Potential Manning Stopper

By Zack Cimini

The past month for Eli Manning and the Giants are going to be forgettable in a few years, but right now the burden is only weighing heavier and heavier on Tom Coughlin?s shoulders. All of the NFL media and Coughlin knew that he ended any thought of the Giants making the playoffs, when he made a permanent decision to give Manning the starts for experience. You can look at it in one of two ways. One the Giants would still be battling for a wild card right now, among a million other teams in the NFC. Lets say that they ended up with the wild card, which would have been the last spot. Then they would have went to Green Bay or maybe Minnesota and played a hard fought game, and maybe even have won. No matter what though there would be no possible way for the Giants to have beat the Eagles.

Scenario two is exactly what Coughlin is doing, which would benefit next season five times more. He knows that Manning is going to struggle, so he is giving him the experience now. Why wait for the start of next season, and have him go through an entire season of struggling? Kurt Warner is not the future of this team, and isn?t going to win this team a Super Bowl. He did a nice job early on in the year, but folded just as fast. Right now Manning is seeing everything at a rocket pace speed, and it?s causing incorrect reads and checkdowns. I guarantee before this season is over he puts up a solid performance that will give him a little motivation to build on in the off season.

Ben Roeslinberger is a great story, but it?s also a precedent that?s never been set by a rookie, and goes to show that he is on his way to an unbelievable career.

Who can forget Peyton Manning?s early days with the Colts? The same quarterback that is about to shatter Dan Marino?s records, started off his career on the wrong foot opposite Marino in 1998. It was a day in which Manning was picked off several times by Terrell Buckley and co, and it was the start of a 3-13 season. Two seasons later Manning was a composed energetic youthful quarterback, that?s team was upset by the Titans in the divisional round. Marino on the other hand, had just suffered his worst and final loss as a Dolphin to the Jaguars in a 62-7 loss in the wild card weekend. It just goes to show how the growth process in the NFL is as quick as a child growing to a teenager.

In today?s league there are two quarterbacks in particular that have jumped from shaky quarterbacks, to becoming solidified future veterans. All of the sudden for Kyle Boller and Carson Palmer the light has clicked on. For Palmer he has actually shown great signs before, but over the last month has put a definite stamp on being a top ten quarterback in the league. Boller on the other hand had people doubting if he was ever going to live up to starting quarterback expectations. It was always Jamal Lewis running the football, and the Ravens defense that would lead to the success of the Ravens.

Now with Boller?s improvement, it could be a very scary matchup for a team like the Colts if they were to face each other in the playoffs. Baltimore has a great ball control style, and will grind it out. The Texans proved today that the Colts and Manning can be stopped if they?re off the field. The key words are off the field. Boller understands his strengths and limitations and will be able to stick to that type of game plan. He also has two great weapons that?ve returned to full strength in Jamal Lewis and Todd Heap.

Before any hype can go into the Ravens they?ll need to prove they?re a playoff team and earn a wild card spot. In the next two weeks they?ll take on the Colts and Steelers, and then finish up the season against Miami. Some would say that?s not the schedule you?d want to have when you?re trying to get a playoff spot. The fact of the matter is that it?ll only help Baltimore and Kyle Boller. They?ll get an early indication and be in a preliminary environment, because both their games against the Colts and Steelers are on the road. If they can win two of their final three games, they?ll go in as one of the strongest teams in the AFC, and have that vibe that true contenders have in January.


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