Eli Manning: Should the Lesser Manning be “Sacked?”
In 2010, Eli Manning finished the season with 25 interceptions, prompting the one-time elite quarterback to state, “I’m not a 25-interception quarterback.”
Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks proved Manning to be a liar. In a paltry offensive attempt, Eli Manning threw 5 interceptions in one game, equaling his career high of 25 interceptions in one season and making everyone wonder what has happened to the two-time Super Bowl winner.
“I didn’t play well,” stated Manning in a post-game interview. “I didn’t play as well as I needed to. Some of the throws that were intercepted could have been better. They could have been better throws. You hope some of them aren’t intercepted. … I think probably every position got outplayed and beaten on a number of instances, which led to that performance.”
Manning’s quotation essentially sums up every analysis of the Giants this season. Eli Manning has not played well, and the numbers back it up. So far this season, Manning has passed for 3,410 yards with 16 touchdowns and 25 interceptions, leading to a quarterback rating of 69.7 – Manning’s lowest quarterback rating since his rookie season.
Eli Manning is 1st QB with 0 TD, 5 Int & under 200 yards since Mark Sanchez in 2009 #NewYorkFootball
— Jeremy Lundblad (@JLundbladESPN) December 15, 2013
Not only has Manning’s performance suffered, but so has his supporting crew. Hakeem Nick’s, Manning’s primary target at wide-receiver over the past several years, has only caught 50 passes for a total of 794 yards and ZERO touchdowns. To compound the offensive issues, the Giants’s running game averages an abysmal 83.5 yards per game and the offensive line has given up 36 sacks.
Despite all of these issues, the Giants still have faith that Manning is the guy to turn things around. Manning himself has confidence in his abilities, stating, “I feel I can go out there and play well, and still throw the ball well and move this offense.” To Coughlin, the head coach of the Giants, backed up Manning’s sentiments by answering “…He’s our guy,” when asked if he contemplated benching Manning earlier during the Seahawks game.
Even Giants’s defensive end Justin Tuck made a case for Manning, stating:
“It’s tough. I know he’s a guy that’s here before the sun comes up and doesn’t leave until after it goes down. I know he puts in the work. It just hasn’t really come to fruition for him this season. … I have no doubt in my mind that he’s going to bounce out of this and be the Eli of old heading into next year. You can’t keep a guy like E down for long. This season, you scratch your head and wonder why.”
Unfortunately for the Giants, scratching their heads is going to be the only physical activity for the team during this postseason. The Giants currently boast a record of 5-9 and have no chance at making the playoffs. Fortunately, on the other-hand, the last time Manning threw 25 interceptions in one season, he followed it up by winning the Super Bowl the next year. Only time will tell if Manning will be able to produce such results once again, seeing as he is most likely not going anywhere anytime soon.
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