In a couple of days the Giants will battle the Jets at MetLife stadium in a game for bragging rights and playoff implications, but to some the rivalry isn’t as important as you might think.
When asked if the rivalry takes a backseat with so much on the line, Eli said, “I think, yeah, it’s a big game for both teams and I think that’s how we look at it. It’s probably not as big of a rivalry as you think, we only play every four years. A lot of these guys have never played them. You see each other in preseason. So I think we’re just worried about, it’s a game that’s important for our season and the possible outcome and looking at it that way.”
Last week, the Giants displayed a disappointed performance against their NFC East foe, Washington Redskins. Losing a game like that could have greater magnitude as the season nears the end, but there is plenty of time to rebound. Even though last week was disappointing, the Giants still find themselves tied for first place in the division, Eli spoke to the opportunities that the Giants still have.
“We just haven’t been able to win enough of these close ones," noted Manning. "We’ve still got a great opportunity and that’s the good thing. If we won even a few more of those other ones early, it would still come down to taking care of business coming down the stretch and these last games will be important.”
Sunday’s game will be a little different with Rex Ryan no longer roaming the sidelines for the Jets. Also, cornerback Darrelle Revis is going through concussion protocol so his availability is in question. If he was unable to play, OBJ and Manning would likely have more opportunities to make plays, especially considering how stingy the Jets run defense has been, and how poor the Giants rush offense has been.
The issue that the Giants have running the football could be illuminated even more with injuries across their offensive line, but as the NFL mantra goes, “ next man up”. Manning said, “Whoever is out there, I’ve got confidence and faith they’ll do their job and give us an opportunity to make the plays”
Even though the rushing attack could be stifled by the impressive front of the Jets, Manning talked about the importance of still making an attempt to get the run game going, and maintaining a balanced offense. Eli said that they should complement one another, but that ignoring the run game is a bad idea.
“I think you’ve got to get the run game going. You’ve got to try to get something, we’ve got to run the ball, we’ve got to get some positive runs. You can’t be stuck throwing it every down versus them.”
This is another game that the Giants can certainly win, and to do so the offense will need to be more balanced. In addition, they cant afford to start slowly like last week.