Stapleton on NFL: Eli Manning: Too soon for Giant playoff dreams
The Giants departed their training facility in East Rutherford earlier this week for what many considered a much-needed getaway from football that has tested their mettle over the course of the season’s first seven games.
Eli Manning was asked, in the aftermath of two consecutive wins, if he had any sense as to whether the Giants (4-3) had the feel of a playoff contender yet.
“It’s just a matter of how we play, [but] you can’t start dreaming about playoff time right now,” Manning said. “We have to have our focus on Philadelphia. We have three home games coming in after the bye. Philadelphia is the next one. That’s who our focus is on. Keep finding ways to get wins and it’ll all work itself out.”
Manning admitted to getting a head start on his preparation for the Eagles prior to leaving the assignment behind, at least for a few days. He watched film and began breaking down tendencies he could notice from the schemes used in Philadelphia by new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz.
The Giants can sit back and watch their NFC East competition Sunday without much of a struggle. The Redskins are playing in the early morning window against the Bengals in London, while the divisional front-running Cowboys and Eagles face off on NBC’s “Sunday Night Football.”
“I’m guessing a lot of us will find our way to the TV and keep an eye on what’s about to go down Sunday night,” Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz said.
The Cowboys (5-1) have not lost since Week 1 when the Giants went to Jerry World and left with a victory. The Eagles (4-2) have pulled off two of the most impressive victories this season by shellacking the Steelers and the Vikings, whom they handed their first loss last Sunday.
Rookie quarterbacks Dak Prescott of Dallas and Philadelphia’s Carson Wentz have combined for 15 touchdowns, four interceptions and a 98.2 passer rating. They are two of seven rookie quarterbacks to win at least four of their first six starts since 2000.
As Prescott and Wentz meet for the first time, the Giants’ focus will be on fixing the offense helmed by their two-time Super Bowl MVP quarterback.
The Giants welcomed the bye, but they also know what awaits upon their return.
“Get away from football,” Giants cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie said. “But keep your mind on it.”