EAST RUTHERFORD NJ - SEPT. 12: Eli Manning of the New York Giants looks to pass against the Carolina Panthers during the NFL season opener at New Meadowlands Stadium. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
Your thoughts on the tipped ball interceptions?
A couple tips, those things happen sometimes. It is a part of football and you just have to fight through them. Our receivers made some huge plays for us and that is what we have to do offensively in the pass game. We have to eliminate the bad plays, the interceptions, because we have the talent and the explosiveness to make those big plays, which basically we did, and score enough points to win the game.
What does it mean to you to win the first game in the new stadium?
It is definitely what you want to do. It is a brand new stadium and with the crowd and everybody here you want to go out there and play well. To start the season 1-0 in a brand new stadium it was very important for us to come out and get a win. I thought we did a good job. We fought through some things early on in the game. Offensively we didn't get ourselves in a good synch, put ourselves in a hole a bunch with penalties and things, but we stayed positive, we stayed confident, fought through, and made some great plays.
What does it mean to the offense when the defense plays so well?
Obviously offensively when you turn the ball over four times you don't expect to win many games. Our defense did a great job, especially down in the red zone getting a couple turnovers to keep our lead so we could run out the clock. They did a great job all day just keeping us in the game where we didn't get down too much and have to get out of our whole offense and have to go to hurry-up throwing it all the time. That is when you can get in a bind and defenses have an advantage with the pass rush so I thought they really helped us out getting turnovers, holding them to field goals early on, and finally when the offense got in a rhythm in the second quarter, end of the third quarter, and played some good football.
What does it mean to the team's psyche to beat this team after what happened last time you played them?
That is kind of what happened last time we did play. The offense took a while to get into a rhythm and we got down so much. We were down 24 at halftime, we were still moving the ball pretty well at times, but we just didn't have enough time to go and get enough points. Today was much better. Offensively, we got into our rhythm. Our defense played outstanding, gave us time to get back in the game, and make enough plays. The guys really stepped up. Offensive line really blocked well. We hit a couple big plays at the end with Ahmad running the ball and when we got in the red zone we scored touchdowns and that is what you have to do.
How important was Mario Manningham as your security blanket?
He had a lot of third down conversions. The first touchdown drive that we had had a third and 15 or so and I hit him down the sideline. That is huge. A big play. We had a couple others. We got another on a seam out to the outside where he broke a tackle and went down the field and got us down in the red zone. All of our receivers, I thought, played really, really well. With the tips I talked to him about what was happening and at times it is a mental mistake. We have to eliminate a lot of the mental mistakes with the receivers, but guys were sharp and knew what they were doing. Hakeem (Nicks) had a lot of big plays, being athletic, jumping over guys, so we are doing some really good things, but we have some things to build on.
Can you talk about what you and Hakeem Nicks were discussing on the sidelines after the tips?
Just saying that we are going to stick with you. Don't worry about the tips, those are over with, but you have to make up. You have to start making some plays and he definitely made up with a couple big time plays. That is what you have to do as a receiver and as a team. If things don't go perfectly, you just have to stay confident, keep fighting through it, stay sound, don't try to press things, but all the receivers did a great job. Hakeem made a lot of big plays and that is what we need. Carolina did a good job, they doubled Steve Smith a lot today and that leaves man to man on the outside and we need those guys to win for us.
Can you talk about your week two opponent and any impressions you might have on their quarterback?
Well we have the Colts next week and it is going to be a tough game. Going into their stadium is loud and they are coming off a loss so they are going to be fired up and ready to go. We need to have a great week of preparation. It is not a team that we play. We have only played them one time in the last seven years, it is not a team that we play very often. We have to watch a lot of film to try to get familiar with them. They are very talented. We have to get everybody prepared, get some guys going. Hopefully Kevin Boss will get back real quick, but if not Travis Beckum has to get in there, know everything, and make some plays for us.
Will you talk to Peyton at all this week?
I will try to talk to him. I think we will stick to our same schedule. I will probably talk to him today or tomorrow and then again on Friday. There won't be a whole lot of information... sometimes we talk a little game plan like we are going to try to do this or who you are playing so we won't have any of that going on this week. He is still my brother, I still talk to him, we have to keep our normal routine, but come Sunday we have to play the game.
Last year you opened the Cowboys' stadium with a win and you signed your name on the wall, will you do that in this stadium?
No that got played up a little bit. That was back in the little equipment room. I wouldn't do that to this stadium unless they asked me to.
How much fun was it to play your brother that one time?
I think the first time they made such a big fuss about it and how it is about the Manning Bowl and this or that. I probably didn't enjoy it as much as I should have. I think this next time you start to realize you don't know how many times it is going to happen. This might be the last one. You might get one more here or there. Obviously we have to both make it to the Super Bowl for it to happen again in the next four years. It is rare and you kind of appreciate the fact that when the National Anthem is being sung you are kind of looking over and you see your big brother there and it is pretty special. You have to try to enjoy it, have fun with it, and just understand that it is something that you don't know how many times you are going to get to do.
Have you ever had the discussion with him about what it would be like to play in the Super Bowl against each other?
We haven't. We have never talked about it. I don't know if we would want it. Obviously you want that opportunity to get to a Super Bowl. I really wouldn't like to play the Colts. I would like to be playing somebody not as good as them and my parents would probably hate it. We have a long way to go from there. We are going to worry about the game in Indianapolis and try to go in there and see if we can play well against them.