Wednesday, October 30, 2013
QB Watch: Giants' Eli Manning
By Dan Graziano
A weekly examination of the New York Giants' quarterback play:
Rewind: Eli Manning was 25-for-39 for 246 yards, no touchdown passes and no interceptions in Sunday's 15-7 victory over the Phialdelphia Eagles. It was the second game in a row in which he did not throw an interception, though the 15 he threw in the first six games of the season are still enough to lead the league through eight weeks. He appears to be playing like a quarterback who doesn't want to make a mistake.
Fast-forward: The Giants are off in Week 9, so Manning gets a break, along with the rest of the team. The Giants return to action Nov. 10 with a home game against the Oakland Raiders, who rank 16th in the league in passing yards allowed per game and have just five interceptions in their seven games so far.
Target watch: Once again, Manning's most-targeted receiver was Hakeem Nicks, who caught seven of the 12 passes Manning thrown his way. It's possible that Victor Cruz would have had more, since he had 10 as it was and had to miss part of the game due to a neck or shoulder injury. Manning threw five passes to running back Peyton Hillis, who caught three of them for 15 yards and looks to be a nice outlet option on checkdown plays for Manning as the protection in front of him continues to struggle.
Prediction: Manning is on pace to throw for 4,334 yards, which would be the second-highest single-season total of his career behind the 4,933 he put up in 2011. I say the Giants don't want him to threaten that mark and he ends up clearing 4,000 for the season but not 4,100. I also think his interception pace (30, which would also be a career high) drops off and he finishes with 23.