Manning warms to playoff run
Eli Manning isn’t thinking about how cold it will be in January in Green Bay, he’s thinking that it won’t be what it was during the NFC Championship game five years ago.
“I heard a little – that it’s going to be in the 20s,” said the Giants quarterback. “That will be 40 degrees warmer than the last time we were there a few years ago. We know it’s going to be cold, it’s January, it’s cold everywhere.”
Manning spoke on the Monday after a 24-2 wild card win over the Falcons at MetLife Stadium. With it, the Giants advance to a Sunday game on the frozen tundra. Not only did the Giants win, but they played such an offensively balanced game that wide receiver Victor Cruz wasn’t the only headliner.
“We’re not trying to force it to certain guys,” Manning said. “We have a lot of playmakers on this team. With Hakeem (Nicks) and Mario (Manningham), you get those guys in the mix and making plays. Victor will get his shots and get his chances. He made some big plays for us in the game. It’s just a matter of running the offense, everybody knowing they’re going to be a big part of it and they’re an option to get the ball on any play.”
And that includes the running game. Backs Brandon Jacobs (14 carries, 92 yards) and Ahmad Bradshaw (14 carries, 63 yards) both made big plays.
“Brandon’s running hard,” Manning said. “He had a couple of big runs. The fourth down was huge – where the linebacker met him behind the line of scrimmage and he ran over him, spun and got the first down. He and Ahmad are both running great and the offensive line has opened up some holes. That’s what we like to do, especially when you get late in the season. It’s all about controlling that line of scrimmage. The offensive line is doing that.”
Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul was confident enough to guarantee a Giants win in Green Bay.
“Obviously he’s confident,” Manning said. “That’s always the attitude – that we’re going to go in there and we’re going to win. That’s what you’re preparing for.”
Manning was asked if he’d ever guaranteed a win and didn’t even need time to consider it.
“No,” Manning said. “I don’t think so.”