Despite his success, negativity and doubt have followed Peyton’s younger brother since the moment he was traded from the San Diego Chargers to the New York Giants on draft day of 2004. Regardless of what he does or how well he performs – even in a league that lives and dies by the motto, “What have you done for me lately?” – he is questioned and criticized.
In Sunday's 42-7 destruction of the Philadelphia Eagles, Manning connected on 13 of his 21 attempts (61.9%) for 208 yards and a career best five touchdowns. It was also the first time a Giants quarterback had thrown for five or more touchdowns in a single game since Phil Simms did it in 1980.
Alas, the Giants (9-7) were eliminated from the playoffs, so the victory was bittersweet at best. And it didn't take long for critics to come crawling out of the woodwork to place blame on ole' Easy-E. In fact, one journalist, as you'll soon see, proclaimed that Manning was the biggest reason for the Giants' letdown.
There's no doubt that Manning should shoulder some of the blame, but there is plenty to go around. Unfortunately, when you're the face of the franchise, you take most of the punishment. Such is life in the NFL, and such is life in our favorite weekly segment: Poor Eli Manning.
Ian O'Connor, ESPN
"Blame Eli, above all, for [the] 2012 failure."
Josh Alper, NBC Connecticut
"Eli Manning's downturn in play from midseason on is something that should be a great concern for the Giants."
Matthew Shovlin, FanIQ
"Eli played absolutely terrible football in the middle of the season."
SB Nation Philly (satire site, legit Philly thinking)
"Despite the blowout, the Giants still didn't make the playoffs, which is just more proof that Eli Manning is a loser and always will be."
Michael Vito, Giants 101 Facebook
"#1 to blame is #10"
Andrew Augustus, Twitter
"Ever since last year I was bashed for not considering Eli Manning elite. This season was proof why still isn't elite."
"I feel like the movie Dumb and Dumber is based on a Michael Phelps and Eli Manning trip to the zoo."
Riaz Dhanani, Twitter
" Eli Manning and the Giants have now missed the playoffs 3/4 years. Hall of Famer in his Prime? Please #overrated"
Also…Eli Manning, Football, New York, New York Giants, NFL