New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning throws in the first half of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) Peyton Manning finally found some time in retirement to get together with little brother Eli.
Peyton showed up at the Giants' walk-through workout Tuesday and discussed football, sat through part of a quarterbacks' meeting and talked about playing against the Steelers, New York's opponent this weekend in Pittsburgh.
Eli Manning was unaware his brother was going to show up at the team's facility, but he noted it was nice to see him.
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The Giants (8-3) have won six straight games – their longest streak since 2008 – and have a great chance to make the playoffs for the first time since 2011.
''It was good to have him here,'' Eli Manning said. ''I hadn't seen him in a while. He has something to do tomorrow, so he popped in and sat in on a few meetings with us today. Just good to catch up. I'll get some time with him later on.''
Peyton Manning, dressed in pajamas, did a commercial before the season for DirecTV in which he had a hard time seeing Eli because his younger brother was playing on the days he wanted to meet.
Eli Manning said Peyton seems to be adjusting to life after football, adding that he is staying busy and enjoying his down time.
However, the longtime Giants quarterback said it's obvious his brother enjoys being around football.
''I think when he gets in this environment, he was kind of drilling the coaches on questions,'' Manning said. ''I know he liked being in there and doing a little install on Pittsburgh. I'm sure he misses that environment, just the game plan, how you're going to do things, how you're going to deal with protections, how you're going to pick things up, just really getting back into that flow of things. I'm sure it is a little reminder of how special it is to be in this situation.''
Manning said his brother will watch his games and send him text messages afterward, telling him he made a good throw on some play or asking questions about certain plays or what the offense was running.
''That's kind of always been the case,'' Manning said, adding the two have always tried to watch each other play. ''It's good communication about what is going on.''
The Giants' offense can use some help. It has scored 231 points this season, which is 21st in the league. There has been no consistency.
''We're just a few plays away,'' Manning said. ''You score 21, it's not like we scored 10. We're just not getting down in the red zone enough. That's the deal.''
The Giants tried to switch things up last week and go with the deep ball. Manning threw six long passes against the Cleveland Browns in a 27-13 win, but he hit only one.
Stepping up this week will be important when facing Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers (6-5), winners of two straight.
''We have our expectations of what we want to do and how we want to score,'' Manning said. ''We feel we can score. We've been good the last few weeks protecting the ball, that's number one. It's not about forcing things trying to score. We have to execute well, play smart and make the plays that are there.''
The Giants have made enough plays to get back in the playoff hunt this season with five games to go. In the last three seasons, New York has had little to play for down the home stretch.
''You can get spoiled early in your career when four years in a row you make the playoffs,'' Manning said. ''You assume that is kind of the norm. You play long enough you realize it isn't. It is special to be in contention to make the playoffs, and especially after the last couple being out early.''
NOTES: The Giants placed RB Orleans Darkwa on injured reserve with a leg injury. LB-S Eric Pinkins was signed off the practice squad to take his spot on the roster. … G Brett Jones, who injured a calf in a start against Cincinnati on Nov. 14, hopes to return to practice Wednesday. … Starting LG Justin Pugh had a setback last week trying to return from a strained knee and seemingly will be out a little longer. … Manning said he apologized to rookie WR Sterling Shepard for not targeting him in last week's game. … PK Robbie Gould took the blame for missing his third PAT in the past two games. ''I just missed it. You can't have that, especially when you are trying to make the playoffs.''
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