Reasons to Celebrate: Eli Manning is number one

Mark L. Baer-US PRESSWIRE

Two weeks ago everyone was concerned about Eli Manning. Was his arm tired? Is he being the old inconsistent Manning again?

Sunday night, Manning returned from his bye week with a fresh arm and reminded everyone why he is going down as the best quarterback in New York Giants' history.

History shows that Manning is stellar coming off a bye week, and he continued that streak last night against the Green Bay Packers. He threw for 249 yards and three touchdowns and was only sacked once. He had his highest rating of the season with 114.4.

Manning passed Phil Simms, and officially became the Giants' all time leader in touchdown passes with 200 when he threw to Hakeem Nicks in the third quarter. The officials initially called Nicks short of the touchdown, but when Tom Coughlin called for a challenge and it was reviewed, it was clear that Nicks got the ball across the plane before his elbow hit the ground.

It's taken Manning nine seasons to reach 200 touchdown passes while it took Phil Simms 15 seasons to reach 199.

Manning helped to carry the Giants offense after a slumping two weeks before the bye and outplayed Packers' quarterback Aaron Rodgers in a 38-10 victory at MetLife Stadium. Rodgers had been coming off a red hot streak with the Packers with 17 touchdowns in a five game winning streak, but the Giants' defense made him look like a mediocre quarterback playing his first NFL game. Rodgers managed to get 219 yards and a touchdown, but was sacked five times and it was easy to tell he felt the pressure from the Giants pass rush all night.

Manning was only sacked once, and was very calm in the pocket. The bye week seemed to do the trick as he looked as smooth as ever throwing the ball down the field. Manning's touchdown passes to Rueben Randle, Victor Cruz, and Nicks all came on third-down conversions.

Manning set up the second touchdown in a motivational way. When he saw an opening he rushed up the field for the first down. He then lowered his shoulder into Tramon Williams instead of sliding. Normally you don't want to see your quarterback doing that, but it seemed to add a little spark to the game.

The Giants played host to Adam Merchant this week; a 15-year-old cancer patient who visited the team through the Make-A-Wish foundation. His words to the team after practice Friday were, "Play like world champions." The Giants took those words to heart and played like champions last night. If the team stays motivated from that and this big win, they will enter their game against the Washington Redskins next week with championship-like qualities.

And Manning will lead the way...as he always does.

You can follow Kelsey O'Donnell on Twitter @KelsODonnell

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