We have spent some time this week discussing the idea that there are two versions of New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning. There is the Superman-like “Playoff Eli” and the mortal regular-season “Pedestrian Eli.”
Offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan said this week that there is no “magic button” that transforms Manning when the postseason arrives.
“There's no specific trait or something, a magic button, and there's nothing specific that I can point to other than the fact that I think when anyone approaches their work with a level of consistency and they don't get caught up in the setbacks and they don't get caught up in the negativity, the criticism, nor do they get caught up in the praise, it's just this laser, steady focus that he has,” Sullivan said. “I would imagine being able to do that is what allows him to get the negative out of the way, and he doesn't get caught up in the positives, and be able to be at his best so hopefully that'll be the case Sunday.”
Here are some other takeaways from Sullivan’s meeting with the media this week.
On taking advantage of Green Bay’s banged-up secondary ...
“The first thing that we see, and the first thing we think of with that defense, is the fact that they've got 40 sacks. They're sixth in the league with 40 sacks and in the past four games, all important games for them, that put them in position, they have 13 takeaways. So they're doing a lot of good things that whoever is in whatever role they decide, we know that they're going to be ready to play. I think it really all starts with what they have upfront, their ability to get to the quarterback, and they've been doing a great job taking the ball away from the offense.”
On the formula for winning playoff games on the road ...
“I think it all starts with taking care of the football. It's something that seems cliché or tripe but really, you talk about all throughout the year, but the one thing with the NFL, with the playoffs, it's not a seven games series, it's not a five game series. Any of the struggles that have happened throughout the course of the season, as well as any of the success through the course of the season all go out the window; you've just got to win that one game and you have to make the most of every opportunity, every position. So, the number one focus for us from an offensive standpoint, on the road, against any opponent, certainly a great one like Green Bay, is to take care of the football. That's got to be paramount and it all starts with that.”
On whether Paul Perkins is clearly the No. 1 back now ...
“Paul did a great job, I mean he did a phenomenal job, made some guys miss. He's done some of the things that we've seen throughout the season; whether it's being able to make guys miss or break arm tackles. I think Rashad Jennings did a lot of good things as well. You look at him picking his feet up there, the touchdown run that he had, the two guys complement each other. Bobby Rainey gets called into action in terms of some of the two minute, third-down situations, and so we feel very fortunate that we got three guys that we can count on to carry the load for us.”