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Eli Manning, post-game, 11.22.09

How do you think your receivers played today?

All our receivers did outstanding today. A lot of tight catches right on the sideline. Guys over the middle, Kevin Boss had a couple great catches, a back shoulder on a third down and a score late. All the receivers did a great job running fast, making the right reads, right decisions, and they really did an outstanding job and were a big reason we had the success that we did.

What was happening early with all the pressure they were bringing?

Yeah, they brought some blitzes. They got some pressure early. We had some opportunities to hit some big plays and just couldn’t quite hold it long enough to get it. The interception, I just kind of got hit as I threw it and the ball fluttered. They did a good job of getting some pressure early, but we settled down, started picking things up, getting the ball out quickly and hit some big plays on them.

Can you talk about cashing in with touchdowns when you get in the green zone?

Every time you get down there close and don’t score, you feel you can do better, but we did score a couple times down there. The one right before halftime was a big one to Kevin Boss. It was good to get a touchdown in that situation. We definitely did better, did some good things. There were a couple that we were close on that we just didn’t quite hit that we can definitely improve on, but we were scoring touchdowns today and that is what we need to do.

Was it more about making in-game adjustments this week or changes during the bye week to focus more on Kevin Boss and Madison Hedgecock?

No, it was just a matter of just executing. It wasn’t saying we have to focus on these guys more; it was just a matter of saying we just have to play better football. It wasn’t a secret. It is not like we went in and changed our philosophy or changed our offense. We were just trying to be more consistent, just trusting guys to get open and they are doing a good job. We have to keep that mentality. Obviously we have a short week this week where we have to learn a lot of stuff very quickly and just keep working. We have ability all around us, a lot of great players; it is just a matter of always doing the right thing.  In this game, on any given play, you never know what drive it is, what possession is going to be the game winner. You just can’t afford to have mistakes and today we did a lot of things very, very well and we have to keep that going.

What is the feeling when the kick goes through and you guys can walk off the field winners for the first time in a month?

Yeah, it has been a long time. Someone said it had been 42 days since our last win. It has felt like it, too.  There are not many better feelings than being in a locker room after a win seeing the high fives and the smiles, especially when you haven’t had that feeling in a while. It was much-needed and we worked hard these past two weeks to get to this situation. Overtime, we got the ball first and went down there and did what we had to do to win the game.

Can you talk about the long pass to Mario Manningham in overtime?

Mario ran a great route. Really just had a fade route and I just threw it to his back shoulder. He made a great adjustment and got a great release off the guy, off the corner. I just threw it to his back shoulder, he adjusted well, got some more yards after the catch, and so that was a huge play. Just to get that chunk, I don’t know what we got, 30 yards or so, to get that chunk right there and kind of get you in field goal range. We wanted to try to score a touchdown and get closer, but didn’t do that. We had a couple of opportunities, but Hakeem Nicks also had the third down conversion, had about a third-and-two where he ran a little underneath route where he caught it and got some extra yards also. You have to have those big plays, you have to have the third down conversions in an overtime drive like that and it was good to have some of these younger receivers step up and make some plays.

What was your level of confidence after winning the coin toss in overtime?

I knew we had moved the ball very well most of the game, especially in the second half. We had some drives, we were throwing it well, guys were protecting, we were running pretty well, so I felt good. I am glad we got the ball first and we had the opportunity to go out there and win the game.

What was one specific thing that made everything work so well for you today?

There were a lot of things. It wasn’t just one thing. There wasn’t one route; there wasn’t one play we kept working.  We were mixing things up, going to all different receivers. I thought all the guys had a great idea of what we needed to do this week, what was expected, what their defense was going to be playing. They threw some new things at us and we adjusted well, but I thought everybody was very confident in what they were doing and that shows up. When you are confident and you are very sure about what your route is, what is going on, or what you are seeing, you are going to do it faster and everybody is going to be on the same page.

Do you have any techniques you do to account for the short week this week?

Both teams are going to be going off a short week this week, us and Denver, and so I think it is just the team that is physically and mentally ready to play. It is just a matter of taking care of your body on a short week, make sure you get your rest, and learn the game plan. You are going to have some walk-thrus and different things, but it is just everybody being focused on those walk-thrus and really understanding the schemes.  I haven’t looked at Denver yet, so I am not really sure what they are doing, but it is just everybody getting on the same page and going out there and performing our game plan.

Will that start tonight?

No, I am going to enjoy the win. You always need to enjoy these wins, so take tonight off and come in early tomorrow and get rolling.

Coach Coughlin mentioned earlier that the team did a lot of soul searching during the bye week. How much of that did you do?

I think we just knew that we just had to play better. It is just about trusting everybody around you and going out there.  If there is something that you have to do or if you have any questions, little things. On Friday I got all the receivers together in a little meeting and just kind of watched 20 cut ups of plays. Kind of, ‘Hey this what you need to do, this is what we expect.’ Just to try to get guys confident and make sure they are 100 percent ready to go. Once game time comes you want to be able to say, ‘Hey, we have done everything we could possibly do, we have prepared to our fullest, we have practiced hard, now it is just about going out there and performing.’ Today we performed really well.

Have you ever done that before?

I have done it in the past before, but I think it just depends on the week. Some weeks teams throw different things. Atlanta is not a team that you play all the time. They throw some different looks and stuff, so you are just trying to get guys caught up on everything that is going on.

Talk about the 51-yard pass to Steve Smith in the third quarter?

Just a ‘go’ route. The safety had been kind of tight all game, so he ran right by him and it was a great catch by him. Right after they got the ball, went on a long drive, and scored and kind of had some momentum.  We, on the first play, came out and hit a 50-yarder, so it is nice to kind of answer that call.

How did Kevin Boss play tonight?

Boss played great. They like to play ‘quarters’ coverage and played some man and stuff, so I hit him on some corner routes, some seams, the two touchdowns, so he did some great things. He is a threat running down the field, a big target, and made some great plays.

Is it overdramatic to say the Giants season may have hinged on a coin flip?

Ha ha.  I am glad he called tails to start the game and Matt Ryan called tails again in overtime, and both times it was heads.  I am glad heads hit, let’s just say that.

Your thoughts on your first time ever passing for 300 yards in Giants Stadium?

Hopefully I get a few more. I would have thought I would have had one by now, but I’ll take it any way it comes and especially if it comes in a win. This was definitely a game I will remember for a while. It is a big win for us, we needed one at this time, and hopefully this will keep us going, get a little rally, and continue to play well.  We talked a lot this past week and we have a seven-game season right now. What happened before this didn’t really matter, we have seven games, this was the first game, and it was good to get off to a good start.

What does Kevin Boss mean in the green zone?

He is a big target.  He is 6’ 7". On the second touchdown he just got inside the safety with his big body where you can just throw it. Another time I hit him on a seam. I really had the chance to hit him on a couple touchdowns on our first drive. I overthrew him on the corner route and he kind of got banged up on the seam where I wanted to hit his back shoulder and the ball came out a little too high than I wanted it to. In the fourth quarter I hit him kind of on a back shoulder on the seam on a third down conversion that we eventually went down to score and hit Hedgecock, but it was a big third down conversion for us. He is playing well. He got off to a slow start, he was playing very well, but he has just been banged up taking a lot of hits. He is tough as nails with some of the things he has been dealing with.  I know the two weeks really helped him getting back healthy. He showed he was running well in practice and played really well today.