1. Eli Manning
There’s no way around what’s transpired over the past two weeks and no reason to avoid what’s transpired. In two consecutive games—and one could argue that it’s been three—Eli Manning has underwhelmed under center.
No matter where you want to shift the blame, the harsh reality is that Manning needs to play better if the New York Giants are going to live up to their potential.
Manning has been playing without star offensive guard Justin Pugh, which has inevitably damaged the quality of the Giants’ pass protection. The regression of Ereck Flowers has also hurt, but the reality for the Giants is quite simple.
New York may be 9-4 after 13 games, but if it loses the next three games, there’s a strong probability that it won’t make the playoffs.
The defense has been exceptional, but the Giants’ offense has been mediocre. Manning has an abundance of options at wide receiver, including Odell Beckham Jr., Victor Cruz, and Sterling Shepard, but he hasn’t been spreading the wealth.
If the Giants are going to secure win No. 10 and position themselves for a postseason appearance, then Manning will need to play better.
It’s time for the franchise player to re-establish himself as one of the league’s elite.