Manning Takes Steps

Ending the season the way Eli Manning did, the script was all but wrote for the Giants demise in the wild card round. Heavy reliance on Tiki Barber is what the difference was in the Giants squeaking in the playoffs. The Panthers game plan was simple. Contain Tiki Barber and force Manning to beat them. After continuously trying to get Barber going in the first half, the plan shifted to Manning’s arm in the second half. Suddenly, a close game that was 10-0, and should have been 7-0, faded away quicker than Terrell Owens and Donovan McNabb’s relationship. Three horrible passes were gobbled by the Panthers, and that was it. Eli’s first playoff game was broken up like his batted down passes have been all season.

The ugly concluding chapter to Manning’s second season, shouldn’t be looked down upon. He improved tremendously from where he was last season, but it just goes to show the Ben Roethlisberger stories are improbable to happen. Youth equals trouble at any state in the playoffs.

As Manning headed to the locker room with his head sunk lower than his chest, we’re sure that he was burning with frustration. But ending his season this badly in the playoffs, will help him out more than losing by a field goal in the playoffs. Now he knows that he must work even harder on his skills. With his dad and Peyton around him for more intense off-season training, there will be even that extra fire burning inside of him. What’ll make it even stronger, is if he watches his brother run the table and win a Super Bowl ring.

Seeing success, especially from a sibling almost always creates jealously. That jealously doesn’t have to be an anger type of jealously, but on the level of idolizing your big brother or sister. With Eli Manning being six years younger than Peyton, he has seen the constant levels of where he needs to be. Achieving and following those footsteps has been almost on the same track record.

One thing Eli doesn’t want to do is suffer three postseason losses before he wins one. This Giants team isn’t far off from taking the reigns in the NFC, but what team isn’t? It’ll take extremely smart moves from the front office for them to become something other than another playoff team. Strong acquisitions need to be made for another wide receiver and key defensive areas.

Nothing hurts a young quarterbacks development more, than poor moves from the franchise. Being a New York team, the Giants will likely refrain from making dumb moves. This team will be built upon, and make strides by the year with Manning. If the Giants are knocked out in the divisional round next season, Manning has to look at it as another good year. Going from a bust rookie season to where he came this year, is an amazing accomplishment.


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