Eli Manning wanted to be a better quarterback. He had something to prove to his fans, his teammates and to himself.
Most importantly, week after week in the 2011 season Eli Manning has gotten better and delivered. While I am fresh off a plane from Boston and Gillette Stadium I happy to say I am late posting my story due to excess celebrating amongst Patriots fans.
Sunday might have been No.10's finest games this year. Maybe not statistically, but overall he showed a maturity and a balance in his game that has never been seen.
He looked relaxed with ball in hands through out the game and slowly matched Tom Brady play for play. At times, he slid side to side moving the pocket when needed and stepped up when the pressure got too hot. Eli even ran for positive yardage when he clearly had no options down field and slid feet first.
Each situation maybe minor; however, the small things are exactly what have killed this quarterback in this past. But Sunday something was different and it was noticeable.
What was also noticeable was the absence of Hakeem Nicks. With out Nicks in the lineup, the offense seems to loose it's big play ability. Mario Manningham is good receiver and is the perfect compliment to Hakeem Nicks; however, when Manningham is in the lineup by himself he struggles to find separation.
Sunday Eli did a great job of using Ballard and Cruz to move the chains and a disgruntled Brandon Jacobs pounded away at the Patriots defense at 4 yards a carry.
It is very noticeable that when No. 27 picks his head up and see's the field he is a much improved running back gaining positive yards. He has a tendency of running too low and looking down at the ground, making it easy to bring him down.
"I know I'm not a 25 interception quarterback"...This is Eli Manning quote from last year. He is currently doing everything possible to turn things around. His play over the last two weeks has been outstanding and has inspired fans and team mates alike.
On Sunday he made some great passes; however, he made three or four fantastic throws where he laced the ball over the cornerback's head hitting the receiver in stride seconds before the safety could make a play. Brilliant!
Despite Aaron Ross doing everything in his power to loose this game, Eli Manning got in a groove with Victor Cruz and Ballard when needed.
Ballard has soft hands and he's tough as nails, but clearly a breath of fresh air. He was cut two times by the Giants in 2010, and now is making the most of his time in the Giants offense.
With tight ends that have 20 + receptions on the year, Ballard leads all ends with 17.2 yards per carry.
Eli Manning has arrived...
Better late than never...and he's making other players around him better. His play on the field is strong and players that might have suffered with a lapse in confidence like Victor Cruz are loving the resurance of one Eli Manning
With out his center, No. 1 receiver and starting running back I was impressed how Eli took control of the game and won it with his arm, his feet and his head.