Is it possible for a QB entering his 13th season, with 2 Super Bowl rings to his resume to have a breakout year in his career? It can happen. For all the success that New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning has had over his career, the one accolade that has eluded him in the eyes of those outside of NY has been the title of elite. Manning has never missed a start in his career, been to 4 Pro Bowls but he has never had THAT season. You know the one, the 50 touchdowns, 5,000 yard explosion the great ones have in their back pocket, the MVP discussion season.
The one that should be coming in 2016.
Throughout his career his targets have been less than stellar, You have the “helmet catch” and the great “over the shoulder throw” but this season we should have plenty of nicknames for what’s in store for Manning, Odell Beckham, and Victor Cruz. Yes Cruz, he is healthy and for the first time in his career Manning has options, great options.
Cruz was Manning’s go to guy from 2011-13 but injuries put an end to that budding tandem. While Cruz was rehabbing, Manning reached an agreement with the newcomer Beckham that has earned Beckham praise as one of the bright stars of the league but yet those same people have somehow forgot Manning has plenty to do with Beckham’s success.
In his 4 seasons in the NFL, Cruz has 264 receptions for 3963 yards and 24 TDs with an yards per catch average of 14.7. Beckham, who has been in the league for 2 seasons has 187 receptions for 2755 yards, 25 TDs and a yards per catch average 14.7. Their time on the field together has been limited but with each player healthy heading into the 2016 season we may be in store for one of the best arial attacks the league has seen in a while.
What also works in the Giants favor is their schedule. Anytime you face the Philadelphia Eagles, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints in a single season you should expect inflated numbers for your skill players. Beckham and Cruz have shown what they can do individually while paired with Manning, now we get to see how great they can be as a unit.
Manning doesn’t need this season to happen to validate his place in Giants lore, he needs this to happen to show everyone that if given the talent, he could be up there with the Tom Brady’s, Peyton Manning’s, Philip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger’s. It’s no secret that during the last two seasons, both Beckham’s seasons, Manning has had his most TD passes for his career and least INTs and that’s with one threat, imagine the damage he will do with two.