Eli Manning: Communications Issues With Receivers Leading to Interceptions

By Andrew Lecointe
Robert Deutsch — USA Today Sports

New York Giants’ quarterback Eli Manning is on the mind of many football analysts for the wrong reasons. In the early stages of the season, Manning already has a league-high record of seven interceptions, contributing to seven of the team’s 10 turnovers through the first two games. Manning has had high interceptions totals in prior seasons. He has had two 20 interception seasons in his career, and it’s looking like this could be his third.

Why has Manning thrown so many interceptions so far? The only way to try to figure it out is by breaking down each interception. So we’ll start from the first one and go to the last one.

The first interception was his first pass of the season, which happened to be a screen pass. While Manning shouldn’t have thrown it to David Wilson, it was a better play by Demarcus Ware of the Dallas Cowboys in recognizing screen, finding Wilson and getting in the path of the pass.

The second interception came on a pass that sailed over the head of Jerrel Jernigan. This interception appeared to have a little communication breakdown, as Manning probably expected Jernigan to be a little deeper. It also appeared Manning was affected by the pass rush and let it go under pressure. This is the first of the communication-related interceptions, even though this one was minor compared to the others.

The third interception was costly, as Manning wasn’t on the same page as Da’Rel Scott on the screen pass. The ball deflected off of his hands and into the hands of Brandon Carr, which sealed the game for the Cowboys. Communication issues were written all over this interception, just like the next interception.

The first interception against the Denver Broncos came right before halftime with the Giants in position to possibly get points before the half. Manning threw it deep, expecting Hakeem Nicks to run toward the corner of the end zone. Instead, Nicks ran in, and it was a costly interception, as the Giants didn’t get any points out of it.

The second interception happened to be a lucky bounce, so there’s no need to dissect it. The third interception was Manning forcing the issue with the Giants getting behind big. Manning threw it into triple coverage on fourth down, so it was an all-or-nothing approach.

The final interception, with the game already out of reach, was a miscommunication again, this time between Manning and Rueben Randle. Randle broke his route off and ran a hitch, while Manning was expecting Randle to take his route deep into the end zone.

Overall, four of Manning’s seven interceptions came from communication issues. It is still Manning’s fault, as he should be on the same page with his receivers at all times. The Giants must get it fixed soon because the run game has been a disappearing act through the first two games. Manning will have to win games with his right arm.

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