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Eli Manning, 09.14.09

Q. You are starting an unusual stretch of three straight games on the road. How crucial was getting that win yesterday and getting the first one out of the way?

A. I think the first game of the season you always want to come out and play well, get a win and get off to a good start. Also a division team, so it was a huge win for us. We have a tough one this week, at Dallas, new stadium, should be a live crowd and it is going to be a big game for us.

Q. Are you going in with the attitude that there is a national audience, let's go in there and spoil their party?

A. We are just going in and trying to play good football. We know it is a big game, it's a division game, we have to go do our job. We know it is going to take a great test and great effort on our part. They have a good defense, their offense is very powerful. Offensively, we have to keep the ball, have long drives and score touchdowns.

Q. How much does it hurt to see Hakeem Nicks go down like that in his first NFL game?

A. It is disappointing, but hopefully he will get back healthy real quick and keep learning. We have guys who are playing well and guys who can fill in that role so hopefully we won't miss a beat.

Q. Regarding Andre' Woodson, did you see anything yesterday that makes you believe they did have an advantage?

A. No, I didn't see anything. Nothing I noticed that they were onto something on our checks. I got them to jump offside one time with the cadence, so, it didn't seem like there was anything noticeable that he had told them that they had an edge on us.

Q. Do you really feel like the receivers responded yesterday?

A. Yeah, I think they played very well. They made some plays, had a couple scrambles, they came back, made good reads. They caught some clutch catches for us, so I thought they played well. There is stuff we can improve on, myself included, with the receivers. I thought they played very well.

Q. You always want to spread the ball, now it seems like you are really spreading the ball rather than honing in on one receiver?

A. Well, it depends on who is in there.  The ball is getting spread around, it might be the same guy, but all of a sudden a new rotation would rotate in a lot of guys. To be honest, sometimes you don't know which receivers are in, you are just going through your reads.

Q. In the first two series you had chances close, what were the problems on those plays?

A. We just didn't convert on third and short. It is that simple. It is not really a green zone or red zone problem, it is a third and short problem. Coach talked a little bit about it today, we just assume that on third and short we are going to be able to run and be able to get it. We have to throw the ball a little bit more possibly in some of those situations. But, down there we're a team that is going to be physical, we have a big back, and we should be able to get that surge and should get a first down in those situations.

Q. Obviously, it is tighter to run routes down there?

A. Yeah, they are going to get tighter. Throwing the ball, maybe you can't throw it that far down the field, guys are going to sit on things a little bit more, but we've still got good routes we can run in those situations. We also have to be able to run the ball in those situations and get first downs. Third and short is a time when you stack them in, they know we are running it, we're going to run it and we have to be better than they are. Yesterday we didn't win that battle.