Analyzing Eli Manning's First Quarter of the Season

Tamer Chamma@TamerC_BRContributor IIOctober 6, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 16:  Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants plays against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during a game at MetLife Stadium on September 16, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Fans and media alike disagree on many things when it comes to the Giants. Some think Ramses Barden should play over Domenik Hixon. Others argue whether Osi Umenyiora is an impact player or just an overrated, one-trick sack pony. 

There is one thing, however, that everyone can agree on - Eli Manning is clearly the most important player on the team. When he performs well the Giants can beat anyone, anywhere in the NFL.

If he stinks up the joint, New York can lose to the worst team in the league—yes, even to the Browns at home this Sunday.

Through a quarter of the 2012 season, Manning has been effective and it shows in the Giants' record. Despite numerous injuries to the receiving corps and secondary, the Giants are likely one bad play call and offensive pass interference away from being 3-1.

Eli is notorious for getting off to a good start. Because of this, his statistics don't really stand out from his first four games in any of his other previous seven full seasons as noted in the chart below—his 2004 rookie year is excluded because he didn't play his first full game until Week 10 that season:

Yards TD's INT's CMP%
2005 985 9 2 53.7%
2006 1,149 9 5 67.1%
2007 890 7 5 59.8%
2008 1,032 6 1 63.6%
2009 1,039 8 2 63.2%
2010 1,005 5 6 64.4%
2011 1,066 8 2 64.0%
2012 1,320 7 4 64.4%







These stats don't tell the whole story, though, because they don't break down his game-to-game performance. Unlike past starts to the season, Manning has been ultra-consistent so far in 2012.

He has yet to have a game where his quarterback rating is under 85.

The only other year he accomplished this feat was 2009 when he managed to have a QB rating of at least 90 through his first four starts.

When you really think about it, Eli only played poorly in the second quarter of the Bucs game—when he tossed three interceptions—and on one terrible throw that was intercepted by the Eagles' Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in Philadelphia's end zone at the beginning of the 4th quarter of last week's game.



Some will say that he struggled against the Cowboys, but this is bogus. His stats suggest he played well and he didn't make one significant play that contributed to the Giants losing that game.

That defeat falls squarely on bad offensive and defensive line play and terrible coverage on deep throws in the secondary.

Overall, Manning's performance this season deserves an A-. The four interceptions are the only thing keeping him from an A+.

The Dallas game was the only game this season that Eli had his full complement of receivers. When the Giants receiving corps is back at full strength, he should get some help in the games ahead—and Manning's consistent play will have to continue because Big Blue's schedule gets a lot tougher after the Cleveland matchup.