NEW YORK (WFAN) — Not too long ago the Giants were a mess and they were probably a loss away from their season being over. Eli Manning preached patience and doing the little things.
Four games later, Big Blue has a legitimate shot to win a division title.
The Giants (4-6) are 1 1/2 games behind first-place Philadelphia in the NFC East. The Eagles have a bye in Week 12. The Giants hope to be a game out by week’s end. They’ll get their chance against visiting Dallas (5-5), which beat New York back in Week 1, 36-31.
Considering the trajectory this season was taking through the seasons’ first six weeks, Manning said he’ll take where the Giants are now.
“It feels like it’s a new season. That start being 0-6 was very rough and tough. I think we kind of just put that behind us and we got on a hot streak and won four, but we gotta keep it going,” Manning told WFAN’s Mike Francesa. “It put us in a good spot, but we’re still in a hole a little bit and we gotta keep digging to get out of it.”
The Giants have taken advantage of equally flawed teams over the last four games, beating, among others, teams that at the time had serious quarterback issues in Minnesota, Philadelphia and Green Bay.
That likely won’t be the case on Sunday when Dallas comes to town. Quarterback Tony Romo is on pace for another 4,500-yard season and has thrown 21 touchdowns to just six interceptions in 10 games.
“This is a big one. Any time you are playing a team in the division, an important game,” Manning said. “It’s a tight pack right now within the division and fighting for an opportunity to win the NFC East, it will be a great opportunity for us. Hopefully, offensively, we go out there and continue to make strides and make improvements and have a good game plan and go and hopefully make some plays.”
Manning has thrown 17 interceptions this season, but just two over the last four games. He said even though he hasn’t put up eye-popping numbers in a long time, the Giants are still finding ways to win.
“It was a gradual thing. We didn’t need to change our approach. I think we had to make some improvements and cut down on some of the mistakes,” Manning said. “We played some teams tough but in the fourth we weren’t making the plays we needed to win. Now we are.”
The Giants made plenty of plays during their 27-13 win over Aaron Rodgers-less Green Bay on Sunday. Victor Cruz caught eight passes for 110 yards and Jason-Pierre Paul returned a batted pass for a touchdown.
During the Manning era the Giants have been known for playing their best in big spots. They’ll definitely need to follow tradition to pull off what many figured would be impossible not long ago and make the playoffs.
“When we get up against the wall we tend to play our best. It is a good quality to have. You hope you aren’t in that tough position all the time, but we thrive in those circumstances. You kind of have to be that way to be successful. Things aren’t always going to go your way and you have to make it right,” Manning said.
“Obviously, it’s been a good stretch. We’ve gotten better, improved over these four weeks. You kind of hope during this time of the season you start playing your best football, so I think we are getting to that point,” Manning added.
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