Eli Manning: Why He Needs To Step Up To Keep Giants Playoff Hopes Alive

Steve ChottCorrespondent IDecember 15, 2009

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 13:  Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants looks on from the field during the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Giants Stadium on December 13, 2009 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

So far, the 2009 NFL season hasn't gone quite the way the New York Giants hoped it would.

With a 7-6 record and third place in the NFC East with three games left to play, the Giants will have to play very well and possibly win out for the rest of the season.

For this to happen, the whole team needs to play better, but I am calling on one player in particular to step up. For the Giants to make the playoffs, Eli Manning needs to step up his game.

So far this year, Eli Manning has thrown 23 TDs, with 11 INTs and 3,316 yards.

These are good numbers, and what makes them better is that Manning is doing this with very inexperienced receivers.

But why is it Manning who needs to play better?

One reason being that Manning is the team leader. As the quarterback, Manning is the leader and directs the offense. He's gotten the offense going in the past two games, where the Giants put up 24 and 38 points, respectively.

As an individual, Manning has had five TDs and two INTs in the past three games. He needs to keep this play up and keep avoiding turnovers.

Manning also needs to be the man to step up because of the struggles that the rest of the team has had.

Brandon Jacobs has had a troubling 2009 season, only rushing for 782 yards on 202 carries with five TDs.

The Giants still have a very good shot at making the playoffs, as they are only one game behind in the wild card chase.

But if they are going to make the playoffs, Manning needs to lead them there.