Damage Control

(AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)

(AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)

Here’s a thought… how could the best QB in the history of the NFL, Peyton Manning, have possibly thrown 4 interceptions last week?  He’s like, the best EVER!  Well it just so happens that some NFL analysts have come to Peyton Manning’s rescue in the wake of a very tough loss to the Dallas Cowboys.  Peyton’s fourth and final INT of the night was ill timed, and set up the Cowboys in position to hit the winning field goal in overtime.   But how could this be?  The older Manning isn’t known for throwing picks, Eli is… right?  There must be some larger issues happening here. Let’s get to the bottom of this.

Just watch this video:

[pro-player width='530' height='353' type='video']http://ll.video.nfl.com/films/s2010/nfl-total-access/w13/101207_nfln_nflta_breaking_down_mannings_ints_700k.mp4[/pro-player]

[via NFL Videos]

So what’s the justification?  For the most part, GOOD DEFENSE and rookie receiver mistakes.

Yes, 2 of the 4 interceptions Peyton threw against the Cowboys were simply good plays by the defense. The third was a miscommunication on a receivers double move, and Peyton simply compounded the mistake by not reseting his feet before he threw the ball.  But it’s still not all on Peyton.  And the fourth and final interception was explained away by the defense happening to be in an area they weren’t supposed to be. Whoops! Dumb luck I guess… had Peyton just been a touch more patient he would have connected with a big first down I’m sure.

You know I love this perspective from the mainstream sports media, but notice it’s always when talking about their favorite QBs.  Peyton Manning is of course one of the all-time best QBs out there. It’s beyond debate… so naturally you’d expect this kind of analysis on Peyton even though the Colts are at .500 right now and in jeopardy of missing the playoffs.  At least the analysts here will have helped Peyton save face.

I mean, here’s another example video.  Even more excuses for big brother — no running game, no Dallas Clark, offensive line issues, lack of depth, etc.  Sound familiar with Eli Manning as your QB?   It should and it shouldn’t.

Younger brother Eli, who has led the Giants to an 8-4 record and are poised once again to make the playoffs for the 5th time in 6 seasons does not and has NEVER gotten this kind of air time excusing him of INTs.  And you know what, it’s pretty impressive what Eli has been able to do the past few seasons if you ask me.  The Giants have overcome injuries and deficiencies all season long (he even had a career year last year that basically went unnoticed).  Yeah, Eli has 17 interceptions too this season… but where’s his montage of intercepted passes from tipped balls off his receivers hands that went right into the defense’s pocket?  Where’s young brother Eli’s love from the mainline media?

It ain’t gonna happen until the Giants are without a doubt winners in their eyes folks.  It. Just. Won’t.

Until they’ve gotten into the second or even third round of the playoffs, then we’ll revisit history and perhaps unpack that INT stat line of Eli Manning’s.  But not before — never until then, because there’s still a chance the Giants can go 8-8 and finish out the template that was started before the very first preseason game began.  Remember?  When Dallas was picked to go to the Superbowl and the Giants, Redskins and Eagles all played second fiddle to their entire organization?  Yeah, Eli’s montage won’t happen until they repeat their 2007 heroics.

But I can’t wait until then to redeem our QB — I think he’s having another tremendous year and it’s being overshadowed by Rex Ryans big mouth, Michael Vick, Dallas implosion of 2010, and now Peyton Manning’s INT streak of all things.  Look — I’m counting 7, yes SEVEN tipped balls that were very catchable passes that have gone the other way for INTs.  

And just so we’re comparing apples to apples, remember that pass against Dallas where Eli threw in the endzone to second year receiver Hakeem Nicks -who he stopped running the route and it went the other way for a TD?  Yeah — that went on Eli, not Nicks.  

But just without those tipped INTs — Eli would be rated 95.82 instead of the 88.55 he has now.  Not a big jump, but a step up for sure.  Not only would he be a top 10 QB at that stat line, it would officially put his rating above Peyton – who is rated only slightly higher than Eli right now at 89.4.

Ratings don’t mean all that much in the grand scheme of things, it’s not an indicator of leadership, offensive management, wins, etc… But that’s exactly what you get with these Manning brothers. Peyton gets the pass, I’m just wondering why Eli is always left out in the cold.

So as a testament to our great QB – Eli Manning, here is his bailout where we show each of the 7 interceptions thrown by Eli that in reality were not his fault, or can be explained away by other factors that relieve him of his unfavorable INT statline.

Intended for Hakeem Nicks
[pro-player width='530' height='353' type='video']http://ll.video.nfl.com/films/s2010/nflcom/w01/100912_phl_wk1_bp_panthers_int_700k.mp4[/pro-player]

Intended for Ahmad Bradshaw

[pro-player width='530' height='353' type='video']http://ll.video.nfl.com/films/s2010/nflcom/w01/100912_phl_wk1_bp_anderson_int_700k.mp4[/pro-player]

Intended for Ramses Barden
[pro-player width='530' height='353' type='video']http://ll.video.nfl.com/films/s2010/fantasy/w01/zfantasy_panthers_giants_3736_700k.mp4[/pro-player]

Intended for Steve Smith
[pro-player width='530' height='353' type='video']http://ll.video.nfl.com/films/s2010/fantasy/w02/zfantasy_giants_colts_q2_1233_700k.mp4[/pro-player]

Intended for Hakeem Nicks
[pro-player width='530' height='353' type='video']http://ll.video.nfl.com/films/s2010/fantasy/w03/zfantasy_titans_giants_q1_119_700k.mp4[/pro-player]

6. Intended for Steve Smith
[pro-player width='530' height='353' type='video']http://ll.video.nfl.com/films/s2010/fantasy/w07/zfantasy_giants_cowboys_q1_114_700k.mp4[/pro-player]

7. Intended for Hakeem Nicks

[pro-player width='530' height='353' type='video']http://ll.video.nfl.com/films/s2010/fantasy/w07/zfantasy_giants_cowboys_q1_271_700k.mp4[/pro-player]

And of course as was explained during the Peyton Manning Damage Control Session…

All these mistakes lead to frustration, desperation, and forced throws at times from the QB… like this one (also a tipped ball of sorts)
[pro-player width='530' height='353' type='video']http://ll.video.nfl.com/films/s2010/fantasy/w03/zfantasy_titans_giants_q1_467_700k.mp4[/pro-player]
…and this one where Nicks decided to stop running the route and it went for 6 points the other way:

[pro-player width='530' height='353' type='video']http://ll.video.nfl.com/films/s2010/fantasy/w10/zfantasy_cowboys_giants_q2_1296_700k.mp4[/pro-player]

Bottom line:

I think in some ways, it’s great that Peyton Manning was bailed out by the media for his interceptions. It shows there is more to the story than just a stat line.  Fantastic.

My thing is though– then where’s the love for his brother? Eli Manning and the Giants have won despite these mistakes, despite injuries, in the face of criticism — and yet Eli’s struggles are perceived to be his struggles alone by everyone but Giants fans.  You know what, that’s not good enough. The analysis deserves to be done, and should be done with as much air time as there is to fill these days.  It certainly COULD be done, after all they did just big brother Peyton.

So in conclusion, this attempt was not to continually look backward — but it’s my hope this finally sets the record straight as to how Eli has come to throw 17 interceptions, why the Giants have had an inconsistent product at times, and the varibles that come into play with every QB (yes even Peyton Manning) goes through each season with regard to their lack of execution at times.

[all clips via NFL Videos]

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