First, let me start out by confessing that I've never posted to a blog before. EVER. Can you believe that? In this day and age? I don't know that I'm proud of that fact, but it is what it is (still never tweeted, and don't subscribe to Facebook. Amen). That being said, I do read just about every article, blog (HEY SUPERFAN, I'M SAN DIEGO'S BIGGEST GIANT FAN. PUT THAT IN YOUR STOCKING AND STUFF IT), rambling, what have you, that I can find, if it pertains to the NY Football Giants. I grew up in Brooklyn, and I've been a fan of Big Blue for as long as I can remember; from looking on in awe as #56 molested opposing QBs, to cursing that Manningham drop this past Sunday. I bleed blue, spending thousands each year to attend games in person. I was there last year, that fateful December afternoon, jaw agape, as that little skinny punk ran back that now infamous punt. I remained standing, scanning the field for flags, even as the janitors were sweeping up (I really do hate that guy). I'd also like to share that, although I reside in San Diego, I have not missed ONE snap of Giant football over the past 5 years (thank you STUBHUB (crooks), and God bless Direct TV).
So, as I watch these games, and then read the post game free-for-alls, I find myself agitated by the lack of respect that EVEN GIANT FANS show to our team's #1 star. It should have stopped the minute he hit Plax in that Arizona endzone, because, as I see it, he's been pretty darn good since then, even without a strong supporting cast. Take this last game verse the Bills. Was I the only one who thought that Eli pulled off a mean Peyton? I ask this, because as I read the articles handing out game balls, and see the fans voting for player of the game, it seems that Ahmad is getting the most props. I ask, why? Is it because he managed to make a couple or runs longer than 2 yards? Or was it because he was able to catch a couple of well thrown balls for some bigger gains? Oh, maybe it was his 3 TD "jaunts?" Yes, those were impressive.
But that's not the way I saw it. I saw Hakeem catch a perfectly thrown ball after a beautiful pump fake, then race down the sidelines, only to run out of bounds around the 1 yard line. No effort to fight for the pylon, just content with the big gain, and that's ok, I guess (but tell me Megatron, Fitzgerald, or Andre Johnson don't come away with 6 there). I saw big Jake Ballard (don't you love this guy?) fight for the goal line, and come up inches shy. Maybe one more bite of steak, as Keith Hernandez is known for saying, and that's a TD. I saw some balls smartly thrown away in the red zone (good job, little brother). I saw a pass interference call on a perfectly thrown ball to Manningham. Beautiful touch by #10. Even though Mario was accosted, he still nearly managed to haul it in (got a hand on it, anyway). Manningham. Yes, lets talk about him. He did look a little bit better this week. Maybe he's coming along? I mean, he nearly had 3 TDs vs the Bills, no? The first as he and Eli beat the corner on the aforementioned PI play. The second on the inside throw that was called TD on the field. YOU HAVE TO KEEP THAT LEG UP MARIO. The third... Yes, the third. How pretty was that throw, I ask? At that time, to me, it was a bit of Jolie, Alba, Berry, and Kim K, all rolled into one (pleasant thought, btw). There it was, perfect spiral, in stride, over two defenders, into his arms. He takes two steps with it, hits the ground, and.... Mario, Mario, Mario, that was the game, kiddo (luckily Webster bailed us out).
So, as I see it, Ole Eli was about 3 yards (and/or 1 instance of PI), and a drop away from 350 yards and 4 TDs. Ahmad was there to clean up the mess, 3 times from the 1 yard line. I'll give it to him. They were strong runs, especially the last leap. Yes, Ahmad should get some props, but not the game ball. To be fair to our spunky RB, he did play better this week, but aside from 1 or 2 plays, it was nothing special. I read somebody complaining about Eli overthrowing Nicks down the right sideline early, but what QB doesn't overthrow that ball? It was either Hakeem catching that, or nobody. And that throw before the game winning field goal. That was NOT almost an interception. Dude barely got a hand on the ball, but we tend to believe the commentators, and they said it was nearly picked, so it must have been. With only a minute or so remaining, #10 really wanted 6 right there, and he did his best to make it happen. Bad play call? Bad routes? I don't know, but that was not almost a pick.
As far as Eli's 5 picks on the season? Lets take a closer look. The first one was all on Kareem McKenzie. He makes his block, that doesn't happen (and we maybe win that game). That CANNOT be put on the QB, sorry. The second one, you remember, during the Rams game. It looked like a TD to a wide open Mannigham down the right side. Safety came from out of no where and made a major play to pick it off. Now I ask, am I the only one that thinks Manningham had a play, to at least contest that pick? He didn't even notice the safety coming, just sat there waiting for the ball (like all of our wideouts tend to do). Tell me Steve Smith (the real one) doesn't make that play, or stop that pick. Just sayin! Third pick, early during the Seattle game. I think Nicks has a chance to fight for this one, or again, at least knock it down. Pick #4, we all know this one. Victor Cruz' slip and ill advised one handed pick-on-a-platter. That one really hurt, and the ball was well thrown. Maybe a bad call by Gilbride, but the play was there. That dagger, of course, led to the 5th pick during junk time, with Eli doing his best Romo impersonation. You know, just chuckin' it! This was by far his ugliest pick this season. Am I the only one that hates those late throws? Just run the clock out. The game was WAY over. I can't tell you how disgusted I was as I watched the afternoon games and heard an NFL update say, "Manning throws 3 picks and the Giants lose." That is some serious media hating at little brother's expense. Now, go look at the interceptions thrown by Romo, Brees, and even Rivers. 8 times out of 10, they are thrown RIGHT TO the defenders. How often does our boy do that? (Won't even mention those guys' advantages at the WR and TE positions).
We aren't even going to talk about some of the drops, although it is not as bad this year as it was last year. But if our wideouts make those plays, stop those picks, the Giants have EVEN more yards and TDs. Bottom line, we win more games, and Eli's numbers are that much better. His passes are almost always catchable, folks, and half the time he has to adjust in the pocket to avoid the rush. Don't you see that?
Watch the tape from last year. Watch the drops, the tipped picks, the bad routes. I really believe Eli played beautifully last year, even with the ragtag receiving corps that we ran out there week to week. If everybody else does their job, makes their grabs, I think Eli has 4500 and 40 TDs last year, with maybe 15 to 16 picks. He makes the Pro Bowl, and WE MAKE THE PLAYOFFS. But the world is not perfect (especially in East Rutherford), so it is what it is. All I am saying is that we need to appreciate what we have behind center, because, he's better than Phil, you have to see that, and he makes every other QB we've had, in my lifetime, look like Kramer from Seinfeld (heard that somewhere once about another QB). ENJOY #10 WHILE YOU CAN, AND START SUPPORTING HIM. I've said my peace. GO BLUE!!!!