For three quarters of Sunday’s game against the Falcons, it looked like Giants quarterback Eli Manning was on his way to a redemptive ending after his Week One disaster in a loss to the Cowboys.
Manning had thrown for 262 yards and two touchdowns to put the Giants up 20-10 in the third quarter and they were inside the Atlanta 10-yard-line again when things took a turn for the worse. Manning fumbled the ball away after he was sacked by Kroy Biermann on a third down that saw him hold the ball for a good long time before the hit came from behind.
From there, Manning was 5-of-11 for 30 yards in the fourth quarter and picked up a delay of game penalty when he couldn’t get the ball snapped in time on another key third down. The difference between the first 40-odd minutes and the close of the game was hard to reconcile for coach Tom Coughlin.
“I mean there are times when it’s tremendous and then other times when it’s not,” Coughlin said, via the New York Daily News. “I’m frustrated like you are.”
Manning said the team is “not making the plays in the crucial moments” and the defense certainly deserves some blame for allowing opponents to come back for wins in each of the first two games. The Giants knew their defense was going to be iffy, though. They didn’t know Manning would be, especially in the crucial moments that call for a franchise quarterback to perform like one.