After signing a massive four-year extension with the New York Giants before the season, Eli Manning has proved to be worth the money.
You can add last night’s exhilarating 30-27 win over San Francisco to his growing list of late game comebacks. In fact, no quarterback has more fourth quarter comebacks (27) since Manning entered the league in 2004. Okay, so the 49ers aren’t a powerhouse this season, but wins count all the same, especially when sole possession of first place is on the line. Granted, the NFC East isn’t great either, but let’s not forget the Giants won a Superbowl after capturing the East with just a 9-7 record in 2011.
It’s only Week 5, but Manning’s numbers through the first third of the season speak for themselves. He currently leads the league in completions, ranks third in yards, and holds an impressive TD-INT ratio of 10:2. Often criticized for his turnovers, Manning has been more than efficient thus far in 2015.
While Manning’s numbers are impressive, it’s how he’s done it that’s been captivating. The Big Blue run game is just 26th in the league, meaning opposing defenses know the throw is coming, and can’t do too much about it. Leading the league in attempts, Manning’s two INT’s look even smaller. Also, playing without starting left tackle Will Beatty, Manning has escaped pressure and checked down when flushed out of the pocket which has helped minimize errant throws.
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) October 12, 2015
Let’s also not forget star wideout Victor Cruz has not yet played this season, leaving the Giants without a true slot receiver. In offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s west coast system– quick, short, passes are key. The recently released Preston Parker dropped numerous balls resulting in back breaking ends to promising drives over the first two weeks. Dwayne Harris has filled in nicely, but he doesn’t provide half the upside that Cruz can. Manning’s statistics will only improve with a healthy Cruz, although, no one is certain when that will be.
Let’s rewind to the final drive Sunday night. Manning drove the Giants over 80 yards in just 1:24. Rueben Randle exited with a hamstring injury. Odell Beckham was present for just two plays. Without his two best offensive weapons, Eli and company found a way.
It’s only week 5, but no one is going to question the money Manning received, nor will they when the season ends, or when he’s up for enshrinement in Canton. However, that debate is one for another day.
— SB Nation (@SBNation) October 12, 2015
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) October 12, 2015
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