NEW YORK (WFAN) — Eli Manning and Antrel Rolle won’t make excuses for the Giants failing to make the playoffs this season. But they do like the fact that the team is playing hard with nothing to play for.
Joining WFAN’s Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts in separate interviews on Monday, Big Blue’s starting quarterback and stud safety said they are not pleased that their season will end next weekend, but they do take a measure of solace in the fact that at 0-6 they managed to go 6-3, including Sunday’s 23-20 overtime win in Detroit.
“We were used to winning the close games, but this year we just didn’t have it,” Manning said. “It’s those few close games that can make the difference. We easily could have been 3-3 after the first six games. It has been tough, but we’ve hung in there, made adjustments and won a few games.”
Rolle agreed, adding he liked the character the Giants showed in Detroit after performing horribly in a shutout loss at home the week before to Seattle.
“I know my team. I know the guys we have in the locker room. I know the organization. I know the coaching staff. We weren’t going to lay down,” Rolle said. “Last week’s performance against Seattle was a very, very bad performance. I wasn’t happy. I’m sure a lot of guys weren’t happy. We came back and showed we are going to be resilient; we are going to fight no matter what we have at stake.”
The Giants will conclude the regular season Sunday at home against Washington, a team they should beat. Rolle said the idea is to finish strong, show respect for the organization and head coach Tom Coughlin.
“The only satisfaction I get later in the season is playing in the postseason and obviously we don’t have any shot of doing that. But we still go out there and evaluate every game as it is,” Rolle said. “We can’t worry about the season because nobody put us in this hole but ourselves.”
With nothing to play for it may be smart to sit regulars during the season finale just to avoid any freak injuries, but Manning said he’ll be out there for the guys next to him. The 10-year veteran also needs 334 passing yards for his fourth 4,000-yard season, which might take some of the sting out of throwing an NFL-high 26 interceptions so far this season.
“I want to be there for my teammates. We got a lot of guys that play hurt … It’s the last game of the season and everyone’s hurt and they are out there competing and practicing and I want to be out there with them,” Manning said.
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