Eli Manning's Big Blue Year In Review!

He led his team to victory in what was arguably the greatest game ever played. He was the MVP of Super Bowl XLII. This season, he moved up one slot, overtaking Charlie Conerly, to become #2 on the New York Giants‘ Top Ten Passers list. Why then were so many fans calling for the head of Eli Manning at season’s end?

An abundance of interceptions can easily stir up the “angry mob” mentality amongst football fans. Manning led the league in interceptions this season and told the media, the day after the New York Giants’ disappointing season finale, ”

I am not a 25 interception quarterback.”

That is the exact number of times he threw the ball into the opposition’s hands, however. Manning went on to say,

“I think obviously that’s got to be fixed. We have to fix that. That’s on me, the receivers, and everybody doing that, but most of it’s on me.”

For the second straight year the New York Giants did not earn a seed in the playoffs. The 2009 New York Giants finished at 8-8. Despite a disheartening season, and a team gone bust, Eli Manning managed to have the best statistical season of his career. This year Manning and the Giants had their fair share of opportunities to solidify a playoff berth but could not bring it all together. Once more, Eli Manning was able to pull together another impressive block of stats, making the 2010 season the second best of his career.

In week 17, against the Washington Redskins, Eli connected with Mario Manningham on a 92 yard touchdown pass. It was the longest pass of the NFL season. It may come as a surprise to some to learn that Eli Manning finished in the top 5 in a few categories. He finished 3rd in TD passes (31), 5th in passing yards (4,002), 3rd in passes 20+ yards (57) and of course, 1st in longest pass thrown. He was tied, with his brother Peyton, for the 2nd least sacked quarterback in the NFL. An interesting and totally useless factoid – the least sacked QB holds the 4th most passing yards record within the Giants organization, Kerry Collins.

Here are Eli’s stats on the year:

    ATT: 339
    CMP: 539
    YDS: 4,002
    AVG: 7.4
    PCT: 62.9
    TD: 31
    SACK: 16
    INT: 25
    QB RATING: 85.3

Now 30 years old and heading into his 8th season, Manning has become one of the franchise’s top leaders. Although #10 has been to and won a Super Bowl, has 5+ years of experience under his belt and is considered one of the NFL’s elite quarterbacks it seems that Eli Manning has not yet reached his full potential. That is good news for Giants fans and potentially bad news for Quarterbacks Coach Mike Sullivan. Sullivan, who spent the previous six years coaching the wide receivers, made the transition to QB coach this season, after Chris Palmer retired. Palmer coached Manning to the Super Bowl in 2007. It is worth pointing out here that Eli was tied for 1st with the most interceptions thrown in that season.

The Giants had the second best offensive line of the year. Manning was sacked minimally. Is the offensive line the reason? To a degree, yes. What is puzzling is the decision making of Eli Manning when the pressure is on and a sack is eminent. Far too often, we have seen him try to get rid of the ball to avoid a sack but in the process causing a bigger problem, such as an interception. A QB coach can only teach so much. Split second decision making is not something that can be taught. It is a skill. It is a talent. rest assured that Tom Coughlin and the Giants organization will do everything within their power to cut down on these turnover/interception issues. Eli Manning threw more interceptions in 2010 than he did in 2008 and 2009 combined. That is a pretty good indicator that Mike Sullivan may be out of a job.

It is a truly amazing thing watching Eli Manning at work at time. It is also completely frustrating at others. He shows signs of true brilliance when he is “in the zone.” Then he strays far from his happy place and what comes next is enough to make you wonder how in the world he made it into the pros at all. Manning is surrounded by one of the most talented receiving corps in pro football. Unfortunately, many of them went down to injury this season and left him to work with many who were not familiar with the offensive scheme. A great offensive line will give a QB the time he needs to produce. A roster of receivers that is made up of the injured and confused can make any QB look like a high school rookie.

In lieu of the obstacles that the New York Giants and Eli Manning had to over come in 2010, he still was able to record a personal second best. The Giants will continue to invest in their offensive line. They have to keep their franchise QB protected. But they should start looking into their contingency plan. The backup QB’s have a combined 17 years of experience. Sage Rosenfels is 32 years old with 10 years of experience. Jim Sorgi, who spent a great deal of his season on injured reserve, is 30 years old and has 7 years behind him. If Eli were to go down, could either of these two QB’s step in and lead this team to something bigger than just a check mark in the win column?

This marks the second consecutive year that Eli Manning has thrown for over 4,000 yards. That is something that Tom Brady has NEVER done and something Brett Favre has only done ONCE in his 20 years in the NFL. Make no mistakes Giants fans, Eli Manning IS the QB of this team and isn’t going anywhere for a very long time. When he finishes his career with the Giants, he will have broken every record held by a Big Blue QB, that he hasn’t topped already. So, why were there cries for Eli’s head by disgruntled Giants fans? Well, sometimes it is hard to see the forest through the trees.

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  • Frank

    Eli s^cks! You could put just about any QB in the league behind one of the best offensive lines, two of the best running backs in football, and a great defense and they’d come away with as good if not better stat’s. 25 interceptions…gimme a break! He’s the most overpaid, overrated QB in football.

    • Andrew Ilnicki

      B.S. Frank.

      14 fourth quarter comebacks, 17 game winning drives, 4 of 6 years in the playoffs, one superbowl title.

      that is not your ordinary every day QB. The guy knows how to lead, hardly ever gets injured, has taken a crew of 3 rookie receivers and LED them in two years to one of the best receiving trios in the league. Top 10 offense the last 3 years, including top 5 offenses 2 out of the 3.

      How about reading defenses? how many times must Eli audible to a huge run before it’s not just the offensive line and running backs that get credit?

      That’s quite a bit of leadership from an overrated bum, wouldn’t you say? Stats aren’t everything…. Joe Namath – managed one of the all-time great team wins in history. What was his QB rating?

  • Andrew Ilnicki

    I love the fact that you had to use the ^ for the “u” in “suck”… btw

    • Frank

      Interesting…just like Eli’s press conference, the one where no reporters showed up after the game, there are no post here. Why? Because Eli sucks and the fans know it…all exceept you, HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,

      • Andrew Ilnicki

        Right, because that point has everything to do with nothing. nice work Frank…

      • Sean Kerr

        You really should do a little research about that interview before using it as a tool to use against Eli. Clearly, you know nothing about that interview. It is everyone’s right to have and voice their opinions. But if your only argument is “Eli sucks” and you have nothing to base that on…then you’re just running your mouth. Keep it intelligent and we have business.

  • fjlnyg

    Eli? Eli-te? No way. Elite should be reserved for the top 4 or 5 QB’s in the league. I am an Eli fan but realistically, when Eli has all of his weapons (O Line, RB’s and WR’s), he is very good (see 2nd Philly game). When he doesn’t, he is very mediocre (see Packer game).
    That is ceratinly does not put Eli in Eli-te status.

    • Sean Kerr

      Hi fj,
      The same can be said of any quarterback. A QB is only as good as his O-line and receivers. Many of Eli’s passes were balls that his receivers should have caught. Those interceptions are not on him, but they do get added to his stats. If your use of the word “elite” was incorporated into the minds of the NFL media, the “elite” QB would vary from year to year and no one would be “elite” for very long. I think any pundit would agree that Eli has earned the elite status. That is why they continually use the word when evoking his name. Winning the MVP in a Super Bowl pretty much puts a cap on it.

  • planetguy

    Compare Eli in the last Eagles game to the new media favorite Aaron Rogers. His offense got 31 points, AR, 21. He scored 7 points in the second half just like AR. And when the Packers just needed to run out the clock in the last two minutes, AR failed, leaving the Eagles with a chance to win the game. Why didn’t they? Because the Packers D and ST stepped up. The Giants never did. Eli is a top QB.

    • Sean Kerr

      Hi planetguy,
      I wouldn’t be so quick to put the blame on the giants defense, or special teams for that matter. That was a complete team loss. Yes, the defense and ST didn’t help matters much in the 5:11 it took Philly to come back and win but the offense didn’t score a single point in the third quarter. As unfortunate as it was, the loss goes to the entire team.

      • Andrew Ilnicki

        Insofar as the Giants offense began running out the clock in the third quarter, yes it was a team loss.

        special teams obviously comes into play as well for obvious reasons.

        but the defense completely collapsed above all else. countless missed tackles, being out of position to stop the run, blown coverages, just a horrible, horrible second half of defense for the giants.

    • Andrew Ilnicki

      Interesting comparison… although Rogers will usually pass the pundit eyeball test where Eli does not. Head to head, Rogers was absolutely the better QB. More athletic, more accurate, better overall performance. However, without his defense the Pack may have been ousted from playoff contention just like the Giants were.

      The Giants can only go as far as their defense takes them. And they are certainly not the only team in that situation

      • Sean Kerr

        The defense is a part of the equation, as is Perry Fewell. They executed poorly for 5:11. The offense had an entire 15 minutes in the 3rd quarter to put points on the board. We can play the “what if” game until we are BLUE in the face but the fact remains that the ENTIRE team is responsible for the loss of that game. “If they defense held up for another 5 minutes…” “If the offense would have scored a TD and not had a goose egg in the third quarter…” “If special teams would have only stopped Jackson’s TD return…” “If Dodge would have got that punt out of bounds…” There’s TOO many “what if’s” here. There isn’t any one play, player or team area to pin this on. They all goofed up. Sticking with the topic, Manning pulled out his 2nd best game of the season, statistically speaking.

  • JD

    The giants need to get rid of Eli Manning!!!!!!

    • Andrew Ilnicki

      Oh, come on. SERIOUSLY?

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  • http://yahoo zach g123

    If the giants got rid of eli they wouldent have the same confidens as they do with eli.