Eli Manning Optimistic about Final Game
Jim Mancari , Contributor
Heading into Week 17, the Giants are technically still alive in the playoff race. However, it’s going to take a miracle and plenty of help for Big Blue to reach the postseason.
Eli Manning is aware of what his team must do to keep hope alive. It starts with winning at home against arguably the worst team in the NFC: the Philadelphia Eagles.
“I knew there was going to be a chance,” Manning said. “I’m obviously disappointed that this is what we have to rely on now, but that’s the position we’re in now. If anything, you want to try to play, if the season is going to end, you want to try to end it on the highest note possible. At least go out there and play better football than we have over the last two weeks.”
Even if the scenario plays out in which the Giants have a chance, Big Blue still must defeat the Eagles. It sounds easy, but based on the way the Giants have played the last two weeks, nothing is guaranteed, especially against a divisional rival who would want nothing more than to play the role of spoiler.
“I can guarantee the worst feeling that we could possibly have is if we go out there and don’t play at a high level and all of those teams lose that we need to and we don’t handle our business,” Manning said. “All we can do is worry about improving our own performance and get back to playing solid football.”
Before the recent skid, football pundits were comparing this year’s Giants’ team with last year’s Super Bowl champion team. However, last year’s team closed out the season on a high note, while this year’s team has collapsed.
“You have to play your best football at the end of the season, especially for those in playoff contention, for playoff chances, you have to put yourself in the best possible position to be playing great football,” Manning said. “We haven’t done that. We haven’t put ourselves in a position to win these last two games.”
Regardless of the outcome of the other games, the Giants need a win to preserve at least some of their pride. A 9-7 record looks much better than 8-8.
“I think we’ll be focused and we’ll be ready to play,” Manning said. “It’s the last game. We’re football players, it’s the last game of the regular season. This is our job. It doesn’t matter if you’re 0-15 or you’re 15-0, you prepare and you play.”
Manning though is not giving up all hope on a potential playoff berth.
“You never know what can happen, it’s a crazy game, it’s a crazy sport,” he said. “Obviously, the scenarios are very possible. It’s not like a bunch of huge upsets have to happen. These are three divisional games being played and in the division, you never know what might occur.”
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