And it was a little of that Manning gumption that was the impetus in the Giants securing their first victory of the 2018 season when New York took down the Houston Texans on the road, 27-22, on Sunday. The Giants now have some life left in them, as they avoided a disastrous 0-3 start.
After the Giants started 0-2—with Manning being a primary source of their problems—Manning rectified a lot of issues in a vintage performance that all of New York and New Jersey have been clamoring a long time for.
Considering Manning had thrown for just 503 yards with one touchdown and one interception through the first two games, the Giants needed the Manning of old to rescue the team. And deliver he did.
On Sunday, Manning threw for 297 yards and two touchdowns with zero interceptions, while completing passes at an 86.2 percent clip (25-29). That was all good for a phenomenal 132.3 passer rating.
Even without a healthy Evan Engram (who injured his knee in the first half) at his disposal, Manning spread the ball around as six receivers recorded a catch; with Odell Beckham Jr. (nine receptions for 109 yards), Sterling Shepard (six receptions for 80 yards and a touchdown) and Saquon Barkley (five receptions for 35 yards) standing out, specifically.
Manning looked confident and poised in the pocket for most of Sunday afternoon despite being sacked another four times. Still, the offensive line looked much better on Sunday. The benching of right tackle Ereck Flowers, who was replaced by Chad Wheeler, no doubt played a significant part in Manning’s success, too.
A lot of credit does have to go out to the Giants’ offensive line, as they proved to be very resourceful as well—especially for how maligned they were heading into this matchup.
Even with the Texans gaining momentum in the fourth quarter when they cut the Giants’ lead to five points when Will Fuller V caught a touchdown with 7:37 to go in the game, Manning and the Giants responded with a long counter drive of their own to all but assure the victory. After a long, meticulous drive, Manning eventually hooked up with Shepard for a seven-yard touchdown reception with 2:08 to go to all but clinch the game.
Again, it was vintage Manning on Sunday. It was the type of performance Manning has come up with in the Giants most recent Super Bowl victories.
“You always got a sense of urgency, but Eli’s one of those guys that he’s able to keep it calm and keep it collected,” tight end Rhett Ellison said. “He never shows panic. That’s why Eli’s Eli.”
Call it gumption, moxie, resourcefulness or whatever you may please, but Manning came to play Sunday with his hard hat on and lunch pail in hand. He came to get business done and finished off the job he did.
Simply put, a defeat on Sunday could have all but diminished any hopes of the Giants thinking about making the playoffs. At 1-2, the Giants at least still have some life now, and the majority of the credit for this win was due to the gumption Manning displayed.
While the Giants still have work to do, as they are a work in progress, for one day at least Manning provided the fanbase with some old magic and a renewed sense of optimism. He gave the Giants and their fans a glimmer of hope because a defeat on Sunday could have easily been the end of the Giants’ playoff hopes. That’s how dire the situation was heading into Week Three.
But hey, that’s been Manning’s rap throughout his 15-year career.
He’s always beaten the odds and has never given in even when the echoes surrounding him are loud and full of doubts. His gumption is something to never underestimate and Sunday was Exhibit A why.
View the original article on Last Word On Pro Football: A Little Eli Manning Gumption Goes a Long Way in New York Giants First Victory