New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin said Monday afternoon that the instruction to running back Rashad Jennings not to score came from quarterback Eli Manning, not from a coach on the sideline.
"His mind was in the right place here. He just didn't have his facts right," Coughlin said.
Coughlin said that something like that has "never happened before" in his 12 years with Manning, and that "I completely trust Eli ... always have."
The Giants had first-and-goal from the 4-yard line with 1:54 to go when Manning handed the ball to Jennings on back-to-back plays. Jennings said that "definitely, I was asked not score."
Manning, talking to WFAN's Mike Francesa, admitted the blunder:
Manning (on @WFAN660): "My thought process is they might let us score so I told Rashad 'If they let you score go down on the 1-inch line'"— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoNYDN) September 14, 2015
Manning repeated his admission while speaking with Giants reporters later in the day:
"I told Rashad on first down that -- I was a little, not misinformed, I was a little -- I thought they only had one timeout after the play to Odell. They would've had to take their timeout. I guess because there was a defensive penalty, even though we declined it, that stopped the clock. So I thought with the decline, they would just have one timeout. So I thought that they may let us score to get the ball back, so that's why I informed Rashad if they let you score, just go down at the one-inch line. Don't score," Manning said. "He still ran hard, we got two yards on first down and second down, third down that was my -- it's still my mistake. That did not come from the sideline. Coach Coughlin and I talked about scenarios like this, but this did not come from the sideline and I can't be the one to inform a back. That's not my decision to do that in that scenario, so that's where I've got to make sure if that's the case, it's coming from the sidelines.
"Because they had two timeouts, it wasn't the right thing to do, so I made that mistake."
Manning said he thought he was "on the same page" with the coaches in telling Jennings not to score on second down, but that "I was wrong on that."
Coughlin said his players "were tired" this morning after losing and dealing with a delayed flight. "Nobody got any sleep. They were sad. They were disappointed."
Defensive lineman Cullen Jenkins said Sunday night was "one of the toughest losses I've had in my career."
"We just have to rally together and stay behind each other and get through this together."
Coughlin had no updates on linebacker Jon Beason (knee) and wide receiver Victor Cruz (calf). He said that rookie left tackle Ereck Flowers "gutted it out" after injuring an ankle, but is having an MRI today.