By Sal Marinello
Sports are really something, don’t you think? About a month ago the Jets were garbage, Sucking for Sam and heading for an ‘oh-fer’ while the New York Football Giants (NYFG) were the darlings of the tri-state sport scene and picked by many to be a Super Bowl contender. Now as we sit here in NFL Week 6 the Jets are tied for first place in the AFC East and have the same record as the New England Patriots, Sam now Sucks, and the NYFG are imploding.
Let’s not focus on the Gmen’s spectacular collapse for the moment. And let’s ignore the obvious failings of so many Football Pundiots (figure that one out) who saw fit to ignore that the Giants have a turnstyle at left tackle and castoffs at other spots on the offensive line.
Rather, let’s consider that we are likely watching the end of the Eli Era, which is a much bigger issue.
You can apply any of the age related cliches that you choose, but it’s hard to watch what’s going on with Big Blue and not consider that Eli may be done. There were signs last year that Eli was slipping, but a crappy run game and offensive line took the brunt of the criticism for the vast majority of the Giants’ offensive woes. The O-Line doesn’t appear to be any better this year, and Eli appears to be worse.
Never the most athletic guy to take snaps, Eli, at close to 37 years old, is showing to possess the agility of a 3-Toed Sloth. For all of you who want to point to his rushing touchdown a few weeks ago, remember that Joe Namath ran one in against the Giants to win a regular season game in 1974, when he was playing with no knees.
Having a substandard offensive line has done little to hide Eli’s age-related decline and Ben McAdoo’s offensive system seems to be perfect if you want to highlight all of Eli’s shortcomings. And when you add all of this up, the sum isn’t good. Putting an aging, relatively unathletic quarterback, with no running game and a bad offensive line, in a system designed for a mobile quarterback sounds like the Elevator Pitch for a football-themed horror movie. Add a head coach who seems as ill suited for the job as any head coach ever and you have a shitshow, like Yakov Smirnoff opening for the Spin Doctors at the Iowa State Fair.
Ladies and gentlemen, your 2017 New York Giants!
With the 0-5 record, the Odell Beckham, Jr side show/freak show, the Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie suspension, and McAdoo’s general ineptness serving to dominate the news cycle, there hasn’t been much discussion dealing with Eli’s rapid decline and possible demise. With this season as a washout, if the powers-that-be decide that a front office/head coach shake up is in order, Eli’s position becomes that much more tenuous.
Where does a really-on-the-downside, soon-to-be 38 year old Eli Manning fit in on a rebuilding team? Would a new head coach and general manager want to take the Giants’ jobs with Eli as the QB? What kind of future would this team have? The ultimate irony will be if, after all of the talk about the Jets tanking to improve their draft position so they can select a top quarterback prospect, the Giants wind up being the ‘New York’ team that winds up in the market for a QB in the 2018 draft.
If this season continues in the current direction and Eli’s performance continues to be less-than Eli-like, we really could be seeing the last of Eli Manning in 2017.