by Michael J. Basile
Monday Morning Manning
Eli Manning finished week 1 completing 23-37 passes for 224 yards, no TDs and an interception in the Giants loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Manning hit on his first 10 passes, and although he looked sharp early, he probably wants a few throws back from moments in the game.
His arm was strong, and he had it clicking with Odell Beckham JR from the opening whistle. They connected on 11 of Manning’s completions; Most were crossing patterns that Manning fit into tight windows hitting Beckham in stride. In what seemed like a six-hour rainstorm, the throwing conditions were not ideal at MetLife Stadium. It was chilly and wet, but despite the steady rain, Eli was efficient against last year’s No. 1 ranked pass defense.
Manning looked comfortable delivering the ball, and had zip on his throws against the best defense he’ll face this season, all in his first game in a new system. Some additional highlights were the first down pass to Sheppard on the sideline and a great vertical to Engram on the Giants sideline that was dropped.
The two missed opportunities that could’ve been big plays were both too Beckham. On the first one, Eli missed him on a floater in the end zone and the Giants had to settle for 3. It was an all-out blitz that gave Eli no time. He rushed the throw and Beckham couldn’t get there in time.
The second missed opportunity was when Eli stepped into the throw and pushed it over Beckham’s head and out of the end zone. Both would’ve been great throws if completed, and certainly a touchdown.
THE UGLY: Eli found Campbell and Jack making plays sideline to sideline and one could tell the offense was not yet in synch. To matters worse, Evan Engram and Sterling Shepard dropped catchable passes. The offensive line played better for Manning; however, the atrocious play of Ereck Flowers continues throughout the game including two penalties in the first three plays.
The start of the 2nd half was no better The Giants had to call a Timeout because of Eli’s radio helmet malfunction.
The Eli interception was ugly. A tipped pass that some would say is not on the QB, but the decision under duress was questionable. If you look at the tape, even if it was not deflected, it was thrown into traffic with 3 Jaguars players around. These are the plays that if avoided could have led to a New York Giants victory.
For week one of Monday MorningManning, Eli gets a B- for the effort.