New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning has had a brutally uncharacteristic last three games. Some NFL experts have speculated that the reason for his sub par play is that his arm is simply tired. Though Manning refuses to admit that is true, he did say that resting it during the bye week did it some good.
Manning had thrown only one touchdown in the last four games, and threw two interceptions in the fourth quarter in a loss to the Cincinnati Bengals before the bye week. Manning is hoping to break out of his slump this week against the Green Bay Packers. When asked if his slump is a result of arm fatigue, Manning insisted that is not the case.
"I didn't think there was anything to it," Manning said. "In practices, I thought I was throwing the ball well. I felt no fatigue. Obviously, sometimes during the course of the season you may not realize it, but today the arm felt good. I threw some deep ones and didn't have to struggle to get it out there. It was just coming out well."
Tom Coughlin agrees that Manning has looked strong in practice calling his throws "sharp." Manning's favorite target this season Victor Cruz is impressed with Manning's practice performance as well.
"He's good," Cruz said. "He looked sharp. We were out there completing the football. We were on the same page. Everybody was running good routes, lots of positive things. I'm excited to go out there on Sunday and put it on the field."
Eli took a complete break from football on his week off and spent most of his time in Mississippi with his family. His time away has helped him to rest his body and mind in hopes to help him focus on the rest of the season.
"Usually after the bye, you kind of have a little more pep in your step and the arm is a little bit more live," Manning said. "I feel the same. It's always good after 10 weeks to get a little break and refresh the mind and the body."
The Giants need all the rest they can get before they face a grueling remaining six games including the Packers, Redskins, Saints, Falcons, Ravens, and Eagles. The Giants must return to their Super Bowl Championship form in order to finish the season strong especially against the level of quality teams they will face.
"We're very close in a lot of things and our third down, our green zone, we're close to being very successful," Manning said. "And so it's just a matter of emphasizing just a little bit more on our technique being perfect with things and practice being as sharp as possible, and we should be able to get back to playing at a high level."
Manning will have a rested Hakeem Nicks which should help his performance. A week off should also benefit receiver Victor Cruz who hasn't quite been himself either, recently suffering from a case of the drops.
Currently the Giants are tops in the NFC East, but they have a history of collapsing in the second half of the season. Their playoff destiny is in their own hands and the team will look to put a stop to their second half struggles.
"We're excited about where we stand right now," Manning added, "excited about this final stretch of the season. It should be fun."
Also…Eli Manning, Football, Hakeem Nicks, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Victor Cruz