The New York Giants are showing the football world why it’s so hard to repeat in the NFL. The Giants are suddenly struggling on offense, looking tired and run-down as they enter their Week 11 bye.
Then again, the G-men are notoriously bad in the month of November and the second half, and they still have a decent-sized lead in the weak NFC East.
Eli Manning joined Mike Francesa on WFAN in New York to discuss the New York Giants’ recent struggles, Sunday’s game in Cincinnati, the speculation that he has a “tired arm” and the bad habits that have reared their head recently. Manning also spoke about the Giants’ health situation at the bye week and how concussions are so tough for quarterbacks to avoid.
On the team again struggling in November, which has become a trend:
“I wish that wasn’t the case, but luckily that’s the good thing about getting off to fast starts is that if you gotta have a lull, at least you got a little advantage and a little lead in the division, and those type of things. Obviously I think this bye’s coming at a good time where we can get healed up, get rested up and come back refreshed and ready to [go]. We’ve got a six-game season left and it doesn’t really matter what’s happened prior to this. We’re in this situation and I guess you gotta take the positives of it. If you told us, ‘Hey, after six games you’ll have a two-game or a game-and-a-half lead in the division, would you take it?’ And you’d take it every time. So that’s where we stand, and we know we gotta play better football.”
On his belief that they actually made some progress in Cincinnati, despite the loss:
“I thought there were some better things done [Sunday] than in the previous weeks. I thought I did a little better making some third downs, making some plays. Had some opportunities for some other plays we didn’t quite capitalize on, but I thought there were some better things, I thought there were some improvements. And maybe the score doesn’t show it, obviously, because we had the costly turnovers — we gotta eliminate those things. But if we can eliminate those turnovers I think we would have had a better shot of staying in that game.”
On the speculation that he has a “tired arm”:
“No, I don’t have a sore arm. Arm feels good. In practice, the ball’s coming out well. It’s coming out. Deep throws are going where they need to be, so no. There’s no sore arm. … No injuries. … Though, for the most part, [I] threw the ball pretty well [Sunday] and had some good throws. I thought we had a better rhythm about our offense and those type of things. It obviously didn’t work out the way we wanted it to, but again, I think just the turnovers is what cost us.”
On his habit of trying to making things happen when nothing exists, leading to mistakes:
“I can’t get into bad habits. If we’re down in a game, it’s going to do us no good to throw the ball to the other team. It’s just gonna make things worse. So I gotta just take a sack, throw it away, make those good decisions. Sometimes the competitive nature comes out of you saying, ‘Hey, you gotta try to make something.’ And usually when you have that attitude, something bad happens. You still gotta make plays, but if nothing’s there you can’t try to force them.”
On getting healthier at the bye week and making a run during the final six games of the season:
“Getting healthy I think’s going to be important. We’ve got guys banged up. We’ve been playing 10 straight weeks and it’s easy for guys to get a little tired, and so we’re going to get healthy, get energized and get excited about these next six games.”
On searching for “that right style”:
“We want to make the playoffs, and whatever it takes we’re going to commit to it and we’re going to find it. We’re searching for that right style, for that right way for us to win football games, and we’re going to keep grinding away until we find it.”
On seeing three quarterbacks leave Sunday’s action with concussions:
“It’s just part of the job and sometimes you hope it doesn’t happen, but that’s why you try to avoid the big hits. And sometimes you can, sometimes you can’t. But when you’re running or when you’re outside the pocket, try not to take any direct hits while you slide. These linebackers and safeties are getting bigger, faster and stronger, and they’re looking to make hits. And you just want to try to stay out of those situations.”