Sunday, January 13, 2008

Eli Manning Coming of Age?

Perhaps he had one of those "pep talks" from his big brother Peyton a few weeks ago. Whatever it is, Eli Manning is not at all playing like the QB who struggled mightily against the Buffalo Bills just three weekends ago. In that game, the Giants won, 38-21 in spite of Manning as they scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter on interception returns. Manning was 7-for-15 for 111 yards with two interceptions and also two fumbles in that December 23rd game.

In the three games since then, Eli has ONE turnover total, to go along with eight touchdown passes. Yes, they lost the first of those three games, 38-35 to the New England Patriots, but the Giants turned some heads that night. They turned some more heads last week as they easily took care of the Tampa Bay Buccanneers by a 24-14 score. I was so impressed by that win, and so unimpressed by the Dallas Cowboys play the past month that I went out on a limb and picked the Giants to upset the heavily favored Cowboys.

Manning made me and everyone else who had faith in him look good today as he was an efficient 12-for-18 for 163 yards with two touchdown passes to Amani Toomer as the Giants stunned the #1 NFC seeded Cowboys by a 21-17 score. Tony Romo had another off day for the home team, only connecting on 18-for-35 passes for 201 yards. Other than a long 20 play, 90 yard scoring drive to end the first half, the Cowboys offense really never looked in sync. The Giants really didn't look all that great either, but they made the plays when it counted and most importantly took care of the ball.

So, what do Eli and the Giants get for their win today? A trip to the frozen tundra of Green Bay. After next Sunday's 6:00 PM ET/3:00 PM PT game, we shall know whether we will have a Manning in the Super Bowl for a second straight year, or whether there will be a bunch of happy cheeseheads!


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