The New York Giants were brought back down to earth with their season-opening loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Wednesday night. The defending Super Bowl Champions were dominated by the Cowboys for most of the second half in a 24-17 loss.
Eli Manning believes his team showed signs of promise in their first game. The Giants signal caller knows it’s a long season and that this team thrives when it counts in December. If the 2012 season opener was any indication of what is to come, it should once again be some race in the NFC East.
Eli Manning joined WFAN in New York with Mike Francesa to discuss his initial thoughts after losing the first game of the season to the Dallas Cowboys, the Giants only coming away with a field goal after the Michael Boley interception, the replacement officials doing a good job in the first game and the loss to the Cowboys bringing the Giants back down to reality.
What was your thoughts about the game against the Cowboys?
“We just didn’t play well enough. It’s that simple. We had opportunities and there’s some games that you lose where you get flat out beat and nothing is working and you get totally dominated. I don’t think…that was not the case. The Cowboys are good, and they made some plays and created some plays, but we had opportunities. We had chances with some good drives going in the second half. In the second half we only had three possessions and we scored on two of the three. The one time we didn’t on the 3rd-and-4 they just had the perfect defense called and we didn’t have much option. That happens sometimes and it is part of football. In the first half we had opportunities and we had guys open, but were just a little off. Here or there just enough guys not making a play when we needed to or one mistake here that lead to us not being successful. It’s something that’s easily correctable and something that we know we can improve on.”
I thought the goal line stand by the Cowboys after their turnover was a big sequence in the game. What do you have to say about only getting a field goal there?
“Again it wasn’t that guys were doing the wrong thing or we weren’t…guys were making mistakes. That wasn’t the case. We just didn’t perform well enough. We didn’t…losing some yards when you are on the 1-yard line is always tough. We tried to run it twice and got nowhere. We had one chance to throw it. We had a play called and I thought Victor Cruz was going to get open. You can see on film that the guy had a pretty good tug of his jersey when he tried to come out of the break, but that’s part of football. You just gotta play through it and fight through it and hopefully you can still find a way to convert on that one, so you settle for a field goal right there, but you hate to do it when you get the ball at the 1-yard line, but we still had some other opportunities. Every time we had a couple of good drives going in the first half. One of them you had the fumble and the next one a second down you just try for a play action and I took on first down a big sack for 15 yards or so. Those things can hurt drives. We had some long drives. The one where we fumbled…we had a 10-play drive. In the second half we had a 10-play drive for a touchdown and a 15-play drive for a touchdown. There are some good things there we just gotta find ways to make some plays on some other drives.”
What was your take on the replacement officials?
“I thought it was business as usual. I think they did a good job. The game ran smoothly. I thought they were quick with the making of calls and getting going. There wasn’t a whole lot of controversy. There wasn’t any plays that had to be reviewed or anything, so I thought the game went pretty smoothly. Not a ton of penalties and let us play a little bit, but overall I think they did a pretty good job.”
Does this loss to the Cowboys snap everyone back into reality?
“Yeah definitely so. I think sometimes you need a little reality check to say, ‘Hey we were praised for a long time.’ When you win six straight games like we did last year and then you go seven months without playing any games you kind of just get…you go out there and you are going to win. You like to have that attitude, but you gotta make sure you prepare yourself to the uttermost and have that great desire and that great fight in you to go get that win and give it everything that it takes, so we just gotta get back into that mentality and make sure we are doing everything possible to go out there and get a win.”