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Eli On WFAN: ‘Message Around The Team Is We Have To Stick Together’

QB Knows 0-3 Start Is Bad, But Says Now Is Not The Time For Dissension
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Giants quarterback Eli Manning is knocked to the ground against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on Sept. 22, 2013 in Charlotte, N.C. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Giants quarterback Eli Manning is knocked to the ground against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on Sept. 22, 2013 in Charlotte, N.C. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — As far as Eli Manning is concerned, the Giants didn’t quit during their embarrassing loss in Carolina on Sunday.

Speaking to WFAN’s Mike Francesa during his normal spot on Monday, Manning disagreed with the notion suggested by former Big Blue linebacker Carl Banks earlier in the day that the Giants simply gave up during the 38-0 defeat. Manning admitted things snowballed and got out of control, but said never once did his teammates lay down.

“We were competing, trying to get things going, but it’s tough sometimes. We had turnovers and holding calls that backed us up. We kept fighting but it got to the point in the fourth quarter where the game was pretty much out of reach,” Manning said.

It was the most lopsided loss of Tom Coughlin’s 10-year run with the Giants. They are 0-3, have been outscored 115-54 this season and have just 133 yards rushing. Manning has thrown eight interceptions and has been sacked 11 times, including six times in the first quarter alone on Sunday.

“When we did have a good down and distance and third and manageable situations, we couldn’t convert on any. Then we had 3rd and 20s, had penalties, sacks, lots of negative plays. We couldn’t get anything going,” Manning said.

Of the 161 teams that have started 0-3 since 1978, only five made the NFL playoffs, according to STATS.

Manning said he and his teammates have to do some soul searching and it has to start immediately.

“This is a major test and we will see how guys respond. We have to see if guys see this as a major sign and respond to it well. Are we taking everything into consideration? Are we doing everything that we possible we can to fix it? That will be the test,” Manning said. “If we can get a win and get rolling, I think we can turn this into a positive, kind of overcome some adversity and hopefully get some momentum going.

“The message around the team is we have to stick together. We can’t start turning on each other, start making excuses or start blaming other people for our own mistakes. We have to look hard at ourselves, improve our preparation and game day play. That’s the message going around the locker room and hopefully we will respond well to that,’ Manning added.

Unlike teammate Antrel Rolle, who said he saw warning signs earlier this season, Manning said there was no indication that such a lifeless loss was coming. If anything, many figured the Giants would rally behind Coughlin following the shocking death of his younger brother and put for the best effort of the young season. But it never happened.

“Guys were flying around in practice and making plays. It just hasn’t carried over to game days all the time. I think it can be fixed and we will do everything in our power to fix it, and we will fix it,” Manning said.

It’s not going to get any easier for the Giants as they play undefeated Kansas City and Chicago over the next three weeks, with always competitive Philadelphia wedged in between.

“We have to respond,” Manning said. “Sometimes you have games where the other team outplays you and that’s what happens. We have to make sure we fix that and get prepared for a great Kansas City team. They are playing good football.”

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