EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Eli Manning believes he has a lot of good years of football left and he hopes to continue playing them with the New York Giants.
The 33-year-old quarterback said Monday that he still loves what he is doing after 11 seasons, two NFL titles and two Super Bowl MVP awards.
And his “best-case scenario” would be to retire as a member of Big Blue.
The past couple of months have been tough for Manning and the Giants (3-7). They have lost five straight games and it looks as if they will miss the playoffs for a third straight season.
Manning had his worst game of the season in a 16-10 loss to San Francisco, throwing a career-tying five interceptions.
“I felt I was throwing the ball, have been throwing the ball accurately and getting a feel for this offense,’ Manning said Wednesday in a long interview after practice.
“I feel I can still make plays and run around and create plays and make all the throws. I still feel energized every week and work extremely hard and love what I’m doing. I don’t take it for granted at all, and feel I can play at an extremely high level and take over games and do my job.”
Manning isn’t preparing any differently for this week’s game against Dallas on Sunday night. His focus is to correct the mistakes he made last week and make better decisions this week. His intensity will be the same.
“You play long enough and you’re going to have tough games, you’re going to have bad games, you’re going to have games that are hard to get over,” said Manning, who has thrown 18 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
“You’ve got to put it behind you. You’ve got to have a short memory and you can’t let one game or let along one play dictate how you’re going to perform the next. I think I’ve done a good job doing that over my career and I’ve got to do it again this week.”
Another thing that has not changed is the way Manning feels about football.
“I love what I’m doing,” said Manning, who fired back at former teammate Tiki Barber for his comments on coach Tom Coughlin. “Football can seem great at times and you feel like you have the best job in the world. Sometimes it’s tough, but I still feel I’ve got the best job in the world. You go through tough stretches; we’re going through one now.
“It has not been easy and there have been down moments, but I still love the competition of it, love the preparation of it and just love that feeling of having a great week of work and going to get a win. That feeling in the locker room, that satisfaction, working hard to get that feeling again.”
Manning, who threw a career-high 27 interceptions last season, bluntly said he wants to finish with career with the Giants and he is not worried about his contract, which runs through the end of next season.
“This is the only franchise I’ve been a part of and I think it’s the best one,” he said. “I don’t want anything else but to be here, play here and win another championship here.”
However, he also felt that his brother, Peyton, would never play for anyone but the Indianapolis Colts. Peyton is with the Broncos in Denver.
“I don’t think he did either,” said Manning, who will be making his 162nd straight start for the Giants on Sunday night. “I’m just going to try to do my job and do it well enough where the franchise wants to keep me here.”
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