I have two true loves in the world of football: the New Orleans Saints and the Mannings. With Peyton Manning retiring after his Super Bowl 50 victory, I have the Saints and Eli Manning left.
I didn’t have much faith in the Saints heading into the season, and after a disappointing showing on Monday Night Football against the Minnesota Vikings, only a complete dismantling of the New England Patriots this Sunday would possibly get me excited about the rest of the season. As for Eli and the New York Giants, however, I had very high expectations.
I bought into the preseason hype. Some power rankings had the Giants at No. 2 behind only New England. They didn’t lose much talent over the offseason, and with Jason Pierre-Paul playing at a high level, Odell Beckham Jr. being Odell Beckham Jr., and the addition of Brandon Marshall, I had hopes for the team.
Then, Week One versus the Dallas Cowboys came, and my hope dissipated rapidly. Now I’m questioning their ability to put up a fight against the Detroit Lions.
Feeling the heat, Manning came out with a message similar to that of Aaron Rodgers from a few seasons back: R-E-L-A-X.
“First game,” said Manning. “Guys were playing fast, got some new guys out there, some new bodies, so we’ll bounce back. We’ll be fine. We just have to slow down, everybody take a breath and just run the plays the way we’ve been running them all spring and all summer.”
Clearly having OBJ miss Week One had a profound impact on the Giants offense and their ability to do…well, just about anything.
The problem is, these offensive struggles are nothing new for the Giants, who are going on seven games in a row scoring 20 or fewer points. To put that number in perspective, the next longest active streak is two games (with four teams tied). So the Giants offense is more than three times as bad as every other offense in the NFL right now. Remember, both the Cleveland Browns and New York Jets are both in the NFL.
“Yeah, offensive line, they’re going to do their jobs,” said Manning. “Everybody needs to step up their game a little bit. We don’t have to recreate anything. We just have to execute plays and play better football.”
If the Giants can’t turn things around, we may not see much more of Eli Manning in New York (unless, Heaven forbid, he is dragged to the Jets or Buffalo Bills). The Giants may have Manning on the trading block if a playoff run isn’t in their immediate future.