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Troy Aikman Blames New York Giants’ Offensive Struggles on Quarterback Eli Manning

September 4th, 2014 at 9:00 AM
By Dan Benton

The Year of Eli Bashing continued on Wednesday as former Dallas Cowboys quarterback and current FOX Sports analyst, Troy Aikman, took aim at quarterback Eli Manning and essentially blamed him for all of the New York Giants' offensive woes throughout training camp and the preseason.

"I share that concern, from what I've seen," Aikman told Newsday. "From what I saw, I saw a quarterback really struggle within this offense.

"I don't think the notion that, well, it's a new offense, that that is the entire reason."

Aikman drew from his own experience and compared his adjustment to a new offense to that of Eli's adjustment and, as you might expect, essentially patted himself on the back for being able to succeed where Eli has, thus far, failed — in Aikman's optinion, anyway.

"Everything was dramatically different from what I had been doing and what I believed as an offensive guy, so it was challenging," Aikman said. "We still had success, but I understand how difficult that can be," Aikman said. "From what I've seen of Eli in the preseason, he just does not seem to be as comfortable with what he's being asked to do in that offense."

Given Manning's extremely limited reps and the ongoing issues between he and Rueben Randle — not to mention the questionable pass protection — it's hard to point the finger at him and blame him for the majority of their preseason woes. And while he's not entirely without blame — as was the case during the 2013 season — it's hardly his fault entirely.

Between Aikman and Boomer Esiason, the Manning/Giants bashing has become almost comical.


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50 Responses to “Troy Aikman Blames New York Giants’ Offensive Struggles on Quarterback Eli Manning”

  1.  James Stoll says:


    Predictions — believe it or not there is love out there:

    despite Las Vegas’ contrary opinion, I expect this game to come down to a late field goal from Giants placekicker Josh Brown. New Lions head coach Jim Caldwell needs a regular season week with the roster to work out the kinks, as the first team did not see a ton of time together this preseason. Giants win 24-21.

    While the Giants’ defensive line is not what is was when they were winning Super Bowls a few years back, Jason Pierre-Paul and Mathias Kiwanuka can still get after the quarterback and will do so this weekend. New York will expose the Lions’ somewhat suspect offensive line and sack Matthew Stafford eight times total.

    Manning’s under a ton of pressure this season after a few poor campaigns in a row; but Eli works best under pressure, and perhaps it’s just what he needs. Detroit will undoubtedly force him to make quick decisions with the pass rush, but expect Manning to rise to the occasion and find weaknesses in the Lions’ suspect secondary for a big game.

    •  Krow says:

      Is there another guy named Kiwanuka on the team that get’s after the QB? If so then why do we keep playing the one that can’t?

      •  James Stoll says:

        Krow — 8 sacks!!
        if anyone on this site predicted 8 sacks from this crew i9n one game….., well, let’s just say it would not go unchallenged

        but this guy is an unbiased observer

        what does he know that we don’t?

        •  Krow says:

          Seriously? 8? I’m as big a homer as the next guy … and yes, the Lions have a fine history of failure. I’d love a win. But I’d have to be as high as Wes Welker on Derby Day to predict 8 sacks.

  2.  Krow says:

    This isn’t exactly a bashing. In fact it’s kind of measured. He’s says Eli is struggling and doesn’t look comfortable. He’s 20-41 with a QB rating of 70. The numbers indicate that he’s right. No surprise. It’s going to take some time to adjust to the new offense.

    •  rlhjr says:

      Aikman was not bashing. What he observed was true. He’s just saying what the majority on here have seen firsthand.

      But again, they did not show any slants or outs in the preseason. If they are indeed going to run the west coast that ingredient needs to be added.

  3.  Hanshi says:

    Defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles waived by Patriots.

  4.  GOAT56 says:


    GOAT56 says:
    September 3, 2014 at 11:17 PM
    Quarles was cut by the Pats. We should offer him big money to return to our PS. But he does probably have a better chance of playing on the Pats. Or do we even consider cutting Kuhn to sign him? Before we thought he could be snuck on PS but now we know. It will be interesting especially with Bromley currently running ahead of Kuhn.

  5.  fanfor55years says:

    Aikman is right. Eli doesn’t look comfortable at this point and hasn”t looked especially good. But when Aikman compares his experience to Eli’s, well, let’s just say that Troy worked behind an offensive line that was superb while Eli is working behind something less. That just might affect a quarterback’s comfort level and adjustment period, don’t you think? I think that over the next 8-19 games the offensive line will improve a lot and Eli will get a lot more comfortable in this offense. But it’s a process and we have to be patient.

    •  James Stoll says:

      FF, every time you make these time projections I have to remind that Eli may not have that much time
      if this year goes all dumpster fire, Eli could be out of a job along with Coughlin and Reese

      having said that, Giants 34 Lions 17 — and 8 sacks!!!!!

      •  fanfor55years says:

        The Giants aren’t stupid. If Eli has a poor season they won’t extend him, but he will still have next season to prove he can still play (which I am dead certain he can). They’re not going to cut him, bench him, or trade him. He’d be working on the last year of his contract but my guess is that by midway next season both sides will be eager to get a new deal done.

        So Eli DOES have time. The powers-that-be know that installing a new offense will require a period of growing pains. Eli will have a semi-pass for 2014, although clearly they, like everyone else, will get worried if he doesn’t improve drastically on his 2013 season.

        I’d venture to say that Tom has a pass for 2014 too. I doubt he was thrilled with the hiring of a guy who had never been a coordinator and with the loss of his long-time compadre. My guess is that John Mara assured him that as long as he saw progress over the course of the season and a competitive team, he understood that it might take time for all of this to work itself out and Coughlin would not be punished for that. Mara is a VERY patient owner. In this case, he should be.

        •  James Stoll says:

          you may be right about Tom and I think it was a wrong decision by management to keep him after last year
          of course I thought it was wrong to keep him after ’06

    •  Krow says:

      Eli has been bashed without justification so often that it’s become almost impossible to have a discussion about his play without invoking hyperbolic reactions. The bashers take off on him … the defenders elevate him to sainthood. There’s no tolerance for anyone in the middle. Now I think Aikman is a dik, but he’s not really ripping on Eli here. And what he’s saying is pretty accurate at this instant. As you point out, in a month it may be completely wrong. But we can only deal with what’s put in front of us.

  6.  rlhjr says:

    T-Thom97 says:
    September 4, 2014 at 8:52 AM
    im sorry but talking draft now before the 1st game of the season is a little early. I feel we will win 10 games and a playoff birth this season and a division win. I believe in eli. remember in 07 when we changed our D…. took a few games before we got the ball rolling. our D is good and talented enough to keep us in the games this year. this team is gonna make a lot of people eat crow.


  7.  fanfor55years says:

    Maybe he meant eight sacks but forgot there aren’t ten quarters in a game? I think we’d be extremely happy with four sacks, although if we stop the run dead and Fewell allows blitzes from various places on the field we might do very well defensively on Monday. The Lions have as many issues on their offensive front as do we, and we have plenty of talent on our defensive front seven plus a few defensive backfield members who can reach the quarterback.

  8.  G Fan since Ninteen Forty Eight says:

    Listening to the FAN yesterday while at Panera’s eating Corn Chowder and the concensus appears to be: If TC does not get into the playoffs this year he is gone. To take that action would not only be unfair but foolish.
    Many of us may believe the Giants are in a win now mode but I believe that although winning now would be great the Giants are actually in a TWO year rebuild cycle filling in the holes with stopgap measures.

    Bringing in a new coach with another new system including some of the non talent we currently have would be disasterous. TC has to be given two years. You can try but you cannot make brownies w/o chocolate.

    •  James Stoll says:

      GF48 — shame on you
      it is never too soon to fire Coughlin

      •  rlhjr says:

        LMAO………Coughlin is a made guy. I suspect that bringing in a new O-coord. will actually preserve Tom’s job. Because Mara will not blame Coughlin for the adjustment of Eli after 10 years of run run play action run run.

        I do however wonder if Eli can actually make the throws (short accurate and touch) that are germane to the west coast. I think his getting used to the footwork involved is a limiting factor. This takes time and adjustment.

        I had hoped that Coughlin could influence a “hybrid” left coast that might be more friendly to Eli’s QB skill set. For sure Coughlin needs to up the tempo of the offense in general. The more I think about it, the more I feel they did not show all of this offense during the preseason. Now whether it was by design, personnel or not fully knowing the play book I don’t know.
        I suspect it’s a bit of both those things. At any rate, expect to see more of the offense Monday night. Lions 24 Giants 20.

    •  fanfor55years says:

      See my comment above. I agree.

      •  James Stoll says:

        with me?

        •  GIANTT says:

          Jim , you sound as incredulous as I do . You making intelligent analysis ( I point to your post a few articles back , (I was too busy to give you the kudos you deserved )and then having people on here who are Optimistic types agreeing with you or even casting doubt on your 34-17 forecast (with 8 sacks yet !) . But I do sense an undercurrent of cynicism

          James Stoll says:
          September 4, 2014 at 10:03 AM
          GF48 — shame on you
          it is never too soon to fire Coughlin

          I wonder , is this part of a campaign to mark down optimism to make fun of down the road IF the Giants do not perform ?

  9.  Baldwin says:

    Eli is a very high profile player. He’s a 2xSBMVP playing in the biggest sports market in the country. He’s, frankly, a superstar. There is a humungous target on his back after last season and his insane interception number. He strong armed the draft and there is just simple good old jealousy seething out of these former players. They are ALL going to take their shots right now. And love doing so.

    Then you have pee on Mass Holes like Gregg Rosenthal of NFLN still butt hurt over those SB losses, and ranks Eli in the toilet. How many of those guys ranked above him played over ten years straight? It’s laughable and none of this should be taken seriously.

    As many fans who love and adore Eli Manning, there is an equal amount that want to see him out of the league for good. I think there’s a lot of similarity between Eli and Elway in respect to where they are in their careers right now and the revival Eli will experience after over ten years in the league.

    This isn’t the end of the road for Eli. He’s shown that that is not the way he operates. There will be one more massive crow shoving feast at his hands. You can count on it. The Boomers, Shannon Sharpes, and McNabbs of the world better get ready to pretend like they were always on Eli’s side and duck for cover.

  10. Dan BentonDan Benton says:

    Here’s the thing about Giants/Eli for those saying “Troy Aikman is right.”

    The one true fact we know about Eli Manning is that he doesn’t get overwhelmed with anything. No amount of mental pressure rattles him. After all, this is a guy surviving in the worst and most hostile media market on the planet.

    He’s also exceptionally intelligent, no matter what his face looks like. He has a high football IQ and doesn’t become suffocated with terminology, assignments or anything of the sort.

    So if Manning is looking uncomfortable, why might that be? Well, it’s because his WRs run wrong routes, drop passes, he has no tight end and his pass protection is horrid and he’s constantly being crushed (as we’ve seen not only last year, but this preseason).

    Manning can’t block for himself and ANY quarterback in the entire league becomes “uncomfortable” when they are being smashed into the ground. So how, then, is that Manning’s fault?

    •  James Stoll says:

      Dan, I agree with a lot of this (which of course is why JR should be fired), but where Eli contributes is his general refusal to eat the ball (39 sacks last year notwithstanding), and his propensity to throw high, which accentuates tips and INTs.
      Also, Eli can’t scramble and lord knows he needs to with this offensive line

      Giants 34 Lions 17

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