Monday Morning Manning
BY Steve Ekenstierna @stevie_oneduhh
Monday Morning Manning is back! For those of you who are new to Monday Morning Manning…hold on because we are about to break down No. 10, the franchise, 2 x Super Bowl champion and MVP….Eli Manning.
We will review Manning’s play specifically highlighting his performance on Sunday night against The Dallas Cowboys.
This was an ugly game for the Giants Offense overall. With Beckham Jr out (33% of the Giants offense in 2016), Eli was going to have to go to the other pieces of his re-tooled offense, including Brandon Marshall, Sterling Shephard, and rookie Evan Engram.
The first major issue was obviously the lack of time Eli was afforded in the pocket. Once again it was another terrible performance by the Giants O-Line against a below average front seven of the Cowboys defense. This constant pressure began to creep into Eli’s mind even when it wasn’t there. He struggled to keep his eyes down the field, see the open man and let the ball rip. Looking at the video…Marshall was open on the seam route a handful of plays.
This led to numeros unnecessary check downs for little to no yards. The inaccurate throws and poor timing reared its ugly head early in the game. It’s obvious he does not trust this line.
The lack of time in the pocket to throw also contributed to how hard it was to go through his progressions. When Beckham is on the field and Eli only gets to his first progression, which is Beckham, it can make up for the inability to go to your second and third progressions. Without Beckham on the field the offense needed to be more equally balanced between Marshall/Shephard/Engram.
Marshall was nearly invisible and surprisingly showed the lack of chemistry between him and his quarterback. Shephard and Engram had flashes of high level play at times, but Eli simply was not able to pull the trigger.
Another glaring miscue was the lack of audible. The tape doesn’t show Eli checking out of the original play very often. The center screen and draw were open numerous times as stunts came from the outside to the inside. When he did made an adjustment at the line, it seemed he checking out purely because of a lack of trust in what his line could do.
The worst part about Eli Manning’s performance was the fact that he had nothing to lose, and decided to play it safe. It’s the first game of the season. Take the Ferrari out of the garage and see what happens. The question is can Eli deal with the demons of getting hit and deliver the ball.
McAdoo should take some of the blame as the play calling was weak to start the game off. Eli never had a chance to get in a rhythm and we know No. 10 is an extremely smart football player if given the chance to succeed. Where were the adjustments? Against a bottom of the league defense Eli Manning, Coach McAdoo and Coach Sullivan need to overcome the pressure of a failed offensive series and stick it down the opponent’s throat the next play. Be aggressive!
The larger point is that, while the offensive line is taking deserved blame, Eli Manning’s game-play and more so his execution was well below average for the Giants starting quarterback.
Coming up is a Detroit Lions team that can get after it upfront. The Giants and Eli Manning hope to have Beckham back for this game, but it won’t make a difference if Eli can’t carry the team and make plays. Eli and Brandon Marshall need to figure it out…quickly. Massive improvement are needed on pre-snap reads and checking for audible opportunities. This performance from Eli was eerily similar to the performance last year on Monday Night Football against the Minnesota Vikings.
Even though he didn’t throw picks, the lack of urgency, the lack of big plays and the lack of chances taken results in the defense being on the field the entire game. There was no chance an Odell-less offense overcoming a lack luster performance by a 2x Super Bowl champ. Manning needs to shed the “try not to lose” attitude and go dominate. The O line won’t help so he needs to figure it out.