After getting off to a terrible start Sunday and throwing three costly interceptions, Eli Manning cemented his place in the NFL record books and led his team to an incredible come-from-behind victory. Manning finished with over 500 yards passing and three touchdowns, including the game winner to lead the Giants over the Buccaneers. However, since New York’s come-from-behind win, the talk hasn’t been about the Giants rebounding from an opening night loss against the Cowboys or Manning’s record-setting day, it has been about what the Buccaneers decided to do at the end of the game when the Giants lined up to take a knee in victory formation.
Eli Manning joined WFAN in New York with Mike Francesa to talk about the play by Tampa Bay at the end of the game when the Giants were lining up to take a knee, if he was more upset that Tampa Bay fired off the ball or that they went low on the Giants offensive linemen, how he looks back on Sunday’s game against Tampa Bay, on the amount of big plays the Giants made against the Bucs and how difficult it is to get ready for the Panthers on a short week.
On the play by Tampa Bay at the end of the game when the Giants were lining up to take a knee:
“I guess certain teams you might say ‘hey watch out for a cheap shot.’ That’s what we call it. A lot of teams will ask in those situations ‘are you taking a knee’ and I will tell them ‘hey we’re taking a knee so we’re not firing off.’ We don’t tell our lineman to fire off and hit them on that last play. (Host: So there is an acknowledgment usually at the end of the game, was there that yesterday?) I said it. I said as I walked up, ‘hey we’re taking a knee’ but obviously they were down and ready and had a feeling they were about to fire off. There’s nothing I can really do about it. I have to make sure I get the snap and the only thing I’m worried about right there is securing the ball and making sure we get the win.”
If he was more upset that Tampa Bay fired off the ball or that they went low on the Giants offensive linemen:
“I think it’s one thing to come off a little bit and another thing to have everybody right there diving in at the offensive linemen’s legs. Just a possibility of getting someone hurt and on a play where we’re taking a knee to end the game and people are coming, firing in and trying to get a cheap shot and trying to possibly hurt somebody.”
How he looks back on Sunday’s game against Tampa Bay:
“Disappointed and upset that we were in that situation and I put our team in a situation where we were down and putting our defense in a couple of tough situations giving Tampa Bay field position so disappointed, but also knew we were only down two scores and knew we had driven the ball well. We had some good drives from the first drive to a couple of others where we got down there and had to settle for some field goals and had some close opportunities to get some touchdowns so still felt that we had the bad plays, three bad plays on the interceptions but besides that we were able to move the ball pretty well and had a lot of success so still felt fortunate we were only down two scores and still had a half to fight back. Just had to eliminate the bad decisions.”
On the amount of big plays the Giants made against the Bucs on Sunday:
“I think we had 12 big plays, a pass over 20 yards or a run over 10 yards. That was definitely a record for us. That’s the type of playmakers we have and it was Tampa’s game plan, they were going to try to blitz us and play man-to-man coverage and we said ‘we hope they do that, we hope they try to do that and man up our receivers.’ We figured they might get some plays, might get a sack but they didn’t get many sacks, they didn’t get much pressure. We were going to get the ball out quickly, guys were winning those battles but they kept doing it and we said ‘fine bring it on’ and our guys kept making plays.”
On the difficulty of playing on a short week:
“I think you just want to stick to your rules, stick to your things that you know you’re going to do just because there is not a whole lot of time to practice new things. You walk through them and then tomorrow we will probably have 10 or 12 plays of live practice, mostly passing plays. That’s what I really wanted to do just so I can get some action with my receivers, some full speed, making decisions, making some throws, keeping your body used to moving in the pocket and hitting guys on the run and being accurate. I think it will be good for the receivers to run around a little bit. You want the linemen to rest up and physically feel great for the Thursday game. You just have limited live reps but hopefully we’re doing things that we have been doing all training camp and we have a good feel for what is going on and see what their game plan is and make adjustments as the game goes.”