Eli Manning went home from MetLife Stadium after throwing five interceptions against the 49ers and re-watched the game. He wanted to see where he went wrong, evaluate his decision-making, and maybe even punish himself for his role in costing the Giants a win they desperately needed.
"It's hard to put it behind you," he said on Monday, the day after the loss. "You kind of wake up and you start thinking about it at night also when you are trying to sleep. Plays you wish you had back or opportunities you wish you had."
By Wednesday, though, Manning was back to being Manning. Confident. Calculating. Forgetful of his mistakes while also taking lessons from them.
Manning has been successful at doing that throughout his career, moving on from poor performances and following them with strong ones. And it's why Tom Coughlin, who has seen all of the ups and downs of Manning's career, including the downs and ups that have often occurred in successive weeks, still has a lot of confidence in his quarterback.
"As far as bounce back, I believe he will," Coughlin said. "I think he'll have a good game."
History is on his side. Sunday was the 19th time in his career that Manning has thrown three or more interceptions in a game. In the games after the first 18 of those games, Manning has a record of 12-6. In six he has thrown one or zero interceptions. Only once has he ever followed up with an increase in picks in the next game. That was last year when he threw three in the opener against the Cowboys and four the following week against the Broncos.
That's the long-term trend, anyway. Short-term is less rosy. Last year Manning had five games with three or more interceptions. He was 2-3 in games that followed those.
Perhaps the most direct parallel to this week: After throwing five interceptions last year against the Seahawks, the only other time in his career he's thrown that many, he threw one in a win over the Lions.
"You have to do that in this league," Manning said. "You play long enough in this league and you're going to have tough games, you're going to have bad games, games that are hard to get over. But you have to put it behind you."
Manning insisted that his preparation does not fluctuate based on the previous week's success or failure. "You might work on something specific," he said, "but from a preparation standpoint I think each week you always feel you have something to improve."
His teammates pick up on that consistency.
"You don't see him down on himself," backup quarterback Ryan Nassib said. "You can see why he could, but he doesn't. He comes in and works just as hard in good times and bad . . . The way you see him on Mondays, he could have thrown for five touchdowns or thrown five picks. That's one of his best qualities."
The Giants would like the five-touchdown version, please. Especially with their slim chances of advancing to the playoffs quickly fading and a chance they could be eliminated from contention on Sunday.
"When something goes wrong and you feel close and you could have had a win, you have to turn the page and you have to bounce back quickly," Manning said. "You have to be upbeat and be excited about this next opportunity that we have.
"I've done a good job of doing that over my career," he added, "and I've got to do it again this week."