Justin Herbert Watch: Giants QB Target Has Worst Game In Arizona

Justin Herbert might be the future of the New York Giants, but the quarterback had his worst game of the year on Saturday when the Oregon Ducks faced the Arizona Wildcats. The game was the second straight loss for an Oregon team that has fallen out of contention for the PAC-12 after starting off in the mix, and there’s one question that NFL fans will want to ask after the result: how much of the blame here is on Herbert?

First and foremost, the blame will be on the Oregon defense. They allowed 44 points and even with a good game from the quarterback, getting a win under those circumstances is a tall task. On the other hand, it’s important to note that Oregon only scored 15, and that just doesn’t cut it. Especially for a team that prides itself in offense and has a potential number one overall NFL draft pick at quarterback.

Herbert threw 48 passes, which is the most he’s thrown this season and surpasses the 44 that he threw against Washington State. You may notice a trend here, of Oregon throwing the ball more and losing games. It might be a bit concerning to next level scouts, but the larger problem is a decline in completion percentage over the past games.

Against Stanford and California, Herbert completed 78% and 72% of his passes respectively, but this stayed at 56% for the next two games and then fell to an even 50% against Arizona. It’s also worth noting that Herbert threw his first interception since the Stanford game, when he rolled out of the pocket while standing at his own end zone and firing the ball deep down the field where it was intercepted when the pass was short of the receiver.

Overall, Herbert had 186 yards through the air, which is less than he’s had in any previous game this season. He did throw two touchdowns, to his credit, but that doesn’t change the fact that this is undoubtedly the worst game of the year for the quarterback that might just go number one overall during next year’s NFL Draft.

Herbert is almost certainly on the draft board of the New York Giants, but it might not be wise to just assume that they’ll draft him. After all, there’s still some games left to be played, and while every quarterback has bad games from time to time, there’s some worrying trends showing up for Herbert right now and the last games of the season could be make or break for him.

How The New York Giants Should Manage The Eli Manning Situation

With the New York Giants falling to a 1-7 record on a loss to the Washington Redskins by a score of 20-13, quarterback Eli Manning’s career might be in jeopardy.

Manning has struggled immensely in 2018, as his mental processing seems to be distant and his lack of mobility has affected the offense consistently. Despite the offensive line’s issues, the Giants’ quarterback is working himself into a hole that he simply cannot climb out of.

Here’s a play from the loss to Washington – Manning drops back into the pocket like any old day at the office, but his protection quickly collapses from the corners. With about two seconds to get rid of the ball, the pressure is just too strong, leaving Manning in a heap on the turf. His eyes drop as soon as he feels the pressure closing in, but there’s an observation to be made on his skill-set.

Look at the outside of the pocket. The edge rushers close in and Manning remains as still as a statue. Any semi-mobile quarterback would feel this pressure and quickly role out to escape and extend the play. The modern day NFL is built for the mobile quarterback. Some might ask, why? The simple answer is evolution. Quality offensive lines have become a luxury, something that’s only possible with superb drafting over five years.

Defensive lineman are plentiful, increasing the efficiency of the pass-rush for every team. This simple fact justifies the want and need of a passer than can utilize his legs to extend plays.

In the case of Eli, this characteristic doesn’t exist, and it’s hurting his team.

What should the Giants do moving forward with Eli Manning?

Before we detail the exit of Manning, we must take a look at his current contract. He has one year left on his deal, counting $23.2 million against the salary cap. If the Giants were to cut him, they would save $17 million. That money could be allocated toward finding a right tackle and safety, or any combination of starting quality players.

Currently, the Giants are heading into the BYE week, which will give head coach Pat Shurmur time to re-evaluate the team and build a plan for the remainder of the season. In regard to Manning, I would bench him in the most respectful way possible. In other words, pull the rookie experience card. Shurmur should claim that he wants to give the younger players a shot at playing time to prepare for the seasons ahead. But, he should allow Manning to finish his career as a Giants in week 17.

This plan is about as respectful as you can get with the two time Super Bowl winning quarterback. Anything less and we could see another Ben McAdoo scenario.