Man­ning en­joy­ing Gi­ant push to­ward play­offs

New York quar­ter­back one of few play­ers part of last N.Y. play­off run

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By Tom Canavan

Eli Man­ning is one of the few play­ers on the New York Giants who knows what it is like to make a play­off run.

Eli Man­ning is one of the few play­ers on the New York Giants who knows what it is like to make a play­off run.

The pre­vi­ous time the Giants did it was in 2011 and Man­ning went on to lead New York to its se­cond Su­per Bowl ti­tle in five sea­sons.

The past four years have been dis­mal, in­clud­ing con­sec­u­tive 6-10 sea­sons the past two years that forced Tom Cough­lin out and led to the hir­ing of Ben McA­doo.

New York (7-3) will head into this week­end’s game at Cleve­land rid­ing a five-game win­ning streak and in po­si­tion to end a four-year play­off drought.

It has the best record among NFC teams not lead­ing a divi­sion, but the sched­ule will get tougher in the fi­nal six weeks.

“It feels good. We’re win­ning foot­ball games and do­ing some things well,” Man­ning said Tues­day. “We just have to stay hun­gry and keep com­pet­ing. Keep work­ing on get­ting bet­ter each and ev­ery week. We just have to stay the course.

“Def­i­nitely room for im­prove­ment.”

If there is an area of con­cern for Man­ning, the of­fense just isn’t putting up a lot of points. The Giants are av­er­ag­ing un­der 21 points and their seven wins have been by a to­tal of 27 points.

Win­ning close games was some­thing the teams in 2007 and ‘11 did in their ti­tle runs.

“That’s what you have to do in this league,” Man­ning said. “Those teams, win the close games and on the line, we tend to play our best foot­ball. That’s a good thing. That’s a great qual­ity to have.

“You have a con­fi­dence that when you get in the fourth quar­ter and in these close games, we’re go­ing to be able to pull it out.”

Man­ning isn’t wor­ried about a let­down in a trap game against the win­less Browns. He said the team has done a good job of fo­cus­ing on the weekly task.

“For us, we have to un­der­stand and be pre­pared for ev­ery game and sit­u­a­tion,” the 13-year vet­eran said. “If you don’t go about and you don’t pre­pare, you’re go­ing to lose.

“We have to have great prepa­ra­tion. It’s not a team we’ve played a whole lot. We have to get fa­mil­iar with the per­son­nel, their scheme, have a great prac­tice, go into a tough en­vi­ron­ment and win a foot­ball game.”

Win­ning also has cre­ated a loose locker room. There is a lot of work, but also a lot of kid­ding around.

“The locker room should be fun,” Man­ning said. “You win foot­ball games, five in a row, it should be fun. You’re en­joy­ing that time and in con­tention to win a divi­sion. All of those things. It’s an ex­cit­ing time.

“There should be a lot of good en­ergy around the locker room.”


Eli Man­ning is one of few play­ers who were part of Giants’ last post­sea­son run that cul­mi­nated in Su­per Bowl ti­tle in 2011.


Eli Man­ning is en­joy­ing the Giants’ suc­cess this sea­son, with New York on five-game win­ning streak.

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