Sports

Giants are taking what defenses given them, and it is making Eli Manning better

  • New York Giants running back Peyton Hillis (44) watches as quarterback Eli Manning (10) throws a pass  during NFL football practice in East Rutherford, N.J., Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

    New York Giants running back Peyton Hillis (44) watches as quarterback Eli Manning (10) throws a pass during NFL football practice in East Rutherford, N.J., Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)  (The Associated Press)

  • New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz (80) catches a pass during NFL football practice in East Rutherford, N.J., Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013. AP Photo/Mel Evans)

    New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz (80) catches a pass during NFL football practice in East Rutherford, N.J., Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013. AP Photo/Mel Evans)  (The Associated Press)

  • New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin answers a question before NFL football practice in East Rutherford, N.J., Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

    New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin answers a question before NFL football practice in East Rutherford, N.J., Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)  (The Associated Press)

The New York Giants haven't changed their playbook to get Eli Manning back on track.

The options just have changed, and it's one of the major reasons the New York Giants (4-6) still have hopes of making the playoffs heading into Sunday's game against the Dallas Cowboys (5-5).

After losing their first six games, Tom Coughlin's team has won four in a row and is only 1 ½ games behind Philadelphia in the NFC East with six to go. The Eagles have a bye this week.

A lot has changed for New York.

The defense is keeping games close. The offensive line has stabilized. The running game is going, and Manning and his receivers are using quick, short passes to take what defenses offer. It's winning football.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org