As the G-Men have struggled to a 2-6 record this year, a lot has been made about both Eli Manning and Tom Coughlin, and whether they should remain with the New York Giants.
Both have been in this situation before, and twice they've answered with a championship season.
However, this season is a bit different for a variety of reasons. The biggest concerns have been age and lack of depth, particularly on the offensive and defensive lines. The secondary remains a liability, although they have played well in recent weeks. And Eli Manning simply has not found his rythem.
Some may argue that their two game winning streak is a sign that they have turned things around. I disagree. Beating a Vikings team who had just picked up the quarterback they were starting is nothing to indicate future success. Neither is beating a mediocre Eagles team, especially while failing to score a touchdown against a vulnerable Philidelphia secondary. Eli Manning did not throw a pick in either of those games, but he did not exactly light it up either.
On the year, Manning has completed just 55% of his passes, with 10 touchdowns, 3 fumbles, and an astounding 15 interceptions. He has below a 70 QB rating, which is not good at all. While his passing yardage is excellent, this can mainly be attributed to playing from behind in most of the games. He has led the Giants to just 17.6 points per game, 4th worst in the NFL.
However, Mannning can only take so much of the blame. He has skilled receivers to throw to, but the offensive line is giving him hardly any time, as he has been sacked 19 times on the year. The defense is also giving up a lot of points, which is forcing him to play from behind and practically abandon the running game.
With the Giants likely to draft in the top 10 (or even top 5), many wonder if it's time to move on from Manning, or at least draft his replacement and have Manning's seasons be numbered. While the upcoming draft class has a plethora of signal callers, there is no way I see them drafting one at all for a number of reasons.
First of all, Ryan Nassib was drafted last year. While he won't start for a while, he will likely be developed as Manning's successor, and will be called upon when Manning is retired, and not traded or released. Manning is a championship quarterback, a proven winner and clutch performer. There is no way the Giants will move on from him just because the team (not just him) has had a bad season. He is not going anywhere, plain and simple.
This actually puts the Giants in a good situation. Due to the fact that likely all of the teams drafting ahead of them will need a quarterback, than they have a chance to get what many say is the most talented player in the draft: Jadeveon Clowney. While I have my concerns about Clowney, there is no doubt he is immensly talented and could help the Giants tremendously. Remember, the main unit that fueled both of their championship runs was the defensive line. Starting with Clowney, the Giants could get a great oppurtunity to rebuild that front and turn it into the dominant unit it was a few years ago.
If the Giants do manage to nab Clowney on draft day, than the future will be looking bright. Eli can and will return to form next season, and with the snap of a finger and a rebuilt line, they could very well be on their way to playoff contention- just like old times.