He has everything I look for in a candidate.
The 6-2 Giants are the best team in the NFC. They are in the conversation for the best team in the NFL. Manning is the most important player on the team. His cool, calm demeanor is perfect for the New York glare and spotlight. And his teammates feed off of his poise. As Keith Bulluck told us on SNY the day after the Giants rallied to beat Dallas, “There was never a moment we thought we would lose that game. That mentality starts with Eli.” Down 10-0, down 20-7, Eli never flinched. He put the team on his back, and the Giants never flinched.
Remember all of that idiotic chatter about Tom Coughlin losing the Giants? Look at Eli’s numbers after the 1-2 start.
He has the value. And Eli, for some strange reason, doesn’t get enough credit for being great. Eli is sixth in the NFL in passing, third in touchdowns. These numbers shouldn’t be minimized on a team that believes in running the football, built for the cold weather in New York. Manning is putting up the requisite numbers even while playing with the third-leading rusher in the league, Ahmad Bradshaw. Do you realize that the Giants have the No. 2 offense in the NFL right now? You must consider an MVP candidate on the Giants. Look at what the Giants have done to opponents on the road, with Eli breaking the will of the Texans and Seahawks early in blowouts.
And I do not want to hear about the interceptions. Watch the games. Eli’s stat sheet says 11 on the season. I would say, on a very conservative guess, five or six of those passes went off the hands of the intended receiver. The number of picks should be cut in half. Manning is completing 65.7 percent of his passes, which would represent the best mark of his career.
Eli has been consistently great, ultra reliable. He has thrown at least two touchdowns passes in a game six times this season, including each of the last four as the Giants distance themselves from the pack. This is a tremendous stat proving that word again — value.
The Giants have talented and diverse receivers, but Eli has maximized the group, spending the offseason working with Hakeem Nicks, Steve Smith and Mario Manningham. Eli has made Nicks elite and a sure-fire Pro Bowler.