The negative attributes that New York Giants’ Eli Manning possesses incrementally grows every time his birthday on January 3rd rolls around. The quarterback is currently 37 years-old, but despite the stellar state of his body, playing football eventually takes its toll.
Manning was gifted at least one more season as the Giants’ starting quarterback by general manager Dave Gettleman, whoÂ has begun to build a team around the veteran signal caller. While it may be too late to formulate the success of the team around an aging quarterback, the hopes are that Davis Webb can transition into the franchise QB role smoothly once Manning either retires or move on.
Manning’s strengths must be on full display for the Giants this season:
Adding running back Saquon Barkley provides Manning with something he’s never had before – a truly gifted side-kick that can do it all. The tools are there for Eli and it’s up to him to extract the value from each one. But, what factor must Manning truly grasp and utilize to his advantage? Evidently, it’s his biggest strength.
When you look at Manning, you see a player that cant’ run, can’t hide, and occasionally sends a ball sailing into the opposing defenses waiting hands. While his weaknesses are mainly physical, his dominant strength is his mental prowess. He’s one of the best signal callers on the line of scrimmage and is trained in reading coverage’s before the ball even touches his hands.
For example, in 2016, when Odell Beckham Jr. ran a 71 yard touchdown to the house to seal the game and tack a win onto their playoff bound season. That throw and catch was all because of Manning, who recognized the coverage and audibled to that play specifically.
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Linebacker Jonathan Casillas yelled from the sidelines to give it to No. 13, who had that look in his eyes like he was about to make a game-saving play.
Manning proceeded to break down their coverage scheme, noticing Beckham would be in man coverage, changed the play to target him and that’s all she wrote. The point here is that Manning must use his age to his advantage, he’s more knowledgeable and wise than most quarterbacks in the league, and that must be a strength this season for him to succeed. With Barkley headlining the backfield, Manning must be sharp to recognize opportunities to dish the ball to Barkley when covered by a linebacker.
If the Giants’ QB can maintain his mental stature, we should see a much improved offense in the months ahead.