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The Gray Area, Chapter 35: The fall of Eli Manning (Audio)

Ray Jarvis of The Gray Area dissects a sensitive topic to so many New York Giants fans: the unfortunate fall of quarterback Eli Manning.

Ray Jarvis

As Week 10 approaches, Eli Manning sits in front of his locker preparing for another game in what has become the most miserable season of his career. Long gone are the days of playoff upsets and triumphs. Instead, he performs his function as the apathetic franchise quarterback of the proud new-aged laughingstock, New York Football Giants.

Loyal fans bought into the spin job GM Dave Gettleman sold them about Eli enjoying a resurgent season with the addition of rookie phenom Saquon Barkley to go along with improvements across the offensive line. But deep down, they knew that the absconded ex-coach Ben McAdoo was always right about Eli.

Those same people hoped McAdoo was wrong because they needed their quarterback to be right. Instead, what they got was this deer in the headlights version of a player who at times, legitimately looks afraid on the field of play.

Think back to the now infamous expression on Eli’s face during that Cowboys game on Sunday Night Football. It just about sums up what this season has been. I know there are fans out there who will defend Manning until the very end and site the poor performance of the offensive line as the primary source of his poor season. There’s a smaller faction of Big Blue supporters that point a finger at the aforementioned Gettleman for poorly assessing the talent on his roster.

Ironically, both assessments are right.

However, the NFL is a quarterback’s league and it is up to the player who fills that position to be good enough to make up for the areas where the organization falls short. Everyone can see that Eli Manning’s no longer good enough to be that level of player, nor is he willing to put his body on the line anymore. He’s not setting his feet and driving the ball down the field as the pressure comes barreling down on him. He’s giving himself up to avoid the big hits in the pocket as opposed to attempting to get off said pocket with the hopes of extending plays.

He’s checking down to running backs before plays downfield can develop even when he has time to throw. He sails passes that travel beyond 15 yards. He has even exasperated both Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard with his poor play.

This isn’t meant to be a takedown of Eli Manning. Instead, with the stretch run of the season approaching, I felt it was imperative for Giants fans everywhere to start being real with themselves. It’s over for their current quarterback. Appreciate him.

Instead of leaving Met Life Stadium in the fourth quarter of a one-score game as many fans did against Washington, stick around and give Eli all the love and adoration he rightly deserves. Make the next and possibly final seven weeks of his career a memorable time for him because next season marks the beginning of a new era.

For better or worse.