The Giants had gone a long time without winning. On Monday night, they finally did again. And quarterback Eli Manning was happy to change the narrative in New York.
“That was big,” Manning told reporters after the 27-23 victory. “That was big, and we’ve been good at the two-minute drive this year. Unfortunately, we’ve been kind of down two scores, or left too much time on [the clock] sometimes and weren’t able to get some wins. But when we needed touchdowns we’ve been able to get them late in games. So, we felt confident about it and guys made some great plays, Evan [Engram], Saquon [Barkley], Sterling [Shepard] at the end. It was big. We’ve got good players, we’ve got good receivers and they finally played a little man-to-man, and we were able to make some plays. . . . 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.’ 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.”
That’s what they did, getting their first victory since Week Three, in Houston.
“Wins are important,” Manning said. “Wins mean a lot, especially after this season and what we’ve had to go through as a team, what I’ve had to go through, and just the questions and this and that. So, just to be able to have a two-minute drive to win a football game, hopefully we can just focus on some positive things for at least one more week.”
Until next week, Manning gets to enjoy the feeling of winning a game on a last-minute drive.
“[I]t doesn’t get old,” Manning said. “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.”
They did it, and now the Giants will try to build on it. And the goal will be to keep the focus on football and not on the end of football for Eli.
“It’s more just getting asked about it,” Manning said regarding whether the talk bothers him. “Just trying to — it doesn’t bother me what people say, but just having to answer questions about it, I guess. 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.”
For now, that’s where the Giants are. How long they remain there remains to be seen.