Apparently he'd be bored.
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"I guess there is not a lot said, because we've been in so many situations like this the last two years," center Kevin Boothe said when asked about the chatter and banter that most -- even Coughlin, apparently -- assume takes place in that tight cocoon of 11 men before every snap.
"I think everybody expects to come out on top, so I don't think there is a lot that needs to be said in the huddle. We are shocked if we don't score in those situations at the end of games."
Manning may be quiet, but once the ball is snapped, he makes his statements. On the last two drives Sunday, he completed eight of 11 for 102 yards and a touchdown. He has thrown 14 fourth-quarter TD passes in 2011, tying the record set by Johnny Unitas in 1959 and matched by Peyton Manning in 2006.
The kid in Denver may be churning out miracles every Sunday, but Manning is actually the NFL's comeback master this season. He's directed a franchise-best six fourth-quarter wins, including five in which the Giants trailed in the final quarter. Maybe there should be a new hot trend around the league: Manning-ing, anyone?
"I don't ever feel pressure when I'm playing football," Manning said Sunday. "I know my assignments, I'm reading the defense, I know my plays and I try to get the ball into my receivers' hands. It's exciting, it's fun. I'm competitive and I'm out there doing what I can to get a win."
Perhaps just as quietly as he directs comeback victories, Manning is on pace for some incredible passing standards. His 400 yards against the Cowboys set his career high for a season and broke Kerry Collins' single-season team record. He has 4,105 and is on pace for 5,052, just shy of the season record of 5,084 set by Dan Marino in 1984. Oddly, he could break that mark and still have only the third- or fourth-best passing season in history because Drew Brees (4,368), Tom Brady (4,273) and Aaron Rodgers (4,125) are on a record-setting pace.
Manning might not catch Marino or the others, but he has a very good chance of buzzing past Peyton Manning's career high of 4,700 passing yards set last year.
"I can't tell you exactly what it is," said Coughlin, the only coach to face Brees, Brady and Rodgers this season. "I just know that the quality of play you've seen, the defenses are very well taxed."
And given the Giants' long-standing tradition of running the ball and Coughlin's preference for a balanced offense, he said he never could have imagined that his quarterback would be on track for one of the most prolific seasons in league history.
Of course, none of those numbers will mean anything without the wins they produce. After a four-game losing streak that nearly sunk their season, the Giants' win Sunday has put them back in first place in the division.
"We can't relax now," Manning said. "We can't start feeling great about ourselves. We have three big games. Next week, Washington is coming to New York and we have to win that game and go from there."