What If?: Article No. 1: What if Eli Manning Never Escaped Those Defenders?

Mike DiPietroCorrespondent IJanuary 20, 2009

Before I start, I just want to say that I am making a new series of articles, which is called "What If?" It deals with certain moments in sports history that I will examine, make up a different outcome to that moment, and predict the effects it will have on the future of sports history. Still don't get it? Then read on, you'll understand.


Ok, so, What if Eli Manning never escaped those Patriots defenders on 3rd-and-5? With 1:15 to go in the ball game?

Well, for one, we wouldn't get to see one of the greatest plays in the history of ever.

- David Tyree would still be unknown.

- Eli gets sacked, and then that leaves a fourth down and around 12.

- The Giants would be forced to use their final timeout with around 1:10 left to go.

- Now...the scenario...

Eli Manning calls for five wide...takes the snap...looking, still looking...got a lot of time to throw...scrambling...throwing off his back foot...

Incomplete. Intended for Toomer.

Patriots take over, they just run the clock out. Game over. Patriots complete their perfect season.

Now, what about the 2008-'09 NFL season?

Eli Manning, being criticized still because they can't win the big games like Peyton can, leads the NFL in interceptions with 24 after just 12 games. The Giants as a team struggle because of their emotional Super Bowl hangover.

Steve Spagnuolo ends up taking the Washington Redskins job during the offseason, so the Giants defense is inconsistent this season. Michael Strahan is still with the team, and so is Jeremy Shockey, but both are complaining about contract issues.

Toomer wants out, Eli is still the unconfident loser that Giants fans believe him to be, and Burress ends up shooting himself in a nightclub.

Oh, wait, nevermind about the last part.

The Giants end up finishing 6-10, miss the playoffs, Tom Coughlin gets fired, and Eli Manning gets traded to the Chicago Bears. The Giants would then miss the playoffs for 10 consecutive seasons.

Meanwhile, the New England Patriots are a dynasty still. They end up completing another perfect 19-0 season with a healthy Tom Brady, Randy Moss, and Wes Welker at hand. The Patriots would end up winning 4 straight Super Bowl championships over the Giants, Cowboys, Cardinals, and Lions (yes, the Lions).

Finally, to tie up the Eli Manning saga, he ends up being the third-string QB for the Miami Dolphins in his seventh season, and leaves the NFL for good, as an overrated, overhyped Manning brother that can never live up to the family name.

So, that's it. Listen, if anybody wants me to do another one of these articles with a different sports moment, please comment with your suggestions. It will be appreciated. Thanks!