No Excuses for Eli in 2017. It's Time For Him to Reserve His Spot in Canton.
"OBJ, Marshall, Shepherd, Engram Oh my!"
That was a the oft-repeated line following the Giants selection of ultra athletic "tight end" Evan Engram to add to a rather formidable set of offensive toys to play with. It's a justifiable line as on paper, it's on par with anyone in the league. It would seem that Eli Manning should be able to be have a field day with the receiving corp that has been put together for him. If Eli is to ever make it into the Hall of Fame, he will need to capitalize with the high end weapons made available for him.
Through the years, Eli has had more than his share of ups and downs to put it mildly. Sometimes resembling a clumsy, goofy looking, in-over-his-head, NFL wannabe and other times a full fledged Hall of Famer who can handle moments in crisis as well as anyone in league history. He's led the league in interceptions multiple times but has also thrown two of the most clutch and memorable passes in Super Bowl history en route to two game MVPs. This is the same guy who had his abilities publicly questioned by many. From fans, to sports writers/analysts, to even former teammates, as well as even members of the Giants front office. Still, he also is rather unquestionably the best quarterback in the history of the franchise. Simply put, in his career, Eli Manning has experienced the highest of the highs and the lowest of the lows.
Despite having somewhat quietly slid his way up the ladder of career stats to where in terms of touchdowns, yards, consecutive starts, 4 quarter comebacks, and wins, he only trails Hall of Famers and future first ballot Hall of Famers, his own status for Canton is still up to debate.
This debate is legitimate due to his propensity to commit turnovers, his game to game inconsistency, and an overall Jay Cutler-like efficiency as a passer has followed him throughout his career. With his struggles though, have been a constant slew of arguably valid excuses.
Whether it be a weak offensive line, questionable/injured receivers, lack of run game, a highly complex playbook under Kevin Gilbride, among others, Eli supporters haven't been short on excuses whenever he commits yet another turnover.
Now with a system that has appeared to rejuvenate his passing efficiency, a slowly improving line, along with a some seemingly high powered weapons, Eli is all out of excuses. No more blaming the line, play calling, receivers running wrong routes etc. It's now entirely on Eli.
As we rapidly approach the upcoming Hall of Fame enshrinement, as well as the the twilight of Manning's career, it's fair to say that 2017 could very well be Eli's best chance to massively tip the scales in favor of eventually having a bronze bust and a gold jacket of his own.