Monday Morning Manning Week 15
By Michael J Basile, @MdoubleJB
The Giants were officially eliminated from playoff contention with an ugly shutout loss to the Tennessee Titans. It was raining Sunday at MetLife Stadium, and it had the feel of an old-school game. That smash mouth style played is what the Titans do best. Left Tackle Taylor Lewan led the way in the trenches and opened up holes for RB Derrick Henry all day. Henry ran through Giant defenders all afternoon, dominating the time of possession (35+ minutes to 24+ minutes).
On the other side of the ball, the Titans made it difficult for Eli to get anything going. Combine that with a dreadful performance from the offensive line. Big Blue is now 5-9 and going home. Even though he didn’t get much help, Eli was bad in this one, completed 21-44 attempts for 229 yards and a pick.
Manning had a few good throws in the first half. Specifically to Sterling Shepard. However; Shepard dropped those key passes showing that he’s been a bit overrated by some throughout his career. He’s a #3 option or a weak #2 target at best ( 9 targets/2 rec) Without Shepard playing well or Odell Beckham Jr. suiting up, Manning seemed to have it working with Engram, who had 8 catches on 12 targets. There wasn’t much “good” working for the Giants QB.
Eli tried to impersonate Patrick Mahomes with a few no-look passes of his own. Numerous times Manning threw the ball up for grabs when he was pressured. He has a tendency to do that when opposing teams defenses are disrupting the pocket. An example of this is the swing pass to Barkley, it should’ve been a pick-6 but the defender was too worried about tackling Barkley. Manning consistently put the team in bad situations.
The turnovers: An interception and a fumble squashed all opportunities to score. The interception was “ugly” as Manning never looked off the receiver.
THE GRADE: F
Eli had turned a corner since the bye week, rendering the “Move on from Eli” crowd silent. With this game, those individuals are going to be loud this week, calling for a new starter in 2019. The organization must not reach for someone in the draft and bring back memories of Jerry Reese (dark ages). That will set the franchise back several years if they get it wrong. It will be interesting to see how the last two games pan out and if Kyle Laulette gets a start.