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Eli Manning, post-game, 12.27.09

With everything that was at stake in today’s game, was this outcome a shock?

It is shocking and it is disappointing.  When you have a shot to get into the playoffs and everything is right in front of us, to come and have mistakes and turnovers and penalties…  We did about everything we could just to try to lose that game.  We got off to a really fast start, converted third downs, we are running, we are passing and doing everything.  You think you have a touchdown and start off right where we were last week and then kind of everything from there just trickled down.  We get the holding, then we get the turnover, and after a seven-minute drive where we did just about everything right, you get no points out of it or anything.  After that we just never got into a rhythm.  We had too many third-and-longs, sacks, and just too many mistakes.  It is just the way that the game went and by the time we started getting things going we were down too much and we were just trying to play to score some points.  Try to see if we could have a little faith and just play for the fans that were left and just see if we could get some type of rhythm going into next week. 

Considering everything at stake, was this embarrassing?

Yeah.  With an opportunity to get into the playoffs and we knew how much this game meant to us for our team and for our fans.  The last game in Giants Stadium.  A big game.  A game that everybody was excited about and we just had too many mistakes.  We did some good things.  We moved the ball at times and it always had something to keep us from scoring points and that is just the way the game went.

Coach Coughlin said he showed the team a graph that shows that after a big win this season the team would have a letdown game. Why do you think you’ve had such an up and down season?

I am not positive about that.  Sometimes that can be football.  You would like to go out there and play your best football every week, it doesn’t always happen, but we kind of thought we were ascending and doing things well.  At least offensively we thought we were really in a great rhythm and really doing things well, moving the ball, controlling the clock, scoring points, and we got off to that same great start today and really we just stopped ourselves today offensively.  That was the name of the game.  They didn’t stop us a whole lot, we just had mistakes or we did things improperly that hurt ourselves.  That is why it was most disappointing.

Did you feel there were times today where the team gave in?

No.  I don’t think we gave in.  I know my guys and our guys offensively played hard and fought until the end, tried to get something going, and tried to stay positive, and just keep working.  We knew we had to go out there and say, ‘lets get better, let’s fix some of the things we have done and let’s see if we can find that rhythm again and find that ability to play good football.’  We have to get that back.  I thought we did some did some really good things and in the second half moved the ball.  We just didn’t have a whole lot to show for it.  We had two scoring drives, had another one that we didn’t catch the ball on fourth down, but it was just disappointing.  How important this game was and we didn’t have our best game.

How frustrating was it trying to fight back in the game and have the score continue to build against you?

Yeah, you don’t like to play in those games.  We have had a couple this year where you get down early and the lead is big and you are just trying to fight to get back into it.  It is not a situation you would like to be in, but sometimes they happen.  We have to find ways to not get down so quick, not give things away and have our mistakes just keep continuing and rallying to hurt us.

Were you surprised a game like this happens after last week’s strong performance?

Yeah, I was hoping we were kind of playing our best football at the end of the season.  I thought we had made strides, especially after last week when we did play our best football probably of the whole season.  I thought we could carry that over.  I thought we had a good week of practice. Guys were prepared; we knew what was going on.  I think even today we knew what was going on and we did a lot of good things, we just had penalties.  Obviously they are a good team, they made some plays, just penalties, turnovers, that is the name of the game.  Those will hurt you every time.