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John Mara expects “championship-level Eli” this year

Super Bowl XLII Getty Images

Eli Manning had an awful 2013 season, but Giants owner John Mara thinks Manning is still a great quarterback.

Asked if Manning is on the down side of his career, Mara answered, “No, I don’t think so.”

“I don’t think he all of a sudden forgot how to play quarterback,” Mara said, via Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News. “We expect to see the championship-level Eli play for us this year. He hopefully will have more support than he had last year, and I think you’ll see him playing back to his form.”

The 33-year-old Manning happens to have an older brother who just won an MVP award at age 37, and Mara doesn’t see any reason that Eli can’t keep playing well into his late 30s.

“We still believe he’s got a lot of years left in him,” Mara said. “And we’re not talking like Eli Manning only has one or two more years left. We think he’s got quite a few more left.”

If Manning does have quite a few more years left, the Giants have to hope those years don’t look anything like 2013.

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73 Responses to “John Mara expects “championship-level Eli” this year”
  1. thefootballgodssay says: Apr 25, 2014 10:36 AM

    GIANTS 2014 NFC EAST CHAMPS 11-5

  2. girthhammer says: Apr 25, 2014 10:37 AM

    By championship-level Eli does he mean he wants the “start the year horrible, rally late to make playoffs, and have a WR make a ridiculous catch in a crucial moment”-Eli?

  3. phillyshouldsignmaclin says: Apr 25, 2014 10:37 AM

    A running game would help

  4. officialgame says: Apr 25, 2014 10:38 AM

    Eli is a game manager and when he tries to do to much he implodes. He won two Superbowls because the Giants had a great defense an outstanding offensive line. If Mara wants a better Manning then he needs better players and if anything the Giants on paper are worse.

  5. nfl fan says: Apr 25, 2014 10:39 AM

    Ask yourself if your QB has delivered two Lombardi Trophies in recent years?

    Hey Eagles Fans – regular season wins don’t count.

  6. blowpackblow says: Apr 25, 2014 10:41 AM

    Eli is like a slinky, basically useless, but fun to push down the steps.

  7. wsnygiantfan says: Apr 25, 2014 10:41 AM

    Agree. Let’s remember that Eli has helped win us two superbowls. One thing with him, he has been consistently inconsistent, so this should be an up year.

    Ok so he isn’t his brother, but there aren’t too many quarterbacks I would take over Eli. I don’t need a stat queen, I need someone who can win when pressure is on and the minutes are counting down. Who better?

  8. daburgher says: Apr 25, 2014 10:41 AM

    Eli has a career passer rating of 81.. at age 33 i doubt this guy is going to all of a sudden be above average

  9. cylondetector says: Apr 25, 2014 10:42 AM

    Eli will be the same QB he always been – the polar opposite of his big brother actually – mediocre and inconsistent regular season QB who relies heavily on his team to get to the post-season.

    However, if they get there; he suddenly transforms into the most clutch QB to walk the planet.

    Don’t forget, both recent Giants SB wins were on the back of largely underwhelming 9-7 seasons where the whole team got hot at just the right time.

  10. stockpro2000 says: Apr 25, 2014 10:46 AM

    Make or break year for Eli.

    Contract expires after 2015 season. 2015 cap hit is $19.8 million.

    If he plays awful he will get cut after 2014.

  11. allsport1980 says: Apr 25, 2014 10:50 AM

    Knock Eli all you want but the guy wins and wins a lot. Game managers are needed just look at Russell Wilson who is a true game manager, but in order for the Seahawks to win with Wilson they need a top level RB and top rated D and a WR/TE capable of making big catches. Eli didn’t have any of that last year, but when the Giants do have it the Giants win Superbowls because of Eli’s clutch plays.

  12. nebster21 says: Apr 25, 2014 10:55 AM

    If Eli does not get to championship he will steal $36 million from each team in the NFC East. $36 million over two years did not seem to be enough for him.

  13. denverdude7 says: Apr 25, 2014 10:56 AM

    There never was a “championship-level Eli”

    He just happened to be there when his defense found it’s stride and was also the beneficiary of a ridiculous circus catch.

    For the most part he has been just slightly better than mediocre.

  14. phinfan says: Apr 25, 2014 10:57 AM

    Maybe you should look for a better GM… You let go your championship level gm

  15. baltimoresnativeson says: Apr 25, 2014 11:04 AM

    Im not a Giants fan but I don’t understand the hate for this guy.

    Three 4,000 yard seasons

    2 rings

    (Troy aikman had a great defense and running game too, but do we still count his rings?)

    and countless clutch playoff performances, he was also clutch in college, he just has that clutch gene.

    He has down years because he is inconsistent but also has had some really good years.

    Give me mediocre regular season play and stellar playoff play any day over the opposite.

  16. daysend564 says: Apr 25, 2014 11:05 AM

    Mara must think they have a top rated defense again. That’s the only “championship” Eli there has ever been.

  17. 1rockyracoon says: Apr 25, 2014 11:06 AM

    Surround him with a great defense, top notch receivers, a solid running game, and a very good O line and there’s no stopping him!

    He was clutch, unlike his brother, in their two Super Bowl runs, however, the rest if the time he is nothing special. That’s a good career, but he isn’t able to carry a team on his own.

  18. 700levelvet says: Apr 25, 2014 11:08 AM

    We’ll they pay him a lot for all those picks…

  19. athwartships says: Apr 25, 2014 11:09 AM

    Good luck with that….maybe if you get him to wipe that “I’m lost” look from his face and stop all the twitching in his pads like they are ill fitting hand me downs from brother Peyton….Just maybe…

  20. 10elite says: Apr 25, 2014 11:11 AM

    Yes, Tyree and Manningham made amazing catches in SBs. But Tyree’s wouldn’t have been possible if Manning didn’t escape a sure sack and find a receiver who had a shot at making the catch (not saying he was open…) And Manningham couldn’t have made the catch if the ball wasn’t perfectly thrown. Amazing that Eli still gets no credit for either of those plays.

  21. daysend564 says: Apr 25, 2014 11:11 AM

    Stealing all the Cowboys/Redskins cap space didn’t deliver you “championship” Eli the past couple years. Must have some other tricks up your sleeve?

  22. newjerseygiants says: Apr 25, 2014 11:14 AM

    The Giants as a team have more holes than a pound of swiss cheese. And last year was pathetic. Just about any other starting QB would have given the Giants a better record.

    With that said, maybe they’ve hit bottom. Although if RG3 is healthy and Foles has another good year with that suddenly hyper-explosive running attack, the G-Men are looking at third place at best.

  23. weepingjebus says: Apr 25, 2014 11:16 AM

    Eli’s always been Eli, I learned about him the hard way when I was forced to use him in fantasy for a couple of years running. Agony. The trick is that Coughlin needs to keep a fire lit under him constantly, and Coughlin only seems to have the energy for that when he himself might get fired.

  24. shirsc2 says: Apr 25, 2014 11:29 AM

    To say Eli benefited from a great defense and great offensive line is absurd.

    The 2nd championship, The Giants had the worst ranked running game and like the 30th ranked defense. Yes the defense played better in the playoffs but Eli carried the Giants the entire year. Hence football is a team game.

    Is Eli perfect? Hell no. But there aren’t many QBs i would trust in a big game more than Eli. That pass to Manningham in the 2nd Superbowl was a thing of beauty. Eli couldn’t of placed it any better.

    QB Rating also doesn’t tell the true story. Giants offensive has never been a dink and dunk offense. Most of his passes were medium to long range passes. I’m eager to see what happens this year with the new offensive coordinator. 20% of Aaron Rodgers passes were behind the line of scrimmage (WR screens).

  25. mikejune says: Apr 25, 2014 11:30 AM

    For the people who think that the G-Men got to the playoffs based on their D in the two years they won the Super Bowl, I suggest you got look at the stats and see where those great D’s were ranked. Eli is a solid QB. Had a tough year last year. The O-line was terrible, no running game and about 1/3 of those picks could easily be blamed on the receivers. If you want a QB who puts up numbers, take Tony Romo. I’ll take Eli in crunch time any day.

  26. boyshole25 says: Apr 25, 2014 11:30 AM

    As a skins fan I can honestly say people are crazy if they don’t think this kid is clutch clutch clutch

  27. vikesfan says: Apr 25, 2014 11:40 AM

    Having a solid backup to push him will certainly help. Oh, Josh Freeman? Never mind….

  28. arlingtonassasin says: Apr 25, 2014 11:41 AM

    These whiners saying that Mara “stole” their cap space need to learn how to read. Mara was the chair of the ownership group that VOTED on made the decision which penalized the cowboys and ‘skins. This means the motion is tabled, 32 teams vote….Mara writes the number down. Motion passed. My lord, you people think this guy made this happen alone??? If the boys and skins hadn’t broken a legit agreement between all the owners they wouldn’t have gotten dinged. Wake up already.

    And Eli dropped those passes into a bucket from 30+ yards downfield in the biggest games on the biggest stage. He’s a winner plain and simple.

  29. patsbrat says: Apr 25, 2014 11:51 AM

    Chalk last season up to sibling rivalry. Peyton had a record year, breaking the record for the most TD passes in a season that had stood for 6 years.

    So Eli goes out and throws more picks than anyone in the last 8 years.

    Eli wins…

  30. malab377 says: Apr 25, 2014 11:57 AM

    I don’t really like Eli, mostly because I’m a Pats fan… but still, the Giants need to help this guy. He has two rings, he can be a good QB, but he needs help. I understand that winning two SB is amazing, but can you really keep going with a team and a QB that either win a SB or simply miss the playoffs?

    The Patriots have not win a Superbowl in a decade now, but they are still knocking at the door year after year. You can’t simply hope that this year will be “the” year for Eli… not in this league.

  31. mrwalterisgod says: Apr 25, 2014 12:03 PM

    “Game managers are needed just look at Russell Wilson who is a true game manager”

    No. Russell has some of the best numbers in the history of the league for a QB in his first two seasons, and has the knowledge and arm strength to make any throw on the field.

    Anyone who doubts that he can be a 4000 yard + passer WILL be proven wrong. I guarantee it.

  32. thegronk87 says: Apr 25, 2014 12:04 PM

    In 10 years, eli has only led his team into the postseason 5 out of 10 years. The giants played in a weak NFC East and they still could only get into the playoffs half the time, and the other half of the time they would struggle to get make it with a 9-7 or 10-6 record. People who say he’s clutch forget the the really has only 2 good postseasons in 10 years.

    C’mon folks…

  33. Big Blue On You says: Apr 25, 2014 12:06 PM

    Do owners need to pee in the cup like the players?

  34. nykfanwakemeupin2015 says: Apr 25, 2014 12:20 PM

    I think this is the political correct way of Mara supporting Eli and saying we are paying you for a certain performance and we better see it this year.

  35. iamdinguskhan says: Apr 25, 2014 12:25 PM

    Giants fan you guys had a great run but it’s over you need to rebuild. Eli is on the down swing. You are now trying the same mistake the Skins and Eagles made rebuilding through free agency which never works long term. Now your owner does shady tactics like the stupid cap penalty which was colluding and illegal and sic a New York based Indian tribe onto the Skins. The one good thing you got going is your coach and he will prob retire soon. Down years ahead New York .

  36. kev86 says: Apr 25, 2014 12:25 PM

    Kiss our rings haters. The Giants are football royalty. You know it’s true.

  37. chargerdillon says: Apr 25, 2014 12:34 PM

    The same reason nobody is calling Russell Wilson the best qb in the league after he just won a superbowl is the same reason nobody says it about Eli either.

    It’s not that he doesn’t get respect for being a good quarterback. It’s that he doesn’t get respect for being one of the best players at his position. In fact you would probably place him closer to 10th if you were picking top 10 qb’s in the league.

    There’s a difference between being a good player, and being one of the best players at your position. That’s Eli Manning.

  38. uglydingo says: Apr 25, 2014 12:37 PM

    I love the public expression of confidence in the new re-energized Eli. He’s 33 and his brother just had an MVP year at 37. Everything old is young again.
    Now watch the Giants quietly spend a 2nd or 3rd round pick on a QB like Zach Mettenberger in case Eli has another stinker.

  39. nflofficeadmin says: Apr 25, 2014 12:42 PM

    A funny thing happens after years of chasing money and foes and only worse than getting old is not getting old.

  40. bobzilla1001 says: Apr 25, 2014 12:44 PM

    Here’s the importance of a QB in the Ultimate Team Sport: Steve Young in Tampa Bay produced 3 wins and 16 losses.
    You QB Obsessives are simply too funny.

  41. fordmandalay says: Apr 25, 2014 12:44 PM

    At this point even Pee-Wee League Championship level Eli would be an improvement.

  42. urbandude82 says: Apr 25, 2014 12:47 PM

    its funny all the crap the giants and ELI gets….yet the giants are the ONLY team since the patriots in the early 2000’s to win more than 1 championship in 4 years….all other teams that have won the superbowl since then, the next year they suck, and dont go back to the big dance….the giants won it and then went back again 4 years later against the same damn team, and won by roughly the same score….they did as a DIVISION WINNER and as a WILDCARD WINNER, no other team in the NFC has done that…let alone the NFC EAST!!!

  43. Bruce G. Owens Jr says: Apr 25, 2014 12:50 PM

    I am not a Giants fan or a big Eli fan but I would love for him to win another ring to shut up the haters.

  44. dlk47823 says: Apr 25, 2014 12:55 PM

    He’s missed the playoffs 4 of last 5 years. That’s pretty consistent, actually. Now he has to learn a new offense. Maybe 8-8.

  45. justintuckrule says: Apr 25, 2014 1:21 PM

    Gotta love the Pat fan talking about how weak the NFC East has been. You’ve had 6 built in wins per year for most of the last 15 years.

    We’ve won 7 of our last 8 against your sorry division (3 of our last 4 against you). The only one we lost was the season finale in your undefeated regular season by 4 pts when we had nothing to play for.

    There’s a reason why we win SBs whenever the AFC East is in our rotation. WE get the benefit of 4 built in wins.

  46. dbones750 says: Apr 25, 2014 1:27 PM

    All the hate is a result of 31 butthurt fanbases x2 over the past several years. Everybody likes Peyton bc he’s only made 31 fanbases butthurt one time.

  47. RexCanCoach says: Apr 25, 2014 1:32 PM

    When the next 2 years of Eli look like the last 2 years of Eli the fans will be driving him to the airport and buying his one way ticket to Jacksonville.

    Smart move would be to surprise! everyone and select his replacement in this draft…but the NYG organization has never been confused with acting smart.

  48. t500000t says: Apr 25, 2014 1:34 PM

    I’ll admit I’m an Eli hater, although I do respect his 2 rings and 2 SB MVPs.

    My hatred has nothing to do with the Giants, but I hope Eli throws even more INTs this year and the Giants decided not to pick up is contract in 2015. He is better than mediocre, but not by much. He is in no way a great QB. Some would call him a great game manager, but I disagree with that also. I think those 2 SBs were more great coaching than Eli’s play or management.

    2014 Giants will go 8-8

    Signed, you guessed it, a Chargers fan

  49. ctgiant says: Apr 25, 2014 1:47 PM

    Hey, throw out last year! Atlanta, Houston?
    Giants had Hillis, Jacobs?
    Nicks not playing at all, and even the entire O-line took off?
    Myers at TE?
    Lets get real here. Eli is Eli, 53 years watching my giants, and Eli does not look the part, BUT, yes he did get out of the grasp, tyree makes the catch, and 4 years later, Manningham made the best catch of his non outstanding career!
    Yep, I’ll watch, and yep, he will throw a pick to?
    But, at the end of the day, Eli has never missed a start, and one more playoff run, most likely puts TC & Eli in the HOF.
    CT GIANT

  50. charmcitychampions says: Apr 25, 2014 1:50 PM

    Championship Level Eli?

    Well if we are asking for crazy things that won’t happen, I’d like to see Wellington-Level Class from John.

  51. kev86 says: Apr 25, 2014 2:06 PM

    10 years ago yesterday Eli became a Giant. Hasnt missed a game since we put him in late in year one. How many losing seasons since? take a look. How many super bowl wins? take a look.

    More big wins than big losses in the Eli Era.

    Eli is a legendary Giant with 2 Super Bowl MVP’s on his resume and he is not done yet.

  52. sportsfan18 says: Apr 25, 2014 2:09 PM

    Yes, the Giants have won two Super Bowls with Eli…

    But at no time has Eli been elite…

  53. n0hopeleft says: Apr 25, 2014 2:10 PM

    Jets fans and Eagles fans… Proving yet again that they really dont know anything about CHAMPIONSHIP football. You clowns have combined for 1 Lombardy in over 100 combined years?

    Seriously?

    Eli and his “great defense”… Eli is a game manager. We laugh at you.

    Did Ben have a WR have a great catch in a big game when he won? Did Warner? Did Aikman? Did Brady?

  54. n0hopeleft says: Apr 25, 2014 2:11 PM

    Rex Can Coach….

    Can Rex really coach? Because the last time I checked, he can’t beat the Giants, when his season was on the line…

    What happened there?

  55. richndc says: Apr 25, 2014 2:18 PM

    Then he better get “championship” level D-line, running backs and giant wide outs (who can catch those desperate ducks he throws) or he will see another 27 ints and league leading pick sixes. #mouthbreathers

  56. shirsc2 says: Apr 25, 2014 2:23 PM

    If it was Tom Brady, not Eli, who made the pass to Tyree, everyone would of been gushing about how Brady somehow escaped a sack and had the fortitude to throw the ball downfield and make a play.

    If it was Tom Brady, not Eli, who made the pass to Manningham, everyone would be saying that was the best pass in Superbowl history.

    Funny how discredited a guy gets for making two hell of plays that helped his team win 2 superbowls.

    Change the QB and history is different. It shouldn’t.

  57. dxh02 says: Apr 25, 2014 2:38 PM

    Has there ever been another QB that’s even appeared in two Superbowls, yet wasn’t in the top 5 (10?) QB’s in the league at any time in his career?

    I don’t have feelings towards him one way or another, but I think anyone would take Brady, Peyton, Brees, Rodgers, Wilson, Rothliesberger, and Luck over him. Ryan? Flacco? Newton? Rivers?

    If you look at the two Superbowl wins he’s a hall of famer. If you look at everything else, he’s eminently forgettable. He’s going to leave behind one of the strangest legacies ever.

  58. bobzilla1001 says: Apr 25, 2014 2:40 PM

    Eli was fabulous against the Patriots. He held them to 14 points. Not many QBs have played such great defense in a Super Bowl…

  59. hailskins94 says: Apr 25, 2014 2:41 PM

    Josh Freeman wins that job.

  60. burgundyandgold says: Apr 25, 2014 2:46 PM

    How good have the Giants been since Mara strong-armed Goodell into stealing 21 million from the Redskins? Karma baby, karma.

  61. zeke2517 says: Apr 25, 2014 2:47 PM

    I’m sure Eli isn’t too concerned at this point. His bank account is set to have several championship level years.

  62. kev86 says: Apr 25, 2014 2:55 PM

    Whose your QB? Eli has started 150 straight games has won it all twice.

    Mara, Coughlin, Eli !! BIG BLUE!

  63. kev86 says: Apr 25, 2014 3:26 PM

    If it wasnt for Eli and the Giants there would be a 19-0 team. You are welcome.

  64. elimanningup says: Apr 25, 2014 3:28 PM

    Eli Manning will absolutely dominate in this new West Coast Offense with a legit starting RB and a revamped OL.

  65. dino2997 says: Apr 25, 2014 3:49 PM

    I don’t have a dog in this discussion but if I were a rival team’s fan I would be ecstatic knowing that Eli has a very long leash with the Giants.

  66. gmen05 says: Apr 25, 2014 3:53 PM

    The irony behind Patriots fans bashing the Giants for playing in a bad division. Really? When is the last time any team in your division had some success? Enjoy your six free wins each year.

  67. footballtalk1 says: Apr 25, 2014 5:45 PM

    Someone get Mr Mara life alert. He must’ve fallen and hit his head.

  68. tictoccpthook says: Apr 25, 2014 8:04 PM

    Eli is up to the task. So is Coughlin. The Giants vs Steelers will be a good Super Bowl.

  69. bigbluepa83 says: Apr 25, 2014 8:13 PM

    Patriots blow, pretty easy to win 10+ games when u start the season 6-0. Gmen got there easiest schedule in years coming up in ’14! Its gona b great to hear the eagles fans making excuses why ’15 is gona b there year cause for the 40th time in a row there still gona b wearing their wifes ear rings cause they cant earn a ring in ’14! Lmao

  70. secretturchinman says: Apr 25, 2014 8:28 PM

    Eli has exactly one turnover in each Superbowl run, he holds the single season record for 4th quarter TD passes (in a year that he lead 7 4th quarter comebacks), the defense had nothing to do with that. In fact the defense is the reason he HAD to throw all those 4th quarter TD’s. He out played Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, Jeff Garcia, and Tom Brady (Twice), all guys with pro bowl resumes. He had receivers drop crucial passes in right before halftime in BOTH SB’s (GIANTS should have been up at halftime of BOTH). In every 20+ pick season of his career, he has had to deal with 6+ picks goin in and out of the hands of receivers, plus the picks that came from guys falling down in their routes. But when all you do is watch Highlights and not game tape, you do not understand these things.

  71. slugbaitspace says: Apr 25, 2014 8:36 PM

    Just out of curiosity, which QB holds the record for the most seasons with the highest number of INTs for the season?

    I really don’t know, and I’m not saying it’s Eli, but I’m wondering if he’s close.

  72. mrniceinvenice says: Apr 25, 2014 11:15 PM

    Eli has never been, and never will be, the robotically efficient QB that Peyton has been and is. He is a gamer. A winner. He wins pretty. He wins ugly. He loses big trying to win. Peyton is a corporate QB. Eli is an entrepreneur. I’m a life long, insane Giants fan and I love the guy. He won in high school. He won in college. He’s won in the pros. He’ll win again. He’s a top 3 NYG QB and may be #1 when it’s done. Any of the ugly along the way is the price of admission to a great show.

  73. ndrick731 says: Apr 29, 2014 1:32 AM

    We’ll he is in for a lot of disappointment.

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