Eli Manning, 11.25.12

Q: Talk about the way you guys performed in the green zone today.
A: That was big. We had a couple touchdowns, all on third down, so that's a big difference in points. That's something we haven't been as sharp in and we've gotten down there, I think, more than anybody in the league and had to settle for field goals. Hit Victor on one, and a great route by him, hit Rueben Randall and he ran a good route; and Hakeem had a great effort getting in. They weren't all close, a couple of them from the 12 or 13-yard line or third and long situations where we had some big plays. That was very important in getting us the lead and getting us touchdowns during that point.

Q: Talk about the way you played tonight relative to going into the bye.
A: Offensively we just played a lot better. Running the ball, getting in good situations, our third downs were a lot better, and staying on the field. I think I can throw the ball a little bit better on some things and still missing a few things - some fades down in the red zone, me and Hakeem on some of those fades down the sideline. Fade stops, I think we've been really good at. We've got to get hitting some of those things - there's definitely room for improvement, but we hit some good plays, hit some big plays down in the red zone and getting touchdowns when we needed them were very important.

Q: Could you feel a difference in your arm tonight? Tom said you felt like you were starting a new season.
A: Yeah. I never thought my arm was tired. I never felt like it in the last weeks, but after a week off and coming back to practice it felt good. It felt live, the ball seemed to be coming out with a little extra pop on it, so that's always good. I think naturally after a week off with not throwing much, it definitely needed a little rest.

Q: Your decision to lower your shoulder versus slide: can you take us through that?

A: It's kind of one of those circumstances where if I slide, I wasn't sure if I had enough yardage for the first down and the new rule that if you do slide it's from where you start your slide. I thought it might be close to the first down so I just thought I might have to go get an extra yard. I didn't think the guy was running at me, he was kind of stopped in a DB so I just tried to make sure I got the first down. I'm sure I'll get some heat from it or maybe guys will be proud of me in the meetings tomorrow.

Q: What was it about Adam Merchant's speech on Friday that motivated you guys?

A: Obviously the Make A Wish program is something. We've had a number of kids and it's pretty special when you think about it. They've got one wish, and it's sad when you think about it, they've got one wish and what do you want to do? He wanted to come to the New York Giants practice and come to a game. He had the opportunity to come out and talk to the team, so Coach Coughlin does a great job and all the players do a great job of making him feel welcome and fired up. It can be kind of nerve-racking to come talk to your favorite team and have a little pep talk, but he did a great job and he said to go show everybody you're the world champions and why you're the world champions and play that way. I think it got everybody fired up and obviously we came out and played the way that we know we can.

Q: Eli, you became the all-time leader for the Giants in touchdown passes - 200: your reaction to that?

A: Any time you're mentioned with Giants' players - Phil Simms and Charlie Conerly - and some of those quarterbacks, it's an honor. The thing I'm most proud of tonight is the way we played and getting a win. This was a big game, we needed to come out and play well and get a win. We finally got back to playing offense, defense, special teams, all of us playing at a high level, playing as a team, and hopefully we can build off of this momentum.

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