If I were to sit here and tell you that it has been a rollercoaster season for the New York Giants, not only would I be using one of the lamest cliches, but I would be dead-on accurate.
The first two quarters were a nice but steady improvement, nothing too scary but still enough to believe the Giants were on the rise. Then the next three quarters over a span of two games were a free-falling drop to mediocrity.
The only reason the Giants scored a touchdown in that stretch of three quarters was the result of a bobbled punt inside Rams' territory.
After that, it's been about as good as we could have imagined.
The Giants took a 21-6 lead in the second quarter against the Rams. Eli Manning was a machine in the second half, finishing 16-of-18, and the Giants won 28-16.
It all culminated with the Giants' complete destruction of the self-made Dream Team in Philadelphia (well, according to Vince Young), beating them 29-16.
I need to go off on a tangent here. I don't understand how the Giants were written off by everyone and are the butt of jokes all week due to the faking-injuries debacle. When the Giants pulled off a miracle upset, the media coverage is still all about the Eagles.
When I watched the game highlights, ESPN showed all the hits on Michael Vick, his whining about those hits, and then after several minutes talking about the Eagles and Vick, they finally showed a short clip of highlights from the game.
It still feels as if no one has given credit to the Giants for the win four days later. All anyone is talking about is poor Vick and how he deserves to get more calls.
I got news for you, the Eagles have had flags for roughing the passer more times than anyone in the NFC East since last year, and only six teams have had more.
The best part? None of the six have elite quarterbacks.
Shut up Vick, stop whining and realize that guys get hit in the pocket.
Enough of that, back to the better team.
Manning and his offense have been the heroes in victory, and the goats in defeat. One minute he's on the verge of being run out of town, the next he's throwing four touchdowns against the best trio of corners in the NFL.
It's tough to be a Manning supporter because at any minute he can make you look like an idiot or a genius. However, I still am proud to call myself one of those supporters.
So with that, how hot is Manning's seat? Would the Giants ever consider moving on in the near future? Eli is 31 years old and has plenty of good years left in him, so in order to accurately answer this question, you have to examine his numbers.
He's not retiring any time soon.
Let's look at the body of work:
- 58.1% completion rate, 23,391 yards, 162 TDS, 115 INTs, 80.8 QB Rating
- 4-3 playoff record, Super Bowl XLII MVP, one-time Pro Bowl selection
If you look a those numbers, it doesn't jump off the page. However, let's look at the numbers since his 2007 playoff run, when many agree he turned the corner and really started playing like a top QB in the NFL.
- Regular Season: 51 games, 62% completion rate, 12,006 yards, 85 TDs, 51 INTs, 89.1 QB Rating, 32-19 record
- Playoffs: Five games, 60% completions, 1,023 yards, 6 TDs, 3 INTs, 85.5 QB Rating, 4-1 record
We have Eli Manning.
We have the guy who hasn't missed a start in his NFL career and played through multiple injuries, including plantar facsciitis and a separated shoulder.
We have the guy who has led multiple come-from-behind wins and has one of the best quarterback ratings in the final two minutes of a half and in the fourth quarter.
We have the guy who, despite his bad games, puts the Giants in position to win more often than not.
We have the guy who has been able to withstand constant pressure to perform at a high level in New York, arguably the toughest media market in the league.
We have the guy who brought home a Super Bowl and an MVP trophy.
As much as the haters are going to hate and the doubters are going to doubt, the Giants are 2-1, coming off an incredible upset victory over the Eagles and the quarterback is playing lights out right now.
Eli Manning's seat is a glacier in Antarctica.