Press Confernece: Eli Manning

Eli Manning addressed the media today. Here are some of the questions:

Q: With your slump going on, have you lost any of your confidence?
A:  No, I'm not losing my confidence.  I going to still go out there and throw it and be confident in my game and in our players and what we are doing.  So you go through phases where you are not playing quality football. And that is what we are going through.  But we have been in this situation before.  Earlier in the season we were 1-2 and we came out of it and we started playing good football.  So we just have to have a good week in practice, get back to a win.  We are right where we want to be.  We are tied for first in our division, in the NFC East.  And we have six games left.  Right now it is going to come down to who plays the best in these six games.
Q:  Are there little things that need to be fixed or is it maybe some big things?
A:  Well, no, I don't think it is big things.  I think it is just a matter of making plays.  We are not making the play to get us into a rhythm or get a drive going.  We are not making first downs and getting more plays.  We just have to have some guys step up and I have to step up and something has to get going.  When you are struggling someone has got to get something to spark this team and get us into rhythm and that is what we have to do.
Q:  How do you avoid not putting too much pressure on yourself, being too hard on yourself?
A:  Well, I put pressure on myself and I expect to play well and I expect to put our team in situations to win games.  So I'm not going to try to overdo things.  I have to play smart and I have to protect the ball.  We have to just play better football.  We have to come around.  I have to play better.  But we have to play better as a team to get things going.
Q:  Tom said after the game that he though he should have run the ball more…
A:  Well maybe so.  In the second half we got into our two-minute mode and the first time we did it we drove down there and scored.  So we kind of just figured that was the way that we were going to try to get some points on the board.  And we had some opportunities.  We moved the ball decently.  We probably should have gone to the run more but we weren't having great success with it.  It was just one of those days where you could look back and say, "We should have done this, we should have done that."  Things just weren't going our way in the game.  We didn't catch many breaks.  It was just a tough game.
Re: being tied with Dallas for the division lead
A:  Obviously we are both 6-4.  We both have six games left.  We have to play each other.  So it's all going to come down to these last six games.  You look at it in the long run, that is where you want to be.  With six games left you want to have a shot at it.  We are not in a bad situation.  We just have to get to playing good football.  It is going to come down to these last six games.
Q:  Have you done anything special over the past two days that wouldn't normally have done after a game, watch more film or anything like that?
A:  No.  Obviously we got back late on Monday night – Tuesday morning.  I watched film.  Usually after a game I come in and get a workout in.  Yesterday was just watching film and just trying to get my mind set and just get prepared for this week.  I didn't do anything special or anything different.  I just tried to get my mind off of things and just get back and figure out what I need to do to play better football.
Q:  Is there any one play that troubled you?  The one play in my mind is the one where the Jacksonville sack/fumble touchdown was nullified by the penalty.  In that one you looked like you were running around instead of just taking the sack.
A:  That one doesn't affect me because it got called back.  We had a penalty.  We had a little protection problem and had a blitz that we didn't pick up.  So that was a mistake.  But there were other plays that I think of that we could have or we could have done differently that could have affected that game.
Q:  Is the 53-yard near-completion to Plax one of the …..?
A:  Well, yeah.  It was just one of those plays you would have like to have.  That is just kind of the way the game went.  We didn't get many breaks.  We didn't make a big play to change the game, whether it was me or someone else. We just never got a play that could have got us some momentum and got us going or got us in good field position.  And you never know – whether he catches that or not, you don't know what happens after that. You don't know what happens the next play.  So you can't look back and say, ‘Well, this was the game-changing play.'  We didn't play well enough and we have to fix that.
Q:  One of the reasons that Tom said that you guys didn't run very much was that he was trying to get you into a rhythm.  And he felt like you are kind of a rhythm-passer once you get going; you can really get on a roll.  Do you feel that way, too – that you need to be throwing a lot to really play well?
A:  No, I don't have to be throwing a lot to play well.  We threw it 41 times, I didn't play especially well.  So I think it is just – we have to mix in the pass and run.  Every time we tried to get into something we just got a ball batted down or we just weren't making plays.  We just have to have a good week of practice.  We have to come together as a team.  We can't get down or we can't get worried or start complaining about anything.  We just have to play better.
Q:  A lot of times – last year when you guys struggled a little – you talked about getting back to that run and getting back to NY Giants football relying on Tiki Barber.  Do you feel the same way about it now?
A:  Yeah, Tiki is our guy.  We have to rely on him and we have to run the ball better.  But it not just Tiki, it is not just me, it is together as a team.  As an offense we have to play better.  We have to help control the ball more, have more time of possession, get our defense off the field, get them some rest.  We can't expect them to play that long.  And it is just a matter of us making plays.
A:  I haven't seen a whole lot of him.  But obviously I saw him in college.  He is athletic.  He does a lot of good things.  They are winning some games with him.  So obviously he is doing something right.
Q:  When you were a rookie you asked them to pare down the game plan and make it simpler.  Is that an option now, or are you past that?
A:  No, I think our game plan is good.  It is not a matter of not knowing what to do with the ball, or being indecisive or anything like that.  I think we just have to make some plays.  I thought we had a good plan for things, we just didn't execute real well.

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