Things could have gone better for Eli Manning in 2013 and that right there, is an understatement.
Manning threw an NFL-leading 27 interceptions against just 18 TD’s last season.
The QB’s completion percentage of 57% was his worst in 6 seasons and the Giants toiled under .500 for the first time since Manning became the full-time starter in 2005.
Granted, the offense was devout of big name stars outside of Manning but elite quarterbacks help their teammates rise to the occasion.
And for the first time in his career, Manning was looked at as the cause of the problems instead of the solution.
Compounding matters for Manning was the fact that his brother Peyton was having an MVP season in Denver at 37 years of age.
Since returning from a neck injury that caused him to miss the 2011 season, Peyton Manning has thrown 92 TD’s to 21 INT’s in two years whereas Eli’s numbers are 44 TD’s and 42 picks over that same time.
Say what you want about comparisons being unfair but as brothers and both quarterbacks, comparing play in the NFL is inevitable.
If Manning’s career ended before even taking a snap in 2014 he’d still be remembered along the lines of NFL lore. Not only is he ½ of the most prestigious QB/sibling duo in the league’s history, he’s a 2-time Super Bowl MVP which is something only Bart Starr, Terry Bradshaw, Joe Montana, and Tom Brady can say.
In addition to his two Super Bowl rings Manning is a 3-time Pro Bowler and was the 2008 Sportsman of the Year. Manning also owns NFL records for most 4th quarter TD passes in a season, game winning drives in a year, most combined road wins in a single season, and most passing yards in an individual postseason.
That being said, it hasn’t all been wine and roses for Manning in the Giants.
For all the clutch performances that Manning has delivered in the 2007 and 2011 seasons the time in between has shown mixed results for Giants fans. Coach Tom Coughlin has seemingly been on the hot seat for 2/3 of his tenure in New York thanks in large part to the team going 9-7 or worse in 5 of Manning’s 9 seasons as full-time starter.
There was perhaps no year as bad as 2013 when Manning tossed a career high 27 interceptions compared to a career low 18 TD’s.
The Giants went 7-9 and pushed their 3-year record to 25-23 and finding Coughlin on familiar thin ice.
Expect a Quick Turnaround to Success?
The Giants have hopes for a much improved offense in 2014 but still must overcome an improved Washington team as well as a more experienced Philadelphia squad to have success in the NFC East.
First off, new coordinator Ben McAdoo comes over from the Green Bay offense to implement many of the West Coast offense contingencies that have put the Packers near the top of the league in that category.
The running game should be solidified with the additions of free agent Rashad Jennings and rookie Andre Williams along with help at the O-line and Manning will have a new target in #12 pick Odell Beckham.
There still lies many questions for the Giants moving forward, but there also provides new hope.