Q: As you look at this game, the Giants seem to be facing a must-win situation. Do you think you can strike a blow, kind of a final nail in their coffin, so to speak?
A: Well, we don’t look at it from their perspective. For us, this is a must-win game. We feel this is the most important game of the season. And it is a very, very big game for us. We have taken that approach. We have been able to really get ready over here since Saturday. And hopefully we will be very prepared. I believe the team has practiced good so far.
Q: How much different do the Giants look to you than the team that beat you in Dallas?
A: They don’t look that different. They are a good football team. Sometimes you win some games or lose some close games that could make a different perspective on things, but the team is still good. They have good players, they have good schemes. I thought it was a challenge, but we will be prepared up there this week.
Q: Your team has had some problems in December in recent seasons. What have been the problems and what steps have you taken to correct them?
A: We don’t look at other seasons. This is this season – it is brand new football team. Nothing that happened in 1999 or 2004 or 2008 has any bearing on what is going to happen this December. We feel as though we are just going to keep getting better each day we are out here. We have to have a good Wednesday practice. And if you do that, the next day will be better. And you can keep getting better as the season progresses.
Q: Do the players and coaches talk about December slumps or is that better left ignored?
A: No, we don’t talk about that stuff. The only thing we can control is our effort today and our commitment to this team and to this place today. And we have worked very hard this season to continue improving every step of the way – win or lose. We learned some things from the Giant game. And that is what you are trying to do. When you lose you learn from it. When you win you learn from it and you improve upon it. That is what this team has been able to do is put blinders on and continue to go forward. And we are going to keep doing the same thing.Q: Some of the Giants have said that their goal this week – their game plan is to stop the run and basically put the game in your hands. If that works out, how comfortable are you with that?
A: I’m very comfortable with that. We accept that responsibility every week and I expect nothing less.
Q: Do you see that as sort of a challenge to you personally?
A: No, I think that is what you have to do every week in the NFL, because if you don’t come up and stop the run, you are probably not going to win the football game.
Q: How can you account for those two games where you scored just the one touchdown with an offense that had been doing pretty well otherwise? What happened in those two games?
A: The one game, we kind of had a whole bunch of errors from our end as far as – whether it be physical or mental – we fumbled at a certain time after a big play, we had key drops, we had a key penalty on two or three third downs. We don’t block the right guy. I throw an interception on the one-yard line. You add all of that up and there are three or four scores that you left out there by doing nothing other than just being normal. So that, I guess, happens once a year and that is part of the deal. In another game the defense played well. I didn’t play as well as I had hoped. And I think ……few of our guys. So we learned and we got better from it. And I think we are ready to go this weekend.
Q: Has the emergence of Miles Austin surprised you or did you see this in him all along?
A: No. I have been around him for awhile now, so I could see that he had ability, it was just about refining it and doing things right every day. He started to take the approach and worked hard this offseason and came into camp in great shape. He continues to get better each time he steps out on the field. And that is all we ask of him.
Q: What does he do for your offense?
A: He provides us with another weapon that teams have to account for. We feel like we have a few of those. We don’t go out each week to say we are going to get the ball to this guy this week. We just let the offense go where the ball is going to go and whatever the defense is dictating that week. That is kind of what we do. …… have another threat that when it does go there he has the ability to do good things with it.
Q: Do you feel that this is the best set of offensive weapons that you have had around you, particularly because of the depth you have in the backfield and at wide receiver?
A: I haven’t really sat down and thought about it. I know that we have some weapons around me. You are lucky to be in a position with a lot of guys – you’re lucky also to have a good defense. These things are out of your control as a quarterback in the National Football League. But I know that it helps to have, for sure. And I’m lucky.
Q: Antonio Pierce is not going to be on the field, obviously. But could you just talk about some of the chess matches you have had with him at the line of scrimmage in the past?
A: Yeah. Whenever I’m changing plays and doing different things Antonio has a great knack and feel for what is going on. He is definitely a quarterback on that side. I think he will definitely be missed from that team. And that is going to be tough.
Q: You guys tore up the Giants run defense pretty good in that Week 2 game. Have you seen them make the corrections from that game?
A: Yeah, they have made corrections. I think that is part of the process. But I think they realize that if we are able to run the ball like that again, it will be tough for any defense to have to do that. But that is just part of the plan.
Q: How surprised are you – after the second game the Giants went on to win three more – they were 5-0. How surprised are you the way this division has shaped up and how the Giants have fallen so dramatically?
A: I don’t look at it - you can’t sit there and be shocked by anything that happens in the NFL. The teams are similar in talent. One play off and it decides the football game. You hope that you have the players to make those plays and situations that may arise to be able to go out there and perform individually and as a unit. So the Giants could easily be where we are at and it wouldn’t be a lot different other than a few plays, I think. So we understand that; they do, too, but we are in a good spot now and we need to know that this is the most important game of the year and work at it and give everything we have and leave it on the field on Sunday.
Q: How much different is the Giants’ secondary without Kenny Phillips?
A: They start some guys back there that are pretty good. So I don’t know that you just assume that you are going to attack one guy or do anything specific. I do think that you go out there and you throw the ball where the defense dictates it. Kenny is a good player. I think that you have to know that going in, I guess.
Q: Would you say there is some correlation between the big plays they have given up in the week’s past since he has been out?
A: I don’t know. You would have to ask them. You don’t always know exactly what they are teaching the individual. I know what I see, but I don’t always know what they are teaching you.