Eli Manning post-game, 11.08.09

Was this a frustrating loss?

Disappointing.  It is not frustrating as much because we did some decent things.  We had a chance to win.  It is disappointing because when you get the ball at the five-yard line with a chance to score a touchdown and you win that game and we didn’t do it.  That is just disappointing.  Penalties, penalties all night hurt us.  We overcame some of them, but we just didn’t finish drives the way we needed to.  We had too many mistakes that we weren’t able to overcome.  We didn’t make the big mistakes, we didn’t turn the ball over, we corrected some of those things and we did some really good things.  We had some long drives, ran the ball, and converted third downs, so there were some good things out there, but when it comes down to it, we had a chance and you can’t leave that team in the game.  You can’t leave an opening for them.  They are good and talented and when you have a chance to end it, you have to end it.

What do you think you could have done when you had first and goal at the four?

It is just hard.  We ran the ball on first down and got the holding call and now you are backed up.  We tried to do the little screen to the receiver and didn’t get much on that.  Then we tried to run the ball and get a little closer for a possible third down situation and they were playing coverage so we thought we had an opportunity to run it and maybe get in and at least we run the clock, but it is hard when you set yourself back with a penalty on the first play.  As an offense, when you are in there tight, you can’t afford those mistakes.

During the week you talked about how this was a big game. With that being said, how tough is this loss?

Any loss is tough.  When you thought you had a chance and you let it slip away it is just disappointing, as I said.  There is not much that you can do about it.  We go in and learn from it.  We have a week off.  I know guys are banged up some and you can use that time wisely and get rest and come back motivated for these last seven games of the season.  We know that we haven’t put ourselves in a situation that we want to be in right now.  We know these last seven are all going to be tough and it is going to be very important for us to win those games.  We can’t afford to lose many more.

Do you think this team has hit bottom after four straight losses?

No, we haven’t hit bottom.  When you hit bottom that is when you see guys quitting.  We didn’t quit.  We fought tonight, we rallied, we made a little comeback in the fourth quarter and got the lead and did some good things and rallied the team, but they made some great plays, San Diego did, at the end to stop us on the five-yard line and then their offense goes down and hits some big plays to win the game.  We just have to keep working and come back and just know that we have to keep fighting and try to find ways to win games.  We were in the game in the fourth quarter, had a chance; we have always been pretty good in the fourth quarter, winning some of these close ones.  We didn’t win this one and then a few weeks ago at home we didn’t win the one against Arizona when you have shots.  A lot of times that is all you can ask for in this league: get into the fourth quarter and give your team a shot to win the game.  We did that tonight; we just didn’t make the plays to win it.

Is it tough to be on the sidelines when they are driving for the winning score?

Yeah.  I felt bad.  I just knew we had to get a touchdown.  I knew coming into this game the two things you couldn’t do, you couldn’t turn the ball over with this team and give them field position because they are talented and they can score, and when you have a chance to win the game and end it, you have to do it.  Whether it is running out the clock on a four-minute drive or scoring a touchdown or doing something to finish the game and we didn’t do it and we gave them a chance.

Is there a risk of the season spiraling away here?

Well, we can’t afford for that to happen.  We have too many good players, too much character on this team just to let that happen.  We are going to keep working, we are going to keep fighting, and find a way to win some games.

Can you talk about the two touchdown passes?

Yeah, we did some good things.  The touchdown pass to Steve (Smith) he just ran kind of like he was running to the flat and circled back in.  They were playing zone coverage and he ran a good route.  The one to Kevin Boss we really had a free play.  They jumped offsides, he had a corner route running on a linebacker, ran a good route, was patient, so he had a lot of time back there, the offensive line did a good job and I threw it up high for him to get it and he made a good catch.

You had to sneak the one in to Steve Smith?

Yeah, it was tight.  He ran the out and the guy was kind of running with him and Steve did a good job being quick and coming back underneath it, making the tough catch, and getting down and getting in the end zone. 

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