Why Is Eli Manning Still Talked About So Much?

David GellerAnalyst INovember 10, 2008

He’s gone five straight games with less than 200 yards passing.

He’s still erratic with some passes.

He can’t get on the same page with his number one target.

He’s fine.

Can we stop the Eli watch already? After more than 65 starts in the NFL, don’t you think we have a pretty good idea of what Eli is?

Through the first half against Philly, Eli was extremely sharp. 13/17 for 130 yards and a pair of touchdowns, all coming after a bad interception to start the game. Pretty darn good coming on the road against a tough defense filled with playmakers in the secondary and good pass rushers.

However, Eli didn’t finish nearly as strong, completing four of his last fourteen passes. This has prompted some more skepticism from the local media, as he has yet to throw the ball well for four quarters since early October when he tore through the Seattle Seahawks depleted secondary.

What more do you want though? He made clutch throws in the red zone, he was very efficient on third down, and he’s the starting quarterback for a team that’s cruising through arguably the strongest division in decades.

Some may think that the Giants unwillingness to throw in the second half is attributed to Kevin Gilbride’s distrust with Manning. For those that may think that, I highly suggest watching a football game or two.

The Giants were carving, literally carving, the Eagles run defense. The only play when they stopped the run was late in the game on third and one and Ward got stopped behind the line of scrimmage. Out of 45 carries, that was the only play.

Why do they need to pass?

Ernie Accorsi drafted Manning to be their Elway. A quarterback that could have the impact that C.C. Sabathia did every time he pitched in September, except it was a guaranteed complete game, sixteen times a year. Some could say Manning is on his way to not reaching those expectations due to lack of statistical production. Of course, I don’t remember Elway having eye-popping stats anyway.

Eli is the envy of every quarterback in the NFL right now. A tight-knit offensive line blocking him, a tremendous running game, and a great assortment of receivers to choose from when he is told to drop back. What starting quarterback wouldn't want to be in Eli's shoes right now?

It’s very clear what the Giants plan to do on offense going into every game. Establish dominance with the run, and pick certain spots to fire it down the field. With this in mind, who cares how the quarterback produces? More so, he had an 88.9 passer rating and is tied for seventh in the NFL with fourteen touchdowns. How can he be condemned at all at this point?

There is no disputing what Eli is capable of doing in the fourth quarter. In a close game, he has proven time and time again that he will take his team down the field in the most adverse conditions and carry his team to victory.

In a league defined by parity, this may be the most important characteristic for a quarterback to possess. It’s what makes him better then the likes of Ben Roethlisberger, Tony Romo, Donovan McNabb, and virtually every other upper-tier quarterback today. He’s the best in the league at winning games in the fourth quarter.

So in an offense that is willed by its undisputed top-ranked running game, and on a team that has lost once in its last thirteen contests, why are people still complaining about Eli? What else could people want out of him?

It’s time to stop dissecting his every throw and accept what the Giants have got. And what they’ve got is a very good quarterback.