Eli Manning, Post-Game, 10.30.11

How important was it for you to continue to not have any turnovers and get the win?
I think we have learned our lesson about turnovers and how important it is as an offense not to put the ball on the ground or throw interceptions, put our defense in a bind, or give momentum to the opposing team. Sometimes you don't convert on third downs, you have to take sacks, you have to throw the ball away whether in the red zone or third down, but overall it keeps us in games. We are going to make some plays as an offense, there are going to be opportunities, and when we need drives, when we need to go down and score points when the game is on the line, we are doing a good job of making plays in those situations. Before the half had a big touchdown and then right there at the end on a third-and-12 Victor Cruz gets open and scores on a touchdown. A couple big third down conversions there in the fourth quarter. There are obviously some mistakes and things we can clean up, but we felt we were moving the ball pretty well all game, just couldn't get in the end zone. Had some penalties that hurt us. Had enough mistakes, whether it is a drop or misread or a penalty, that kept us from scoring more points.

How much better do you have to be given the tough schedule that you have ahead?
We just have to keep working each week. We knew coming into this game that it was going to be a tough battle. When we prepare I don't look at the opposing team's record. I look at their scheme; I look at what they do, and what other teams have done against them. Miami has played pretty well defensively all year. A lot of games have come to the fourth quarter. Teams have been behind and had to come back and win. They are a talented team; they just haven't quite found ways to win games. We knew it was going to be a tough road. They did a lot of good things defensively, different blitzes that gave us some problems. We didn't run the ball real well today and had to throw it a little bit more than we wanted to, but we are capable of doing that. Each week there are going to be things that we can learn from and get better and guys are doing a lot of good things, we just have to keep working on it.

Was this a game that you had to have?
It was a big game. Coming off the bye, having two weeks, and a chance to go 5-2, which is a great opportunity. There are some big games within the division this week, but we just have to make sure we keep playing our best. When there are opportunities to win games you have to take them. I think we are doing a good job of finding ways to win. We have to make sure we keep that attitude and if things don't go well right at first, if we have little mistakes, that is going to happen sometimes. As long as we feel that every time we are on the field as an offense we are capable of scoring touchdowns and we are not forcing things or trying to make things happen, we are going to be able to make some big plays and move the ball.

Will facing the Patriots next week bring up some nice memories for you or was that game too far in the past?
They have different players, they have new things. Obviously we are in New England so it is a totally different environment and situation. I think they are always a tough team, always do good things defensively. Their offense is obviously high powered and can score so we have to have a great week of preparation and go into a tough environment. They don't lose too many games at home so we know what we are up against and we have to play great football.

Were you surprised you went for it on 4th and 9 in the first drive?
No. I think it would have been a long field goal and we had confidence. We had a chance on third down. I threw a bad throw to Hakeem (Nicks). We blocked up everything, I had the right read, and those little things were keeping us... on fourth down I had a good call on, they just played it well. I was hoping to get Mario (Manningham) in there and get the safeties to jump. On fourth down they tend to sit a little tighter and you try to throw over the top. They played it well. We had a good drive going. On the first drive I thought we would come out, move the ball, hit a couple big throws and you would like to get points out of that drive to start the game, but obviously we made just enough mistakes not to get points on the board.

How big was it to see your defense step it up at the end of the game today?
We know our defense is capable of doing that and as an offense being around those guys they have great confidence in themselves. They feel that they are going to get to the quarterback and they are going to make plays. All game long there are opportunities for sacks, guys are just right out of their reach or the quarterback did a good job of coming out of a few. Eventually I knew those guys were going to get to the quarterback and make plays. They played great in the second half. Offensively we have to do a better job when we get the ball with four minutes left; we need to be able to run the clock out and not put the defense in a bind. They did a great job making two big stops and getting some sacks. They are playing kind of in the same situation, when the game is on the line and we need big plays from them they are doing a good job of doing it.

Any comments from the coaches after your lefty pass attempt today?
No, I think it was pretty safe. Just kind of a throwaway. I saw the back, I couldn't throw with my right, someone was holding it, so I tried to just kind of get it to him. I didn't try to put it in a bad situation or throw it way down the field. It was more of a throwaway than anything.

Do you feel the mistakes in the first half could be attributed to bye week rust?
No. I think it is just little things. A bad throw by me. I think everybody was doing the right things; everybody was in the right spot, but just doing enough little things wrong to keep us from getting first downs and moving the ball. We felt that we were moving the ball every time that we got the ball, had opportunities, just a drop here or they made some big plays. Just enough things that kept us from getting more points.
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