The League

Mark Maske
Staff Writer

Mark Maske

Writes the NFL News Feed blog

Eli Reverted

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I'm surprised by Eli Manning's performance against the Redskins. I'd been saying for weeks that he'd turned the corner in his career and he wouldn't revert, that what we saw during last season's playoffs was the quarterback that he'd be for the rest of his career. Instead, he reverted to being the bad Eli, the bad Manning.

He was bothered by the Redskins' pass rush and made mistakes. He threw one interception but it easily could have been three or four. The Redskins dropped would-be interceptions that would have ended Giants' scoring drives.

What we saw against the Redskins was the quarterback who threw 20 interceptions during the regular season last year and was the 25th-rated passer in the league, the guy who has an oh-so-mediocre career passer rating of 73.1. Maybe it was only a temporary step backward, and beginning next week he'll resemble a championship-caliber quarterback again. After all, he and the Giants did enough to win, and it's far better to start off 1-0 than to begin the way they did last season. But once more, there is room to have some doubts about him.

Ernie Accorsi, the former Giants general manager who made the draft day trade for Manning, used to say that he knew Manning had greatness in him because he'd been great at times early in his NFL career; all he had to do was bring it out more often. The Super Bowl run at the end of last season seemed to prove Accorsi right. But against the Redskins, what we saw is that Manning still has mediocrity in him. If that's what continues to come out on a more consistent basis, there's still a chance that we'll end up remembering Eli Manning as a one-hit, one-postseason wonder.

By Mark Maske  |  September 5, 2008; 7:23 AM ET Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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