I realize it’s only the second game of the preseason and the New York Giants are bringing Eli Manning along slowly, but Giants fans are starting to wonder one question: Should Manning’s struggles be a concern?
As any football fan will gladly tell you, preseason games are not often an indicator of progress. One year the Detroit Lions went 4-0 in the preseason and promptly became the first team in NFL history to go 0-16 in the regular season.
Manning had left ankle surgery in April and was brought along slowly, and it’s clear the Giants are still in protection mode with their star quarterback. He hasn’t played much in two games so far, including the team’s 27-26 win over the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday.
His statistics? One pass completed, nine thrown incomplete. Only six yards of passing offense.
Curtis Painter hasn’t looked much better, and to be honest the Colts defense is looking pretty darn solid through two exhibition contests. However, there are struggles behind the scenes that should be a worry for Giants supporters everywhere.
Ben McAdoo, the team’s offensive coordinator, was brought in after eight years in the Green Bay Packers organization. The past two years were as Green Bay’s quarterbacks coach. The last we checked, Aaron Rodgers turned out all right with McAdoo at the helm.
So why is there a struggle here in New York? It is a combination of Manning coming back from injury and McAdoo’s offense yet to take root. The problem is two-fold. Giants fans are not known for being patient. After Manning threw 27 interceptions a year ago, they recognized things had to change. However, throwing out former offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride may not have been the wisest move.
Any struggles are also going to be exaggerated by all of the media in New York. If you’ve never been to the Big Apple, the newspapers there compete to have big back-page headlines designed to sell papers. Struggles in any sport are met with big headlines.
The media is already taking notice, sending McAdoo and Manning through the meat grinder.
And it’s just an exhibition game. Imagine what happens if there are struggles like this in a regular season game.
The Giants need to get on the same page very fast. And that means Manning needs to pick up the pace.
It may not be time to panic yet. If the final preseason game comes and goes with all of these struggles still intact, it may be time to panic.