EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Eli Manning isn’t giving up on the season even though the New York Giants’ playoffs chances are just about shot.
Coming off a sixth straight loss that left the Giants with a 3-8 record with five games to play, Manning on Monday said it’s time for the team to start doing things right. It’s time for the Giants to win a game.
New York, which can no longer win the NFC East after Sunday night’s 31-28 loss to the Cowboys, will get a break over the final five weeks with games against Jacksonville (1-10), Tennessee (2-9), Washington (3-8), St. Louis (4-7) and Philadelphia (8-3).
“They have one win, and we have three wins,” Manning said of the Jaguars. “I don’t think we are in a position to label anybody or to think we are better than anybody.”
All eight of the Giants’ losses have been to teams that currently have at least seven wins.
“I think everybody wants to win,” Manning said. “Everybody wants to get that feeling back. I have seen that these last few weeks, we haven’t got discouraged. It is frustrating. Everybody is disappointed today that we didn’t get that win. We didn’t make every play we needed to get that win and left some plays out there on the field. I think guys understand every game is important, everything you are doing is important.”
Manning said the Giants aren’t playing for next season despite the prospect that they are going to miss the playoffs for the third straight season.
“Right now we are playing for this year, playing for right now,” the two-time Super Bowl MVP said. “That is the mindset. I think you just have to understand that it is not too late to get on a hot streak and feel good about what we are doing.”
Giants coach Tom Coughlin said his sole focus is playing the Jaguars on Sunday.
“The goal is to win, to win a game,” Coughlin said. “That’s what we’ve been talking about for quite some time.”
The Giants had chances to win the past two weekends against San Francisco (7-4) and Dallas (8-3). Five turnovers against the Niners led to a 16-10 loss, and the failure of the defense to stop Tony Romo and the Cowboys after the Giants took a 28-24 lead with 3:00 to play cost them on Sunday night.
Manning said the Giants weren’t very good in 2006 and finished with an 8-8 record. The next year they won the Super Bowl without making many changes in personnel.
“Being with the same crew for a year, two years, or three years, it is going to make you stronger and more comfortable,” Manning said. “We had some new guys on this squad and hopefully we will be able to stick together for a few more years and make something special. I think it can start right now. It can start at this time. I think we have made some improvement, we are doing some better things, but it is not too late to get on a hot streak, and get things rolling right now.”
Veteran defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka isn’t interested in the Giants’ record.
“It is not about getting to a certain number,” Kiwanuka said. “It is not about changing or doing anything out of the ordinary. It is about playing hard and just getting wins.”
During his weekly appearance on WFAN radio, Manning said the final five games are important for the franchise heading into next season.
“This is not about me here. We’re dealing with people’s lives, their jobs, their livelihoods, their families. You have a responsibility to practice hard, be prepared, do your job and do it at a high level,” Manning told host Mike Francesa on Monday. “Let’s go get a win, get a little positive atmosphere. Hey, Jacksonville has played some teams tough. We have to do our jobs.”
NOTES: Coughlin said LG Adam Snyder should be OK after sustaining a knee injury. He replaced rookie Weston Richburg in the starting lineup Sunday. …While it wasn’t perfect, Coughlin said RT Geoff Schwartz played OK in making his Giants debut. He missed the first 10 games with a foot injury.
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