Eli Manning is finally coming to the last few years of his illustrious career. Many people think he is at the tail end of his career, with very little left to offer. However, Giants general manager Dave Gettleman feels he has more to give before he retires. Eli Manning’s play this upcoming Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars will be critical to if the Giants end up victorious.
Eli Manning is the Key to Victory Against Jaguars
The offense last season was simply non-existent. Eli Manning was even benched for one game because the play from the offense was horrendous. However, he was far from the problem. The offensive line was one of the worst in the league, and his number-one receiver started the year as the fourth-string wideout. Injuries to Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall, and Sterling Shepard caused Roger Lewis to become the number-one receiver. However, even with these problems, Manning did not play bad. The games were lost due to a lack of a run game and no defense. He showed glimpses of promise during some games last year, which assumably must be what Gettleman sees in him.
The Giants offense looks significantly different this year. The offensive line now features a left tackle not named Ereck Flowers, and the second-round pick was used on Will Hernandez. Although the right side of the offensive line was fixed, enough was done to show last year would not be repeated. Eli Manning was afraid at times last year because he knew he would be hit within two seconds of snapping the ball. This year, there is a lot more protection for him, which will ultimately make Eli Manning more comfortable while on passing plays. It was evident in preseason this team has made many strides from where they were last year. The offensive line should hold up better than last year. This alone should allow Manning to play at a high level, allowing him to take down the Jaguars.
New and Improved Rush Attack
The addition of Saquon Barkley should alleviate a lot of pressure off of Manning. This will afford him the time he needs to pick apart the Jaguars’ defense. This is going to be important against a team like the Jaguars, who have a strong front four and some of the best defensive backs in the league. Jalen Ramsey and Odell Beckham will be battling it out on one side of the field. Manning will now have to rely on Barkley to get out in the flat and dance around the defense. Considering this is the best defense in the league, the Giants need to be prepared to grind this game out.
Manning gives the Giants the best chance of winning because when he is at his best, he is nearly unstoppable. With targets such as Evan Engram, Odell Beckham, Saquon Barkley, and Sterling Shepard, he can very well move the chains against this defense. It will not be easy, but he has the talent around him to do so. If the offensive line can buy Manning some time in the pocket, I expect A.J. Bouye and Jalen Ramsey to be put to the test. Manning at his best is one of the best quarterbacks in the league.
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