By Michael J Basile, @MdoubleJB
Manning’s 14th Season in the Books
Despite the heavy criticism of the Giants QB, Eli Manning finished the season with respectable numbers. Manning had to work with a subpar offensive line as pointed out by Michael Stewart, @golferbad in https://www.nygiantsrush.com/ny-giants/new-york-giants-final-team-grades/.
He looked comfortable down the stretch and has shown he still can make all the necessary throws. Of course, he made plenty of head-scratching plays, but all QBs make mistakes and even when Eli was in his prime he was prone to bad turnovers.
The final numbers:
- – 4299 yards (268.7 per game)
- – 66% completion rate
- – 7.5 yards/attempt
- – 21 TDs to 11 INTs
- – 92.4 QB rating
- Completion % – ranked #17
- Attempts – ranked #8
- Comp – ranked #7
- Yards – ranked #9
- Sacked – ranked #6
Win-Loss Record: 5-11. Should the Giants move on from Eli as their starting QB?
For 2019, there are a handful of Quarterbacks available with the sixth overall pick. Two seem to make the most sense. Dwayne Haskins of Ohio State or Daniel Jones of Duke. Both have big frames to go along with strong arms with the ability to make NFL type throws. If the Giants want to wait for a mid-round developmental pick, here is a snapshot of Drew Lock BY Andrew Holtorf, @ALLABOUTBLUE88.
Nick Foles, Joe Flacco, and Teddy Bridgewater are intriguing options for teams looking for potential franchise quarterbacks. If this is the route taken by the Giants, it is because GM Dave Gettleman and Head Coach Pat Shurmur feel there is a significant upgrade over Eli Manning.
This is the most likely scenario, and I believe the best option. Even if the Giants draft someone, they can have him sit and learn behind Manning. No rookie has ever led his team to a Superbowl championship (Although Dan Marino came close in 1984).
In the second half of the season when Eli had more time in the pocket the offense surged, averaging close to 30 points per game. Manning will be in his second season in Shurmur’s offense and should have any setbacks. The strategy would then focus on upgrades at Right Tackle, Center, and OLB/pass rushers. If Eli was to have another run, it will be behind an improved O-Line.
The contract must be figured out and hopefully, Eli and Gettleman can come to terms on a restructuring or resigning. This way they can use extra salary cap allocation toward other positions.
Once Jamon Brown was signed, the offense became instantly more productive. Barkley shined. Manning also made some great throws over the 2nd half of the season, even without superstar receiver Odell Beckham. Manning looked great rolling out and hitting Engram in the flat and made a handful of superb throws to Shepard, Coleman, and Fowler. While the release speed is down, the ball is getting to the receivers in time for them to make plays after the catch.
Not many QBs could’ve succeeded behind the Giants 2018 offensive line; It isn’t the popular decision, because fans want “new”, but bringing back Eli is the right move in 2019.