Here is some of the post-game reaction from New York Giants' players following sunday's 52-27 victory over the New Orleans Saints.
Stevie Brown after his two-interception performance:
Q: Is this the aggressive tone that you feel the defense needs to set every week? That aggressive, ball-hawking style?
A: Yeah, definitely. Definitely. We need to come out there and make sure we're always physical. And make sure that we're always trying to go out there and get the ball, create turnovers and things like that. So, it was definitely a start.
Hakeem Nicks, who caught six passes for 67 yards and a score:
Q: Was this more like how you play today?
A: Yeah, I think I initiated a little bit more run after the catch. I trusted a little bit more and stuff like that. I see it just getting better from here.
Q: Did this feel like Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz, the vintage versions, for the first time in a while this year?
A: We don’t really get into all of that. We just know that we’re trying to get to the playoffs and when we get to the playoffs we know what time it is. We’ve just got to keep taking it one game at a time and look at the team we have to play next week and get after it.
Q: Do you feel that this team thrives on having no margin for error and plays better with high stakes involved?
A: That's the way it looks like. I don't know, for some reason we like to make it hard on ourselves but we've also been the kind of team that can handle that pressure. We do extremely well under the circumstances. However the shoe fits wear it, we've made our own path and like I said, we made it kind of hard for ourselves but we're a fighting team and we're going to fight until the end and we will be the last team standing.
Q: Did you see the dog today that you wanted to see?
A: Oh yeah. I saw a lot of dogging today. I saw a lot of dogs. No pit-bull, I didn't see any pit-bulls today. We're saving that for the long haul. First of all, I definitely have to tip my hat off to this team; you know it was a great team effort today. We played a great opponent. Despite this team's record, we know how bad this team has whooped us in the past. It was something that we were looking forward to. These guys did an exceptional job. Special teams was phenomenal, offensively we put up 52 points, phenomenal. You can't ask for much more than that. Defense I think we went out there and we did a solid job. For the most part we kept them out of the end zone and you know we're consistently growing.
Quarterback Eli Manning, who threw four touchdown passes:
Q: How impressed were you with the job that David Wilson did on running the ball and on special teams.
A: He had a big night. His special teams and his kickoff returns were outstanding. Obviously, giving us a touchdown after I threw an interception for a touchdown was very nice. I appreciated that. Then, he had a couple of other returns that gave us great field position and then the runs. He ran hard. I said to him, ‘Your best play was picking up that three-safety blitz on a play-action.' He's learning, running hard and he had a couple of big runs at the end for first downs. He obviously showed speed on the toss for that last touchdown.
Q: You guys had a few weeks where the passing game was out of sync. These last three games, we're seeing different results. How have you guys been able to get that passing game back on track?
A: I think offensively, we continued to work and make sure that everybody is doing the right things. Making sure that our assignments, our techniques are perfect and getting back to practice and make sure that everything is sharp. Knowing exactly what we need to do to get open, the offensive line is protecting and we're getting good down and distance and staying out of third-and-long situations. I think guys are just stepping up and responding. Getting Hakeem (Nicks) back and running where he's making plays, that's obviously outstanding. Getting Hixon back into the mix, getting him healthy and Martellus (Bennett) has been playing well. All of those things make a big difference.
Victor Cruz, who caught eight passes for 135 yards and one touchdown, surpassing 1,000 yards receiving for the second straight season:
Q: What kind of statement did you make to the league with this win today?
A: We just won a ballgame. We won one that we needed to win. We won one against a team that beat us up pretty good the last couple times and we got a much-needed victory. I think that’s the biggest key, that was biggest point for us in this game and we just want to be able to be prepared and bring this same kind of intensity next week in Atlanta.
Q: Does a 1,000-yard season mean anything to you?
A: Individually, it does. All my life I dreamt about being a 1,000-yard receiver. You’ve seen all the greats that have 1,000 yards and to do it in back-to-back seasons is definitely one of my dreams come true, but it’s all about this team. You have nothing to show for it if you don’t make the playoffs or get where you want to go as a team, but obviously individually it’s a great feat for me.