He only completed two passes, but that’s all Eli Manning needed to show the world he’ll be ready for the season.
Manning took his first snaps of the pre season Saturday evening, and looked calm, crisp, and mobile. The numbers won’t jump out at you, 2/5 for 73 yards and a score, but stats never tell the whole story.
On his 57-yard hookup with Victor Cruz, Manning showed great awareness in the pocket, stepped away from a would be sack, and released a perfect floater over the heads of two defenders to hit Cruz in stride for the score.
Cruz told ESPN,
“I think (Eli) read my body perfectly and put the ball where it needed to be. It felt good to be in midseason form so early on.”
Midseason form indeed. That touchdown beat a pair of Pittsburgh’s top defenders in Troy Polamalu and William Gay.
On the flip side of their early success, it’s fair to mention the Giants goal line offense struggled in their first real test.
After a blocked punt that set the Giants up on the Steelers five-yard line, Eli threw a pair of incompletions, forcing a field goal.
All things considered, Manning and the passing game looked ahead of schedule. With Hakeem Nicks always questionable to play, and Victor Cruz missing time earlier this summer with contract negotiations, Manning will need a few extra snaps to get on the same page with all of his weapons.
The first pre season game almost never indicates how a team will perform in Week 1, but you have to be encouraged with Manning’s production early on.
Kyle McMorrow | Featured Columnist