Atlanta Falcons: Giants QB Eli Manning Q-and-A

FLOWERY BRANCH–Excerpts from Giants quarterback Eli Manning’s conference call today with Atlanta reporters.

Q: What is about this team in December? It seems you turn it on.

A: A lot of times we are in that situation where need to win games to get into the playoffs. You’ve got to be excited about those opportunities and understand we are in a great position. But to hold on to the spot we’ve got to play our best football and find a way to win big games.

Q: Your rushing game has picked up with David Wilson. How is that able to help you?

A: Any time you can establish a good running game it always helps out and puts the defense on their heels a little bit. They don’t know if run or throwing and it slows down the pass rush. You’ve got to have a great mix of the run and pass. If you can get those safeties to stay high in a shell defense because they are scared of pass it should open up the run, and vice versa.

Eli Manning has two Super Bowl rings and two Super Bowl MVP trophies. (Photo by Getty Images)

Eli Manning has two Super Bowl rings and two Super Bowl MVP trophies. (Getty Images)

Q: What do you see different about the Falcons’ defense?

A: A little bit of a different scheme than last year. They are still a four-down [linemen] team but kind of more of a three-four style. Their safeties have been playing outstanding and getting interceptions. John Abraham has always a strong pass rusher. It seems they are very aggressive on defense and doing a good job getting turnovers.

Q. You played against Asante Samuel in division games [when he was with the Eagles]. How does he give the Falcons a different look?

A: He’s obviously a guy who makes a lot of plays and kind of has his own style, his own technique. When he sees something, he’s aggressive and he always seems to be around the ball. You always have to keep your eyes on him.

Q: There are differing views of the Falcons around the league. What is your opinion of the Falcons?

A: I think they are a very talented team and a good team and the record shows that. Offensively, they move the ball and make plays. The defense gets turnovers. As an opponent coming in know, both sides of ball have to play very smart and play at our highest level to go in there give ourselves a chance to win.

Q: Why do you think Falcons don’t get respect even though they have the best record in the NFC?

A: I’m not sure about that. They have my respect.

Q. Other than a win or loss, is there anything you look at on the stat sheet that are a tell-tale signs of how the team played?

A: I think our third-down conversions usually tell a big story of the day. Red-zone efficiency usually tells a big part of it, and also turnovers. If you are protecting the ball and converting on third downs and scoring when you get down in the red zone that usually leads to good things.

Peyton and Eli Manning (Travis Lindquist/Getty Images)

Peyton and Eli Manning (Travis Lindquist/Getty Images)

Q. Did you talk to Peyton [Manning] about his game here [a 27-21 Falcons victory]?

A: I haven’t talked to him yet. I may speak to him a little bit about it later in the week.

Q: The Falcons’ defense moved around a lot in that game. Can movement and not having guys in the place you expect make a quarterback and offensive line uncomfortable?

A: It can. I mean, not uncomfortable, but obviously it’s different looks. You prepare for that. They’ve doing it over the weeks and you have a plan for it. I think we are fortunate we have offensive linemen we have guys been here a number of years and we’ve seen a lot of different looks. We should be able to get it called and get things going. And when people are walking around [on defense] and doing different things there should be some chances to hit some big plays.

Q: Do you think you’ve managed the post-Super Bowl lag better this time around?

A: Last time we won the NFC. We started off 11-1 and ended up 12-4. Obviously we are not going to go 12-4 this year but we’ve still got a chance to win the division and get into the playoffs. That’s what we are rooting for and we’ve got to make sure keep focus one game at a time.

Q. On a personal note, is the area there in Hoboken where a lot of the players live back to nornal [after Hurricane Sandy]?

A: The area that we are in is back to normal for a lot of us. There are still people who live there still being affected and still rebuilding trying to get back to normal. These last two or there weeks for me and a lot of players it’s been back to a normal routine with power back and it’s been a lot better.

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27 comments Add your comment

JoeSmoove

December 12th, 2012
3:19 pm

JoeSmoove

December 12th, 2012
3:19 pm

JoeSmoove

December 12th, 2012
3:20 pm

Esquire is in the HOUSE

December 12th, 2012
3:29 pm

I never have understood why some people don’t think Eli is an elite quarterback. It’s evident that Matt Ryan is not elite, but Eli? He’s got two rings! Anyway, I think they will kick our team squarely in the rear this week.

WE USED TO BE THE MIGHTY, MIGHTY FALCONS!

Loyalfalconfrmthemississippi

December 12th, 2012
4:43 pm

Your an imposter esquire, the real esquire would have no doubt in our falcons, get off our blog troll!!!!

X-Ryan

December 12th, 2012
4:46 pm

People who don’t think Eli Manning is an elite QB need to take a good, hard look at Matt Ryan. That’ll change their minds quick! Matt Ryan needs to be X-ed out of the Falcons equation if the Falcons are one and done this year in order to make room for Manziel in a couple of years. Ryan is really great at making the easy throws look so difficult! Overthrowing the receivers, “no problem”; underthrowing the receivers, “too easy”; throwing behind the receivers, “consider it done”; leading the receivers too much, “yawn”; an accurate throw where the receivers can catch and run, “sorry coach, not part of my repertoire.”
Quote from Matt Ryan: “I know there’s a defender waiting there……however, the play said to throw at that spot and by golly, I’m gonna throw to that spot!”

Fair catch Franks

December 12th, 2012
5:35 pm

Esquire I don’t agree with you; However this has been your best post to date. I believe if the Falcons lose this game it won’t be for lack of effort. Remember your heard it here first fair catch Franks takes one to the house against the Giants.

D man

December 12th, 2012
8:08 pm

Eli thinks we are a good team! Great…

Rise Up!

December 12th, 2012
8:09 pm

X-Ryan is an idiot, you obviously don’t watch football at all. I wonder why Peyton Mann wasn’t kicked off after losing his first 3 playoff games? Cause great players can’t be held down forever

David

December 12th, 2012
8:34 pm

I am a life long fan, but the Falcons are going to get the beeting of there lifes, just cant play with the big boys. Oh ya I guess the panthers are a better teem than the Falcons.

Whadda Ya Know?

December 12th, 2012
8:35 pm

What are these little Taints fools doing on this blog clowning? Go play on Nola

X-Ryan

December 12th, 2012
9:21 pm

To Rise Up

Don’t even compare Peyton Manning to Matt Ryan. Manning has never loss a playoff game as pathetic as Ryan has over and over again. When Manning loses a playoff game, it’s because the other Team beat his team. He at least kept it interesting. Ryan on the other hand, couldn’t even put up 1 single point in a playoff game! You must have grown up in a family where they kept lying to you all the time. “Oh you’re a great football player son. One day you’re gonna make it into the NFL.” Truth is, you’ve never been any good at football. Look at where you’re at now. The only time you even get close to the NFL is when you watch it on TV. You need to stop lying to youself about Matt Ryan and learn to recognize the truth. Oh but you don’t want to because the truth hurts. You can keep your lies to yourself, I don’t want to hear it!

ijonathan

December 12th, 2012
9:33 pm

X-Ryan, you couldn’t be more wrong.

I could haul out a ton of stats to prove it, but here are three:

Manning’s first playoff game, lost 19-16, QB rating a bad 62.3. If he plays even average that game, they may win.

Manning’s second playoff game, lost 23-17, rating a mediocre 82.0. If he elevates his game a bit, they may win.

Manning’s third playoff game, lost 41-0, rating a stinky 31.2. Obviously he wasn’t the only reason they lost, but his 0 TD and 2 picks didn’t help.

Yeah, Manning kept it interesting. LOL.

Next.

Next

December 12th, 2012
10:06 pm

Matt Ryan’s modest home record is 32-4, 6-0 this year.

Talk about an awesome home field advantage,

Go Falcons !

Next

December 12th, 2012
10:15 pm

Matt Ryan’s home winning percentage
is higher than that of Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, & Drew Brees.
But nobody talks about it & that’s o.k.

Falcon James

December 12th, 2012
10:41 pm

Got to respect Eli. He was very professional with the interview. I hope the Falcon stay in the game and give ‘em hell.

JSS

December 13th, 2012
1:17 am

Ah the revisionists are out on Manning’s 0-3 post-season start again… The only game where stunk it up prior to the New England debacles (after finally won their first post season) was the 2nd one… He was Matt Ryan vs the Packers bad that day…

That Jets game was the game that finally made them address their soft as heck defense! LaMont Jordan ran the ball down their throat, a one legged Curtis Martin too! They screened and ran it on them until they hollered uncle! They played one handed the entire game, they drove to the 30 and because they stomped Edgerrin James into the ground… That one kept Chad Pennington in the league another 6 seasons! That was a pure a** whipping!

Big Daddy

December 13th, 2012
2:48 am

Eli gave a very professional interview and did not say anything that could be construed as bulletin board fodder. Something that he mention of note was that his team won the NFC when they were 11-1 and ended up 12-4. I read the New York paper and the fans on the blog were after him and the team then just like some people are here. Fans are fickle.

We could not have been 11-1 and not beaten some good teams. I think Falcons history sticks out in our minds more than anything else. We are hesitant to invest too much hope for fear of an epic collapse, as we have seen before. The only way the Birds are going to silence the critics is to win. I bet there are a lot of teams that wish they had our record over the last 4 years.

That said, this is the biggest game of the season so far. With the possibility of getting home field advantage throughout the playoffs looming, this game will demonstrate to everyone whether we have the goods or not. Also, with the announcement of a new stadium deal and Arthur confirming that PSL’s will be forthcoming, a loss on Sunday will not be received well. I am sure Mike Smith is aware of this and has impressed upon the coaching staff what this game means. We need to show our support this game more than any other this year. We need our defense to make some plays and our offense to be consistently moving the ball. 3rd downs and red zones have been big issues lately. GO FALCONS!!!

hop

December 13th, 2012
6:37 am

Eli is one of the vdery top QB’S in the league and may be better than his brother Peyton.

Matt is a much different storyand has not performed in play-off games!
One could say this is like a play-off game,it is a Big game for the falcons!
They need to win this to help them get over the hump!

Choke On My Grits

December 13th, 2012
6:47 am

Falcons better be on their P’s and Q’s or they will lose 2 In a row and that will personally P….me off !

Preston Thompson

December 13th, 2012
7:21 am

Wait a minute. X-Ryan’s not an idiot. He’s dead on. Somebody’s not watching film and just don’t want their QB jumped on. The Falcons have lost to many games from not scoring in the red zone. And if you looks at the passes Ryan’s making, he fails to lead when that’s the only way to complete the pass. When the receiver is covered pretty tight, leading is the only way to complete the pass. The first NO loss was a failure on this point. Tony was open in the end zone. But Ryan put the ball on his chest even though he was looking a the defenders hand in Tony G’s face. Guess what, the pass was knocked down. That would have won the game. But we all know they lost.

Naw, X-Ryan’s right. You just have to admit it.

BullDogMike

December 13th, 2012
7:58 am

As a Falcon fan, I still have to give props to Eli. I still can’t believe he has turned out to be such a great NFL QB. I saw him play college games live and on TV, and just never thought he was all that. I remember watching his brother play and knew immediately how good he would be on Sunday. So what Eli has accomplished is really mind boggling to me..

SimpleDawg

December 13th, 2012
8:10 am

A must-win for the Falcons’ credibility…..

I usually just read but...

December 13th, 2012
8:58 am

Matt is a top tier QB. As big a Falcon fan as I am you have to say Eli is also. They are both excellent leaders, don’t panic under pressure and most of all IMHO are the classiest two QB’s in the entire league. Being the homie I am, I gotta go with Matt this weekend
GO FALCONS!!

oldmike

December 13th, 2012
9:32 am

to x-ryan I don’t have the stats in front of me but I am sure Ryan scored points in the playoffs. I think this team is held down by it’s coach – as good as he is. Too conservative. Imagine Sean Peyton or Belichick (sp?) as coach…

oldmike

December 13th, 2012
9:38 am

btw x-ryan you’ll see that the running game (turner) was a no show in all 3 losses. not all #2’s fault. he did throw touchdown passes in the first 2 games. unfortunately he threw 2 more to the other team as well.

Keeping it real

December 13th, 2012
10:55 am

Overall the Giants are the better team! it takes balance to win in the NFL,and the giants have it! Me being a lonetime Falcons fan it hurts to say that,but maybe Matt Ryan has his eyes straitened,and will quit trowing those crosseyed pass’es,and maybe he will complete more to his team than the other team,and maybe M Turner will realize hes still on the team, and not retired.Hopefully we find a way to get the win. GO Falcons!