Eli Manning is one of the NFL quarterbacks where many people having differing viewpoints. Some believe that Eli is a bonafide star who deserves to be enshrined in Canton when he is done playing. Others believe Eli is the king of bonehead plays who has made horrendous turnovers and is infamous for getting lucky twice in the Super Bowl. While there can be evidence for both cases one attribute appears to have disappeared from Manning’s repertoire the last few seasons and that was the innate ability to lead a game-winning drive at the end of the 4th quarter.
Upon entering the league as Peyton’s little brother many believed Eli could not match the numbers put up by the middle Manning child and that fact is true. What made Eli standout was his ability to successfully run the two-minute drill to win games in a dramatic fashion. To date, Eli has 26 game winning drives, the same amount as Joe Montana, in the 4th quarter including two in the Super Bowl against the New England Patriots.
Yet that fear put into opposing teams when Eli has the ball in the closing moments of the game is gone. Whatever magic Manning had to lead the Giants to victory has appeared to have evaporated in recent seasons. Week one against the Jaguars was just another missed opportunity for Eli. Manning had a chance to take a victory out of the jaws of defeat but unfortunately for Big Blue, the opposition was celebrating the game-winning play, not the G-Men.
For the Giants to be playoff and Super Bowl contenders Eli needs to make those 4th quarter comebacks. 14 out of 26 of the 4th quarter comebacks came in the years 2007 and 2011 which coincidentally were years the Giants hoisted the Lombardi trophy. In those two seasons, Eli proved he was elite and now with time winding down in his career Eli needs a return to form by having the Eli-esque 4th quarter game-winning drive to have those Giants fans celebrate instead of wishing the Giants drafted Sam Darnold.