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.
Zero protection + zero escapability = zero offense
— Kevin Boilard (@KevinBoilard) October 28, 2018
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.