Inconsistent: that's what Eli Manning has been, at least that's what he has been this season.
The model of consistency for the New York Giants, this year Manning's struggles have coincided with a 2-6 start and a league-high 15 interceptions. But the question everyone is asking is why.
Quarterback coach Sean Ryan calls Manning's inconsistency a product of multiple issues, not just one.
"Everybody is talking about the turnovers and the interceptions; it kind of is a play in itself," he said. "Was it created by pressure and his reaction to it? Some, yes. Created by a bad decision by him with the ball trying to do more than he should have with the play? Yes. A miscommunication or misunderstanding between two guys? Yeah.
"You can't blanket statement the problems like it was this problem overall because that's not the case. You attack each one of them individually, you fix the mistakes that happened there and you do everything you can to not repeat that mistake."
The offensive line has received the bulk of the blame for Manning's turnovers. Not having enough time to step up in the pocket or make smart decisions -- well, it takes a toll on a quarterback.
Then factor in the Giants' starting running back, David Wilson, was unable to find running lanes early on, and since Wilson was injured the team has sported out two new starting backs. Not having a reliable offensive line or running game isn't an excuse, but it is a reality.
"Any time you have a lot of different moving parts in an offense, it's going to affect the flow of the offense," Ryan said. "I don't think Eli spends a lot of time thinking, 'Hey, I'm worried about this new guy.' ... In general, every offense in America at every level, if you're changing players there's going to be a growth period."
Early on in the season, it appeared as if Manning was feeling the heat and responding by trying to get the ball out a bit quicker than normal. It was Manning trying to make a play, Ryan said.
In the last two games, both wins of course, that wasn't the case, as the Giants were a bit more cautious in their play-calling. Ryan said it wasn't a conscious effort to cut down on Manning's turnovers but an attempt to strike balance in the offense.
"We're running our offense. We always strive to be a balanced team, to not be a team that the defense can say, 'Hey, these guys are going to ...," he said. "I don't see that (we're being cautious); we're running our offense."
Behind the scenes, Ryan said Manning is preparing the same way he always has. The only thing different, however, would be the fact Manning is a bit more frustrated than he has been in year's past.
Maybe it's due to his interception total. Maybe it's just due to the fact the Giants started off 0-6. Regardless, Manning has prepared the same, win or lose, and his preparation will be key to the Giants' attempt to continue their turnaround.
"I would use the word 'frustrated' -- not shaken. I would say behind the scenes (is) the one thing that has stayed consistent and hasn't changed," Ryan said. "This guy comes to work every day; his preparation doesn't change. He believes in his preparation and we believe in it. That will be the key and has been the key to turning (things) around."