Eli Manning’s time with the Giants is nearing an end
As Eli Manning’s career is winding down, he’s starting to look more and more like his older brother Peyton did by the end of his. The only issue is that Eli doesn’t have an absolutely stacked defense to carry him to one last Super Bowl win before he hangs up the cleats for good. Instead, Manning is caught in the middle of a team torn between trying to rebuild and trying to compete in the NFC East. The Giants are not a good team, but they’ve committed money to some elite players, most notably Odell Beckham, Jr. They also have a star rookie running back in Saquon Barkley who already looks deserving of Todd Gurley and Le’Veon Bell comparisons.
Despite those few bright spots, things in New York are getting worse by the week. Last week, Beckham decided to take the offense into his own hands and throw the ball himself.
After a 34-13 loss to the Eagles on Thursday night this week, people are saying it’s time for the Giants to move on from Eli. The only issue is that the Giants don’t exactly have anybody better. There’s no rookie behind Eli on the depth chart waiting to take over. In fact, the Giants backup quarterback is Alex Tanney, a 30 year-old with just 1 game of NFL experience. One suggestion for Manning is to reunite him with Tom Coughlin in Jacksonville, while another is to send Manning to be a mentor for Baker Mayfield in return for Tyrod Taylor. In my opinion, the trade with Cleveland makes a lot more sense for both sides. Cleveland gets a Super Bowl winner to mentor their young quarterback, while Taylor regains a starting job and is an immediate, but short-term upgrade for the Giants. Either way, it seems like Manning’s time with the New York Football Giants is coming to an end sooner rather than later.
One of the reasons why the Manning to the Jaguars makes sense is because it’s become clearer and clearer that Blake Bortles just doesn’t have what it takes to win big games. It showed in the AFC Championship last year, and despite having one of the best defenses in the NFL, the Jaguars are just 3-3 this year after a blowout loss to the Cowboys. Jacksonville got off to a hot start to the season, beating the Giants in Week 1 and then winning the rematch of the AFC Championship against the Patriots in Week 2. They stumbled in Week 3 with a 9-6 loss to the Titans, but rebounded with a convincing 31-12 win over the Jets the next week. But now, after back to back losses to the Chiefs and Jaguars where they were outscored by a combined total of 70-21, the Bortles critics are coming back out of the bushes.
Obviously, if you’re giving up 70 points over two games the quarterback isn’t the only problem, but the Jaguars went from a team within minutes of a Super Bowl appearance to a team that looks like a borderline playoff team. But the window for this team, or any team, to win a Super Bowl is short. If Bortles isn’t the guy, then maybe Eli is. It worked for Peyton with the Broncos, so maybe adding a Manning to a team with a talented defense is enough.
With Bortles it’s unlikely that the Jaguars reach the Super Bowl, but the two teams most likely represent the AFC in the Super Bowl this year were showcased on Sunday night. The 5-0 Kansas City Chiefs traveled to Foxboro to take on the 3-2 Patriots looking to protect their undefeated record. As good as the Chiefs offense has been, the defense has been a weak spot for the team this year. Meanwhile, the Patriots haven’t exactly looked like the team that people are used to seeing but they’ve started to find their stride over the last few weeks.
The first half went just about exactly as New England wanted. The defense kept Mahomes in check, while Brady and the rest of the offense were able to put the Patriots up 24-9 heading into halftime. I don’t know what the halftime speech was like in both locker rooms, but based on how the second half of the game I’d say it was something along the lines of “Who needs defense when you can score whenever you want?”
The Chiefs looked like a completely different team in the second half, with Mahomes leading the charge. They outscored New England 17-3 in the third quarter to set up a dramatic fourth quarter. Mahomes found Tyreek Hill deep down the field late in the fourth quarter to tie the game with a 75-yard touchdown.
But it was Brady to Gronkowski late in the fourth quarter to get the Patriots easily into field goal range, and then Stephen Gostkowski finished it off to give the Patriots a 43-40 win, which marked Brady’s 200th regular season win of his career.
Fun fact that seems hard to believe, but this was the first time in NFL history that a game has ended with a 43-40 score. Both teams clearly need some work on the defensive side of the ball, but for right now the Patriots and Chiefs are headed towards another meeting come January.
In case you missed it, check out the Week 5 recap here.