Eli Manning
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

As seen in San Fran, New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning is not “done.” He simply usually has zero chance behind an atrocious O-line.

Robby Sabo

What does “done” mean? What does the term “toast” attempt to explain? We witness careless, loaded accusations fly in the direction of two-time Super Bowl champ Eli Manning only to scratch our heads in attempting to come up with a reason.

Well, “we,” in this scenario, only includes those who actually “get it,” those who understand the game of football. The others can continue their zero-football logic nonsense on Twitter while calling the New York Giants signal-caller trash.

If Manning was toast, he would have had no ability to guide his team to the Monday Night Football comeback victory over the San Francisco 49ers. How could a done, over-the-hill dude actually win a football game in the NFL (even against one of the worst teams in the league)?

He wouldn’t. He couldn’t. It’s why Eli Manning isn’t done.

This doesn’t mean he should remain the quarterback of the organization. In fact, far from it. He and the Giants should come with the label of “done.” Eli doesn’t deserve the overall treatment he’s received and, simultaneously, the franchise must move forward.

All of this reality doesn’t mean the man can’t play the position anymore.

What constitutes Manning as “done?” Is his arm strength not good enough for the NFL anymore? No. That’s not the case. He can still deliver the ball 50-plus yards on a dime while owning the ability to make every throw. In fact, Philip Rivers’s arm can’t dare dream to throw the football as hard as Eli at this very moment, yet the Los Angeles Chargers QB who was traded for the Jints leader has no problem playing at a high level.

This league has never been about arm strength.

Is it about speed? Surely, Manning is a slower individual than he was at the start of his career, but has that loss in agility resulted in his and his team’s woes?

No chance.

Take a look at one instance a few folks pointed to on Monday night. Odell Beckham Jr.’s touchdown, the Giants first touchdown of the night came on a play in which Manning eluded a pass rusher and stepped up in the pocket.

It’s almost as if these people believe Manning has had the chance to do this and decides not to.

No. That’s not the case. What’s different on this play (and what we saw on this night) is that the O-line actually did its job to a below-average degree. Usually, Manning doesn’t have the interior room to step up in the pocket. On this play, he had that opportunity and took it.

So, if it’s not arm-strength or speed, what constitutes a truthful statement via Eli Manning is toast? Could it be that the constant barrage of physicality by way of the opposing pass rush has Eli so scared of the rush he performs like a deer in the headlights? Well, this is true for any quarterback. Tom Brady turns into an average NFL signal-caller when hit repeatedly—just like Eli.

It’s never been about Eli Manning as “done.” It’s about Eli Manning has having no chance and/or confidence due to one of the worst O-lines in recent football memory. They’ve relented 32 sacks thus far on the season, only one on Monday night. It’d be far worse if No. 10 wasn’t the quarterback.

Then there’s the Eli Manning factor, the strange aspect of his play throughout his entire career.

Manning is a weird QB. Why are we failing to acknowledge this only at age 37? Inconsistent at times, the man has always played his best football when things break down. He’s always played his best brand of QB when things are at its most chaotic on the football field. On Monday night, he showcased that very notion again with his 36th fourth-quarter game-winning drive.

If he was failing to hit his intended receivers, sure, an argument can be made he’s washed. This just isn’t the case. Jints fans overreact when a player is missed and/or overthrown. This happens at least once or twice a game for most professional quarterbacks. Manning’s opportunities are simply fewer and farther between.

He’s ninth in the NFL in passing yards (2,565) while falling somewhere in the middle-of-the-pack in yards per attempt (7.4), tied with Tom Brady, Kirk Cousins, and Marcus Mariota—all of this while being sacked 32 times, the most in the league.

No, Eli Manning is not “toast.” He’s declined, just like any 37-year-old thrower. He’s never been a mobile version and that’s OK. Part of the reward of that is the franchise having a man who never misses a game.

Look at the film. Analyze that putrid O-line. When given a legit chance, Eli Manning proves he can still play in the NFL. Stop trashing the guy and start thinking deeper instead of taking the easy, casual way out like so many others.

It’s OK to believe Eli Manning shouldn’t be the New York Giants QB next year while admitting he’s not officially done.

Robby Sabo is a co-founder, CEO and credentialed New York Jets content creator for Jets X-Factor - Jet X, which includes Sabo's Sessions (in-depth film breakdowns) and Sabo with the Jets. Host: Underdog Jets Podcast with Wayne Chrebet and Sabo Radio. Member: Pro Football Writers of America. Coach: Port Jervis (NY) High School. Washed up strong safety and 400M runner. SEO: XL Media. Founder: Elite Sports NY - ESNY (Sold in 2020). SEO: XL Media. Email: robby.sabo[at]jetsxfactor.com