By Michael J. Basile, @MdoubleJB
Monday Morning Manning week 7
The stats won’t look bad, but Eli Manning’s performance wasn’t enough in Atlanta. He was 27-38 for 399 yards and a Touchdown. He did make some nice throws, but Big Blue needed more from him. The Falcons defense is one of the worst in the NFL, allowing 32 points per game. The Giants offense managed 3 first-half points and 6 total points before the last 5 minutes of the game. They scored two touchdowns late and ended with 20.
THE GOOD: Manning hit his first 9 passes and actually looked like he was in control early on. He hit Odell on a big third-down pass for 26 yards, and Shepard on a 53-yard catch and run. Both came on third downs when there was pressure in his face. The third quarter deep pass to Beckham down the left sideline was also placed perfectly. Then with 5 minutes left, he drove his team into the end zone twice to chip away at the lead.
THE BAD: The red zone . . . Specifically two inaccurate throws to Odell in the end zone. The first one, as Jason Witten (commentary) alluded to, could’ve been a bad route by Beckham, but either way, Eli’s pass was through the corner of the end zone and not catchable. Then on the 4th and 1, he didn’t even give Odell a chance on the sprint out and made the choice to force it to the 3rd string Tight End. Even Pat Shurmur was seen visibly disappointed in Manning’s decision.
THE UGLY: The offense is wasting talent. Beckham, Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, and Evan Engram are all talented athletes. Eli can’t get it done with them, especially with this offensive line. The thing is: Manning needs to overcompensate for the line but making more great plays in big moments. The 4th and 1 at the goal line is a perfect example of that. The biggest Manning blunder is two QB sneaks and the atrocious clock management at the end of the 4th quarter. They should’ve scored with about 45 seconds left but instead wasted precious seconds, and scored with 5 seconds left.
Eli gets a C- . . . They lost again, are 1-6, and despite the pretty stats and some great throws, he failed to make the plays when his team needed him most in the red zone.