When a franchise goes through the rebuilding process, the first thing they are looking for is a franchise quarterback. A quarterback they believe has all the intangibles to help a team win.
Whether that is arm strength, understanding the offensive and defensive schemes, performing well under pressure, scanning the field for open receivers and leadership. You can say a few quarterbacks in the league have all those intangibles, players like Tom Brady, Drew Brees or Russell Wilson. They are all hands down future Hall of Fame quarterbacks, but someone like Eli Manning is not.
Everyone thinks Manning gets a free pass to the Hall of Fame because he has two Super Bowl rings and is also a four time Pro Bowler. I have to disagree with that. The New York Giants defense is the reason why Manning has two rings and started with their defensive line. The Giants defensive line was one of the best during the 2008 and 2012 season. They were unstoppable and hard for the offensive line to contain. Giants had defensive linemen like: Michael Strahan, Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora and Jason Pierre-Paul. The only reason the Giants won in 2008 was because of one play.
It is the most famous and probably best play in Super Bowl history. It was the fourth quarter, with a 1:15 seconds left, with New York having the ball on the 43 yard line. It was third down and five and they needed to get to the 48 yard line for a first down. When Manning said hike and the center snapped the ball, the Patriots defensive line came off the line so quick that they already had Manning by his shoulder pads. Somehow, Manning managed to escape, threw the ball down the middle field and a receiver by the name of David Tyree caught the ball with his helmet. I’ll admit, it was an unbelievable play, but that play signified the game and changed the momentum of the game. Then, in 2012, the Giants faced the Patriots again and won again, 21-17. Manning threw for 296 yards and had one touchdown.
Now you’re probably thinking after all that I said, how is Manning not a Hall of Famer? I personally believe that one of the key components to becoming a Hall of Famer is consistency. A player that is consistent at the quarterback position seperates good quarterbacks from great quarterbacks. Brady is a consistent player. His level of preparation every single week shows in each game he plays in. Brady has been to the Super Bowl four times in the last five years. I think that is amazing knowing how physical and dangerous the game is. Now, some players like Ben Roethlisberger or Brees are consistent players as well, but getting to the Super Bowl, let alone winning, is the ultimate goal. Since 2013, Manning has led the Giants to the playoffs only once and that was in 2016. Also, he has thrown more than 10 plus interceptions every season. People in the media started to question Manning’s performance on the field and wondered if he was still valuable to the Giants.
During the 2017 season, Manning was benched by head coach Ben McAdoo and started backup quarterback Geno Smith against the Raiders in week 13. The people of New York were furious and I don’t understand why. The team was 2-9 and clearly were not going to the playoffs. There were only four games left to play. I thought McAdoo made the right move by benching Manning. McAdoo was fired before the season was over and I think the organization did it because the fans wanted him out of New York. The next season, the team drafted a prominent running back, Shaquon Barkley, and they still didn’t make it to the playoffs. Giants traded Odell Beckham to the Browns and signed 30-year-old receiver Golden Tate.
Manning has not improved over the years and it is time for the Giants to look for a new quarterback. A young quarterback that they can build a team around. The Manning era needs to end if they want to become playoff contenders again. He is not the answer to their team, at least not anymore. I can’t even see Manning starting anywhere else, I think it’s time for him to play the backup role or retire. Even if the Giants want to keep Manning, they should still draft a quarterback in the first round. In this year’s 2019 NFL Draft, there are some potential quarterbacks in the draft, including players like Kyler Murray, Will Grier and Dwayne Haskin. Hopefully, the Giants will make the right move and go for a quarterback in the first round.