Eli Manning started fast this year, throwing the ball often, and finding the other team with regularity. The younger Manning has always been a bit careless with the football. Eventually, the interception pace slowed a bit and the Giants won some games. There was a surge of the old, “Here come the Giants,” talk, because the NFC East was wide-open and somehow Eli has won two Super Bowls by rallying seemingly average teams. While Peyton is the King of the 10-0 start (or thereabouts), Eli has always finished better and that, fair or not, has become what people expect of the Giants and the mush-faced INT machine. Not this year.
I know Giants fans will start yelling about, “I knew they sucked from week one. I never believed,” because Giants fans are always right about their team regardless of the record–it is EXACTLY what they KNEW was going to happen, but in terms of national perception the old Tom Coughlin/Eli Manning fast finish meme took a bit of a hit this year and may have completely died on Sunday.
The Seahawks are a very, very good team and they have what is probably the best defense in the NFL, but Sunday was a bit extraordinary even for them. This is the NFL. Teams put up points by accident. That Giants hadn’t been shutout at home in a long time, but this was a shutout with emphasis. The Giants were never going to score. They could have played 20 quarters.
Eli was his absolute worst self. He reinvigorated the quest for 30 INTs with a quick 5-spot. He was 18/31 passing. He chucked it for a robust 156 yards. He was sacked three times and fumbled twice. He was eventually replaced by Curtis Painter. The most surprising thing about this beatdown was that one of the picks wasn’t returned for six.
So, congrats Eli for taking this late season D.A. in such a big spot. The D.A. Championship goes through Eli Manning…
Doubleback Vineyards Eases Past D.A.iry Queen, INC, 19 to (-23)
A close game that Matt Cassel ruined while he was trying to ruin the Eagles’ season. Cassel, like any Minnesota QB, is usually a fine choice and it was clear he was going to go somewhere in the late picks, unfortunately he fell to DQ and had a monster yardage day that couldn’t be overcome. DQ had Geno Smith trying to offset the damage, but it wasn’t enough to get the win against Doubleback who was stabilized by Mike Glennon’s 21 points. A solid debut showing for DQ, though, this isn’t an easy league to win.
Eli Esses D Knocks off Fake Chow, 45 to 33, thanks to Eli.
A close one. A nail-biter. A heavyweight battle between Eli Manning and Matt (Mike?) (Matt?) McGroin. Reading about Eli’s game you probably assume he cruised to D.A. Oh, no. NOT THE CASE. McGloin was throwing smoke–all day. Four picks, pick six, lost fumble. He was right there with 45 points to Eli’s 48. The game would be decided by the second picks, and it came down to Kellen Clemens’ surprising performance and win over the Saints. His negative effort was the difference for Fake Chow, who continues to be frustrated in the D.A. Playoffs.
The D.A. Final is a two-week affair, Eli Esses D vs. Doubleback Vineyards. We’ll update after week one, perhaps on this very page. We’ll see. Should be an epic showdown.