Eli Manning has been play through some level of foot injury all season, but the problem undoubtedly got worse against the Chiefs in Week Four, when Manning was forced to leave the game and then miss practice the following week.
Since the injury, Manning’s numbers have suffered. After a good game against the Raiders, Manning has thrown three touchdowns against six interceptions over the last three weeks, all loses. Manning says the injury is not responsible for his recent struggles.
“It hasn’t bothered me all week. I’m not taping it, I’m not doing anything with it any more. That’s not the problem,” Manning said.
Other observers aren’t so sure. CBS analyst Phil Simms says it has to be an issue. “I lived it. I know. And I don’t care what the Giants say on Eli, it’s
got to be a problem,” Simms said. “Think about it. It’s the pain. It’s not being able
to do things the same way. You lose a little confidence. You can’t
practice as much.”
Both Trent Green and Giants coach Tom Coughlin have questioned Manning’s mechanics. Coughlin said he noticed that Eli isn’t always pushing off his injured right foot, which is leading to the balls sailing.
Of course, Manning has sailed passes throughout his career. But he appeared to solve his consistency issues in 2008 before these latest struggles. The schedule getting much tougher has surely contributed as well.
No matter what the reasons for Manning’s struggles, he needs to turn things around against an inconsistent Chargers secondary this week. The team around Eli isn’t as strong as in the past, and he needs to carry them. For the money he makes, he should be expected to occasionally.
Consider it payback for the 2007 season title.