Wednesday, October 16, 2013
QB Watch: Giants' Eli Manning
By Dan Graziano
A weekly analysis of the New York Giants' quarterback play.
Rewind: In his and his fans' worst nightmares, no one could have imagined Eli Manning would throw interceptions on each of the Giants' first two possessions Thursday night against the Bears in Chicago. But after throwing three in a span of nine fourth-quarter throws four days earlier in a loss to the Eagles, Manning did just that, and the second was returned for a touchdown that put the Giants in an early 7-0 hole. Manning settled down a fair bit after that, aided significantly by Brandon Jacobs, John Conner and the running game, and he finished with 239 yards and a touchdown on 14-of-26 passing. But his third interception of the game (and league-leading 15th of the season) came with the Giants driving for the go-ahead score in the fourth quarter, and sealed their sixth straight loss.
Fast-forward: Manning and the Giants face the Minnesota Vikings on "Monday Night Football" at MetLife Stadium. The Vikings are allowing 308 passing yards per game (only the Eagles and the Broncos allow more) and have just 10 sacks this season (only the Bears, Steelers and Giants have fewer). They have intercepted seven passes in five games, which isn't bad, but if there's a silver lining for Manning, it's that the Vikings haven't pressured quarterbacks consistently.
Chasing history: Manning's 15 interceptions through six games put him on pace for 40, which would challenge the league's single-season record of 42, set by George Blanda in 1962. The closest anyone's come to that figure in the last half-century is the 35 interceptions Vinny Testaverde threw for the 1988 Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Prediction: I'm not going to go so far as to predict a Giants win, because that just feels silly at this point. But I do think Manning will throw for 300 yards and two touchdowns and only one interception in this game.