There’s a certain reality to the justification of Eli Manning remaining the starter for the New York Giants in 2019. After suffering through years of a sub-par offensive line, Manning is finally equipped with the talent needed to succeed, especially when it comes to his protection.
General manager Dave Gettleman has prioritized the rebuild of the offensive line, casting Ereck Flowers to a faraway land to torment a rival – the Washington Redskins. Bobby Hart has scammed his way into a starting position with the Cincinnati Bengals, go figure. The Giants have brought in Nate Solder, Kevin Zeitler, Will Hernandez, and now Mike Remmers to solidify a unit that hasn’t been adequate in years.
There’s a simple fact in regards to Manning, though, his efficiency drops considerably when pass-rushers are able to infiltrate the pocket quickly. The two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback is strictly a pocket passer, with little mobility to compensate for a lack of time.
The added support in the trenches will allow him to move through his progression quicker and find himself in a better position to succeed. His performance is the determining factor on whether rookie passer Daniel Jones will take over next season and send Manning on his way towards retirement.
Luckily, Manning has been blessed by the graces of Saquon Barkley. The talented running back masked Eli’s deficiencies last season, taking four receptions for scores and averaging nearly eight yards-per-catch.
Would the New York Giants really exercise the Green Bay model?
My question is – would the Giants be willing to sit Jones for two consecutive seasons in favor of Manning at the helm? I don’t believe they will, as Jones, being the 6th overall pick, will likely be ready to take over after the impending season. He will have an offense stocked with talent and a defense built on youth.
One of the things I have enjoyed about this offseason is that Gettleman has taken a youth agenda and applied it towards the rebuild of the team, utilizing draft capital primarily. This will provide Jones with a fresh team to work around. Building chemistry is much easier when you have young, hungry players just entering the league. I expect the Giants to look for players that fit their positive atmospheric renovation.
The bottom line, Manning will have his final shot at redemption this year, as the offensive line excuse will be cut at the neck. If he cannot function at a high level with ample time in the pocket and with ample weaponry at his disposal, there’s no question it will be his final season with Big Blue.