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New York Giants Quarterback Eli Manning Must Get Back on Track

November 6th, 2012 at 4:00 PM
By Paul Tierney

'Eli Manning' photo (c) 2012, Mike Morbeck - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning is clearly one of the NFL's most talented quarterbacks. He has elite arm strength, pinpoint accuracy and improved pocket awareness that has enabled him make plays down the field through questionable offensive line play. At times, Eli is as good as they come. However, as we saw on Sunday, he is not above reverting back to his early days when mind numbingly inconsistent performances plagued the Giants offense.

Eli Manning's quarterback rating has dropped each of the last five games.  After posting a 103.3 rating against the lowly Cleveland Browns, Eli has played worse each week since then. Last Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Manning completed just 10 of 24 passes for a mere 125 yards, which was good for a quarterback rating of 41.1. To put that in perspective, Eli's career quarterback rating is 82.4.  Granted, the competition has improved, but the Eli Manning that most Giants fans know raises his level of play and leads his team to victory when the game is on the line.

The Giants carried a 20-10 lead into the fourth quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers. However, the offense went three-and-out on each fourth quarter possession and Big Blue's defense wore down against the Steelers' relentless rushing attack. The Giants uncharacteristically  squandered a game in which they had a chance to win in the latter stages.

Eli Manning performance in the final quarter had a lot to do with the Giants' loss. He was unable to connect with his receivers down the field, there were several miscommunications on what routes should be run and Eli held onto the ball too long in the pocket at times. However, the Giants quarterback does not have a grasp on what is holding back this previously explosive offense.

“I don’t feel out of rhythm,” Manning said. “I don’t feel like I’m missing guys. I think it’s just a matter of getting back to where, offensively, we’re playing fast and making good decisions.”

Hakeem Nicks' health has been an issue this season. Furthermore, the offensive line has been shaky at times. However, these are issues that Manning dealt with last season as he led the Giants to their fourth Super Bowl title. Eli has been the one player on the Giants who has always been able to perform against quality competition through adverse circumstances. He has not shown that same moxie in recent weeks, as he has thrown five interceptions in his last five games.

Eli will get back on track. He's too talented to play like this for a prolonged period of time, and perhaps it's better that he gets these performances out of the way early before the playoffs start. However, the Giants franchise player must improve his decision making, his receivers must get open with more consistency, and the rushing attack must force defenses to keep a safety around the line of scrimmage. The Giants offense does not need to be revamped, but the players must begin executing within the system for this team to have a chance at repeating. It all starts with Eli Manning.

Also…

Tags: Cleveland, Cleveland Browns, Eli Manning, Football, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Steelers, Super Bowl

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33 Responses to “New York Giants Quarterback Eli Manning Must Get Back on Track”

  1.  kujo says:

    I will not crow about the OL. I’ve said all I can say over the last 3 years and I believe my opinions have largely been vindicated, in spirit if not in truth.

    And I am far too happy to think about David Diehl. Held my nephew for the first time today after waiting in the parking lot of a hypnobirthing center (…don’t ask) or 16 hours. F-ck David Diehl with an AIDS invested broomstick; I’m an uncle!

    •  Paul Tierney says:

      OL has been a pleasant surprise this year for the most part. They have had their hiccups, but who doesn’t? The statements about the OL were more of a long term conclusion rather than a right here and now kind of thing.

      Congrats on being an uncle. Hope everything goes well with that.

      •  kujo says:

        We need a new right tackle. Will it be Locklear or Brewer? McCants? Mosley? Someone else entirely? That’s the big question going forward for me.

  2.  Krow says:

    Next year David Diehl will make $4,100,000 … just slightly less than Kiwi and JPP combined.

    Congrats kujo !!!

  3.  JimStoll says:

    the refusal to insert Brown in lieu of Bradshaw — or at least give them roughly equal carries — is really frustrating, especially now that teams realize Nicks is far less than 100%, they can take Victor somewhat out of his game by being overly physical; they can over-compensate to take away the deep pass knowing we will refuse to throw underneath, and we have no reliable third receiver
    if they are not going to use Brown to run, I would at least hope they would integrate him as a second/third down receiving back

    but it’s week 10; the thought that the team will tweak the offensive scheme to react to what defenses are now doing is fantasy
    this may well be 2008 redux, where one team (then Philly) blueprints how to stop our offense; everyone follows suit; and we refuse to change

  4.  Krow says:

    Eli needs Nicks’ knee to magically heal or he needs to sit till it does. He also needs Hixon or Wrong Route Randal to turn into the equivalent of Mario Manningham.

    When we get inside the 20 we need to cut down the number of running plays from whatever they are now to zero. Our Canadian 3-down offense is killing us.

    Every pass play can’t be a bomb. Well, I suppose it can be … but it shouldn’t.

    I’m not sure there’s anything wrong with Eli that some WR separation wouldn’t cure. But until we get some we won’t know.

  5.  GOAT56 says:

    I agree with Jim. I think too many are writing off the cowboys. The cowboys have not lost to a team under 500 yet and every team that remains is under 500 except Pitt. While Dallas has lost several tough games they don’t appear to be point unraveled. In fact they are playing hard and with some heart. In contrast Philly and Washington appear to be falling apart. These teams don’t appear to be the same two teams that played us so tough earlier this season. Looking at their schedule Dallas does have a decent chance to get to 10-6 and if they did its likely they would own the division tie breaker if they were to finish tied with us.

    I say this to remind everyone that the division isn’t over even if we beat the Bengals. We have to think 11 wins and 12 wins guarantees us the division. While I understand out division rivals have played poorly, I don’t think Dallas really has played poorly they have just lost to good teams. Now they have only one good team left to play. I will definitely be rooting for Philly.

    •  Krow says:

      We’ll be lucky to get 10 wins. 11 is just barely within the realm of possibility. But 12 … more people will report Bigfoot sightings than will see us at 12-4.

    •  norm says:

      You’re looking at teams; I’m looking at math.

      Giants win Sunday, they are 7-3. Playing .500 ball for the rest of the year gets them to 10-6. A 3-3 record over the last six does not seem to be a particularly high hurdle for this Giants team to clear, regardless of what anyone thinks its issues may be.

      Cowboys win Sunday, they are 4-5. They need to go 6-1 to reach that same 10-6 mark. In order to do that, they will most likely need to beat the Eagles again and the Redskins twice.

      Yes, both the Eagles and Skins are below .500 but they are also divisional rivals. The odds of Dallas going 3-0 in those games is not great. Even if they manage to go 2-1, that means the Cowboys would be in full bore playoff mode in each of their remaining four games. Every one of those games would be, in effect, an elimination game; lose any one of them and their hopes of catching the Giants would be gone.

      Simply put, Dallas will have to play near perfect ball between now and the end of the year while the Giants have the luxury of simply playing at .500. As I’ve said, it’s mathematically possible for that combination of circumstances to occur… but highly unlikely.

      •  norm says:

        And included in the Cowboys’ four remaining non-divisional games is one against Pittsburgh and one against the Saints. Neither one of which Dallas can afford to lose if they fail to run the table in their divisional match-ups.

        Of course, this is all premised on the Giants beating the Bengals on Sunday and then being good enough to play .500 ball beyond that. If they do that, I just don’t see the Cowboys as good enough to force a divisional tiebreaker by finishing 6-1.

        And if a reasonably healthy Giants team is not good enough to go 4-3 from here on out, then this team was never going to contend for a title anyway and I’ll have no choice but to conclude that it had been grossly overrated by us fans.

      •  Dirt says:

        I think norm is absolutely right – with respect to winning the division.

        However, the NFL is a big heap of trash garbage this year, everyone’s in striking distance for the Wild Card. Both the Cowboys and Eagles are currently within 1 game in the loss column of the current #6 seed.

        •  Dirt says:

          And, man, do I not want to trot my azs into MetLife in January and watch Vick or Romo extend plays on this zone defense all day.

  6.  GOAT56 says:

    I’m more patient than most fans but I would also like to see Lockear start and Brown at least share the load. But while thinking about these situations in general maybe TC’s perspective is larger. Maybe the reason why our team can rally from the depths in both a season and a game is the trust the players have in TC. So while it might seem like TC is playing an inferior player at the moment when he shouldn’t, in the big picture moves like this might be the very reason why we have won 2 SBs. Just a thought.

  7.  GeezUp says:

    Wait…so the line is the problem?!? This is laughable; 8 sacks thru 9 games!!! Mike Vick got sack 7 times last night!!! Stop giving Eli a pass; he’s be flat out horrible these last 4 games!!!

    •  Anthony Beers says:

      That statement makes no sense. Vick put up 13 points against the Saints, and the Eagles have been terrible!

      •  Anthony Beers says:

        and it’s because of the oline!!!!!!

        •  TonyMW says:

          I don’t want to speak for him, but I’m assuming he means in comparison to the train wreck of an O-line the Eagles are fielding, ours isn’t so bad.

          •  GeezUp says:

            Thanks Tony…my point is we have a group that has only given up 8 sacks in 9 games, league best I may add!!! The point about the Eagles O-Line is hyperbole but still I’ve seen Aaron Rodgers sacked 5 times in a game(Bears), sacked 8 times(Seattle), and 5 times again(Indy). So stop the insanity that our O-Line is garbage. And take in consideration Rodgers is way more mobile than Eli.

  8.  Dirt says:

    @jorgeccastillo: Victor Cruz on WFAN said Giants are going to have him start running more short, quick routes going forward to get him the ball more. #nyg

    After reading this, I’ve had an epiphany:

    Killdrive is calling nothing but deep balls because Eli has, quite frankly, been absolutely horrendous at times throwing quick passes. The throw against Dallas. The throw against TB. And other which should have been picked. AT TIMES, he’s snapping and chucking, not looking. At least with the deep ball, a receiver can shake a guy and you minimize an immediate jump on a route. And a pick 40 yards downfield beats the hell out of a pick at the LOS.

    By the way, this is consistent with grumbling I heard at camp this summer that I don’t think I was supposed to hear (but was fortunate enough to have access to be close to hear): Coughlin irate about Eli “being lazy, as per usual, and just throwing the ball.” (Paraphrased)

    •  Krow says:

      I hope nothing else goes wrong with the offense. If it took 9 games to get them to throw some short passes then there isn’t enough time left to fix anything else. That means Diehl starts till 2013.

      •  Krow says:

        Oh … and how smart is Cruz? “Hey Bengals … we’re going to run some short, quick routes.” What a moron.

        •  Anthony Beers says:

          This statement will have zero impact on the game against the Bengals. The receivers will simply read what the defensive backs are giving them, as they always do, and if the Bengals decide to commit to taking away shorter routes beating them deep will be no problem. I highly doubt the Bengals are listening to the FAN. The Giants receivers will play better against Cincinnati, just watch.

          And Cruz is not a moron.

      •  Dirt says:

        It’s just Eli. Sometimes he’s going to try to do too much and simply not look where he’s throwing. He has these throws throughout his entire career. And I think the coaches have been aware of this.

    •  Anthony Beers says:

      On the contrary a West Coast type style of play with quick routes is EXACTLY what this offense needs. This will open things up for deeper balls later in the game, and the offense will not seem so one dimensional with an incomplete deep ball and then a running game. Yes, running shorter routes has deeper risks of getting picked off because they are quicker reads, but what have the past games told us? The Giants passed for 125 yards on Sunday and have been on a steady decline in passer rating since playing Cleveland. The truth of the matter is obviously you need to utilize both aspects of short routes and deep routes to open up all aspects of the passing game.

      And Coughlin calling Eli lazy? No offense but I highly doubt Coughlin ever said that. I’ve heard a lot of Eli critics over the years but no one has ever said he’s lazy. A West Coast style of play will open things up, and the passing game will go back to the dominance we’ve come to love. Just watch.

      •  Dirt says:

        You can choose to ignore me, an anonymous poster on a message board, sure. But it happened.

        And Eli has, in fact, been lazy on many such throws. With disaterous results. And, in fact, you’ve seen less of them recently. Like, since that Dallas game.

        You can choose to ignore me and these facts, or not.

        And, furthermore, I don’t disagree with you at all. I’m sitting here screaming for screens and flares and drags. But I’ve also seen a veteran great qurlarterback at times decide where he’s throwing before the snap with complete disregard to where the defense is or will be standing when he let’s it go.

        I’m just telling you why, while we’re ALL sitting here screaming for it, it hasn’t happened.

        •  Anthony Beers says:

          While you’ve seen less of his “lazy” throws, you’ve seen less touchdowns in the passing game as well. You have a very good point about Gilbride and his fear of shorter passes.

          But I supposed the real question is, do you have the confidence in Eli Manning to bounce the offense back?

          I personally am a believer in Eli and always will be.

          Another question, more out of curiosity, was Coughlin truly bashing his quarterback, or was he busting his balls to motivate him because it’s training camp and that’s what hard **** coaches do?

          •  Dirt says:

            I personally have all the faith in the world in Eli bouncing back. But even as one of his biggest supporters/gameday-jersey-wearers, I know he’ll always periodically make a throw that makes you say “WTF!?”

            The grumbling was more to another coach/staffer after a practice featuring some terrible, lazy throws. Now, granted, it’s likely he goes off the handle after every pick. But the word “lazy” was said along with something that left the impression of regularity, such that I took it that his picks aren’t physical or being fooled by the defense but making poor decisions when the information is there suggesting he shouldn’t make the throw. Obviously Eli has a lot of leeway to run the show, and maybe it’s that just Coughlin has (justifiably) a supreme level of expectations of him.

            Honestly, I never though much of it for months, but when I just saw a teammate acknowledge that there have not been short throws and says there will be going forward, then that confirms it’s beena coaching decision, and it just clicked as to why that decision was made.

  9.  Anthony Beers says:

    A few things:
    -The team always seems to struggle after a great first half under Coughlin. They have responded to these struggles with a super bowl on two occasions, but they have also failed to miss the playoffs in years like 2006,2009, and 2010. Tuck has said he feels this isn’t the same deal as those years, but time will tell.
    -Eli’s struggles are clear, but the offensive line was a complete joke against Pittsburgh. They got beat up front trying to run the ball, and their pass protection was non existent. Diehl’s struggles were clear, but Coughlin has already had his back recently, so there’s no reason to expect him to lose time.
    -Someone needs to emerge as the third receiving option. Nicks and Cruz are hopefully going to be the 1 and 2 on this team for a long time, but with Nicks battling pain a secure third option needs to be there for Eli and the passing game. Bennett had 3 touchdowns in his first three games but has become ghostly ever since. Randle has looked good at times, but looked like a rookie on Sunday. Hixon has had the most experience with the team, but his play hasn’t suggested he can claim the role. It’s totally up for grabs.
    -The run game struggled as a result of poor oline play, and lack of offensive creativity, but that all being said who is the best back out of the three that have seen time? Bradshaw is a veteran and a leader on this team yes, but I feel the more reliable option is Andre Brown. Bradshaw has been dancing at the line of late and not hitting the hole, Brown has been hitting the hole faster and on top of that he’s been more secure with the ball. Bradshaw is an emotional leader of this team and should not be eliminated from the running game, but Brown deserves more carries whether he starts or not. I’d also consider getting Wilson in there, he’s too explosive to not be used.
    -Our kickoff and punt coverage looked bad for the first time on Sunday, and the Steelers didn’t have Antonio Brown. No excuses, time to get it together.

  10.  Dirt says:

    I’m going to go watch the 2nd greatest reality show (behind NFL football) – a night of election results.

    If you haven’t already, go vote fools!

    And if you’re undecided, write in Killdrive and Diehl.

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