Offensive Changeover Through the Years
I was on another forum that was general NFL discussion, and the topic of Eli Manning and whether or not he was HOF worthy at this point. I know there's a lot of talk on that, and I'm not going to defend or disagree with that one point. But one poster dismissed Eli as being a product of successful weapons and a "monster" defense.
It got me thinking about just what Eli has had to in the weapons department. I posted the following:
The topic of this thread is silly even among silly off-season talk because Eli is NOT retiring tomorrow, so the point is moot. But let's address the above in part.
First the notion of Eli benefits from "plenty of weapons."
Since 2007, Eli's primary receiver has changed every year with different leaders in receptions and yards. He's had to deal with so much turnover in that department, it's ridiculous. In 2007, he had Burress. In 2008 (The Giants most dominant regular season of recent memory), his primary receiver? One Dominik Hixon. I challenge any non-Giant fan to be able to pick him out of a line up. In 2009, he was converting 3rd downs with team leader in yards/receptions Steve Smith, now of the Rams after the Eagles shooed him away. He followed that up with Hakeem Nicks in 2010. And in 2011, he helped UDFA receiver salsa his way into the Giants record books.
He's also gone from Shockey to Boss to Beckum to Ballard to now Pascoe at the TE position. All of which, outside Shockey, was either an UDFA or a late round pick.
Through all this changeover, Eli's yards and completion percentage have improved each of those years and had an offense that ranked in the top ten each one of those years. The only constant? Eli. Never missing a start. Never making a complaint. Expected to go out there each season when people expect him to falter after losing receivers and make household names out of new ones.
Additionally, of all those years, the only time the Giants had a defense ranked in the top HALF of the league was 2008. So yeah, not exactly Baltimore and Pittsburgh.
Man, I'd love to see Eli to actually have a few years with his number 1 receiver and develop real chemistry. I mean, even Nicks has only been here 3 yrs.
Not to mention he's done it all with a steadily declining O-line... Brady and Rodgers practically live in the Fortress of Solitude with those O-lines, and as such can make throws at their leisure, which is a large part of their flashiness and success. If you can bury Brady in the turf 5 times, you can bury his flashy passing attack. SB XLII proved that. Same with Rodgers: when a defense starts really breathing down his neck, he starts throwing balls into the dirt, or overthrowing (the latter was the real reason why the packers receivers couldn't seem to hold onto the ball). By busting through the foundation of the O-line, the entire offense crumbles. The fact that Matt Flynn was able to put up huge numbers in the same spot as Rodgers tells me that he is more a product of the system than an actual "great" QB (though he is still quite good and potential HoF material himself if he continues the way he has).
Not so with Eli... he got sacked 6 times in SF and pressured on damn near every play by that tremendous defense. You know what happens to your average QB when his running game gets absolutely stuffed and he gets sacked 6 times? Sanchez on Christmas is your answer. But Eli is not your average QB; he has the absolute grit to keep ticking in the worst possible conditions. That is what defines true greatness in a QB in my books. Haters say "he's carried by his defense"... yeah, the one that gave up 400 points last season? Don't get me wrong, I love our defense (the line especially), but the secondary was definitely a project after the 9000 DB injuries we had in 2011. If the injury bug didn't bite us in 2011, we would have been a fully dominant team. That New Orleans game would have gone the other way if Eli had any help from our defense at all...
Very nice summation... and Toadofsteel makes the significant addition about his O line.
This offense is the Giant's best since the '86 to '90 period. The key then was a fabulous O line that opened holes for our RBs the size of a Hummer.
Our O line has been declining since '08, and is as bad as any O line I can remember for 35-40 years.
Yet, Eli keeps us relevant game after game. We were dead last in rushing last year, but won the SB. That's truly incredible. I believe it's because of Eli keeping us in every game... Refusing to die in the 4th Qtr. Getting up after every brutal hit.
He has 4-5 more good years ahead of him. Even if we don't win another SB, if they are solid years, he will deserve to be in.
Eli had Plax for a majority of the 2008 season. Then Hixon came in and *fart sound*
yeah but even when plex was healthy, he wasnt really producing. hixon led the team in yards IIRC and plex got "injured" week 12 IIRC...
anyways, great posts 1-3. agree with every word
The thing is everybody had somebody else. Montana had Rice, Taylor, etc. Steve Young had about the same cast of characters. Aikman had Irvin, Smith, Novacek and Harper and so on and so forth. In football everybody needs somebody so the notion of weapons is yes..he has them but he also makes them better. Would any of these players be successful anywhere else? Boss sure proved that he couldn't succeed away from Eli.The Cowboys didn't win anything in the modern aera until Aikman got there. Heck look at the Broncos with Elway. Awesome quarterback in his own right but he could never get a ring until they got the one weapon/piece in Davis.
Eli is a good quarterback and I don't buy into the "if he plays a bit longer" HOF thing that has been beaten to death. Personally I think he already is, but if others want him to play longer to earn the right then that is alright too. My question is what exactly does he have to do? Brett Favre was very inconsistent but most likely he will make it first ballot...
Last edited by Rat_bastich; 08-06-2012 at 01:11 AM.