Photo by Marianne O'Leary
It seems for his entire career, every year and every week Eli Manning has been ridiculed in some way. Whether it be his on-the-field inconsistency or his emotions, the Manning not named Peyton seemed to always face some sort of criticism.
In 2011, there is no doubt that Eli Manning has been the most consistent player on the team. He has looked fantastic in every week of the season. And with Brandon Jacobs not able to get anything going on the ground, there is a lot more pressure on Eli Manning.
And he is rising to the occasion.
His teammates around him? Well, they only step up sometimes. Last night against the Eagles, his receivers had too many drops. Tight end Jake Ballard who has been great all year, finally came down to Earth last night with drop after drop after drop. Hakeem Nicks didn’t seem to be that sharp either. Victor Cruz also contributed to the drops total.
Although it was Eli Manning who fumbled the football in what could have been a game-tying drive at the end of the game, I don’t think anyone is blaming the game on Eli Manning. He looked great again last night making more good throws than not. Amazingly, it seems as though the Giants having no ground game doesn’t even matter. Manning is playing that good where he can carry the team on his shoulders.
The Giants need more consistency on defense. Last night Vince Young picked up his third win all-time against Big Blue. The Eagles converted nine third downs on 17 attempts. Looking ahead, the Giants have to face Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers. The Giants defense must do a better job stopping the opposition on third downs.
On offense, the Giants have to be more consistent around Eli Manning, otherwise my original prediction on August 13 of an 8-8 season will come true.
*A random side note: Is there no secret code (or even non-secret code) about warning quarterbacks about blind-side hits? Last night as I was watching what ultimately became the Giants final offense play of the game, I caught myself yelling at the TV set prior to the hit at the top of my lungs, “Eli Watch Out!” (It was followed up with some profanity). Now unfortunately for the Giants and their fans, I screamed that from State College, Pennsylvania. That’s 232 miles away from MetLife Stadium. So despite the scream being as loud as I can get, Mr. Manning didn’t hear me. But it seems like quarterbacks are never warned of these blind-side hits. Is an offensive lineman not capable of screaming “watch out” or something similar to alert his quarterback that his face is about to get a pummeled into the ground? I would like some sort of “blind-side alert system” to be implemented into the NFL. I think that would be helpful.