Eli Manning deserves better than this, the two-time Super Bowl MVP under center for a 1-6 team that will miss their two biggest offensive weapons for the rest of the season.
It surely hasn’t been the season that the Giants expected, heading into their bye week with a single win. The offense has struggled, Manning has been under constant pressure and the team might be hard-pressed to win a couple more games at this going rate.
But the bulk of the pressure is beginning to fall on Manning. At 36 years old, the Giants quarterback is undeniably on the backend of his career. Now as the Giants head towards what is likely a top pick in next year’s NFL Draft, the questioning of Manning’s future in New York is beginning to rise to the surface.
Do the Giants begin planning for life without Manning sooner rather than later? And do they give rookie Davis Webb, a third-round pick in last year’s draft, a shot on the field with meaningful snaps?
“Everybody knows the record, so I got to play better,” Manning said on Tuesday. “I’m going to keep fighting, keep finding ways to get completions and see if we can move the ball and score some more points.”
Currently, Manning is set for a third straight season where his passing yardage will have dropped. Ironically, however, his completion percentage, as well as his passer rating, have both seen a slight uptick over the year before.
In fact, his completion percentage if the season were to end today, would be the highest of his 14-year NFL career. So it isn’t entirely on Manning.
He isn’t the one blocking or running the routes. However, he is the one throwing from six-feet under or to no-name wide receivers.
And without Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall, the Giants are facing very long odds to move the ball let alone start winning a couple of games. In Sunday’s 24-7 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, they had just 177 total yards of offense and only 14 first downs.
Numbers that show that the struggle is real here in New York. Numbers that show it isn’t all on Manning.
“Well, it’s tough. Each game is different. I don’t know if there’s necessarily one thing that went wrong. We had a little stretch there where we had leads and lose a couple games in the last seconds – last minutes of games. So, you’re right there in the stretch,” Manning said. “That’s just football sometimes. We’re just not playing well enough, just not doing everything that we need to do to win football games and I think obviously when two weeks ago, this last week – right there in it in the fourth quarter. Just didn’t make the plays in the fourth quarter.”