December 13, 2011 5 Comments
Being a New York Giant fan can be brutal.
To be honest, I had minimum expectations for the boys in the blue this year. Currently, our defense is 29th in opposing passing yards (263.7) and 22nd in opposing rushing yards (127.9) per game.
Yet somehow we are winning the NFC East. From watching the games each week, I have noticed that there are only two players who you know will show up each week; Jason Pierre- Paul and Eli Manning. Both of them are studs. JPP is the Manning of our defense; each week you can count on him to make a play when one needs to be made. For example, 2 sacks, a FF, and a blocked FG to prevent the G-Men from entering overtime against Dallas.
However, this article is not aimed at JPP. The real hero here is Eli Manning. If it were not for Eli, I don’t think I could manage to get myself out of bed on Sundays to watch the Giants. He gives us hope, but even better, he has consistently put the Giants in situations to win. Credit is given only when it is due and you better believe that it is definitely due for Eli.
Ironically, people laughed at Manning earlier this year when he put himself in the same category as players like Tom Brady. People cited his 25 interceptions last year (which any fan knows take away ten of those because the NYG receivers had a serious case of dick fingers) and the fact that the Giants have only made the playoffs once since they defeated New England.
Regardless, any football fan knows it takes the combination of a solid offense and defense to get in the playoffs and make a legitimate run. Now I don’t want to jump to conclusions but the NYG may be the exception to that rule, especially if you look at Eli’s play over the course of this year. Currently, Eli has 25 TD’s to 12 INT’s, 4,105 yards, and a 95.5 overall QB rating. With solid numbers such as those its no question why the NYG’s are rated 4th in passing behind New Orleans, New England, and Green Bay. With that said, you must also take into account that the Giant’s are ranked dead last (32) in rushing at 3.3 yards per carry. Is it a coincidence Eli is having his best statistical season when the G-Men have absolutely no running game to rely on?
However, lets not forget Eli Manning’s unbelievable fourth quarter play. This year alone, he has led the Giants to five 4th quarter comebacks and is tied with Johnny Unitas and his older brother with 14 fourth quarter touchdowns in a season; yet Eli still has three games left. Interestingly, Eli Manning is ranked fourth in fourth quarter or OT game winning drives since 2004 with 20; behind Peyton Manning (26), Ben Roethlisberger (25) and Drew Brees (23).Oh wait, did I mention he is in front of Tom Brady (18) ?
This year, Eli Manning has a 117 QB Rating in the fourth quarter which is ahead of Aaron Rodgers (112.6). It just goes to show you how well Eli Manning is playing, especially when the game is on the line . He is what Tyson Chandler was to the Mavericks, the X- Factor.
Not convinced of Eli’s legitimacy as an elite quarterback in this league? Let’s take a look and see how our good old friends Kevin Boss and Steve Smith are doing. Last season, Kevin Boss had 531 receiving yards and 5 TD. This year, he has an epic 288 receiving yards and 2 TD’s.
Steve Smith, when he was healthy, broke the record for most receptions by a Giant (107) and pulled in 1,220 yards and 7 TD in 2009. In 2010, although he was hurt, played in 9 games and had 529 yards and 3 TD’s. This season, although he was put on IR for a bruise on his knee that he mad microsurgery on, he also played in 9 games but only had 124 yards and 1 TD (which came against the Giants; makes me cringe ever time I think about it).
Now lets compare them with how Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz, and Jake Ballard are doing. Currently, Cruz (1,150 yards and 7 TD) & Nicks (1,023 yards and 6 TD) are both top ten in the league in receiving yards; 3 and 9 respectively. Meanwhile, Jake Ballard has 589 yards and 4 TD’s.
Eli Manning is critical for the NYG’s success. Our defense is atrocious, yet we sit at 7-6 ahead of the Dallas Cowboys following a nightmare schedule (if you didn’t notice the Giants just recently faced SF, NO, & GB).
Yet the reason we are at 7-6 and not 2-11, is Eli Manning. It is shocking that he still does not get the respect or coverage that he deserves. Yet that’s in part due to the incredible QB play by Drew Brees, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers who are on the verge of breaking Dan Marino’s single season passing yard record (5,084).
Oh wait, isn’t Eli also on track following his 400 yard game against the Dallas Cowboy‘s last Sunday?
There are no definite things in life except death and taxes. Yet on the New York Football Giants you can definitely expect Chris Canty to be blocked 100 yards up the field and you can definitely expect Aaron Ross to suck, however, you can definitely count on Eli Manning to make a play when it is needed and to put the Giant’s in a position to win the game.
Yet for some reason he has not been able to shake the “baby face” criticism nor will he be noticed in a sea of other unbelievable Quarterbacks. Therefore, Eli Manning will always be the MVP we’ll never see.