New York Giants: 5 Reasons Eli Manning Is Ready to Be an Elite QB
Eli recently threw for four touchdowns against an allegedly stacked Philadelphia Eagles secondary with his second-best receiver, Mario Manningham, out of the game.
The Eagles were nine-point favorites heading into Sundays contest, but got handed a 29-16 beating.
Eli Manning will show the world that he's an elite quarterback this season and here are five reasons why.
Back-to-Back 4,000 Yard Seasons
Chris Trotman/Getty Images
In between the absurd mocking of Eli Manning for throwing 25 interceptions last season, people forget that Eli also has back-to-back 4,000 passing yard seasons.
While 25 interceptions is inexcusable, having two consecutive 4,000 yard seasons is nothing to be scoffed at.
Matt Ryan, who some people may like to dub better than Eli, has yet to have one in his short four-year NFL career.
Joe Flacco doesn't have one either. Nor does Michael Vick.
Ben Roethlisberger only has one 4,000 passing yard season during his eight year tenure in the league.
Great Running Game
Nick Laham/Getty Images
It's always easier to be a great quarterback when you have a solid running game in place.
Sadly for the Eli Manning, the New York Giants don't have a solid running game—they have a great running game.
Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw are literally the perfect compliments for one another.
Bradshaw is a 5'10", 214-pound scat-back, while Jacobs is a 6'4", 264-pound power-back.
Both players love pounding the rock, but both players love sharing the rock as well.
Jacobs has 29 carries, while Bradshaw has 43. Brandon even took less money so Ahmad could stay in NYC.
With the great connection these two guys have going on, it makes Eli's job a lot easier.
Wide Receivers Stepping Up
Chris Trotman/Getty Images
Hakeem Nicks and Mario Mannigham are obviously Eli Manning's two biggest targets.
We all know what they can do, going for a combined 139 receptions for 1,996 yards and 20 touchdowns last season.
New York Giants also have Victor Cruz at the WR position, who went absolutely nuts against the Philadelphia Eagles last Sunday.
Cruz caught three balls for a ridiculous 110 yards and two touchdowns.
One play was a 74-yard touchdown, in which Cruz bounced off safety Kurt Coleman and then burned cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha.
Cruz then gave the crowd a nice salsa celebration after he scored the touchdown.
If Victor Cruz can keep his play at a high level and with Brandon Stokley coming through in the slot in key possessions, the G-Men have a real shot of making the playoffs this year.
Peyton Manning Isn't Playing
Travis Lindquist/Getty Images
If there was any chance for Eli Manning to escape his big brother's shadow, this season is it.
Especially with young quarterbacks Cam Newton, Josh Freeman, Sam Bradford and Matt Ryan approaching, Eli could become a forgotten commodity if he doesn't step it up this season.
The one thing that Eli has that all these young rising quarterbacks mentioned above him don't is a Superbowl ring—namely a Superbowl MVP.
Eli has the hardware and he has the Manning name.
If he wants to prove his own worth as a Manning quarterback, now is as good a time as any.
The Pressure in NYC
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
While it's unlikely Eli Manning will lose his starting spot, it's very likely that Tom Coughlin could lose his head coaching job.
Two years removed from the playoffs is bad for the New York Giants. Three years removed from the playoffs gets you a one-way ticket out of town.
Eli knows he wouldn't likely lose his spot, but it's still a shot no player in the NFL would like to take.
The New York Jets have seen back-to-back AFC championship appearances, while Giants fans and players watch at home from their couches.
This is Eli and Coughlin's year to elevate both their games and reach the playoffs.
If they don't, we could be looking at an entirely new NYG team come next season.