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Eli Manning on struggling offense: 'We have to play better'

The Giants quarterback addresses the offensive struggles this preseason

Nick Laham

Another year, another preseason for Eli Manning.

The New York Giants quarterback is nearing the end of what will be his 10th preseason in the NFL, one that has been chock full of issues.

The team has suffered injuries on both sides of the ball. His offense has not yet found its groove. And in New York, even a poor preseason outing is cause for concern.

"(As an offense) we have to play better. We have to be better in the red zone and convert on third downs, so there's some room for improvement," Manning said. "This past week against the Jets we did a pretty good job of picking up some of their blitzes and a lot of different looks, things we haven't exactly planned for.

"We have to learn from these things and make adjustments and make sure they carry over to the practice field. We have one more preseason game, a few more practices this week to correct some things and make sure we're working on getting improvement. Then we'll be getting ready for Dallas."

Head coach Tom Coughlin called the Giants offense "disappointing" after the loss to the New York Jets Saturday. The team went 3-for-18 on third down, failed to score after having first-and-goal from the 4-yard line and finished the evening with just one touchdown.

In addition, the team didn't produce a touchdown after beginning five drives inside of Jets territory, while the Giants quarterback were sacked four times.

Some of the problems can be attributed to injuries. Victor Cruz is out for the preseason and the offensive line is currently be reshuffled. But according to Manning, it's not necessarily who is in the game but rather their execution.

"You're really just evaluating each play. We've had some good ones and we've had some bad ones. You're just trying to avoid those bad plays, avoid going backwards or mental mistakes," he said. "When you have opportunities to hit some plays, we've got to win those one-on-one match-ups. I know we've got some work to do and we've got to get better."

Manning said whether he plays Thursday in the preseason finale is up to Coughlin,. The coach said Monday he was "strongly inclined" to play them, but wasn't sure how much.

Manning said he would like to see his chemistry with Nicks improve before the season opener, especially since injuries derailed 2012 and Nicks skipped OTAs.

"We've got to keep working. That's what every practice is for. Through the course of the season you shoulld get stronger ... but the fact is you should be working on improving (at practice)," Manning said, "working on our timing, our technique, our decision-making and get on the same page."

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