for all the great games Eli has had I think he will be remembered as having a problem with consistency
Maybe one more deep playoff run left in the Eli era. The problem is that a lot of this team's core players are also veterans and it will take a few years just to adjust. Maybe we get lucky and pull that off next year but I feel the current situation with our cap will end up hindering our path back to the top.
As for Eli himself, I think he ends up finishing his career elsewhere ala Peyton and tries to take a solid team on a deep playoff run for 1-2 years before retiring. The Giants will get Eli's replacement the Packers way and he will sit on the bench for a few years before taking the reigns. This is all just a gut feeling and Eli's competitive spirit won't let him allow the Giants to tell him when he's over.
2014 Giants Mock (Assuming Nicks is let go)
1. Anthony Barr, 'Leo', Clemson
2. Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington
3. Carlos Hyde, RB, Ohio
3. Yawin Smallwood, LB, Connecticut
4. Hroniss Grasu, C, Oregon
5. Rashaad Reynolds, CB, Oregon State
6. JaWaun James, OT, Tennessee
You can't go through more than 2 progression with the time, Eli has had to throw. Eli has not forgotten how to play qb, his team around him has regressed, due to age and injury, I suspect, Nicks should have been put on the Ir, to allow the giants to get another receiver to help. Nicks has been only a shadow of himself. He appears to be injury prone, as is Bradshaw. If you want Nicks back at 100%, get another receiver, Mike Wallace, perhaps, and I promise Nick's game will improve. The Giants missed Manningham more than I suspected. Cruz drew double teams for the last half of the season, due to there not being another receiving threat, that opponents respected. Hixon is so inconsisent, as was the rest of the receiving corp. Double team Cruz, stop the run, and you have the Giants beat. Eli pointed out he had no chemistry with the receivers because he had a different bunch from practice, as compared to games. That will not work on timing routes and reads, the giants passing offense, so Eli has been up the proverbial creek. Gilbride will not utilize his rb in the passing game, only for blocking. Look at the other offenses around the league, the Saints live off throwing to their backs. Eli is perfectly suited for the west coast offense, thus his success, in the two minute offense. There are offensive changes that will help this team succeed, but a philosphical change, by the coaching staff, or Coghlan, that must take place, first. The Giants want to run the ball, as do all teams, but when you can't, aka, the New England Patriots, you have to adjust your offense to your strengths.
Defensively, the Giants appear old and slow, Slowest lb corp in the NFL. Defensive line that once, was a strength, is now average at best. There may injuries we don't know about. A very weak secondary, that relies on the pass rush to be successful, is inept. There is promising new blood in the db ranks, but they have had a problem seeing the field, for whatever reasons.
Folks, Eli has not forgotten how to play or what it takes to get to a championship. But he cannot do it alone.. The strength of this team is its qb, and kicking game. The offensive line has all but disappeared, thus the problems in running game and pass blocking. Defensive line can't get pressure or stop the run, so the back side of the defense is exposed. Ask any good fb coach or gm and they will tell you, you build a football team from the line of scrimmage out, but you must have an outstanding qb. The Giants have Eli now, they must begin to rebuild around him. It will take a couple of years but it can be done, before Eli leaves.
The front office has the ball now