Tag:Eli Manning
Posted on: January 16, 2012 5:37 am
Edited on: January 16, 2012 1:25 pm

Eli No Longer Simply Peyton’s Brother

Primetime Thoughts

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I could be one of the gazillion websites and networks to draw comparisons of this Giants team to the one that won the Super Bowl in 2008.  I will spare you all from what you’ve already heard countless times: New York won in Green Bay on its way to the Super Bowl, New York faced the same team in the postseason that had provided late-season momentum albeit in losing fashion, which happened to be the top team in the league both times, etc. 

I’m here to tell you it’s time to give credit where credit is due, and Eli Manning is long overdue. 

For a player that A) has a Super Bowl win and B) needed to lead the offense down the field in the final minute to win that Super Bowl, Eli has taken too many undeserving jabs.  Whether its because he shares Peyton’s last name or his goofy demeanor is not one which lines up nicely with the swagger New York sports tends to call for, Eli’s play is often overshadowed because he isn’t as smooth as big brother or his awe-shucks persona isn’t as charming as Tim Tebow’s. 

The sports world collectively scratched their heads when Eli said he belonged in the same class as guys like Tom Brady on a radio interview.  Not only is it ridiculous for anyone to expect him to lack self-confidence, but any doubts about Eli’s place in the quarterback ranks can’t be questioned.  As of this post, only 5 of 32 starting quarterbacks this season have won a Super Bowl (Peyton Manning excluded), and only Ben Roethlisberger and Tom Brady have more rings than Eli. 

When you consider the circumstances, it makes this season’s career year all the more impressive.  Manning plays in a system which has been all but forgotten in today’s league, one that heavily emphasizes the run.  Only when the run has failed, which it has more than New York would like, does Eli take the reins and work his magic.  Manning has shown a propensity to deliver in two-minute drills and the no-huddle offense.  However, where Brady and Drew Brees have the ability to call all the shots, Manning is initially saddled with a ball-control offense. 

Also take into account that Manning had lost key receivers in tight end Kevin Boss and Wide Receiver Steve Smith.  Those two were replaced with Jake Ballard and Victor Cruz.  Both have paid off, but with the lockout shortening training camp, Manning had little time to develop a rapport with these two new guys.  Manning went on to throw for a career-high 4.933 yards. 

What adjustment period?

Manning broke the single-season record for fourth-quarter touchdown passes with 15, a record previously held by brother Peyton.

Manning never becomes an emotional roller coaster like we’ve seen with many quarterbacks.  No matter the situation, Manning keeps his composure during extreme highs and lows.  Critics will point to this as a lack of passion, intensity, whichever word tickles your fancy.  While you were thinking of the most fitting word, Manning just led another fourth quarter comeback, a recurring trend as Manning has 6 to his name this season alone.

Aaron Rodgers, America’s Sweetheart nowadays, Tebow aside, was outshined by Manning Sunday afternoon.  Rodgers may be more loved nationwide with his discount double check and all, but Manning won’t mind having to pass on commercial shoots.  He’s still got practice for a big game or two if I’m not mistaken.

Remember Tiki Barber questioned Eli Manning’s leadership skills the summer before the Super Bowl win over New England?  He ate quite a bit of crow for that whole ordeal, among other things.  Barber had his humble pie and it’s now the sports fan’s turn to have a slice.  Manning gets lost in the shuffle, either by the GQ model who shares a stadium with Eli, who in his third season, has done little, if not regress as a quarterback, Peyton’s ongoing saga in Indianapolis, that Brady’s so hot right now, or Tebow Time.  Manning continues to go out and produce results like the rest of the elite quarterback pack, whether the praise is there or not.  The way things are looking right now, Peyton might just be looking up to Eli in the ring department if Eli can lead the Giants to two more wins. 

Peyton supporters, rest assured if Eli does win a second Super Bowl and surpass Peyton.  He will never catch Peyton in the commercials department, which is all that really matters in this media-frenzy society we now live in, right?

Maybe so, but Eli won’t mind.  He stepped up to the plate in August and said he belongs in the big boy discussion, doing just that in supporting his cause.  Like they say, you can’t spell elite without Eli.

Posted on: November 7, 2011 12:25 pm

In The Trenches: Week 9 Thoughts

<span style="color: #6e8dcf;">Primetime Thoughts

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The day they stopped calling him Archie’s Boy, and started calling him Eli…wait a minute.

Mr. Clutch-The backlash was hot and heavy after Eli Manning said he’s in the same class as Tom Brady.  It seemed to be a bit of the stretch at the time, all things considered, to put the oaf on the same pedestal as the suave pretty boy.  In what seemed like a flashback to Super Bowl XLII, Manning led the Giants to a 24-20 comeback win over the Patriots.  Manning led the two-minute drill after Brady had just threw a touchdown on fourth down.  The drive also consisted of Manning connecting on a jaw-dropping grab by Jake Ballard, who also happens to wear number 85.  Seahawks game aside, Manning seems to play his best in crunch time, leading New York down the stretch time and time again.  He also played without his top running back and wide receiver, no big deal. Manning will say all the right things, but you know he’s basking in solidifying his status as a top-flight quarterback.

Mr. Clutch Revisited-Like Manning, Joe Flacco has also been subjected to mixed reviews throughout his career.  Some say he doesn’t show the passion, the drive due to his seemingly consistent lack of emotion.  Some question whether Flacco can lead Baltimore to a Super Bowl.  We won’t know that for sure, but Flacco put two notions to rest: that he can lead his team down the stretch and that he does have some fire in his belly as seen by those fist pumps and screams.  Flacco led the Ravens to a 23-20 last-minute victory over the Steelers in one of the NFL’s most intense rivalries.  Flacco was unfazed, leading Baltimore 92 yards on the final drive, overcoming several dropped passes by his receivers.  Many would’ve given those receivers an earful, but Flacco remains calm, using this alleged hinderance to his advantage.  Asides from the glory of taking down a heated rival, Baltimore sweeps the season series against Pittsburgh, giving them the tiebreaker which may come in handy come January.

Jets Rise To Occasion-It was a game that had the potential to put the Jets at the back of the pack if they didn’t come to play.  The defense would have none of that, clamping down on Ryan Fitzpatrick in a 27-11 win.  The first half left much to be desired, only leading 3-0 as the Jets were unable to capitalize on a few opportunities.  The second half saw better results as Mark Sanchez was able to execute a few scoring drives behind a dominant showing by the defense.  The Bills missed on the chance to distance themselves from New York, but the offense looked frazzled from the onset.

Julio Jones’ Coming Out Party-There was a lot of hoopla when the Falcons traded everything but the kitchen sink for Julio Jones, giving up several high draft picks.  Jones was expected to be the final peice to the Falcons offense in hopes of catapulting them to the Super Bowl.  Jones has been dealing with injuries throughout the season, leaving the Falcons offense to be consistently inconsistent.  Jones was healthy yesterday, and Atlanta liked what it saw, with 131 yards receiving and 2 touchdowns.  Matt Ryan has to like the added dimension his new toy brings.  Next up for Atlanta, first place New Orleans.

Saints Hold Off Bucs-You figured New Orleans would bounce back after that terrible loss to the Rams.  You also figured Tampa Bay would be prepared coming off a bye week.  Something had to give, and it was the Buccaneers who lost 27-16.  Tampa Bay’s offense stalled just enough as Drew Brees returned to his efficient form.  Tampa Bay had the chance to be tied for first in the NFC South, now they stand two games back.

49ers Rolling Along-You almost have to wonder if this team will fall asleep by December with how easy they’ve made it look the last two months.  San Francisco had little trouble against a depleted Redskins team, 19-11.  The same recipe applied as Alex Smith went 17-24 for 200 yards and a touchdown, Frank Gore ran for 107 yards on 19 carries, and the defense held firm.  The 49ers have a 5 game lead with 8 games left, making it close to impossible that they miss the playoffs considering the teams in their division.  San Francisco gets a real test next week against the suddenly rising G-Men.

Dolphins Celebrate Good Times-When a second victory comes, nobody knows, but a winless season is now out of the question.  Miami let out their frustrations on a lost season with a 31-3 romp against Kansas City.  Nobody should have to endure a winless season and it’ll be interesting to see if the Dolphins build off this or become content with avoiding the 0-16, but one thought comes to mind.  With the Chiefs getting blown out by the Dolphins, it has to make you wonder how the San Diego Chargers didn’t blow them out last Monday, much less win.

Packers Pile On Points-The defense returned two interceptions for touchdowns, so it’s not as if they didn’t play a part in the 45-38 victory over San Diego.  However, a game in which your offense scores 45 points generally should lead to a solid margin of victory.  The defense continues to get beat while Aaron Rodgers continues to beat other defenses.  If you’re Green Bay, you’d like to shore up the defense even a little bit, but as long as Rodgers continues to play like a robot, it might not matter.

Don’t Forget this Rookie QB-While what Cam Newton has been doing in Carolina is impressive, it appears that Andy Dalton has been forgotten unjustifiably so.  Dalton was instrumental in a 24-17 win over the Tennessee Titans.  Dalton’s numbers aren’t as eye-popping, but they are sound, pacing a Bengals team that wasn’t supposed to be relevant this time of the year, much less already notch 6 victories.  Dalton gets his biggest test yet, a matchup for first place in the AFC North with Pittsburgh.

Raiders Reverting to Old Form-Oakland looked headed towards a blowout win over the Tebows, leading 24-14 against a liability at quarterback.  From 6:30 mark in the third quarter to the the 6:00 mark in the fourth quarter, Oakland fell behind, trailing 31-24 on a punt return touchdown, a 60-yard score by Willis McGahee on the first play of that drive, and a few Raider turnovers sprinkled in.  On the plus side, Carson Palmer showed flashes with 332 yards and 3 touchdowns.  There were 3 interceptions, but Palmer should improve as he continues to work off the rust and Darren McFadden returns.  Oakland, San Diego, and Kansas City are tied for first in the AFC West at 4-4 while Denver is only a game behind.  Don’t buy into Tebow Mania just yet as he didn’t attempt a single pass in the fourth quarter, which speaks volumes.  Next up for Oakland, a battle for first place with San Diego in a battle of the underwhelming.

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