Year after year, New York Giants fans are left emotionally distraught after what seems to be a continuous trend of up-and-down seasons. They've won two of the last five superbowls, however they have missed the playoffs in three of the last four seasons. Somethings got to give, right? Their consistency, or lack there-of, lies on the shoulders of Quarterback and team captain Eli Manning. Having won two Superbowl titles, Eli certainly has the experience and credentials to be considered an elite quarterback. But would you rank him as high as the Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, and Peyton Manning's of the world? Although he has more Superbowl rings and MVP's then all of these players, some consider him a second tier, even borderline third tier quarterback in the NFL.
So why is 2013 such a vital year for Eli Manning? And what must he achieve to make it a successful campaign?
First off, he needs to win at least ten games this season and make the playoffs. No more excuses. The NFC East is extremely vulnerable this year. We don't know what to expect out of Robert Griffin III coming off a torn ACL, nor do we know how the Philadelphia Eagles will fare under first-year NFL head coach Chip Kelly. The Dallas Cowboys always seem to stick around for the first eight games, and fall apart for the last eight. That leaves the New York Giants, who run hot and cold, but never seem to keep a constant "temperature". They need to take advantage of their week division this year, and try to string together a solid streak of regular season wins. In doing so, every Giants fan knows that once they're in the playoffs, all bets are off.
In the words of FOX Analyst Terry Bradshaw, "It's not the team with the best record that makes deep playoff runs, it's the team that gets hot at the right time." The New York Giants, Head Coach Tom Coughlin, and Big Blue Nation knows this all too well. Now it's on Eli to make it happen in his quest for a third title.