Ranking Eli Manning's 5 Ugliest Interceptions of 2013
If there was one word to represent Eli Manning in 2013, the term would no doubt be "interception." Manning has thrown a career high of 27 interceptions in the regular season.
And a lot of those interceptions were just plain terrible.
Manning has thrown interceptions in vital moments for the Giants. Even when the team wasn't playing for the postseason, he wasn't sharp enough with his passes.
Then there were times when it just wasn't his fault. There were moments when receivers failed to do their job and Manning was held responsible.
Take a look at the five interceptions that caused the Giants losses and ultimately a lost season.
5. December 15 Against the Seattle Seahawks
Everyone knew it would be a tough game for the Giants. Oh, everyone knew.
On Sunday, December 15, the Giants were absolutely trashed by the Seattle Seahawks, 23-0. The game showed just about every crack in the Giants' offensive line.
But the talk of the town? Well, it was the fact that Manning threw a season high of five interceptions within one game.
With his five interceptions, Manning became the all-time leader in interceptions in franchise history. He had 169 interceptions by the end of the Seahawks game and added two more by the end of the season. As this particular game ended, Manning also tied his season high of 25 interceptions.
Of the five, his fourth interception had to be the worst. Sure, the Giants were down by 16 and were probably not going to win the game. But the team had a whole quarter to do something, and they started out with an interception.
It was supposed to be a short pass from Manning to wide receiver Hakeem Nicks. Instead, it was a Byron Maxwell interception. The ball just slipped past Nicks' hands, and there was zero fight to recover.
It was a play that showed Manning needed to better communicate with his receivers.
But it was also a play that showed Nicks not really caring. That sure doesn't look good when you have to search for a place to play next season.
4. December 8 Against the San Diego Chargers
A week before their 23-0 thrashing by the Seahawks, the Giants lost to the San Diego Chargers, 37-14.
It was a game the Giants needed to win in order to barely survive elimination another week. But alas, too many errors cost the team. “We were extremely flat,” safety Antrel Rolle told Kevin Armstrong of New York Daily News. “Both sides of the ball.”
Manning had two interceptions on the day.
The ugliest interception came at a moment that was supposed to be filled with New York momentum. It occurred in the first quarter right after Manning had thrown a 51-yard pass to Nicks.
It was good for Nicks, who hadn't caught a reception nearly as long as the 57-yard catch in Week 1. But it was also good for Manning, as it seemed to boost his confidence that had been waning for weeks.
Yet, something negative had to happen on the very next play.
Manning’s pass was deflected by San Diego's Shareece Wright, then Donald Butler picked it off and returned it 30 yards.
If it weren't for the interception, the Giants could've possibly scored the touchdown, taken the lead and maybe gone on to win the game. But costly mistakes such as this first-quarter pickoff knocked the Giants out of contention.
3. September 15 Against the Denver Broncos
With the everlasting debate about whether Eli Manning is an elite quarterback or not, the second game of the 2013 season seemed to answer it.
Believe it or not, the Giants were only within eight points with 14:58 left to play in the game. But on 2nd-and-2, Manning threw a pass to Rueben Randle, which sealed their fate.
Randle never got the ball. Instead, it deflected off of cornerback Tony Carter twice and landed in the arms of cornerback Chris Harris.
After the interception, the Broncos scored two touchdowns within the next four minutes. The Giants sunk into a 0-2 hole that would eventually lead to a 0-6 start to the season.
2. October 6 Against the Philadelphia Eagles
Week 5 saw Manning give up three interceptions against the division-rivals Philadelphia Eagles.
The third interception of the game came at a time that could not have been any worse. Well, maybe it could've been worse. But when you are down by 15 and you have a chance to get closer to scoring with just 7:17 left in the game, it sure does hurt when you get intercepted.
And that is exactly what happened to Manning and the Giants.
The Giants had a first down at their 45-yard line, which is obviously a great spot. Manning tried to pass the ball to Nicks, but for some reason, Nicks just stopped running for the ball. Instead, cornerback Cary Williams ran and grabbed the ball.
The Eagles then went on to win the game, 36-21.
This interception is one of the ugliest simply because it really shouldn't have been an interception. It wasn't Manning's fault. And we have no idea what was going through Nicks' head.
Yet the interceptions led to another loss and continued to diminish the Giants' chances at making the playoffs.
1. September 8 Against the Dallas Cowboys
The Giants were handed a 36-31 loss by the Dallas Cowboys during the first week of the season.
There could be a tie of Manning's ugliest interceptions of the season. For instance, the absolute very first offensive play of the season for New York resulted in an interception. That's pretty awful.
But instead, it was the last interception in Week 1's game, which wasn't pretty at all.
After battling with the Cowboys for most of the game, the Giants had a chance to score and take the lead before the game ended. But as Manning and the offensive line were given their chance, something went wrong.
From the 48-yard line, Manning tossed the ball to Da'Rel Scott. But the pass bounced off of Scott's hand and landed into cornerback Brandon Carr's arms with 1:50 left in the game. Carr returned the ball for a touchdown, eliminating any chance of a New York comeback.
The interception certainly foreshadowed the rest of the season. Every time the Giants seemed to be rising from adversity, they were knocked back down. Manning's interceptions have been been a contributing factor alongside other holes.
Hopefully his sprained ankle, which he injured during the last game of the season, will heal quickly. Then he will be able to train more on targeting receivers and working on chemistry during the offseason and preseason.
“I need to play better,” Manning said to Ebenezer Samuel of New York Daily News. “I can definitely improve and I need to and I will.”
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