Wednesday, October 23, 2013
QB Watch: Giants' Eli Manning
By Dan Graziano
A weekly analysis of the New York Giants' quarterback play.
Rewind: Monday night's victory over the Vikings was the first game this season in which Eli Manning did not throw an interception. At least partially for that reason, it also was the first game this season in which the Giants outscored their opponents. He wasn't perfect, obviously. There were a couple of balls that could have been intercepted somewhat easily if the Vikings' defensive backs had better hands. But they weren't, and Manning needed a turnover-free game to feel good about himself again. He was 23-for-39 for a modest 200 yards and a touchdown pass to Rueben Randle. His completion percentage of 59.0 was his highest in any game since Week 1.
Fast-forward: Manning and the Giants play the Eagles in Philadelphia on Sunday, just three weeks after he threw three fourth-quarter interceptions in a span of nine throws and effectively handed the Eagles the Week 5 game at MetLife Stadium. Manning was 24-for-52 for 334 yards and two touchdowns in that game. It was his lowest completion-percentage game of the year.
A new feature? Manning found new running back Peyton Hillis five times for 45 yards Monday night. Hillis is known for his good hands, and even if Brandon Jacobs is back to get the bulk of the carries Sunday, Hillis as a checkdown option in the passing game could be a help going forward as Manning continues to try to limit turnovers.
Prediction: I think Manning finds some big yardage down the field against that Eagles' secondary, but he'll also face pressure again, and this time the opponent will be able to take advantage better if he misses throws. Manning goes over 300 yards but does not have a second straight interception-free game.