EAST RUTHERFOR, N.J. (AP) The New York Giants are sticking with Eli Manning.
A day after saying he wasn’t sure who would start against the NFC East champion Philadelphia Eagles, interim coach Steve Spagnuolo on Monday left no doubt that the two-time Super Bowl MVP would be his quarterback Sunday at MetLife Stadium.
Spagnuolo was not sure whether Manning also would start the final two games, against Arizona and Washington. The Giants (2-11) might want to see what rookie Davis Webb can do; the third-round draft pick has not played this season.
”Right now I’m talking about I’m on the week by week and let’s win the next game,” Spagnuolo said. ”To beat the Philadelphia Eagles right now, Eli Manning is the starting quarterback, and I don’t feel that changing, but I don’t know what next week is going to bring.”
Manning returned to the starting lineup on Sunday and hit 31 of 46 passes for 228 yards and a touchdown in a 30-10 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. He threw two late interceptions in a game that was tied 10-10 halfway through the fourth quarter. Both came after the Cowboys opened a 23-10 lead.
”I thought Eli played really good football, real solid,” Spagnuolo said. ”Watched the film. Got us in and out of some things that probably only he can do because he’s pretty special that way. I’m sure he’ll tell you there’s a couple of throws he would like back, and that’s probably true of any game.”
Manning said he always wants to play.
”Always want to be out there and go see if we can go get a win,” said the 36-year-old QB who saw his streak of 210 consecutive starts snapped on Dec. 3 when he was benched by former coach Ben McAdoo against the Raiders in Oakland. The loss dropped the Giants to 2-10, and McAdoo and general manager Jerry Reese were fired the next day. Spagnuolo was elevated from defensive coordinator to interim coach.
Sunday was his first game running a team since being fired as St. Louis Rams coach in 2011, and he was extremely disappointed.
”Felt like we played 52 minutes of pretty good team football, and there’s enough mistakes in there, but certainly well enough to win,” he said. ”We’re in a 10-10 game with a division opponent and it’s a dogfight, and then all of the sudden, it turned real quickly on us and it was tough to rebound.”
The Cowboys (7-6) scored three touchdowns in less than five minutes to stay in the playoff race. It was big-play football, something the Giants have lacked since losing receiver Odell Beckham Jr. in Week 5 against the Chargers.
”I thought yesterday we had a good game plan, getting the ball out fast, finding completions,” Manning said. ”We’re not getting many explosive plays, but we’ve got to find ways to make the plays that are there. If we get to third-and-manageable, we’ve got to make some throws, make some catches, just do some of those things right.”
Spagnuolo was not sure Webb would get a chance to play. He said he needs to talk to the offensive coaches before making a decision on that. He also said Webb is one of the hardest workers on the team.
Manning said he talks about the offense all the time with backup Geno Smith and with Webb. However, he admits that a quarterback has to play to find out what he can do.
”I think you always think you’re ready, you think you kind of have the answers until you’re out there and you’ve got to make some decisions,” Manning said. ” `Hey, are you going to make this check; hey, I think this blitz is coming; but are you sure and do you know how to pick it up, or do you know how to have answers, or what your assignments are, or what you’re going to do under a certain situation, where are your check-downs? So, there’s a lot to learn, and honestly I believe the best way to do it is through experience and to get out there.”
NOTES: First-year receiver Darius Powe had two receptions for 13 yards in his NFL debut. He also broke his foot in the first half, yet finished the game. He joined Beckham, Brandon Marshall, Dwayne Harris, Kevin Norwood and Keeon Johnson as receivers on injured reserve. … S Landon Collins was out of his boot (left foot) but Spagnuolo was not sure he would be ready for Sunday. … OT Justin Pugh is going to get a second opinion on his injured back on Wednesday. … DT Khyri Thornton, who was signed on Nov. 29 and was never active for a game, was waived. … The Broncos signed TE Matt LaCosse off the Giants’ practice squad. LaCosse played in three games this season but did not have a reception. The Giants terminated the practice squad contract of LB Trevor Bates.
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