Eli Manning has not had a lot to smile about this year. The New York Giants are 1 and 7 at the season midway point. Things are looking grim for the G-Men and heads are starting to roll. However, the caveat that he’s not smiling does not imply that Eli has not been expressive. On the contrary, Eli has one of the worst poker-faces in the league. His face tells everything, even when it’s the opposite of what you’d expect.
Case in point, a shot of Eli, suited up in civilian duds, standing with family members who are celebrating, hugging and smiling. Eli’s face is caught staring straight ahead, as if he just woke up from a stupor, standing behind the warm scene of huggers, and looking straight ahead at a camera.
Eli’s on-the-field faces are even more entertaining. One source claimed that he looked “shell-shocked” after yet another sack. (You would think he would be used to them by now)
There’s the long-faced, open-mouthed, jaw tilted slightly to the right, did I see what I just saw face.
There’s the classic hands-held-against-the-helmet, eyes-wide, oh no, what just happened face.
The I’m-so-sick-of-it-all, scrunched-up, rage-face.
There’s the very unflattering, eyes-rolling-up-in-the-head like he’s been caught praying, face.
And there’s the all-too-common face of a man who just does not seem to understand why his team can’t get it together enough to win a game. I’m sure, somewhere in his mind, he’s remembering the fact that he led the G-men to two super bowl wins over the Patriots; somewhere he must be recalling the over 60% pass-percentage rate, the 346 career TD passes, the over 53,000 career passing yards. He must.
So, at 1 and 7, what does the 37-year-old quarterback in the twilight of his career see when he looks at his own image in the mirror? For two years in a row, the Giants have started at a dismal pace, plummeting to the bottom of the NFL standings.
If he’s asking his reflection what they need to do to turn this around he must be thinking about the rebuilding that’s necessary. And if he’s thinking rebuild, then he must be thinking about new offensive linemen, new cornerbacks, and ultimately, a new quarterback.
I wonder what Eli’s face would look like if he saw Colin Kaepernick in a New York Giants’ uniform. because it’s not a bad idea at this point.