By Michael J Basile, @MdoubleJB
Manning Comes Up Short
Eli Manning was 26-37 for 297 yards with a TD and an INT. It was ultimately a tale of two halves for Big Blue, scoring 19 first-half points and only 3 in the second. Manning picked up where he left off a week ago with a beautiful first drive of the game, capped off by a well-executed screen pass to Saquon Barkley for the touchdown. It was Eli’s second straight week with an opening drive touchdown, and he was sharp early. He was able to stand in the pocket as the revamped offensive line, as outlined last week, kept the Eagles defensive front out of the backfield. Michael Bennet and Fletcher Cox lead the Philly front, combining for 10.5 sacks on the season before Sunday’s matchup.
Eli hooked up with backup tight end Rhett Ellison four times for 77 yards, highlighted by the 29-yard seam pattern. On that play, Eli looked left after the snap which held the safety just enough for him to zip the ball to the right between two defenders. It made Ellison’s job easy as that ball was delivered right between his numbers.
The second impressive throw was to Odell Beckham Jr. on a fly route along the left sideline. Eli shredded the Eagles defense for over 200 passing yards in the first half behind another strong effort by the big boys up front. For the most part, the Giants looked in command.
Eli took a bad timeout on a 3rd and 18 early in the second half. The percentage of converting there is way too low to justify wasting the timeout. The Giants would need that timeout as the clock ran down. Eli and head coach Pat Shurmur simply can’t make that mistake.
The interception came at the end of the first half right after Philly scored a touchdown. Eli needs to throw it away, kick the field goal and come away with 22-11 halftime lead. Instead, he decided to throw the ball to Beckham in triple coverage for an easy Malcolm Jenkins interception. This allowed the Eagles to take all of the momentum going into the second half. Unacceptable.
Eli gets a B here. In the first half, he used his arm and eyes to manipulate and take advantage of the inexperienced Eagles defense. Although the offense only gained 46 yards in the second half, a lot of that was not on Manning. He did his job, but between penalties and horrible play calls, they were outplayed across the board and severely outcoached.
Pat Shurmur had no answer for Philly’s halftime adjustments and he completely abandoned utilizing Barkley, who was clearly their most productive player in the first half. In order for Eli to help this team win, he’s going to need more from his head coach in terms of game planning.