Manning: ‘It’s a special day, a special win, and one I’ll remember’

It what might have been his final start at MetLife Stadium, Giants QB Eli Manning helped New York break their nine-game losing streak, as the Giants defeated the Miami Dolphins 36-20 on Sunday. 

“The way the season is going, the way these last 10 or 11 weeks have gone, the team obviously needed a win just for morale and to keep things going,” Manning said after the game. “It’s tough to go every week, be close, to compete and practice hard. Guys are giving great effort and doing a lot of good things; we’re just falling a little short. But today, we obviously were able to put it all together.

“The defense played great. Offensively, we ran the ball well, hit up big plays in the passing game, and did enough good things to get the win. Just proud of the guys. I know they all wanted to get me a win, and I wanted to get them a win as well.”

After a slow start, which included two interceptions in the first half, the Giants trailed 10-7 at halftime, but in the second half, the 38-year-old Manning was able to lead New York on four scoring drives. Manning finished the game completing 20 of his 28 passes for 283 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions.

Late in the contest, with the game in hand, Manning received a standing ovation. 

“Obviously, I don’t know what the future is,” Manning said. “I don’t know what lies next week, let alone down the road. Obviously, the support and the fans, their ovation, chanting my name from the first snap to the end, I appreciate that. I appreciate them always and all my teammates coming up to me. It’s a special day, a special win, and one I’ll remember.”

When asked what he will remember the most about this victory over the Dolphins, Manning had this to say. 

“I don’t know. Probably just the fans, the chants, the awkward feeling of standing there on the sideline, kind of a circle around me,” he said. “Everyone looking at me and staring at me, a camera on me and not feeling real comfortable in that circumstance. But getting taken out there in the fourth (quarter) and just having all my teammates come up to me and say something, little hugs. You appreciate all of those guys and everything they’ve done to get this win today.”

It was a great day for a great player, and when it’s all said and done, the two-time Super Bowl MVP will probably be forever remembered in Canton one day. 

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Stills on Flores playing Jay-Z songs during practice: ‘I don’t think a little bit of Jay-Z is going to really ruffle my feathers’

Miami Dolphins WR Kenny Stills continues to kneel before every game during the National Anthem and recently, has been very critical of rapper Jay-Z’s recent partnership with the NFL.

On Tuesday, Dolphins head coach Brian Flores decided to play eight straight Jay-Z songs during practice, which some felt was in response to Stills’ criticism of Jay-Z. However, Stills was not bothered.

“It was just music, was my reaction,” Stills said after the Dolphins’ victory over Jaguars on Thursday night. “We play music at practice every day, and Coach (Flores) kind of came up to me during practice, and was like ‘we’re going to be playing Jay-Z today,’ and that was it.”

Stills revealed why Flores decided to go with that particular playlist.

“We talked about it in house, and he handled it in house, but for the most part I think it was just him trying to see if I could handle if someone was going to heckle me, or play Jay-Z music in another stadium, if I was going to be mentally strong enough to withstand that type of treatment I guess,” he said. “I’ve been dealing with this since 2016 – music, boos, racial slurs, so I don’t think a little bit Jay-Z is going to really ruffle my feathers that bad.”

After the Dolphins’ victory over the Jaguars, Flores revealed the method behind the madness:

“So after the playlist was done, what you guys don’t know is I walked up to Kenny in front of the entire group and said, this is a challenge to you to get open, catch the football and make plays for this team regardless of what’s going on outside of this building,” Flores said.

“The next day – because there was a lot more attention paid to this than I ever would have imagined – I got up in front of the team, and I told them that I support Kenny. I support Kenny. I support the player protests. I mean, quite honestly, they’re bringing attention to my story. So let’s talk about that. I’m the son of immigrants. I’m black. I grew up poor. I grew up in New York during the stop and frisk era, so I’ve been stopped because I fit a description before. So everything that these guys protest, I’ve lived it. I’ve experienced it. So, yeah, I applaud those guys who protest. So whether it’s (Colin) Kaepernick or Eric Reid or Kenny (Stills), I applaud those guys. I told Kenny that in our meeting, in front of the entire team. So that’s where I stand on this thing, and I think it got – it got way more press than it needed to.

“I’m trying to challenge one of my players, and I’m going to do that how I see fit. Look, what these guys protest about is important. I lived it. I experienced it. I don’t know how many people have, but I lived it. So I understand why guys protest, and it’s important. But you know what else is important to me? That guys perform. There’s 89 guys in that locker room who are counting on Kenny to get open, catch the football, and perform for this team, and that’s important to me. If anybody’s got a problem with that, then we’ve just got a problem. We’re going to agree to disagree.

“I feel like that’s important, and that’s where I stand on this thing. Whatever scrutiny or media or whatever I get, then that’s what I get. I believe, and that’s it. Look, the player protest, I lived it. I mean, I don’t know how many people in here have, but I lived it. So that’s where I’m at on that. It was a challenge to Kenny to perform regardless of whatever’s going on outside. I would say – and I’ve said this to him – he hasn’t performed to that level over the course of this training camp as I’ve seen him. So that was a challenge.”

Stills will definitely get heckled throughout the season, and in reality, you practice to prepare for all situations, including taunting, so on some level, you have to give Flores credit for recognizing the moment, and using it as a teachable moment.

 

Vikings’ Zimmer on Miami Miracle: ‘I feel bad for NE because they got beat on a play that probably shouldn’t have happened’

Rarely, if ever, do lateral plays work in the NFL, but unfortunately for the Patriots, rarely does not mean never. On Sunday, with Dolphins trailing late in the 4th quarter, the impossible happened. Miami was able to score on a lateral play that ended with a Kenyan Drake touchdown as the Dolphins beat the Patriots 34-33 on the final play of the game.

In case you missed it, here you go:

It was a great play, but according Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer, whose Vikings battle the Dolphins on Sunday, this play should have never happened.

“I think that obviously they did a great job of being able to move the ball down the field that way,” Zimmer said on Wednesday. “There’s a little of both, they did a great job, I feel bad for New England because they got beat on a play that probably shouldn’t have happened. But it did, and the more that you’re in the NFL you see these kind of things all of the time, the Hail Mary by [Aaron] Rodgers and all the different things that go on. That’s why I’m never comfortable until that last zero hits the clock.”

The play should not have happened, but that is one of the great things about football and sports in general, anything can happen!