Not even 24 hours after the Giants' epic collapse in a 38-31 loss to the Eagles, in which they surrendered 28 points in the final eight minutes, quarterback Eli Manning spoke to his teammates in a players-only meeting shortly before Tom Coughlin addressed the club for his regularly scheduled session.
Manning's message: Forget the loss, there's still plenty to play for.
"We play a big game in Green Bay, and we just have to take care of our business," Manning told reporters after the meeting. "We’re the ones who decide whether we make the playoffs and what happens. It’s only us. We don’t need help from anybody else."
If the Giants beat the Packers, they're guaranteed a playoff spot. Manning felt the need to remind his teammates of that fact, especially in light of Sunday's collapse.
"In the locker room after the game, it was obviously tough," he said. "Guys just said every mistake we made was costly. At this time of year, you're playing good teams, there's a playoff mentality, and mistakes are magnified. Philadelphia might be playing better than anybody else. That means we're a good team also. We just let it slip away."
More Manning on his impromptu session:
"I just wanted to remind everyone of our situation, keep your head up and that we’re in a good position, a good spot. We’re in charge of our own destiny. We’re going to write the ending to this story, no one else."
Manning got a favorable reaction from his teammates, most of whom were surprised to see the normally quiet quarterback stand before the team and address everyone so forcefully.
"He actually got some cheers and some hand claps, because it was so out of character for him," said defensive end Justin Tuck. "You could tell – he wasn’t loud and rah-rah – but you could tell by the look on his face he was definitely into what he was doing. He was serious and everything he was saying was coming from the heart and meaningful to him."