Giants should have done better by Eli (Opinion)
My 13-year-old son Albert has grown up an Eli Manning fan. He wears his number 10 jersey, which he has in both colors. His room is filled with all things Eli and he plays quarterback on his flag football team, inspired by his role model. His dad couldn't be happier with his choice of athlete.
I remember when Eli was drafted in 2004, his first start against the Atlanta Falcons and his first win was against the Dallas Cowboys in the last game of the season. Eli endured his teammates, like Jeremy Shockey trying to show him up, Tiki Barber commenting about his leadership when he entered broadcasting and a city questioning whether he was the right guy. Eli answered that question in 2007 when the Giants went on a run that would get them a Super Bowl title and Eli the Super Bowl MVP. They would do the same thing again in 2011. After that is where the trouble began.
In 2012 the Giants go 9-7 and miss the playoffs. In 2013 they go 7-9 and Eli throws 27 interceptions and gets sacked 39 times. You would think that they would fix the offensive line and they tried, but with little success. In 2014 the Giants bring in Ben McAdoo and change to more of a west coast offense, which improves things but they still don't do enough to fix the offensive line. They did draft Odell Beckham Jr. but they needed more, especially on the offensive line. They go 6-10 like they did in 2015 and they fire head coach Tom Coughlin and promote McAdoo to replace him.
In 2016, the Giants spent $200 million to fix the defense but nothing on the o-line. The offense never scores more than 27 points but the Giants go 11-5 and lose a playoff game to Green Bay.
The bottom dropped out in 2017 when the Giants went 3-13. That was the year that McAdoo benched Eli and ended up losing his job. Through it all, no offensive line help.
In 2018, with the signing of free-agent offensive tackle Nate Solder, who couldn't block the sun, the Giants go 5-11. Eli then gets benched in 2019 in favor of Daniel Jones, a new quarterback while the team is still in search of offensive tackles.
Eli Manning is a class act and has always done right by the Giants. I wonder what would have happened if the Giants had done right by Eli after he won the second Super Bowl.
What if they had actually drafted offensive lineman instead of forcing Ereck Flowers, whom they whiffed on with their first-round pick in 2015, and forced him down the fans throats despite the fact that he couldn't play tackle? What if they had gotten Eli a tight end and a running back to go with Odell Beckham in 2014-17? By the time they brought in Evan Engram and Saquon Barkley you could see the end was near.
We'll never know. What we do know is that the Giants had themselves a franchise quarterback who won them two Super Bowls and never missed a game due to an injury. That doesn't happen very often. Imagine what could have happened if they had given him more help.
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