There’s no question that something was wrong with the Giants’ passing game during Sunday’s 24-20 loss to the Steelers.
It’s not nearly as clear why the team’s normally potent passing game was so ineffective. Coach Tom Coughlin said after the game that the team needs quarterback Eli Manning, who was 10-of-24 on Sunday, to start playing more like the Eli Manning with two Super Bowl rings.
“We’ve got to get him back on track,” Coughlin said, via Steve Politi of the Newark Star-Ledger. “He’s our guy, (and) we’ve got to get him back to the way he was playing a couple weeks ago and do it in a hurry.”
Manning agrees that the passing offense is off, but he disagrees that he’s the guy who needs to pick up his game to put things back in order.
“I feel like I’m throwing the ball accurately when I have opportunities to. I don’t feel off rhythm, no,” Manning said, via Steve Serby of the New York Post. “I think, offensively, in the passing game, whether we’re just running things we feel comfortable with or getting guys winning again so we get guys open, it’s just a combination of … I don’t feel like I’m throwing the ball inaccurate, I don’t feel like I’m missing guys, so I think it’s just a matter of getting back where offensively we’re playing fast and making good decisions and guys are winning and we’ll hit ’em.”
Sunday’s performance was caused by a lot of things. Manning’s accuracy wasn’t great and he was picked off by Ike Taylor on a ball that was left well short of the intended receiver. Victor Cruz had a few drops, Hakeem Nicks was nearly invisible and the offensive line didn’t do enough to protect Manning. It’s a problem that extends back to the previous week when the Giants struggled to put points on the board when the Cowboys weren’t gifting them turnovers.
Figuring out how to get all of the pieces moving again will be a big job for Coughlin, offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride, Manning and the rest of the Giants offensive players. If they can’t, it’s going to be hard for the Giants to maintain their lofty spot in the NFC even with the rest of the division floundering at present.