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Eli Manning wants to play vs. Redskins

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Giants QB “getting prepared for Washington” despite clinching playoff-berth

NFL: New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants clinched their first playoff-berth in five years when the New Orleans Saints defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Saturday. Naturally, the question has turned to whether or not Big Blue should rest starters in their regular-season finale against the Washington Redskins next Sunday.

Eli Manning, who’s had a tough season behind an inconsistent offensive line, is an obvious candidate for some time off. Yet, despite an essentially meaningless game against a division rival, Manning hasn’t entertained the notion.

“The mindset and mentality is we’ve got to come back to work this week and finish the regular season strong and feel like we have a good thing going into the playoffs,” he told reporters Monday. “My take is to play, go in there and play well and try to find a good rhythm offensively. ... That’s the mindset and until I’m told differently, that’s how I’m taking it.”

Manning’s yards (3,847), yards per attempt (6.74), touchdowns (26), interceptions (16) and QBR (55.6) are all the worst they’ve been since Ben McAdoo took over as the Giants’ offensive coordinator in 2014. He feels it’s important for the offense to go into the playoffs coming off of a strong performance.

“We’re going to do whatever coach thinks is best. I’m looking forward to having a great week of preparation, go out there and play the game and continue to work,” Manning said. “We’ve been close offensively, just keep making strides and go play another game and try to get win.”

This season hasn’t been among Manning’s best, but he’s nothing if not reliable. Since taking the reins from Kurt Warner in 2004, Eli hasn’t missed a game. He’s made 171 consecutive starts since then, the longest such streak among active players and the third longest in NFL history behind Brett Favre (297) and his brother Peyton Manning (208).

Here are a few more takeaways from Manning’s media conference call Monday...

On whether or not his consecutive-starts streak is a factor in wanting to play Week 17...

“No, that doesn’t play in. I’m going to do whatever coach McAdoo thinks is best for the team, best for me, best for us going forward and that won’t play a factor.”

On whether or not sitting out would benefit his arm...

“My arm is live and ready. It’s trained to play this many games and go through it. I’m already coming off a 10-day break so it’ll be fine. Whatever (McAdoo) decides... my thought is to play, I haven’t thought about sitting. My whole mindset these past couple days is getting prepared for Washington and my preparation, my study and going out there to play well.”

On raising his play in the playoffs...

“I think you’ve got to play good football in the playoffs, you’re going against good teams so you’ve got to play smart and make the plays that are there. We have that capability of scoring points and moving the ball and converting on third-down and doing all the right things offensively. We just have to make the plays on game-day.”

On whether or not he pays attention to what’s going on around the league and prefers a particular playoff matchup...

“You want to know who you’re playing in the playoffs. I know there’s a lot of scenarios so you’re not going to know until next week so I think it’s just a matter of when certain teams are playing next week and that’ll be decided. The focus will be Washington then after that you’re going to have some curiosity as to who you’ll be facing the following week. No preference, you don’t really have a say in it.”