We often joke here at Giants 101 that the Madden/Social Media generation has destroyed the average football IQ and that it's morphed fans into having unrealistic expectations, skewed views and a general misunderstanding of the game. However, that actually extends beyond the casual fan to even some of the most seasoned journalists. Case in point: Steve Silverman of CBS New York.
Earlier this week, Silverman took it upon himself to "evaluate" New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, his 2013 struggles and what offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo may or may not be able to do to help him improve. And although Silverman used absolutely no sound reasoning, analysis or statistics (outside of QB rating), he was able to draw a "conclusion" that Manning is not only terrible, but so bad he's beyond repair.
Manning, 33, was one of the most ineffective quarterbacks in the league last season and he was a big reason why the Giants finished 7-9. Certainly, he had plenty of company as the offensive line was ineffective and often forced him to run for his life. But Manning cannot escape the lion’s share of the blame.
And it wasn’t just last season, either. Even though he led the Giants to two Super Bowl championships and he was twice voted MVP of the big game, Manning has had a passer rating below 90.0 in eight of his 10 seasons.
While some of those players include celebrated names like Steve Young, Joe Montana, brother Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Y.A. Tittle (for the long-time Giants fans), that figure has also been bested by Daunte Culpepper, Chad Pennington, Brian Griese, Trent Green, Jim Harbaugh and (gulp!) Josh Freeman.
What Silverman neglects to mention is that passer rating not only fails to factor into wins/loses, but also fails to factor in drops, bad routes, lack of a running game, lack of protection, injuries and basically anything and everything else that occurs on the football field. Ultimately, it's a statistic more useful for fantasy football players than NFL franchises.
As badly as some would like to paint a bullseye on Eli's back over Big Blue's struggles in 2013, the reality is that the team's futility had a lot more to do with the men surrounding him than Manning himself. And while Manning does not and cannot escape some of the blame, the "lion's share" is certainly not on him.
At the end of the day, Silverman is a journalist and far from an NFL scout, and is merely hunting for some clicks. And what better way than hating on Eli? Only…he didn't stop there. Rather, Silverman, in all of his non-glory, decided to take it a step further and "conclude" that 2014 will be no different for Manning and that his struggles will continue. Of course, like his previous conclusion, this was based on absolutely nothing other than a very skewed personal opinion (see: he wants clicks).
But turning it around in 2014 will be the most difficult of assignments, and unless McAdoo is truly a miracle man, another painful season will be at hand for Big Blue.
We'll revisit this sometime in February to make sure Silverman enjoys his crow pie.
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