Today: May 29, 2024

Sports Commentary: Eli, the time has arrived; step up

PETE PAGUAGA — Sports Editor

Eli Manning is in the same class as Tom Brady- at least in his mind.

He said just that on the Michael Kay Show last month. Whether you agree with it or not, this is the year the Super Bowl winning brother is going to back up his words. 

Yes he was drafted No. 1 overall in 2004, has won a Super Bowl and is one of the highest paid quarterbacks in the NFL; yet for some reason he still has to prove himself to all the naysayers – and this the perfect season for him to do that. Also, if you don’t know that I am talking about Eli Manning, just stop reading and may God have mercy on your soul. Too much? Sorry.

The Giants didn’t make the playoffs last season, but they still won 10 games. And after drafting Prince Amukamara in the first round and Marvin Austin in the second round and signing back Ahmad Bradshaw and others, they still had a top seven defense in the NFL.  All looked well, or so we thought. Amukamara is now out for a period of time with an injury, as is Osi Umenyiora. Top cornerback Terrell Thomas is out for the year along with Austin and two other cornerbacks Brian Witherspoon and Bruce Johnson. So who can the Giants turn to?

Eli Manning has to step up this year. Everyone says he is not a great leader and many have claimed, “he will never be his brother.” First of all, Eli won’t be the greatest quarterback of all time, because well there’s only one right?  But he couldn’t be in a better position to shut everyone up and get them to stop drinking the haterade.  

Everyone is hurt, and his top two targets in recent years, Kevin Boss and Steve Smith signed with different teams.  Hakeem Nicks is good, but his youth showed last year with drops – and everyone remembers when he went over the top of the cornerback on a slant on the goal line, and that turned into a 100 yard return for six.  Mario Manningham is explosive and can make the great catch, but he drops way too many easy passes.  Ramses Barden hasn’t stayed healthy, Domenick Hixon is just a great return man, Victor Cruz looked great for about one half against the Jets in the preseason last year, and Travis Beckum…well I think only Jerry Reese is confident in him. 

The door is wide open for Eli to take his game to the next level. Analysts may be able to say, “the Giants are a four win team without Eli,” like they do about Peyton, Brady, Rivers and Brees.  I knew Giants fans who hated on Eli before the Super Bowl victory and then laid off him a little bit. But now they are attacking him again. Why? Is it that he threw over 4,000 yards in the last two years? Or because he threw over 30 touchdowns last year?  Maybe some forget that the Giants were 11-1 in the 2008-2009 season before Plaxico shot himself. Again Eli gets the blame.

Eli this is your time. Be the quarterback that we traded multiple draft picks for. Be the quarterback the true Giants fans know you are. Be our quarterback.


1 Comment

  1. Eli’s a good player but just the third best quarterback in his own division; he has work to do before placing himself in a class with Tom Brady. I know he did win a SB and that was a great accomplishment but if SBs were all that counted Trent Dilfer ranks higher than Dan Marino.

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