As a team, the New York Giants have to recover from the nightmare that became the 2013 season. That includes two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning, who remains the face of New York’s franchise.
Manning had the worst season of his career last year. He finished with a career-low QBR of 36.5 and a passer rating of 69.4, the lowest since his rookie season. Manning also threw a career-high 27 interceptions to go along with only 18 touchdowns, his lowest total for a complete season.
Sure, there certainly were a lot of factors that contributed to Manning’s poor play that were beyond his control. New York’s offensive line made it nearly impossible for the Giants to develop any kind of offensive rhythm, barely allowing Manning time to breathe in the pocket.
Also, beyond Victor Cruz, New York’s wide receiving corps was basically a colossal disappointment. Hakeem Nicks was supposed to be prime for a major year after finally staying healthy, but instead he seemed to be simply going through the motions and trying to avoid further injury. Nicks went the entire season without catching a touchdown pass. The one-time lethal receiver looked like a shell of his former self.
Rueben Randle also failed to develop into the No.1-type of receiver the Giants thought he was going to be in 2013. At times, he showed flashes of his big-play ability but the necessary level of consistency was not quite there. Randle had just two games where he caught five or more passes.
Through free agency, the Giants have signed Geoff Schwartz and a few other offensive lineman to help revamp the unit. However, New York has done little to surround Manning with viable weapons. The Giants brought back Mario Manningham but that is about the extent of the attention given to the receivers thus far.
Although he was surrounded by a sinking offense, Manning still simply needs to play better. He turned the ball over at a record pace and was simply just too casual and consistently inaccurate throwing the football. Manning needs to make better decisions and value each and every possession the Giants have. Turnovers plague offenses and that was never more true than a season ago.
All signs seem to be pointing to the Giants using their No. 12 overall pick to acquire another offensive weapon, whether it be a wide receiver or tight end. If New York can give Manning a couple more legitimate options and the offensive line plays better, then it is up to Eli to once again anchor this unit.