Monday Morning Manning: Week 4

by Michael J. Basile –  @MdoubleJB

Eli Manning and the Giants reverted back to the first two weeks on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints.  For the most part, they’ve looked like this for the better part of 3 seasons.  They failed to score 30 points AGAIN, as December of 2015 is the last time that happened.  Even the Cleveland Browns put up 42 points this week . . .

Anyway, Eli finished the game 31 of 41 for 255 yards and a touchdown.  As you can see based on the number of completions, he only averaged 6.2 yards per attempt.  It looked a lot like the offense in Dallas for Sunday night football 2 weeks ago when Eli connected on 14 “check downs” to Saquon Barkley.

THE GOOD: He was fairly accurate on most throws and got the ball out quick which helped the line a lot.  The opening drive was a 75-yard march where Eli was in complete control and ended in a beautiful throw and catch to Sterling Shepard.  Shepard caught 10 out of 10 Manning passes for 77 yards and a touchdown and Eli looked extremely comfortable when targeting the third year wideout.  Specifically, on the 2-point conversion when they needed to keep their chances alive.

THE BAD: There were 2 overthrows that visibly frustrated Odell Beckham JR; One was a hitch that Eli airmailed, the other, sailed over the head of Beckham when he was clearly wide open.  Once again, too many check downs, which helps the defense hone in on the short crossing routes.  With Beckham and Shepard being legitimate route runners, Eli needed to give them a chance.  On one of the empty backfield sets in the 4th quarter, Eli was staring at the rush and took a sack when the blitz was coming.  He saw it pre-snap and yet did not get rid of it downfield.  These plays lead to way too many 3rd and long situations that are drive killers.

THE UGLY: There were no hideous looking Manning plays that you sometimes find in a game, but he simply failed to slice up a Saints secondary that I could beat deep.  Rather than taking some chances downfield, he would dump it off to Barkley or Beckham at the line of scrimmage.  He was protected and still failed to step up and let it go.

Final thoughts: The Giants are now 1-3, and Eli did not put the team on his back to win the game.  It was there, they had their chances, and Manning did not lose them the gain.  However, when the Giants made the win “now” choices during the off-season, they bet on Eli making enough great plays to win them these type of ball games.  Eli did not do that on Sunday, and Big Blue is in big trouble.