By Michael J Basile, @MdoubleJB
Monday Morning Manning – Almost Perfect
Coming into the NY Giants 10th game of the season, @Golferbad identified one of the matchups that helped decide the game: Eli Manning decisively outplayed Ryan Fitzpatrick at MetLife stadium, giving Big Blue their first home win this year.
While Fitzpatrick got benched for Jameis Winston, Eli had the highest completion percentage, 94% (17-18), in a game with a minimum of 10 attempts in Giants history. Only one ball hit the ground, on a wheel route Barkley could’ve hauled in. Manning finished with 231 yards and 2 touchdowns and didn’t make a single mistake in this one.
This week was all good, no bad or ugly to dive into.
Eli played his cleanest game of the season, in large part due to Barkley getting 27 carries. For the second straight game, Barkley had at least 20 carries, his only two such games of the season. This is a number head coach Pat Shurmur should aim to hit weekly to keep defenses honest and give the offensive line an opportunity to fire off the ball.
The number of attempts can slow down a pass rush enough for Eli to deliver strikes down the field. Manning showed off his arm and utilized the play action as a major weapon throughout the game. Look no further than his first and last tosses of the game. The first one, a corner route to Beckham, could not have been handed to him in a better spot. His last throw, a dart to Evan Engram. This iced the game and allowed showcased Engram’s speed as he flew upfield.
Oline Much Improved:
In addition, Jamon Brown played his second straight game as the right guard, which has completely opened up this offense. Eli played comfortably and focused on downfield targets and manipulating the secondary with his eyes. Before Brown entered the lineup, Manning didn’t trust his line at all, but now he is gaining confidence behind the configuration of Solder-Hernandez-Pulley-Brown-Wheeler from LT to RT.
Solder pushed defensive ends out wide and Eli stepped up with the combo of Hernandez-Pulley-Brown working in tandem in the middle. This one move has changed the narrative of the 2018 season from being potentially Eli’s last game every week to a team that can actually make a run at the NFC East as the Redskins just lost their QB and 2nd straight game, the Eagles can’t get out of their own way, and the Cowboys just aren’t that good. Eli, with consistent play from this line, has an opportunity to make a lot of critics look silly.
He never lost the arm, just his confidence due to putrid offensive line play. Based on what I’ve seen from his newfound confidence, the BOLD PREDICTION is that Eli has this team playing meaningful games the rest of the way.
Odell got laughed at two weeks ago saying they were going for 8 straight, but if the GMEN can get a “W” in Philly on Sunday- watch out.