New York Giants

The New York Giants have fallen to 0-2, but is it entirely Eli Manning’s fault?

By Bryan Pol

“There are two kinds of people in the world, my friend: Those with a rope around the neck, and the people who have the job of doing the cutting.”

– Tuco from The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1966)

In the sports world, manning the most scrutinized position near the epicenter of all cultural divide amounts to careful inspection, criticism of endless variety, and aspersions galore.

Sometimes in said position, one feels the noose around his neck.

It may be early, but Eli Manning is certainly feeling the hangman’s rope about his collar.

Recently signed to a four-year, $84 million contract extension that guarantees him $65 million and entitles him to a $31 million signing bonus, Manning went from the 17th highest-paid quarterback in the NFL to now the league’s fourth-highest, just behind Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, and Ben Roethlisberger.

Under a newer, pricier contract, Eli finds himself under a thick swath of expectations, as he is now called upon to lead his team to the playoffs for the first time in four seasons, especially now that he possesses an improved offensive line, a more dynamic running game (with the addition of Shane Vereen), and a world class receiver to whom he can now throw for a full season in Odell Beckham, Jr., who missed the first four games of last season with an ailing hamstring.

Unfortunately, Eli leads an organization that started the young season 0-2, with much of the blame set at his feet.  Should he fail against Washington on Thursday night–hardly out of the realm of possibility, given that he has had little time to prepare in a shortened week–Manning will endure an even tighter yoke around his neck.

Here is the chance to claim the task of “doing the cutting” of the rope upon which Eli is beset:  listed now are the good, the bad, and the ugly of Eli’s 2015 campaign thus far.

I am an English teacher, music and film aficionado, husband, father of two delightful boys, writer, sports fanatic, former Long Islander, and follower of Christ. Based on my Long Island upbringing, I was groomed as a Yankees, Giants, Rangers, and Knicks fan, and picked up Duke basketball, Notre Dame football, and Tottenham Hotspur football fandom along the way.