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Eli Manning: Life's a roller-coaster for rookie QBs

Eli Manning knows from experience that it's tough being a rookie quarterback in the NFL.

During a sitdown with NFL Network's Deion Sanders this week, the New York Giants star recalled the worst game of his life. It was on Dec. 12, 2004, a Week 13 matchup on the road against the Baltimore Ravens. Manning finished 4 of 18 for 27 yards and two interceptions in a 37-14 loss. His passer rating was 0.0.

Manning said he learned something about himself that day. Sanders -- who came out of retirement to play on that Ravens team -- learned Manning "can take a beating."

"I learned I could get down, but I could bounce back," Manning said in an interview that will air Thursday at 6 p.m. on NFL Network. "And that next week I went in and talked to the coaches and said, 'All right, honestly, I stunk last week and I wanna fix it. I wanna get better. Here's some of the plays I wanna run.' I said, 'These are the plays I feel comfortable with.'"

The next week, Manning bounced back with a strong performance against a Pittsburgh Steelers team that went 15-1.

"All these rookies, I think there's going to be tough games," he said. "But there will be good games also.

"And it's just learning. (In) the NFL playing quarterback, the more you can learn, the more mistakes you can have, the more you learn from it and you don't repeat it."

Manning finished his rookie season with a completion percentage south of 50 percent and a passer rating of 55.4. Now he has two Super Bowl rings. Starting a rookie quarterback is fine. You just have to have the stomach for it.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @danhanzus.

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