The Giants have creeped into the NFC East race by winning their last three games while no one else in the division can find their way above .500 and they’ve done it without much help from quarterback Eli Manning.
He’s thrown just one interception in the last three games, but Manning’s play has otherwise remained the well below average stuff he was turning in during the team’s six-game losing streak to open the season. The team’s been winning despite his play, something that defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka says they’ll have to keep doing as long as it is necessary because Manning has done the same when other parts of the team have struggled in the past.
“You can’t just look at him and say,’Oh, he’s the reason.’ I have no doubt in my mind he’s going to get it turned around and start putting up the numbers that we’re used to seeing,” Kiwanuka said, via the Newark Star Ledger. “But until that happens we have to be able to take it upon ourselves as a defense and say, ‘You know what, he’s carried our butts when we weren’t getting it done for a number of games, a number of seasons even, so we have to make sure we can do the same for him while he’s going through it.’”
It would take a dramatic turnaround for Manning to avoid his worst full season as a starter in the NFL, one that doesn’t feel like it is right around the corner given the sustained struggles he’s experienced this season. More mild improvement seems possible, though, and, coupled with the resurgent defensive effort of the last few weeks, that could be enough to keep the Giants’ playoff dreams alive if the rest of the division keeps cooperating.