Giants QB Eli Manning failed to lead the struggling offense in the team's 24-10 loss to the Lions Monday night.
It was a night to reflect on one of Manning's greatest perfomances as the Giants honored the 10-year anniversary of Super Bowl XLII. But Manning couldn't channel the past as the offense continued to be lackluster.
The Giants did score their first touchdown of the season when Manning capped off a perfect 6-for-6 drive with a ball thrown to rookie TE Evan Engram for his first career score. But that would be the only time the Giants found the end zone, and that is one of many problems Manning has with his offense.
"We've got to score more," Manning said after the game. "Not going in the right direction enough, going backwards, not converting on third downs enough. Got down there close on the one-yard line and then get a penalty and get a delay of game at the end. So, just not executing enough on third downs in the green zone, some critical moments."
The play Manning is recalling was a crucial fourth-and-goal from the two-yard line where an eventual delay-of-game penalty sent the field goal unit out to put three points instead of a potential seven on the board. Head coach Ben McAdoo called it "sloppy quarterback play," and Manning took the blame.
"Anytime there's fourth down right there, you know the've got to make a decision on what's going on," Manning said. "But we had plenty of time. I saw the clock, knew we were rushing. I've got to take a timeout there or get the ball snapped and let's go."
Manning had more blunders throughout the game, including his lone interception which came right after DE Jason Pierre-Paul made a strip-sack on Lions QB Matthew Stafford.
The 36-year-old has not begun the season on the right foot, and he knows he needs to improve his game if the Giants want to still be considered a contender.
"Well, I can player better," Manning said. "So, I've got to find ways to play better and get some completions, convert on third down. That's a quarterback's job. He's got to find ways to move the offense and move the ball and score touchdowns. So, we're not doing that enough."
"I feel I can play at a high level, I feel I can make all the throws and plat at a high level and lead this team."
Manning finished 22-for-32 for 239 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
Scott Thompson, SNY.tv | Twitter |
I never thought it would come to this, but I am really questioning if Eli can play at the high level he says he can. After a mediocre season opener, the stage was set at home with his best receiver on the field to do some damage.
But Manning and the rest of the offense heard boos throughout the night. It wasn't all Eli's fault, with the offensive line being a sieve yet again, and receivers failing to catch crucial passes. But when Manning had a pocket or something to work with, he again couldn't get the job done.
Take the interception for instance. The pocket was collapsing a little bit, but Evan Engram ran a beautiful crossing route, and it should've been a first down. Instead, Manning had his tap shoes on again, danced around, and threw off his back foot, which led to a pass behind Engram. The defense forced a turnover at a crucial point in the game when the Giants could have taken the lead for the first time this season. Those plays can't happen.
And would it kill Eli to be somewhat mobile? I'm not talking Russell Wilson or even what Matt Stafford showed last night. But to just stand in the pocket and not even attempt to scramble when there was clear space to do so is unacceptable.
Oh, and Ziggy Ansah, you can thank Manning for the sack you got when he slid to the ground when you brushed his ankle. I have no words for that one.
This performance told me that Manning can't be let off the hook for his poor play anymore. Yes, the line is horrendous and receivers aren't helping matters with dropped balls. But bad decision-making, poor passes, and a lack of mobility can no longer go unnoticed.