There’s no doubt that New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning isn’t perfect, but he’s no slouch either. Instead of watching game tape and honestly breaking down the proof, folks take the easy route and blame the signal-caller. Life’s become taking the simple path for most, but not Manning. He’s still out there fighting, taking chances and getting continual bad press and commentary from some “fans” in the meantime. The best attribute of number 10: it doesn’t faze him.
It’s hard for a star to be great and go on to win an award without the proper supporting cast. Manning is, for the most part, minus one. He’ll never come out and say that directly or get in anyone’s face on the sidelines, but he will discuss issues with his “cast.”
“It’s a combination. I’ve got to do my part and I’ve got to make the plays that are there for me to make, but everybody has got to be responsible for their own play and you try to keep everybody upbeat and keep them informed. That’s a part of the quarterback’s job is to make guys better or get the best out of their ability, so I’m trying to do those things”, Eli said on Wednesday. “I think they expect our offense to go and move the ball and have the success we’ve had in the past. These last two weeks, we haven’t been as sharp offensively. We’ve gone in too many three and outs and too many third and longs and just bad plays. We’ve got to be sharper.”
As the wonderful QB stats were pointed out repeatedly during last week’s matchup, they aren’t all on the 10th-year Giants offensive team captain. 85/151 (56.3 completion %) for 1,148 yards, six touchdowns and a quarterback rating of 69.1 are very un-Manning-like, no doubt. His best game was versus Dallas in week one and his worst versus Carolina in week 3. He’s far from complacent about where he is.
“This is my job. It’s something I take very seriously and you work hard to try to go out there and have a good year and play well and get wins and obviously we haven’t produced any wins yet. Yeah. It’s difficult, but I think you’ve got to stay strong and I think a team that can deal with adversity and come out of it, and I know there are benefits to that, and if we can get out of it, I think it will make us a stronger team and better for it. But obviously we’ve got to break into that win section.”
Putting this squarely on him is insane and reckless. Let’s go over the MIA supporting troupe.
Offensive Line: There is honestly only so many time this area can be covered before it feels like being force-fed regurgitated supper from two nights ago. At least with recent changes, some technical things can be worked upon. Easy E says it every week.
“I’ve got to do my job and I’ve got to make my reads and I expect the guys up front to compete and do their job and I expect that they will.”
A Legit Tight End: 16/26 for 173 yards and 1 touchdown is not what general manager had in mind when he signed Brandon Meyers in March. It’s also leaving many to question the signing, think that Meyers was a one season wonder in Oakland and that Reese should have done more to keep tight end Martellus Bennett. Second-year end Adrien Robinson can’t get on the field and Bear Pascoe is obviously better as a fullback/blocker than pass-catcher. Of course, many of these grievances can be laid to rest by re-reading the above.
Dropped Passes: While the offense is more of a timed one the fact that there is a clear issue with the protection up front should put the receivers on a higher alert on the field. It’s become all too common that the skill players are thinking about their next move before they gain full possession of the ball — especially dump-offs, sideline/in-the-flat passes. Wideout Victor Cruz (26/43, 425 yards, four TDs) clearly remains the go-to guy for Eli, even in double coverage.
“I think Victor is playing great. He played well this week. He’s played well all season. He’s making a lot of plays and winning his one-on-one battles. I think he’s done a great job of coming in and continuing to play at a high level. That’s great and hopefully everybody else can catch up to that level.”
For an offense that was to build upon the positives from last season (and become prolific), this first quarter of a season has done nothing but mar that. With mostly everyone else getting frustrated, the one guy who should be isn’t. He just remains unflappable and checks his own reflection first.
On “not playing well”:
“If that’s what I see. You just kind of watch each play and try to see if you could have made a better decision or a better throw or what your options were” said Manning. “I feel like I’m doing some good things and there are always things you can improve on and get better. We’ve just got to find a way to be more consistent and just keep grinding….we feel we can [put more point up], but it’s still a matter of execution. We’ve got to go do it and guys have got to make plays and everybody has got to do their job. If we have the opportunities to make those plays, we’ve got to make them.”
Perhaps Manning isn’t the only one that should have a mirror in his locker.
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