Tom Coughlin, Eli Manning Prep for Ravens
Jim Mancari , Contributor
NFL players and coaches are famous for using the line “one game at a time” when asked questions about later on in a season.
However, that phrase is totally applicable to the Giants’ situation: They need to worry about one game at a time.
Big Blue needs to beat the Ravens on the road for the Week 17 matchup at home against the Eagles to even mean anything. Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning are certainly aware of this.
“We have the two-game schedule, and we have to win both games to get in the playoffs and everybody’s aware of that,” Coughlin said. “We’re going to have an outstanding effort both in the classroom and on the practice field this week. Hopefully, we’ll play the way like we feel like we’re capable of playing.”
“They’re (Ravens) a good team,” Manning said. “They’re talented, and they’ve got some injuries, but they might get some guys back. We don’t know what that circumstance is, but we’ve got to have a great plan, go out and play the style of football we know we can play.”
Though the Ravens have struggled coming into this game, that doesn’t mean they won’t be fully prepared to play on Sunday.
“They’ve lost the three games in a row here at this point in the season, but they are in the playoffs and we certainly know, having played them in the past in the pre-season and watched their progress throughout the year, that they are a very physical football team and very, very talented.” Coughlin said.
The Giants of course were in a similar situation last year with their backs against the wall, but Manning is not drawing any similarities to last year’s Super Bowl run.
“I think you have to prepare for this year and understand what our circumstances are, who our players are,” he said. “Different teammates, different guys and it’s a new season. Our confidence will come from the players that we have in this locker room, our character, our preparation, our coaches giving us a great game plan and the fact that we know we can go out there and play at a high level.”
Coughlin said he’s confident Manning will bounce back, but even heading into Week 16, he’s still searching for the identity of this team, as inconsistencies have clouded their play.
“The reality of it is we haven’t been able to play to substantiate what I would say is the personality of this team,” Coughlin said. “So I’m definitely counting on the veterans to go ahead and prove this and do it with consistency. Last year, we did it over a six-game run and exactly we’re in that situation again.”
However, despite the inconsistencies, Manning knows the personality of his bunch.
“We’re the New York Giants,” the quarterback said. “We’re going to be ready to play, and that’s all you can do. This week, we’re going to prepare to go out there and play our best.”
We’ll find out Sunday if the Giants’ best is enough to defeat the Ravens and keep Big Blue’s playoff hopes alive.
Follow Jim Mancari on Twitter @JMMancari.