Eli Manning has helped win two Super Bowls for the New York Giants. But no one would put the 34-year-old in the elite class of quarterback.
Maybe they should.
Quietly Manning had an outstanding statistical season last year after a slow start and he’s been even better this year.
At first Manning seemed to be a bad fit when the Giants hired former Green Bay Packers quarterback coach Ben McAdoo to be their offensive coordinator last year. McAdoo’s system is all about precision, timing passes and shorter routes.
Manning is thriving now in this system completing 66.6 percent of his passes while averaging 289.4 yards per game. Only four quarterbacks have thrown more than Manning’s 10 touchdowns. His 100.2 quarterback rating would be the highest of his 11-year career. He has been picked off just twice in 197 attempts.
The Giants rank seventh in scoring averaging 26.4 points per game.
Manning Has Carried the Giants Offense
But what really makes Manning’s case for elite status is he’s carrying a Giants offense that ranks 26th in rushing and has a battered receiver group that hasn’t had Victor Cruz. Odell Beckham is a stud, but has been dealing with hamstring injuries as is Rueben Randle, who remains an inconsistent tease.
Manning has put the Giants in position to win all five of their games. As it is, the Giants’ 3-2 record is good enough to lead the NFC East. Few envisioned the Giants to be leading the division. Before the season, Bodog had Manning’s odds of winning the Most Valuable Player at 40-1.
Philadelphia can tie the Giants for first place in the NFC East with a victory at home against New York on Monday night. The Eagles currently are 4.5-point favorites.
Revolving Door at Quarterback for Philly
Sam Bradford will be the eighth different starting Eagles quarterback to start against the Giants since Manning came on board. The Giants, though, are 1-3 versus the Eagles since Chip Kelly became Philadelphia’s coach in 2013.
Given how hot Manning has been – the Giants are averaging just under 29 points during their last three games – and that the Eagles’ offense has finally come together during the last two weeks it’s surprising the total currently sits at just 49 points.