While there was no Redskins game to get amped up about this week, there were some things that transpired that we can be happy about after this past weekend. We are still fresh off a win, we've had two weeks to prepare for Dallas, Tony Romo blew ANOTHER game and our quarterback doesn't lead the league in interceptions. So what is going on with Eli Manning? Is he in decline? Are his numbers a product of bad luck? Let's take a look.
This is the very 1st play of the season. NYG runs play-action, screen left to Wilson.
D.Ware finds Wilson, steps in front of him and picks off Eli. Shouldn't have been thrown.
Here is Manning's 2nd pick against the Cowboys. He is going to look to the hitch route on the left side. Dallas is in Cover 2.
LB drops at a 45 degree angle and finds the hitch route. Eli's pass is a little behind and when the LB hits the WR, the ball pops up and gets picked off by Will Allen (#26).
Here's another screen pass turned INT. Da'rel Scott is in the game after David Wilson was benched for fumbling.
I imagine D. Scott (being 3rd string) hasn't had many reps with Eli. Timing was off here and ball gets popped up.
The ball floats right into the hands of the CB in the flat. Pick-6.
Here's Eli's 1st INT against the Broncos. Here is the played called for NYG. Denver is showing a Cover 2 look but shift to a Cover-1 (All man coverage, FS over the top).
Victor Cruz has the match-up advantage in the slot to the top of screen. DEN DE puts heat on Eli as he bends around RT. That pressure may have hurries the throw.
As you can see, as Eli unloads pass, Victor Cruz is wide open on his out route. Instead, Manning goes to fly route by Hakeem Nicks.
Dominique Rogers-Cromartie stayed over top the whole time and 3 total Broncos defenders are in end zone to contest pass.
Here, Denver shows Cover-1 but shifts into a Cover-2. Eli looking for slant at the bottom of the screen.
CB gets a good press on the WR and under-cuts the slant. Once again, the ball takes a funny bounce. . . .
. . . .and ends up in the hands of a Denver defender in the middle of the field.
Here's a play late in the game with Giants down big. Denver is in a Cover-2 Man coverage but CB covering the fly route was apparently told "Whatever you do, DO NOT give up the big play."
As you can see, Eli is cocking back to throw this fly route even though there are two safeties back deep and the CB has stayed over the top.
The safety from the left hash comes all the way over and picks it off. Triple coverage.
This looks like an option route for WR at the bottom of the screen. If the CB sits down, you go over the top of him. If he bails, you run the hitch route.
CB clearly bails so the WR changes his route to the hitch to beat it. Eli throws the fade.
Which, of course, leaves only the CB in the end zone to catch it.
Carolina Panthers are playing Cover-2 Man. Eli wants the out route to Victor Cruz. It should be there.
As outside CB peaks in backfield while defending fly route, he sees Eli pull back as Cruz cuts outside and breaks on the route.
CB is quick enough to under-cut route and pick off the pass.
Vs. Kansas City
Lastly, his interception against the Chiefs. Eli is looking for the post route. Kansas City is running a Cover-2 man.
Pass rush comes hard on outside from both sides but gives Eli a huge lane to step into. He doesn't really set his feet on the throw though.
The ball sails 15 yards deeper than his WR. Easy INT. Once again, 3 defenders around.
This is Eli's expression RIGHT after the ball leaves his hand. Almost like he wanted the route deeper. But, I don't know where the WR could have ran to get open.
This is early in the 4th quarter. Eagles send a corner blitz.
The slot blitz comes unblocked and Trent Cole beats Will Beatty to the outside. Eli feels the heat and steps up in the pocket to get rid of the ball to his checkdown Brandon Jacobs. Cole does get a hand on Eli's helmet (penalty?) and Eli's pass ends up getting deflected off his own lineman's helmet.
The ball just flutters in the air and lands in Mychal Kendrick's hands
Here, the Eagles are in Cover-2 man. The double moves on the outside SHOULD bring out both safeties leaving Victor Cruz to beat his man on the post like he does so often.
Unfortunately, the DE beats the RT here almost immediately forcing Eli to step up and throw on the move.
It's actually a GREAT throw by Eli leading Cruz on his post route. It's just a BETTER play by Brandon Boykin to stretch out for this one and take it away.
On the last one, the Eagles show a cover two shell but shift to a Cover-1 man upon the snap. Eli is looking for the slant for Hakeem Nicks.
Cary Williams presses Nicks and gets his hands on him to disrupt the route but looks like Nicks can get to the inside here.
Nicks ends up quitting on the route and it becomes a perfect pass to Cary Williams.
There you have it. 12 interceptions through the first 5 games of the season. So, I ask again, is Eli Manning in decline? Or are his numbers a product of bad luck? Is he making bad decisions? Or letting his WR go make a play?