New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning is coming off one of the worst seasons of his career, where his streak of 210 consecutive games started when head coach Ben McAdoo benched him in favor of Geno Smith.
Manning completed just 61.6 percent of his passes for 3,468 yards (his fewest since 2008), and had 19 touchdowns against 13 interceptions. McAdoo was fired and replaced by Pat Shurmur, while long-time general manager Jerry Reese was also shown the door. New York went from 11 wins and a postseason berth in 2016 to the second overall pick a year later.
Manning has been given the vote of confidence from his new coaching staff, and the two-time Super Bowl Champion feels like there is plenty left to give in what's been a fairly successful career.
"Obviously it has been an unbelievable run, but I want to continue doing it,” Manning told NFL Network (h/t NJ.com). "It’s not over. I know that. . . . I’m excited for this upcoming year and really prove that I can still play at a high level. We can win games. We can win championships."
The 2018 NFL draft featured a handful of prized quarterback prospects, including Baker Mayfield, Josh Allen, Josh Rosen and Sam Darnold. Many expected the Giants to draft Manning's successor, but they opted for Penn State running back, Saquon Barkley.
There is reason for optimism in the Meadowlands this upcoming season. With Barkley in the backfield, Manning will be armed with a game-changing running back who can ease some of the workload off the passing game.
On top of that, Manning's receiving core will hopefully stay healthy this season. Star wideout Odell Beckham Jr. only played in four games before fracturing his ankle and missing the rest of 2017. No. 2 wideout Sterling Shepard only played in 11 games, while perennial Pro Bowler Brandon Marshall played five games before suffering a season-ending ankle injury.
Marshall was released, but Shepard, Beckham and Barkley give Manning arguably the best set of playmakers he's ever had. And though the defense was a mess in 2017, let's not forget they gave up the second fewest points per game in 2016.
Manning is 37 years of age, but he's stayed healthy throughout his entire career. With a new head coach and new playmakers around him, nobody should doubt his ability to bring a third Super Bowl back to New York.
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