July in the NFL is a dead zone, a wasteland where the only news is often not good news for an NFL team. If a player pops up and makes a headline this month, he usually has his t-shirt pulled over his head and his hands cuffed behind his back.
As such, July becomes the silly season for reporters and writers who cover this league to unveil lists and rankings. Hey, we did that just a few days ago with our kickoff of top storylines for the New York Giants this offseason.
By the way, click that article a couple times if you want. Just saying.
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While rankings and lists are a common part of this summer season, apparently, it is en vogue to sleeping on Eli Manning.
The Giants quarterback is getting no respect heading into 2018, with websites and writers running cold on his prospects. Yes, passing yards and touchdowns were down a year ago but it is hard to fault the Giants quarterback given the abysmal state of the line, the lack of a running game, the injuries to wide receivers and even a defense that simply couldn’t get off the field.
Manning is ranked near the bottom of the league’s starting quarterbacks by the Sporting News, who have him No. 30 in the league in their recently released rankings. This is behind the Giants crosstown rivals as the Sporting News has New York Jets presumed starter Josh McCown at No. 28 (for those interested, Joe Flacco of the Baltimore Ravens is No. 29).
In their assessment, SN writes that “his recent play has been on the decline enough for one to question whether his two Super Bowl rings can get him a sniff at Canton.”
An interesting assessment, even as his completion percentage remained at his career average last year, an indicator that Manning can still throw the ball. In another set of rankings, Pro Football Weekly has Manning at No. 26 in their annual magazine preview of the upcoming season.
Bleacher Report, in assessing the situation, seems to sum up the general feeling on the situation as they have Manning and the Giants quarterback situation at No. 26 in the league. They note that the Giants did a better job this offseason at upgrading the line and talent around Manning on the offensive side of that ball “making it possible that the 37-year-old quarterback will bounce back from one of the worst seasons of his NFL career.”
The rankings likely mean nothing to Manning, who is rather tone deaf this to type of banter and criticism. The fact remains that Manning was competent last year despite being a part of a dumpster fire of a team on and off the field.
With a revamped offensive line, the addition of two quality running backs in veteran Jonathan Stewart and rookie Saquon Barkley, the offense as a whole should be more balanced and better.
In other words, Manning is set to show these rankings that they are just a little bit off. Or maybe a lot off. There is still a lot there to provide hope for the Giants that Manning can produce as he has throughout his career.