Excerpt: "There were plenty of things that went wrong in the New York Giants’ title defense in 2012.
This week we are taking a look at five issues that kept the Giants from making it back to the playoffs one season after winning it all.
We’ve already looked at the pass rush, Corey Webster’s struggles, missing intangibles andHakeem Nicks’ injuries. Today, we explore Eli Manning’s up and down season.
The numbers: Manning completed 59.9 percent of his passes for 3,948 yards, 26 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. Manning had a streak of three consecutive seasons with at least 4,000 yards, 27 touchdowns and 61 percent completion rate snapped in 2012.
The reasons: Manning set career-highs with 510 passing yards against Tampa Bay in Week 2 comeback win and five touchdowns against Philadelphia in the season finale. He also beat the Redskins in their first meeting with a 77-yard bomb to Victor Cruz for the win.
The Giants offense put up 429 points, the second-highest in franchise history, and scored 47 touchdowns for the second straight season. But the offense disappeared for stretches and the Giants often had to settle for too many field goals -- they kicked 33 field goals, 14 more than they did in 2011.
After having the best season of his career in 2011 with 4,933 yards and 29 touchdowns, Manning had 10 games in 2012 in which he threw for one touchdown or none at all.
The franchise quarterback passed for 300 yards or more in a game only three times and none after Week 7, which is very surprising. And Manning had a rare three-game stretch from Weeks 8-10 in which he failed to throw for a touchdown at all.
There were grumblings of a tired arm after seeing Manning go through the worst three-game stretch of his career since his rookie season. And when the Giants absolutely needed Manning at his best with a playoff spot on the line, Manning threw for a total of 311 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions in losses at Atlanta and Baltimore." Read more...