Eli Manning calls an audible during a Thursday night game against the Philadelphia Eagles during the 2016 season. (Photo: Getty Images)
Eli Manning is suddenly red hot after a big performance against the Eagles. (Photo: Getty Images)

Turns out that the ‘Quarterback Whisperer’ is a big fan of Eli Manning.

Fresh off what was undoubtedly his best game of the season, Manning was a gaudy 37-for-57 for 434 yards with three touchdowns and an interception in his New York Giants 34-29 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles this past Sunday. Just two weeks removed from being benched, Manning looked every bit the part of the future Hall of Fame quarterback that he is.

And for the Arizona Cardinals, who face the Giants this weekend, Manning and a suddenly solvent offense is a major challenge. Head coach Bruce Arians knows this all too well, having watched Manning’s film from this past Sunday.

And the man who wrote the autobiography the Quarterback Whisperer was impressed by what the Giants quarterback did last Sunday.

 

“He looked pretty damn good last week. I watched that film and looked like himself,” Arians said on Wednesday in a conference call with the New York media. “They’re up-tempo and he plays very good in the up-tempo system. So, I thought he played one of his best games and looking at the season, not grading him throughout the season. I’ve always been a great fan of his.”

The good news for Arizona is that their defense has picked things up over the last half of the year, a major change from their early season difficulties in getting off the field.

Despite some struggles moving the ball at times, the disappointing Cardinals seem to be coming together on defense. It is an important match-up for the team especially given that Manning looked like his old self in the loss to the Eagles.

“Well, our defense, the big change is getting off the field on third down. We struggled early in the season with our third down defense, first and second down was good,” Arians said. “Our third down defense in the last few weeks has been outstanding and we’ve been able to stop the run all year, but getting people off the field on third down was a problem in September, but now it seems to be one of our fortes. Their defense, you start with those two defensive ends. You better be able to block them, or you’re not going to get too many passes thrown.”