It seems like this is becoming a weekly thing here at Big Blue View. Each week New York Giants' quarterback Eli Manning throws a whole bunch of interceptions, and each week we go to the tape to analyze them and see where the blame lies.
Let's take a look at the three interceptions Manning threw Thursday night in a 27-21 loss to the Chicago Bears. I will give you my thoughts on where I think the blame goes. I am certain you will give me yours.
The situation: Third-and-6 from the Giants' 24-yard line with 14:15 left in the first quarter, the first time the Giants have the ball.
Da'Rel Scott picks up a blitz from the inside, though Manning does get some pressure from an unblocked blitzer on the outside. He throws this ball off his back foot and it's disastrous. The ball is well behind Reuben Randle, who has no chance. Zachary Bowman of the Bears picks this one off and takes it to the Giants' 12-yard line. This one is on, from my view, clearly on Manning.
The Giants get lucky here as the defense, placed in an awful spot, holds on downs and the Bears fail to score.
[Related: Charlie Casserly's take]
The situation: The Giants' second possession. They have moved smartly from their own 4-yard line to their 45-yard line, and have first down.
Manning tries to hit Randle, with Bears' cornerback Tim Jennings lined up in "off" coverage, giving Randle about a six-yard cushion. Manning sees Jennings begin to backpedal and throws a hitch, which is what he assumes Randle is running. The receiver sees Jennings plant his foot and break on the hitch route before Manning has even delivered the ball. He converts to a "go" route. The result is that Jennings has an easy interception, a Matt Schaub Special that gives the Bears a 7-0 lead.
I think this one is on Randle, and I made that clear in the caption on the GIF, mostly because the "expected" route here was the hitch. The more I watch the play, though, the more I could be persuaded that Manning might have been wrong here. Jennings is clearly anticipating the hitch. It's possible he gets his hands on it even if Randle runs the route Manning expects. One thing I will say is that Manning was protected here and -- in my view -- had time to survey the field for a different option.
I would actually love to hear from someone who has played the wide receiver position on this one. Paging Amani Toomer. Mr. Toomer, are you out there?
The situation: Giants trail, 27-21, and have driven from their own 11-yard line to the Bears' 35 as the two-minute warning approaches. The Giants have a second-and-9.
Manning has an absolutely clean pocket here with no pressure and no pass rushers in his line of sight. He also has Brandon Myers wide open at the 15-yard line in front of a Bears' secondary playing a fairly soft coverage. He throws the ball too high, however, and Myers is unable to bring it down, although he does get both hands on it. Jennings intercepts the tipped ball and the game is over.
This is clearly a poor throw Manning. It is also, however, a ball that the league's best tight ends go up and get. At 6-foot-4, Myers is neither as tall or as athletic as players like Jimmy Graham, Tony Gonzalez or even the player he replaced -- the 6-foot-7 Martellus Bennett. He couldn't climb the ladder to make this play.