Four score and 15 long years ago, in a galaxy far, far away, there was a veteran quarterback that everybody questioned on a daily basis. The two-time Super Bowl-winning passer is out to secure yet another Lombardi trophy in what might be his final season with the New York Giants.
While I wish Eli Manning’s story was that exciting, he did nearly give me two heart attacks in 2008 and 2011. A mixture of Abraham Lincoln and Star Wars makes for one hell of a season, and Manning might just get his final shot behind the helm of an upgraded Giants’ offense.
The New York Giants have added all the necessary pieces:
Adding youth phenom Saquon Barkley surely helps in terms of pulling out wins, not to mention the one-handed wonder in Odell Beckham Jr., how is it possible the Giants ever lose games due to the offense? That’s a question we’ve been asking ourselves for quite some time now.
But, the plan for Manning surely ends in 2019, as Big Blue prepares for an NFL draft that could send the veteran QB walking into the sunset. His final year to make us smile, or even grin with relief as we claw our way into a Wild Card seed praying for yet a third miracle in the dying moments of the Super Bowl.
His time is coming to an end, and whether it be Dwayne Haskins, Daniel Jones, Kyler Murray, or Jesus Christ that saves us from football purgatory, a new beginning is near.
Let’s get serious:
Manning finished 2018 with the best completion percentage of his entire career – 66%. He threw 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, a near split in the ratio. His QB rating was the best its been since 2011 (92.4 in 2018) with 2015 being the exception (93.6) – the year he made the Pro Bowl.
Head coach Pat Shurmur made an obvious impact on Eli’s stats, but maybe it was just Barkley catching every possible dump-off that came his way, and the rookie set an NFL record for the most receptions for a first-year running back (91), tying Beckham’s rookie reception number.
I don’t expect Manning to light up the league in his final year, especially with age taking its toll. What I would like to see, is the Giants drafting a young passer and allowing him to sit behind Eli for a season. The learning experience on a professional team can make all the difference, just ask Patrick Mahomes or Aaron Rodgers.
Rumors are lighting an imaginary flame:
With rumors sprouting up in regard to Russell Wilson finding his way to New York, it’s easy to lose focus on the task at hand – seamlessly succeeding Eli Manning.
Some believe that the Giants should wait until 2020 to draft a quarterback, but the simple reality is that a top pick in 2020 will require another bad season or a fortune in draft capital. With head coaches expendable these days, Shurmur surely isn’t planning on another failed season. For this reason alone, I’m out (Shark Tank reference), or rather drafting a signal caller in 2019 is the more efficient move.
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