Eli Manning was spectacular for being unspectacular during the Giants' 28-14 loss to the Washington Redskins on Sunday. Eli had ample time to complete passes in the first half, but he was never in sync with his receivers.
The offensive line threw in the towel during the second half and Eli was severely inaccurate because of it. The loss of Steve Smith was already visible in Week 1 and we can only hope that it turns around rather quickly.
Here is Eli Manning's report card after the first game of the regular season.
Eli Manning completed 56 percent of his passes against Washington, which was caused by a combination of inadequate protection and being out of sync with his wide receivers.
Mario Manningham and Hakeem Nicks picked up where they left off from last season, but guys like Victor Cruz and Domenik Hixon need to step it up. The Giants need to throw and complete short passes early to get Eli in his grove.
Eli will get most of the blame for how the offense performed, but the fact of the matter is that the offensive line needs to protect much better. Eli scrambled for a touchdown in the first quarter and when he had time, the offense had some success.
Eli's biggest mistake came when Ryan Kerrigan deflected a low pass in the third quarter. Kerrigan caught the ball and turned the interception into a touchdown.
The Giants' ground game did not help out either, which is something they will have to improve on heading into their Monday night game against St. Louis.
The entire second half was blitz after blitz after blitz from the Redskins—and offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride continued to try to get the ball down the field.
A simple slip screen to Ahmad Bradshaw, or even the tight end screen that they used to run with Kevin Boss, would have worked perfectly and kept their defense on its heels. Eli Manning does about as much as any quarterback at the line of scrimmage and he should have checked the team out of some bad plays.
The Giants started off strong with the ground game in the first half, but then failed to muster anything in the second half.
Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw combined for 19 carries to go along with 79 yards, which is not a recipe for success.
Final Grade: D
Eli was not the main problem for the Giants, but as the sixth highest paid quarterback in the league, he has to play better. The Giants will have to spend some extra time in the film room this week to figure out what went wrong and they will have extra time to do so considering they play St. Louis on Monday night.
The Giants can, however, take some positives out of this contest.
They faced one of the top front sevens in all of football, which will prepare them for the NFL's best. They also seem to have found their replacement at tight end.
All in all, it was a suspect performance from Big Blue. Expect them to turn it around on national television next week.