The NFC East is wide open again after Eli Manning and the New York Giants were edged Monday night by the Washington Redskins on the road, narrowing the gap between those teams by only a single game. Plus, the Dallas Cowboys are in the mix and the ‘Skins and ‘Boys both have easier schedules — and probably tiebreak edges — over the G-men.
Eli Manning understands what went wrong in D.C., but he realizes that it’s not time to panic. This team, after all, has had its back against the wall in December before … and it’s worked out quite well. Plus, there were other factors at play Monday night at FedEx Field.
Eli Manning joined Mike Francesa on WFAN in New York to discuss the Giants’ tough loss to the Redskins, New York’s’ problems in the red zone and with their starting field position in Washington, the defensive performance against Washington and the offense playing better than it might have appeared.
On settling for field goal attempts rather than scoring touchdowns against the Redskins:
“Some of the penalties were a reason for that — just had some third-and-12, third-and-10s down there that, that’s tough circumstances. You don’t have a high percentage of converting on third-and-10 in those situations. Sometimes you do, but you gotta have everything work well. You gotta have a great play call. They were dropping everybody deep and I had to try to throw underneath to see if we could get first downs and it just did not work. … We gotta learn from that, and can’t afford to have those mistakes.”
On poor field position costing them a chance to hit home runs on big passing plays:
“We hit some 30-, 40-yard gains but because of field position, because we were backed up — I hit Victor down the sideline in the third quarter for about 50 yards but we were on our 12-yard line, so you’ve still got a lot of room to go to get points. And we had to settle for a field goal.”
On the defense only allowing 17 points but the offense falling short:
“That’s usually enough. That’s kinda what we say they can give. We gotta score more touchdowns; we gotta score more points. It can be frustrating because you feel like you play well afterward. You kinda say, ‘We hit big plays. We were great on third down. We ran the ball well. We threw the ball accurately.’ You kinda feel like we played really good but we didn’t play incredible. It wasn’t just a dominating game. We still left some plays out there, and that’s the difference.”
On the offense still playing well despite the final point total:
“I thought we kind of built off that momentum of the week before. I thought it was, offensively, a pretty similar type performance. … It was just the difference versus Green Bay, I think our average starting position was around the 38-yard line or something. Where [Monday night] it had to be around the 15-yard line. Those 20-some odd yards are points; those are touchdowns. Those can make a big difference. We didn’t turn the ball over again. So we just gotta kind of think about all the good plays that we made, all the good things that we’re doing, and just build off that.”
On this loss not being the end of the world:
“I thought we were crisp and I thought we were sharp at a lot of things. That’s the mindset we gotta take from it. Take away the good things, understand there are some mistakes that can cost games — you learn from that. But we gotta kinda keep playing at that high level and keep doing those good things and eventually that style of play will lead to more wins than losses.”