Yesterday here at Giants 101, we talked about how Eli Manning must rebound from his recent poor performances and get the offense back on track. As quarterback, he is the leader of the offense and the Giants will live and die by his arm. This past Sunday, Eli put up a quarterback rating of 41.1. That's just not good enough to win in the NFL. However, the general consensus is that Eli is too talented of a player to keep inhibiting the production of Big Blue's offensive machine. Today, head coach Tom Coughlin agreed with those sentiments.
Coughlin and Manning had a sit down conversation in which both player and coach agreed that Eli needs to raise his level of play. Coughlin stressed that it's imperative for Manning to get back to fundamentals and making the correct reads at the line of scrimmage.
"We talked. We've talked. Yesterday, we had a nice conversation," Coughlin said. "Most of the time it's about fundamentals and about us getting going, and what can I do to help. And little things that I could do to tweak in terms of practice that may help us. He's been very responsive with regard to that. We've been down this road before. He's going to get this thing right, get our offensive team going again and get us on track. I fully believe that and have great confidence in his ability to do that."
The Giants have no choice but to trust that Eli Manning will get his act together. It's not like the team has a backup plan in case their franchise player starts imploding over the course of a season. However, there is no tangible evidence that Eli is going to sustain this level of play. With 2011 as an exception, Eli has been wildly inconsistent in his play throughout his career. We've seen him lead two Super Bowl winning drives, as well as throw three interceptions in one half to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
There's no rhyme or reason for it, but Eli has his moments of brilliance that earns him comparisons to the league's elite quarterbacks, while he also has those occasional games in which he appears dumbfounded. However, when it counts most, Giants fans can usually rely on Eli to come through when his team needs him. This is what he's built his reputation on, and it will have to continue if the Giants want to repeat as Super Bowl champions this year. Coughlin thinks that in order to get back to an elite level, the Giants must correct some issues in practice.
"Let's get on the same page. Let's practice well," Coughlin said. "Let's do a great job in recognition in terms of our adjustments. Let's be decisive. Let's get the ball thrown on target to the receiver, according to what the coverage does us to do. It's just a rhythm. The one thing that nobody's really picked up, which is kind of interesting, is that you don't get any continuity offensively if you don't make any first downs. We haven't had any first downs in two weeks."
Eli Manning has been terrible as of late. The Giants offense has been stagnant and the defense has been the only thing keeping this team in games. For Big Blue to excel against some of the tougher competition remaining on the schedule, it's important that Eli gets his act together quickly. Eli has earned the benefit of the doubt from fans and the coaching staff, but the Giants needs him to correct his mistakes sooner rather than later.
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