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Eli Manning, Super Bowl MVP
Eli Manning has finally reached the level of his older brother Peyton.
He has exhibited this by developing receivers with insignificant previous success into viable options, and in some cases, stars. Many would be quick to look at Victor Cruz and Jake Ballard as examples of the "Eli Effect," but first, let's look at Steve Smith and Kevin Boss:
Steve Smith's 2009 stats (Giants):
107 receptions 1,220 yards seven touchdowns
Steve Smith's 2011 stats (Eagles):
11 receptions 124 yards one touchdown
That's a significant difference. Note that Smith was injured during most of the 2010 season and had lingering effects during this past season. But with such a significant difference in numbers, there has got to be credit given to Eli.
Kevin Boss's 2010 stats (Giants):
35 receptions 531 yards five touchdowns
Kevin Boss's 2011 stats (Raiders):
28 receptions 368 yards three touchdowns
Similar to Smith, Boss's numbers went way down upon bolting from the Giants and Eli for Oakland. He had such a disappointing season in his first year without Eli that the Raiders released him after only one season after outbidding the Giants to sign him last offseason.
As rookies in 2007, both made big plays in the Super Bowl. They became favorite targets of Eli Manning, and many fans were worried when the Giants didn't shell out the cash to re-sign both of them last offseason.
They were very successful on the Giants, which earned them big contracts from the Eagles and Raiders respectively. But without Eli, both had disastrous years, and neither was retained by those clubs.
This can easily be credited to Eli, who in recent years has finally been attributed to getting the most out of the skills of his receivers.
It's fair to say that Eli was the reason for the success of those receivers, given the fact that they significantly regressed greatly in their first year without Manning tossing them the football.
Manning continued to perfect the art of "creating receivers" this season, as he turned undrafted no-names Victor Cruz and Jake Ballard into a superstar and a legitimate starting tight end.
Based on his recent success with these lowly regarded receivers, it makes perfect sense to allow Manning to work with Pascoe, Martellus Bennett (see next slide) and perhaps a draft pick from the third to sixth round.
If Eli is unable to work with these weapons, which at this point would come as a surprise, Jake Ballard and Travis Beckum should be able to return by the second half of the season.
The bottom line: Eli Manning can be trusted to create himself a strong arsenal of receivers at this point in his career.