Yesterday, I was listening to my local ESPN Radio station. The discussion turned over to the Giants. The host started talking about the impact of the losses of Amani Toomer and Plaxico Burress, the stout D, and a great run game. However, the next thing mentioned surprised me.
The host was concerned about Eli Manning. He lost Amani Toomer, Plaxico Burress, and Derrick Ward. Eli had 289 completions last year. Toomer had 48. Ward had 41. Burress had 35. 124 of Eli’s 289 completions went to guys no longer on the team. The host was worried that Eli couldn’t do it without them. He said a lot of Eli’s completions were saved by the fact that Burress out-jumped all cornerbacks, making normally inaccurate throws on the mark.
He then talked about how maybe the Super Bowl win was lucky (“It was a hail mary to David Tyree.” “The Patriots were bound to lose.”). Is Eli Manning a big question mark for this Giants team? The host thought so. I was flabbergasted. Yes, Eli goes through his rough patches, but more often than not, he gets the job done. He was a Pro Bowl QB last year.
I don’t think his ability should be questioned. He is very talented, and was not picked #1 overall just because his last name is Manning. As I wrote in our Position Breakdown of the QBs, Eli has to utilize all his wideouts, not relying on just one like he did with Burress.
And again, it’s not like there isn’t talent at the receiver position. Steve Smith and Domenik Hixon combined for 100 catches (and that should increase with their increased role in the offense). However, we knew this coming into the year. I don’t think Manning is a question mark. I think he is one of the positions you don’t have to worry about. So, I bring the question to you: Are you concerned about Eli Manning?