To say that it has been a rough year thus far for New York Giants starting quarterback Eli Manning would be putting it nicely, because it's been pretty bad for the 32-year-old veteran through the first couple weeks of the season.
Despite being a two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback who has never had a losing season as the starter of the Giants, Manning has started off the 2013 with an 0-5 record and leading the NFL in interceptions with 12; three of which came in the fourth quarter of the team's 36-21 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday afternoon.
Following the game on Sunday, Giants head coach Tom Coughlin talked about how the interceptions and turnovers Manning made were "very demoralizing" to the team and were overall just terrible to have happen in crucial spots.
"I honestly believe that he's trying so hard to get us a win, he's almost put too much on himself," Coughlin said. "And I'm not making excuses. There were a couple of those plays that were terrible. The intentional grounding penalties hurt so badly, because not only distance but to lose the down. I think we can make some progress with regard to preventing that. I think we do have to sometimes just cover the ball and go down."
That response lead to fans, media and general Manning haters to think that the Giants head coach was getting on his quarterback and tired of him making bad plays, and some even started to think that Manning should be benched, which made a lot of people laugh at that notion.
On Monday during his press conference with the media, Coughlin was asked about the comments he made about Manning after Sunday's game and the general feeling of his quarterback, and it sounded like Coughlin was trying to do a little bit of a reversal, as Paul Schwartz from the New York Post reported, because Manning's psyche might be a bit banged up.
"Coughlin said he did speak with Eli today. "I wish I could bring his spirits back up. He'll bounce back, he'll bounce back," he tweeted.
Coughlin knows how important Manning is to the success of the Giants, especially since without him at the helm, Super Bowls 42 and 46 never happen. The fact of the matter is right now, Manning is going through a rough stretch with the offense and when a team is 0-5, as the old saying goes, "when it rains, it pours," and it's been a monsoon for the Giants through the first five weeks of the season.
The interception total might not be as high if the Giants offensive line could give Manning more time to throw and not force Manning to at times go running for his life and try and make throws that he does not want to make, which end up going in the other direction. It might also not be as high if the Giants could get the running game going, which it hasn't, thus forcing Manning to almost scrap it and go into the air more often, thus eliminating a balanced attack on offense and allowing opposing defenses to prepare better to guard against it.
For Coughlin, he will have to hope that Manning can have a short-term memory and put the Eagles' loss in his back-view mirror, as they will be facing off against the Chicago Bears on Thursday night and hope that his quarterback can finally notch a win for the Giants and get them into the win column for the first time in 2013.
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