New York Giants: 5 Reasons Eli Manning Is Ready for a Breakout Season

Ryan SimonCorrespondent IIAugust 22, 2011

New York Giants: 5 Reasons Eli Manning Is Ready for a Breakout Season

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    Eli Manning will have a breakout year this season.

    Last season, Manning threw over 4,000 yards and 31 touchdowns.

    However, this was overshadowed due to his 25 interceptions. All excuses aside, 25 interceptions is unacceptable.

    Yes, the New York Giants sustained multiple injuries to their wide receiver core, but it's the quarterback's job to make due with what he's got.

    While the Giants didn't have a storybook season last year, here are five reasons Eli Manning is ready for a breakout season.

The X on His Back

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    Recently, Eli said he was in Tom Brady's "class." While the interview with ESPN New York 1050 was slightly misconstrued, at least he stood up for himself.

    Manning is one of the most criticized players in the NFL.

    I've seen people say he's not a top-20 quarterback, that his Super Bowl win was a fluke and that he brings shame to the Manning name.

    A guy can only take so much abuse, and after a while he got fed up with it.

    Now with a big Brady "X" on Eli's back, he's going to have to step his game up this season.

Hakeem Nicks

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    Hakeem Nicks is just an absolute beast.

    Nicks caught 79 receptions for over 1,000 yards with 11 touchdowns in just his second year in the league.

    Did I mention he missed three games as well?

    With Steve Smith now gone (we'll get to this later), Nicks will have a monster year. He's now the Giants' No. 1 receiver, and if Eli can get a good relationship with Nicks, watch out NFC East.

Revamped Offensive Line

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    Some people may say the New York Giants offensive line got worse this offseason. I say it got better.

    David Baas is one of the most underrated signings this offseason. He brings stability to this O-line, and he's been in the league seven years running.

    All Giants fans know and love Chris Snee, and the rest of the O-line in Will Beatty, Kareem McKenzie and David Diehl are solid as well.

Dream Team Hype

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    The Eagles are now the perennial NFC East favorites. Does being favorites really matter? Not really.

    But it seems like the New York Giants are now a forgotten team.

    Just a season ago, the G-Men were poised to return to the playoffs. They were beating the Eagles soundly through three quarters during week 15.

    However, several defense lapses, followed by a punt gone bad by Matt Dodge, sent the Giants' playoff hopes practically down the drain.

    Eli now has the perfect opportunity to stun the NFL world and lead this Giants team past Philadelphia this year.

    Can he do it? I believe he can. Will he do it? For his, and Tom Coughlin's stake, he'd better.

Offseason "woes"

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    And I use the term "woes" very loosely. Apparently, the Giants are poised for a 6-10 season this year due to losses this offseason.

    Give me a break.

    Kevin Boss was slow and is one concussion away from potentially ending his career.

    The O-line was injury ridden and starting to decline.

    Steve Smith may be out for 18 months if Kenny Phillips' injury is any indication.

    People also tend to overlook that the Giants managed to bring Ahmad Bradshaw back for only $18 million over four years.

    A hometown discount if I've ever seen one. 

    The Giants will be fine this year, but a lot of fans don't think so. Eli Manning's head has been called out many a times, one more season without any playoff time, and no excuse Eli gives will be enough.

    Eli said he's not a 25-interception quarterback. He said he's in Tom Brady's class. Well Eli, it's time to go prove it.

    Given all this, Eli knows what he has to do. It's now or never for Mr. Manning, and it's his time to shine.