Eli Meets with the New York Media

Giants QB Eli Manning met with the New York media on Wednesday. Here's what he said...

How does it feel going up against the Jets?  Do you take that to heart at all?
Definitely.  Every game you take seriously, you have to in this league, especially a team that you play in preseason, and we have practiced against them in years past.  They are the New York Jets.  It is going to be a big game for us, but we are going to have to come out ready to play.

More important than the bragging rights is just to keep the winning streak going?
Definitely.  I know they are going to want to win and we want one also, so we just have to keep finding ways to win games and go out there and play hard and hopefully we can get into the fourth quarter and win it there.

What do you think you have to improve on from last week?
I think just as an offense we have to stay on the field and improve on our third down conversions and find a way to get points on the board.

Are these games fun or more of a distraction for you?
No.  You treat it like another game.  It is going to be a tough battle.  They are a good team.  We played them in preseason, we know what they are like from a physical standpoint, so we have to go out there and play top quality football if we expect to win.

Do you feel like you are going against a team that has its back to the wall this week?
We know they are going to come out ready to play and they need a win just as badly as we do.  Both teams are going to be fighting hard to try to do everything they can to find a way to get a win.

Do the players get into the rivalry as much as the media and the fans do?
I think you read about it, but we have the mindset to play a football game against whoever is out there, whoever we are playing.  It is a team that we see a lot, having played them every year in preseason.  The third game is always the biggest preseason game.  We know it is a big game and we want to go out there and play well.

You don’t want to lose to guys that you see in the off-season right?
Well I don’t see them that often at charity events and whatnot.  We are going out trying to play well and win a game.

What have you seen from their rookie Darrelle Revis?
There is a reason he was drafted as high as he was.  He is a talented player.  He has good speed.  We just have to go out there and see if we can get some completions on him.

It looks like the offense has been a little out of sync lately, is there a reason?
We have done some good things and we have hit some big plays, so we just have to get back to that.  I think we had opportunities last week, we just couldn’t get in rhythm in the second half, but we can bounce back from that easily and get going.

Has Plaxico not being 100 percent with his ankle injury been an issue with the offense?
I don’t think so.  I think we have been on the same page with what is going on.  Obviously not having him practice can affect the timing of some stuff, but I think for the most part we have done a pretty good job of being on the same page and teaming up and getting completions when we had opportunities.  I think we are doing fine.  We just have to keep working and get in good situations and when the plays are there to be made we have to make them.

It looked like on one quick screen that you two were a little out of sync, was that the case?
No, again I think we are on the same page.  He just had a little different reaction than expected; it is just something where we have to hit that play.  It was a blitz called and obviously you are going to react.  I don’t know if it would have gotten the first or not, but at least it gave me a shot to check him if he got a miss. 

Was that reaction a little different because you guys were working on it all week in practice?
I don’t know.

You had that great first game and since they haven’t been as good, has your shoulder been an issue at all?
I don’t think so.  It feels fine when I am playing.  We just have to get back to playing good football and giving yourself opportunities to do good things and make big plays.

How big has it been to have Derrick Ward step up in the role he has had on this team so far?
Derrick has played outstanding.  He has run the ball really well for us, so hopefully he can keep that going.

Is it a different feeling on the field now that your defense has started rolling?
No.  I think you just have to go in there expecting ourselves to play well.  You don’t expect the defense to play well every week, but we still have to do our part and we want to go in there and score points and try to execute our offense well.

Do you expect the Jets to bring pressure from other areas since they have not been getting pressure from their line?
You are always ready for everything, so we just go in there with our game plan and execute it to the best of our ability.

What do you think of their defense?
They have talented players on defense, so we just have to figure out exactly how we want to attack them and what we want to do.  They move around a lot on the defensive front and do some different things, so we have to all be on the same page and execute.

This is your first regular season game against the Jets so is this going to be a lot more intense in all facets of the game than what you have been experiencing in the preseason?
Obviously they will play a little different during a regular season game.  They will throw a little bit more at you than they do in a preseason game about their scheme and different blitzes and whatnot.  Obviously we just have to look at the film, have a great plan, and go out there and play well.

Are you going to get a sense of what this rivalry is like now that you are playing them in the regular season?
We will see on Sunday and see how it is.

What about your completion percentage?
I don’t think about every play.  I am trying to go out there and win games.  We were able to get a win last week.  We can play better as an offense but that stuff happens.  You give credit to Philadelphia.  We have to do some different things a lot better, I have to play better, but we can get back to playing good football.  As long as we are winning games and not hurting the team and making tons of mistakes, we will be alright. 

Ever since you have been here there has been a one running back backfield, is it going to be interesting how the balance of Ward and Jacobs is going to be handled?
We will see.  I don’t know how it is going to work out.  We are just going to have to see how the game goes.  I have faith in whoever is back there that they will run the ball well.

Would you treat your offensive struggles differently if you had lost last week instead of winning?
No, we are always critical of ourselves, whether we have a great game and you have one bad series, you look at that series and what went wrong.  You look at every play in itself and you try to make corrections on it, different things you could have done and things you could have done better.  It is a win and we are excited about that, but we know there is still work that needs to be done.

Were you unhappy the past few weeks with your play?  How would you describe it?
That is for me and my coaches to do.  I can play better.  I need to play better than I did last week and that is what I am working on.

Do you seem like you were missing by just a little bit or more last week?
In the second half we didn’t execute real well.  We had a lot of third downs where we just didn’t convert.  We just couldn’t get in sync with much.  Things were going bad.  You are going to have times during a game or a season where you go through a stretch where you are not performing well or you are kind of in a little slump.  You have to find ways to bounce out of that and get back into the rhythm of the offense and hold the ball for a few first downs and just keep your defense off the field. 

On the interception did you just try to put it in a spot where there wasn’t any room?
Just a bad throw.  I think if I put it in a good spot it would have been a completion, just threw it behind him.

It was just a bad throw and nothing more than that?
Yeah.  It just put it in a bad spot.

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