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Giants-49ers post-game quotebook: Eli Manning — leading game-winning drives “doesn’t get old”

Let’s see what players were saying after the Giants defeated San Francisco on Monday night

NFL: New York Giants at San Francisco 49ers Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Including post-season games, Eli Manning had led the New York Giants on 40 last-minute game-winning drives when he stepped into the huddle with the Giants trailing the San Francisco 49ers Monday night. After engineering his 41st such drive in a 27-23 victory Manning enjoyed the moment.

“No, it doesn’t get old. That’s fun. It’s fun playing in those games and having a two-minute drive to win it. Those are the situations you want to be in if you want to have a chance. Obviously, you’d love to have a two-score lead with a little time, and run it out or whatnot, but you prepare and practice for those two-minute drives to go win football games. To come through is exciting.

“The team needs that. The defense needs that to know that we can do that. Offense, we needed that for ourselves, saying, ‘Hey, we can win.’ If we get close in games, we can go win football games and we just had to do it.”

Manning said the Giants were rewarded for continuing to work.

“It means a lot, and that’s kind of what I told the guys this week. I said, ‘We’ve worked too hard not to be rewarded with wins,’ “ Manning said. “We’ve kind of stayed true to the course though, and each week prepare hard, practice well, play hard in games and we just weren’t able to get some of the outcomes or make some of the plays we needed to to win. And, today we were able to do that.”

Manning was, of course, asked about the impact on him of the speculation about his future.

“It’s more just getting asked about it. Just trying to – it doesn’t bother me what people say, but just having to answer questions about it, I guess,” Manning said. “You want to go out there and play football and that’s what I want to do. I want to be with my team and prepare and practice and go play football and obviously, get wins and feel good about what we’re doing.”

More from the locker room

Saquon Barkley on his reaction to the game-winning drive ...

“After we went and scored, I came back to the sideline and said to him, ‘Man, you’ve been doing this since I was like 12!’ That’s Eli. When he’s in one of those moments, he’s a heck of a player. You know why when you’re around him. When you’re young and you’re watching him on the television, you’re like, ‘Oh wow!’ It’s his craft that he works on. He’s such a smart player and such a hard worker. When he’s in those positions, he just thrives.”

Odell Beckham Jr. on the game-winning drive ...

“It’s like I always tell Eli]. It’s the same thing I always tell him: ‘take me home 10’. He’s been there plenty of times. We put together a drive. Our offensive line did a great job all night. He had time to throw. I have to back to watch the film to see everything but I feel like we put a game together. It wasn’t my very best game but we got the win, and that all that matters.”

Beckham on a chance to salvage the season ...

“We are working on seven more games. We are working on Tampa. We’ll see what happens after that. I don’t know about salvaging. I wasn’t joking when I said we have to win eight games. That’s obviously the goal. I don’t come here to line up and lose. We come here to win these games.”

Evan Engram on Manning in the final drive ...

“Eli has been doing this forever. He was on the same beat back there. Everybody else was anxious, ready, hopping around. It was a big drive. We have just been working and fighting all season. Tonight was a big night for him and a big night for our team. It was just great to be out there and be a part of that with him.”

Engram on making three of his four catches on the final drive ...

“I mean, all night, honestly, I was just working and working and working. The perfect time came. It was just a great team effort tonight. That whole last drive, we had a couple of penalties that backed us up and put us out of field goal range and we still answered. We were down 10 points and we put two big drives together to tie it up and keep ourselves in the game. Forget about getting involved at the end. It just felt good to be a part of a great team win tonight.”

Wide receiver Sterling Shepard on Manning ...

“It frustrates me when people go at him. I see that from the media, but you wouldn’t want a better guy with the ball in his hands. You saw what he did on that last drive. When we need him, he’s going to come through for us.”

Shepard on getting a victory ...

“It means a lot to the team. We’re not a group of guys that’s going to quit. We want to show everybody what the first half of the season should’ve looked like. We’re going to try and accomplish that in the second half of the season. Like I said, guys aren’t going to quit and we’re going to finish this thing out.”