One way for Eli Manning to avoid getting hit as much as he has in the first two games of the season: Don’t have the ball.
The New York Giants offensive line has been under criticism so far this year as a major reason why the team started 2017 with consecutive losses. But in Sunday’s game at the Philadelphia Eagles — another loss to make the Giants winless in their first three games of the year — it wasn’t a horrible performance from the offensive line.
For the first time all year, Manning wasn’t sacked in the loss at the Eagles. But it might not have been the performance of the line as much as it was the scheme.
Or perhaps downright fear of being crushed like he had been in the first two games of the year.
Manning led the NFL in fastest release in Week 3, getting rid of the ball on average in 1.86 seconds per Pro Football Focus. According to the analytics site’s Ryan A. Smith, the second quickest release time in Week 3 was 2.25 seconds. So Manning was getting the ball out of his hands very fast, likely by design to avoid the same pressure and rush he had in the Giants first two losses of the year.
PFF also noted that Manning was pressured “only” on 19.1 percent of all of his drop back snaps, a number PFF said was the seventh lowest in the league in Week 3. Again, a direct correlation to his quick release.