Fifth in pass yards among NFL quarterbacks with 1,113, third in completion percentage at 69.9 percent, and first in total completions with 116. Those sound like Pro Bowl numbers, but many Giants fans and analysts believe the quarterback with these numbers needs to retire. The man who holds these numbers is Eli Manning. Manning is having a great season up to this point and is far from the issue at hand. The New York Giants are currently wasting one of the few years they have left with Manning under center. The team around him is not doing anything to alleviate the pressure being placed on the star quarterbacks shoulders.
Eli Manning’s Career Year is Being Wasted
Manning has been releasing the ball at an extremely quick rate. In week three against the Eagles, his average release was 1.86 seconds after the snap. This is .44 seconds faster than the second quickest release. Having the ball for 1.86 seconds means Manning has to know which receiver he is throwing to before he snaps the ball. This allows for interceptions to occur because he will be throwing to a specific target regardless of the split second adjustment a defense makes.
This is not the proper way Eli Manning should be playing at this stage of his career. He has showed time and time again that he could produce at the elite level with the proper personnel. However, he could have all the weapons in the world, but if he has to release the ball less than two seconds after the snap, odds are against him to show his true value.
Establish Some Semblance of a Run Game
Typical football 101 is that an offense will open its pass game by establishing the run. This could not be further from the truth for the Giants. Manning has been tasked with opening the ground game by passing the ball. Even when he is on point and defenses are backing off the line of scrimmage, the ground game can barely muster a few yards. This is a huge reason why Manning isn’t as dominant as he could be. If the Giants had a run game, then defenses couldn’t just drop six players into coverage every single play. This limits his potential production because he now has to throw into a crowded secondary.
Best is Yet to Come
Manning is in the midst of a potential career year. He is on pace for roughly 70 percent completion percentage, 4,400 yards, and 24 touchdowns (which should go up after a lackluster start against Dallas). Manning has always been a sort of risk taker which resulted in a low 60 percent completion percentage. However, this year he has been extremely accurate and made very few mistakes. These are numbers that we would be sure to see from Pro Bowl quarterbacks. Yet, the team around him is vastly under-producing. Pro Bowler Brandon Marshall has looked like nothing of his old self since his arrival and the defense looks lost. There is no run game to compliment him or any offensive line to protect him.
It’s time to stop blaming Eli Manning and look at the football team as a whole. I would be very surprised if this team doesn’t turn it around soon, and Manning will be a huge reason why this team turns it around.