Fans tend to say irrational things after tough losses. It happens all over the place in every league.
It doesn’t matter if you’re an MVP or the last guy on the bench, if your team screwed up in a big game, things get said and fans want everyone from the star player, to the head coach and even the water boy given their pink slip and sent out of town.
After Sunday night’s NFC Wild Card loss by the New York Giants to the Green Bay Packers, it was on, as a lot of the fans fury was put onto Odell Beckham Jr., which was expected given his poor performance in the game and the boat trip he and several teammates took to Miami on their day off.
But the fury from the fans was also directed towards former Super Bowl MVP quarterback Eli Manning as well. Reading some of the comments on social media made a lot of people shake their head and say, “really?”
But remember, fans tend to say irrational things after a tough loss. And after Sunday’s game, it became an old section of “Poor Eli Manning” that Giants 101 used to run weekly on the weekly criticisms the fans used to unleash:
“Eli Manning needs to be run out of town, it’s time for a change.”
“With a different quarterback, we win this game. It’s his fault.”
“He’s so overrated. The Giants can win with anyone else.”
“He’s old. He’s done. Put in someone else.”
Again, a lot of comments said in the heat of the moment after a tough loss. And we get it, we all say things we don’t mean when we get angry and fired up, and when it comes to fans in New York, all bets are off on what gets said following a playoff loss.
But if you ask some of those fans 24 hours later if they feel the same way, you might still get a 50/50 response if they still feel that way about Manning. Why? Because here’s the reality: Eli Manning IS NOT THE PROBLEM with the Giants.
And Eli Manning DID NOT LOS THE GAME for the Giants.
Can’t put it in bigger and bolder writing for everyone to see, but it’s there in black and white.
Manning, who just turned 36 years old, is coming off a season where despite having a patch-work offensive line due to injuries, a running game that at times was abysmal, and no legitimate pass-catching tight end who should qualify as a starter, Manning still threw for 4,027 yards, completed 63 percent of his passes with 26 touchdowns and just 16 interceptions. Not quite his season from 2015 when he had 35 touchdowns and 4,400 yards, but his season was still a good one despite what he had to encounter.
And on top of that, he lead them to an 11-5 season and a playoff berth with the deficiencies on offense.
In Sunday’s loss to Green Bay, Manning went 23-for-44 with 299 yards and a touchdown and interception. He got sacked twice and lost a fumble that he shouldn’t have because the Giants players failed to keep playing until the whistle and should have recovered the ball.
In the first half, Manning was sharp, putting the ball where it needed to be. It wasn’t his fault that guys like Beckham and Sterling Shepard dropped several passes; two of which would have been touchdowns that could have given the Giants anywhere from a 10-0 lead to as much as a 14-0 lead; a score that could have dramatically altered the game. But nevertheless, drops happened and the Giants had to settle for field goals in the first half as opposed to touchdowns.
In the second half, Manning found Tavarres King on a 41-yard touchdown strike and pulled the game within one point in the third quarter to make it 14-13. But after that, the Giants offense stood no match for a red-hot Packers team and were obliterated 24-7 in the second half by Green Bay.
Again, not Manning’s fault. The veteran quarterback did everything possible to try and help the Giants win, but in this game, they were simply beaten by a team just a little better and a little more prepared for this game.
Going forward though, the Giants don’t need another quarterback to lead them. Manning is still very much capable of being the guy to lead them in 2017, and not another quarterback. Manning ha shown he can handle the pressures of New York and playing in the spotlight; two Super Bowl rings and five playoff appearances with eight postseason wins in his career have proven that notion.
So for the fans who want to run him out of town, stop. Just stop. Manning is still the guy for the Giants.
Will the Giants eventually need to find the next guy after Manning? Sure. But that time isn’t now. Manning is still proving that he’s capable of leading the Giants.