Dave Gettleman: Eli Manning Still Quality NFL QB Despite 'False Narrative'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMarch 27, 2019

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 30:  (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT)   Demarcus Lawrence #90 of the Dallas Cowboys in action against Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants on December 30, 2018 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Cowboys defeated the Giants 36-35.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman is putting all his support behind Eli Manning

"I really believe there has been a false narrative out there that Eli is finished, he's done," he said on NFL Network's Good Morning Football on Wednesday (h/t Ralph Vacchiano of SNY). "He had a heck of a year. ... Eli is still a quality NFL quarterback. It wears me out, it really does."

The numbers suggest a different story, however.

Manning, 38, has led the Giants to a an 8-23 record in games he's started over the past two seasons. He threw for 4,229 yards, 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions last season, completing 66 percent of his passes, though his QBR of 51.6 was 25th in the NFL.

And Manning often orchestrated little more than a dink-and-dunk offense, posting 11.3 yards per completion, 17th among quarterbacks. His inability to consistently make plays down the field earned the ire of his former star receiver, Odell Beckham Jr. 

"Can he still throw it? Yeah, but it's been pretty safe and it's been, you know ... cool catching shallow [routes] and trying to take it to the house," Beckham said in October, per Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com. "But I'm, you know, I want to go over the top of somebody."

Even some opponents discussed Manning's reluctance to take downfield shots.

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"I feel like the guys up front put a scare in the quarterback, rushing him the way they rushed," Saints cornerback Ken Crawley said in October after New Orleans beat the Giants, 33-18, per Matt Lombardo of NJ.com. "I know there were some shots there downfield, but he didn't take them."

Add it all up, and Manning earned a lowly grade of 64.3 from Pro Football Focus, 31st amongst quarterbacks. Gettleman may not like the narrative surrounding Manning, but by all metrics, the veteran quarterback struggled in 2018.