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Doug Farrar
Writer

Doug Farrar

A FootballOutsiders.com staff writer

This is the Real Eli

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I think you'll see more glimpses of the new, improved Eli we were all promised after that postseason run, but it's also important to remember that as much as Manning the Younger went through a basically mistake-free playoff jag (an amazing one interception in 119 attempts), the primary force behind the team's run was that dominant defensive line. Justin Tuck could just as easily been the Super Bowl MVP as Manning. That the line's ability to disrupt appears to be intact is a reflection of the Giants' personnel acumen. And that, as much as anything else, is what will make Manning great in the long term -- the players around him.

I have never perceived him as the type of quarterback able to take a team on his back through a series of games. Late last year, he put together a great series of performances as a complement to his team in which his own deeds were only occasionally spotlight material. A great cog in the machine? Certainly. A transcendent talent? I'm not convinced. Nor was I then.

In the long term, he's still as much the quarterback who will throw head-scratching passes (I counted two dropped interceptions last night by Redskins defenders) and rely on jump balls to Plaxico Burress (how smart does that contract extension look now?) as the cool, collected gunslinger so many wish him to be. That doesn't make him a bad quarterback, but it does mean that when we talk about regression and performance indicators, it's going to be at least as much about the Eli we saw against the Redskins as the miracle man who threw up the prayer of a pass that David Tyree somehow caught with his helmet.

By Doug Farrar  |  September 5, 2008; 10:31 AM ET Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Uneven Eli | Next: Tampa Bay at New Orleans, Week One

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I think Eli has to be a little under the gun to shine. As he matures, I believe we'll see more and more the cardiac kid, a la the four TD passes he had in that comeback again the Eagles.

The hope is that as he matures he will take his last minute heroics and produce that attitude throughout the whole game.

Posted by: Coldcomfort | September 5, 2008 4:42 PM

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