How Can Eli Manning Improve Next Season?

By Andrew Lecointe


Brad Penner — US Presswire

New York Giants’ QB Eli Manning definitely didn’t have the season he wanted to have and it resulted in the Giants missing the playoffs a year after winning the championship. Manning dropped back under the 60% completion percentage for the first time since the 2007 season, finishing at 59.9%.

Manning also threw the fewest touchdown passes he has thrown since the 2008 season, finishing with 26 touchdown passes. Most importantly, however, is the amount of yards Manning threw for. After throwing for over 4,000 yards in three consecutive seasons, Manning came 52 yards short of another 4,000 yard passing season.

So what does Manning have to do to get his numbers back to where they been for the past several years? Manning’s numbers against the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Dallas Cowboys in consecutive weeks during the middle of the season contributed a great deal to his down numbers this season.

Manning only completed just under 52% of his passes for only 192 yards and no touchdowns in the win against the Cowboys. The very next week was worse, when Manning only completed just under 42% of his passes for only 125 yards and no touchdowns as well. Those numbers seem to resemble those of Kansas City Chiefs’ QB Brady Quinn, not Manning.

Manning also had four games this season where he didn’t throw a touchdown pass. Manning had three such games last season, but he also had a lot of games where he threw multiple touchdown passes.

Inconsistencies have probably inflated Manning’s numbers as well. Manning threw five touchdown passes in the final game against the Philadelphia Eagles and four against the New Orleans Saints. Manning also threw for 510 yards against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, certainly helping him get close to 4,000 yards.

Manning can improve by getting a little bit more freedom in running the offense. Manning is clearly good at recognizing what opposing defenses are throwing at him and taking advantage. Offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride is holding him back and running the offense at a slower pace that is ineffective.

The Giants should be getting off more plays. If they can do that and Manning can be a little more free in the offense, Manning will get back on track.

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