ESTIMATED READING TIME: 3 minutes.
Last nights New York Giants @ San Fransisco 49ers game gave Giants fans an emotional blast from the past as Eli Manning, the long time beloved New York quarterback, turned back the clocks and orchestrated a game winning drive late in the fourth quarter with the Giants behind on the scoreboard. Just to put it in perspective, this was his 36th time in his career having such a drive. Giants fans had become used to Eli being “clutch” and always coming through in these crunch time moments. It was a beautiful thing to see and proved one thing above all this season, if Big Blue was able to keep Eli Manning off the turf, he will compete and be a serviceable QB.
Granted, Manning’s numbers were less than spectacular, going 19-31 with 188 passing yards. Eli did show up when it counted throwing 3 touchdown passes, 2 of which landed in the hands of star wide receiver Odell Beckham jr. The other came on the final drive, a 3 yard pass to Sterling Shepard to complete the comeback. The drive started at the 25 yard line after San Fransisco kicked the field goal to take the lead 23-20 with 2:43 left on the clock, then kicked the ball off to the Giants. With so little time left and staring another loss in the face, Eli Manning took the game into his own hands and picked the 49er defense apart for 75 yards and the game winning touchdown, making the score 27-23.
Manning, Who was only sacked ONE TIME (32nd time this season, yikes.) last night proved one thing to his team last night and that was, if you can keep him upright he can still win football games. Eli, by no means is the downfield bomber he used to be. That showed on a 55 yard throw where he under threw Beckham in the 4th quarter, as well as a under thrown ball to standout RB Saquon Barkley on a wheel route during the game winning drive. This drive last night put cheer, even for a minute, back into Giants fans hearts. The nostalgic moment that came with this drive made many reminisce on the 2 game winning Super Bowl drives, both late in the game and both against the New England Patriots, resulting in 2 Super Bowl MVP trophy’s for the Giants QB. As well as the unforgettable playoff performances in both of those Super Bowl runs.
Do the Giants need a new quarterback? Of course they do Eli is 37 years old. Did Eli Manning prove to giants fans everywhere that he still has it and the whole time the issue has been with the offensive line? Of course he did. What Eli did for a struggling fan base last night was amazing. He made us happy with a warm feeling in our hearts getting to watch him do what he does best, show up and win in clutch time and when it counts. This begs the question, is Odell right? Will the giants run the table and sneak into the playoffs at 9-7 again? We know what took last time that happened. We can’t answer the question right now, but we do know the New York Football Giants will be fun to watch down the stretch.
(pictures in order via New York Post, cnbc, and the Washington Post.)