In the history of the NFL, there has not been a quarterback who has received as much criticism as Eli Manning… who has won two Super Bowls. Throughout his 13 years in Gotham Manning has been ridiculed across the nation with many saying Eli is not an elite quarterback. In this digital age, there have been memes that can be considered far from flattery that has targeted Eli. When it comes to regular season play Eli is not considered the best quarterback in the family as Peyton Manning has eclipsed many passing records and is a five-time NFL MVP. Eli also does have his faults as he is not a mobile quarterback who tends to commit turnovers.
Yet will all the naysayers on two separate occasions Eli has been able to take his team the length of the field for the game-winning score on the biggest stage in Super Bowl XLII and Super Bowl XLVI. In both of those Super Bowls one specific play standouts that show the ability of Manning. In Super Bowl XLII Manning was able to shrug off the tackles of the New England Patriots defenders and connect with little used wide-receiver David Tyree on a 3 and 5 that will live on in eternity. Super Bowl XLVI Manning connected with wide out Mario Manningham on a ball that was perfectly thrown between the cornerback and safety.
And the 2016 Giants find themselves in a similar position of trying to go on the road throughout the entire NFC playoffs to make it to the Super Bowl. The biggest issue for the Giants is their offense is not as well rounded in years’ past. They are 26th in the league in scoring, 31st in time of possession, 24th in turnover ratio, and 29th in rushing. These offense ranks usually translate to a team competing for the number one draft pick, not a Super Bowl title.
With an inconsistent offense, the fate of the Giants will rest on how far Eli can carry this team. While there has been a slight improvement in the ground attack with the emergence of rookie running back Paul Perkins, Manning is going to need to deliver. Going against the best of the NFL and also playing them on the road means there is no margin of error for the Giants or Eli. Manning cannot have turnovers and will need to have big plays and sustained drives to be successful. Eli will have to use all his receivers from OBJ, Sterling Shepard to Jerell Adams to keep the Giants season moving onward.
While many quarterbacks have had great success in the regular season and have been rewarded with numerous accolades and enormous contracts the legacy of the quarterback is determined in the playoffs. Eli already has a hall of fame postseason career and for the Giants to make it back to the Super Bowl Eli will need to add on to his legacy. And all the Giants faithful can do is hope Eli is the elite postseason quarterback in 2016.