Eli Manning: Why It's Nearing the End of the Manning Era for the New York Giants

Aaron YoungCorrespondent IIISeptember 21, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS - SEPTEMBER 19:  Dwight Freeney #93 of the Indianapolis Colts hits Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants causing a fumble during the NFL game at Lucas Oil Stadium on September 19, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Eli Manning is possibly the most overrated and overpaid football player in the country. The $100 million man is one of the highest paid quarterbacks in the league, and in all honesty, he hasn’t earned it.

Maybe the New York Giants should have seen it coming several years ago when Plaxico Burress brought a gun to a night club and shot himself in the thigh. Without Burress, the Giants’ passing game faltered, and the team was knocked out of the playoffs by the Philadelphia Eagles.

Burress was Manning’s safety blanket, and the offense had a tough time getting started when he wasn’t around. That is the problem with Manning—he is simply not good enough to make the Giants’ offense dominate opposing defenses.

When Manning has been good, it has been because he has been surrounded by tremendous weapons. This is especially evident now that wide receiver Steve Smith is no longer playing his home games in New York. Without him, the Giants’ signal caller looks like a high school quarterback on third downs.

This is Manning’s eighth season in the NFL, and it's safe to say his career has had some ups and downs. The Giants won the Super Bowl in 2007, but the team has missed the playoffs for the past two seasons.

Manning threw 25 interceptions last season and the turnover problem is obviously something he needs to address if he wants to be a starter in this league. Manning stated after the end of last season that he is not a 25-pick kind of guy, and that he would fix the problem.

However, it does not seem like he has fixed his problems quite yet. During the first two weeks of the season, Manning has thrown for 468 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Those are great numbers—if you’re a rookie quarterback.

Unfortunately for the Giants, the fact of the matter is that the rest of the league’s players were absolutely right. Manning does not belong on the list of the league’s top 100 players.

It might not happen this year because of all the injuries, but if the Giants don't make the playoffs this year, it will take an extremely good season next year in order to keep Tom Coughlin employed.

My best guess is that if Coughlin leaves, it will also be the end of the Manning era in New York. Eventually, that might turn out to be a clever decision. Eli Manning simply earns too much money to be playing like a rookie.

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