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Eli Manning: ‘We’ll Pick Up The Intensity And Make Sure We Play Better Next Week’

Eli Manning (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

Eli Manning (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (WFAN) - Following the Giants’ season-opening loss to the Cowboys on Wednesday night, quarterback Eli Manning reflected on what the Super Bowl champs must do to get better.

But he did feel that his team showed plenty of promise in the 24-17 defeat.

“The Cowboys are good, and they made some plays, but we had opportunities,” Manning told WFAN’s Mike Francesa. “In the first half we had opportunities but were just a little off. It’s something that’s easily correctable and something that we can improve on. We had some long drives. We had a 10-play drive for a touchdown and a 15-play drive for a touchdown.”

LISTEN: Eli Manning speaks with Mike Francesa

The Giants’ defense excelled in the first half, though the Cowboys took a 7-3 lead into halftime. But the second half was a different story altogether. Manning and his offensive unit came out firing after the break, but Dallas’ offensive weapons were too much for Perry Fewell’s defense to manage. Though the Giants staged a fourth-quarter comeback to cut the Cowboys’ lead to seven points, Dallas never gave New York an opportunity to tie it.

In the first half our defense was playing outstanding, and offensively we didn’t take advantage of that,” Manning said. “I think we had that feeling that if we got the ball back (at the end) we were going to tie it up, but we didn’t get that chance.”

Though the late rally fell short, the late touchdown pass from Manning to Martellus Bennett was reminiscent of the fourth-quarter magic that Giants fans have become accustomed to.

And the two-time Super Bowl MVP was certainly proud of his team’s resolve.

“We didn’t play well, but we were close to winning that game, and we still like our fight,” the 31-year-old said. “We had an opportunity and got (the lead) to seven points. But we can’t wait until the third or fourth quarter to play football.”

Manning completed 21-of-32 passes for 213 yards and a touchdown. He was also sacked three times for 26 yards. If not for some drops by superstar wide receiver Victor Cruz, Manning’s line could have looked even better — and the Giants may have won the game.

But Manning is far from worried about his main target.

“(Cruz) was just trying to make some plays, trying to run before he caught it,” the two-time Pro Bowler said. “He got a little antsy. That’s easily correctable, and he’ll start making those catches.”

Manning is excited for the break between last night’s game and Week 2, as he feels that it is a prime time for his team to return to championship form.

“It’s a great week to look really hard at your own technique and see what you have to work on,” Manning said. “We’ll come back on Monday, pick up the intensity, make sure our preparation is perfect and make sure we play better football next week.”

The G-Men will return to action on September 16 when they host the Buccaneers at MetLife Stadium.

After some rest and preparation, will the G-Men come out firing on all cylinders against the Bucs next week? Sound off with your thoughts and comments below…