By Matt Noonan
The New England Patriots will host the New York “Football” Giants at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, and you can certainly expect it to be a great one.
Giants quarterback Eli Manning will enter the game with a two-game winning streak against Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick, and certainly, he’d like to pick up his third career victory against the Patriots. However, Brady and Belichick haven’t lost a regular season game at home this season, as well as haven’t dropped back-to-back contests either.
“We’ve got a big game this week, that’s all our focus is on – getting ready for the Patriots,” said Manning. “[We] understand that they’re always good at home and [we’ve] got a great challenge to go in their and play our best.”
Here are some highlights from Manning’s most recent interview with the media via the Giants website in regards to this weekend’s tilt.
On what he, and his offense needs to do to be successful against the Patriots: “I think we know as an offense, we got to do a good job executing. We [have] to keep the ball in our hands, we can’t make mistakes, we can’t turn the ball over, [and] obviously, [we’ve] got to convert on third downs, and try to get positive plays each play, avoid going backwards, avoid penalties – just those type of things. When we get into the red zone, you’ve just got to score touchdowns. You can’t sell for field goals. [Also] our defense has got a great challenge going [against] a high powered offense with the Patriots, so offensively, we know we’ve got to do our part.”
On facing the Patriots secondary: “The safeties do a good job disguising – not tipping their hands [to] exactly what they’re doing … If we can run our offense efficiently, just guys making the right decisions, picking up some of their blitzes, and guys just making plays when they’re given opportunities, [we should have some success].”
On facing a talented Patriots offense that can score at any given second: “They do jump out on teams and with their offense, they score early on until you get a lead, so it forces teams to throw the ball, and the Patriots are kind of sitting back two deep, and playing soft, keeping everything underneath the style of defenses where they’re giving up yards, but a lot of teams aren’t getting in their and scoring a lot of touchdowns always, so it’s a little bit of both, and we’ve just got see what they’re doing early on in games, how they change throughout the situation of games and have a great plan, [so we] can go execute.”
On playing the Patriots at Gillette Stadium: “These games are fun. When you play against good teams, and when you think of the Patriots, you just think of a team that’s always in the playoff picture, always a talented team, and well coached, so these are easy games you get excited for, [and] you just want to go in their and play the style of football that we know we can.”