Eli & Manningham not on same page
December, 18, 2011
By Matt Ehalt | ESPNNewYork.com
When Eli Manning threw his third interception of the game in the fourth quarter Sunday, Manning, normally a very calm and relaxed player, threw his hands up in the air. He had just thrown a fade route that looked like it was intended more for Josh Wilson than it was for receiver Mario Manningham.
While Manning did not call out Manningham after the game for his route, the quarterback noted that Manningham did not run the route the way Manning expected.
"Had a fade route out there. They were doubling our tight end and Z so I was going to throw it to the back corner of the end zone," Manning said. "That's where we always try to hit those. I guess [Manningham] went inside at the last second so it made a little bit too easy of a play for the defensive back."
Essentially, Manning is saying that Manningham changed up his route on the play, choosing to step inside when Manning expected him to go to the back corner. By the time Manningham made his move, the ball was already floating toward the back corner and right toward Wilson, who made a nice interception to stall what had been a promising drive to that point. The Giants trailed 23-3 at the time but there was still 12:56 remaining in the game.
"There was a great opportunity," Manning said of that interception. "We were going to go down and score and get back into the game. We knew we needed three scores at that point -- three touchdowns at that point. We hit a big play, drove down there very quickly. Would have been nice to get a touchdown, put a little pressure on the Redskins knowing that we've been good enough with these two-minute drives. It was going to eat up more clock and make it tough on us to get enough chances to get back in the game."
This is not the first time that Manning and Manningham have appeared to be on different wavelengths during a game. On Sunday, it proved very costly.