There's been two sides to Eli Manning thus far for the New York Giants in the early parts of the 2013 season. The good side to Manning is the 812 yards and five touchdown passes he's thrown for against the Dallas Cowboys and Denver Broncos. The bad though, is the seven interceptions thrown in those game games and the 0-2 record he's gotten off to, which had some fans already getting bent out of shape.
The 32-year-old veteran knows that turning the ball over won't win games in the NFL, and on Monday, after he had to watch the game film of his four interceptions; three of which he was the culprit of. and acknowledged to Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN New York that he needs to get better and make smarter football decisions on the field.
“Turnovers are going to lose you football games,” Manning said. “And so we’ve got to eliminate the turnovers. Every interception has its own story, but I have to be smarter with the football and throw the ball more accurately and we’ve got to make some plays.”
While Manning knows he is currently second in the NFL in passing yards (one yard behind Aaron Rodgers), his completion percentage and quarterback rating hasn't been that great, which is again, due to the turnovers. What has also caused Manning to throw so much early on is the lack of the running game, which has practically been non-existent in those games; rushing for just 73 yards; an issue the Giants need to address when they take on the Carolina Panthers in Sunday's Week 3 battle.
While Manning knows all of the interceptions haven't entirely been his fault, he's not going to lay blame on anyone else and won't dwell on what has already happened and will look to bounce back, which starts with getting back on the practice field and then playing on Sunday against the Panthers.
“I don’t think I can just get worried about the number,” he said. “I’ve got to look at the plays and look at the decision-making on my part. …Hopefully we just don’t get in those games where you’re down 22 points in the fourth quarter. At that point, I like to tell myself, 'don’t throw interceptions, don’t force things when you don’t have to,' but I’m going to compete. If it’s fourth-and-10, I’m going to give a guy a shot to make a play and if it looks like it’s double coverage. …But I’m not going to lay down. So I think I’ve just got to look at each play and kind of see is it a bad throw? Is it a bad decision? Is it a misread? I’m not having many of those. Those aren’t the cases.”
If the Giants can get the running game going for the first time and maybe even break David Wilson out of his early troubles, it will allow Manning to properly utilize his deep weapons like Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks, Rueben Randle and Brandon Myers, and allow the Giants to not only put points up on the board, but potentially win their first game of the season.
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