you're having fun, you know you could win games. It seems like it's getting easier out there.
Q: Do you think this is a championship caliber defense?
A: I think we can be. We lost a couple of guys but we have some young guys that are stepping up and playing well. Just everyone counting on each other and holding everyone accountable. That's all we can do out there.