Just when I think I’ve figured out the NFL, guess again! In this weeks Dons Picks, I picked the Washington Redskins over the New York Giants. Admittedly, I referred to Eli Manning as “Captain Interception” but the former 2x Superbowl MVP looked more like his brother Peyton last night, than the guy who showed up this pre-season/weeks 1&2, completing 28/39 for 300 yards and 4 TD’s. So who is Eli Manning, is he Superman or Clark Kent?
The truth is, he’s a little bit of booth. It depends on which Manning shows up or more like which New York Giants team comes to play. Eli isn’t the type of QB to go out and carry a team on his back but just as the song goes ” I get by with a little help from my friends”, with a little support Manning can be a big time player. The proof is in the pudding this season. In the first two weeks, the Giants were atrocious defensively and could not run the ball to save their lives. The offensive line allowed constant pressure and the Giants only ran for 134 yards which led to a shaky performance from Manning, completing 44/72 for 440 yards with 3 TD’s and 4 INT’s over two games. The past two games, the Giants have rushed for 348 yards giving the QB a little more room to breath, leading to Manning playing at the top of his game, completing 49/67 for 534 yards with 6 TD’s to just 1 INT.
The New York signal caller has played like this his entire career. He’s the epitome of hit or miss. Eli has averaged 231 yards, 1.5 TD’s and 1 INT per game throughout his career which is pretty average, yet if you look at his career, its been anything but. Manning has looked like a stud one season and a bust another, such as 2011 where he threw for 4900 yards with 29 TD’s and 16 INT’s, and 2013 where he threw for 3800 yards with 18 TD’s and 27 INT’s. He has a career record of 87-68 and is a 2x Superbowl Champion/MVP with four double digit game winning seasons yet has 5 seasons with an average record of 8-8. You could even argue that without pure luck (the David Tyree helmet catch), Eli wouldn’t have either Superbowl’s and yet you can argue that he was the catalyst and main reason they won those titles.
So who is Eli Manning, is he Superman or Clark Kent? The answer is: there is no wrong or right answer to the question. As I stated earlier, it depends on which Giants team shows up. I will say this, Eli has been one of the most exciting players to watch over the past 11 years and one of the most fun to discuss. He’s brought Giants fans off their chairs in joy and to their knees in tears. He’s broken the hearts of Patriots fans (twice) and brought joy to all the Patriots haters (such as myself). So who do you pick when the Giants play next? The answer is, Who knows, its basically a gamble! Just enjoy it for what it is and when Eli retires, enjoy the debate as to whether he’s a Hall of Famer or not.
Let me know what you think of the Giants QB on Twitter and join the debate @D_ScHramER34 with the #Superman or #ClarkKent and #elitesportsblog.