The 2013 NFL season might as well be taped off as a crime scene for New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning. It was the site of an avalanche of interceptions, while touchdown passes seemed to occur about as often as a Halley’s comet.
The statistics are so staggering that they have become hard to look. Giants fans, you’ve been warned.
Manning finished the 2013 season with a QBR of 36.5, which is the worst of his career (QBR was not calculated during Manning’s first two seasons in the NFL). He also had a passer rating of 69.4, the worst since the 55.4 rating he posted in the nine games he played as a rookie back in 2004.
Turnovers have always been Manning’s Achilles heel but this season marks a new low for the ten-year veteran. Manning threw a career-high 27 interceptions this year. That number was accompanied by just 18 touchdowns, which is the first time Manning has thrown more picks than touchdowns in a full regular season. The 18 touchdowns are also the least Manning has thrown for in a full season. Lastly, Manning’s completion percentage dipped to 57.5 percent, his lowest since 2007.
In Manning’s defense, the rest of the Giants’ offense needs to be dished out some serious blame.
The offensive line was so bad that it forced offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride to abandon deep passes. Manning consistently had no time in the pocket to go through different progressions and ended up spending half of the season on his back.
The wide receiving corps also provided little relief. Victor Cruz was Manning’s only reliable target game in and game out. Hakeem Nicks looked like he was scared of getting hurt and couldn’t find the end zone with a GPS navigation system. Meanwhile Rueben Randle was a two-face. Randle had games where he looked to be a budding star and other times was nowhere to be found.
Although Manning is not the only one at fault here, it’s still amazing that this conversation swirls around the performance of a two-time Super Bowl MVP. Manning’s job is not in jeopardy with the Giants. However, the conversation has started where people seem to be asking: are Manning’s best days behind him?