The last word before the start of the season

Manning.

Tell me how Eli does and I will tell you how the Giant season goes. If he can become the consistent and accurate QB that delivers the ball to his receivers in stride, then even if the secondary fails and we go 6-10 despite his efforts, it will be a successful year. Eli Manning is currently the weakest link, and he needs to be the exact opposite- the player who can win games for us even if we do not get that effort from everyone else. So what do we get this year?

From Marvelous Marv (9.3.2007): “I LOVE ELI –& sense he can be a force. It is most difficult for ANY QB to be playing from behind MOST of each & every game—It puts Eli in MUST completions & that’s NOT what we need for him!! I’m very certain tho–Eli has improved his total game– The ONE area Eli must improve on—FEELING THE FOOTSTEPS — NOT getting balls he’s about to throw hit–or him getting tackled!! …I feel Eli is better than most do!!”

From John Madden (NY Post 9.7.2007): “I think he’s ready to be better this year than he was last year. He knows his problem has been accuracy, and he has been working on that. If they block for him and guys get open, I don’t think Eli is going to be a big problem.”

My view is simple. Show me. He does not deserve or get the benefit of the doubt. Just because a team drafts you number one and makes a huge investment in you does not mean you get the benefit of the doubt. QBs in the NFL take six years to deliver, yet we have seen an important study which says that most NFL QBs hit their general area of sustainable QB rating by the third year. After playing in the second half of 2004, Manning’s rating was a pedestrian 75.9 in 2005 and 77 in his 3rd year in 2006. All this while having talented receivers (including a Pro Bowl TE) to throw to and a Pro Bowl running back to take the pressure off the pass. Not to mention Barber’s considerable skills at picking up the blitz and being a vg checkdown option out of the backfield.

We have seen glimpses of his potential. He has had his moments of brilliance, like in San Diego, or when he changed the play on a blitz call last year and led the team to an OT victory in Philly. He has pocket poise. Until I see consistent accuracy from him he is not our answer and he is the weakest link in our chances for getting an NFL championship.

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