IRVING, Texas – Quarterback Eli Manning and the Giants will get a different wrinkle in the Dallas defense this time around after going 4-0 at what is now AT&T Stadium and winning all four games by a touchdown or less.
Manning will now have to prepare for the 4-3 defense, defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin and defensive line coach Rod Marinelli. To do that, he's not only watched tape of the preseason, but also film from Kiffin's days at Tampa Bay and USC.
"Just trying to get a feel for the defensive coordinator," Manning said. "Obviously, I watched it in the preseason, and that's the most recent stuff, and you see kind of the scheme and how it's done and the players on how they're doing it and technique-wise, but you're also just trying to see if there's any other looks or fronts or blitzes or anything that's been done in the past that might come up that first week just so you're prepared for it."
Manning was asked lightheartedly if watching the USC film gave him confidence, to which Manning jokingly replied that it won't matter anyway since he doesn't run the read option. But he did say he's looked at the coordinator's past work "a pretty decent amount," giving the quarterback something else to plan for in the days leading into the opener.
He doesn't have an answer for the Giants' recent success at Dallas and said he doesn't think there's much to it apart from making some plays late in close matchups.
"Last year, literally a game of inches," Manning said. "Their receiver had a pinky out of bounds on the last play. A few years before that, we're down 12 with five minutes and fought back for a win. There have just been some classic games over the years, so hopefully we can just find a way to hang in there and put ourselves in a situation to win the game at the end."
He does have some positive memories of going to Arlington in recent year, even if he may not know if there's any sort of trick to winning on the road, [embedded_ad]
"It's just a matter of kind of timing, and receivers have made some big plays and some good routes, so hopefully we have the same fortunate situations this upcoming week," Manning said. "When you have the right play calls versus the right defense and we can execute, we'll have some opportunities to hit some big plays."