Eli Manning had one of his worst seasons of his 14-year career in 2017, but the New York Giants have surrounded him with more talent and support for the upcoming season.
Manning’s future as a starting quarterback was in doubt after the Giants finished 3-12 last season. He only threw for 3,468 yards, 19 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. The offensive line struggled immensely to keep Manning on his feet, there was no running game and injuries piled up.
New head coach Pat Shurmur and general manager Dave Gettleman made it clear that the veteran quarterback is their guy and they added the right pieces to help Manning prolong his career, but more importantly help the Giants get back to their winning ways.
The Giants offensive line allowed 34 sacks last season, 12th-most in the NFL. They struggled opening up holes and were one of the worst rushing teams in the league. As a result, they added former left tackle Nate Solder, who signed a 4-year, $62 million dollar deal. The 6-foot-8, 325-pound lineman will instantly boost the unit and he will be a leader.
They also drafted guard Will Hernandez in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft. The former UTEP lineman has a great combination of size and athleticism. He is aggressive and plays the game with passion, something Manning has noticed and appreciates.
According to Next Gen Stats, Manning only had 2.5 seconds to release the football last season, 5th quickest in the league. Solder and Hernandez will help give Manning more time to throw and help plays full develop. The two lineman will also help create opportunities for their new running back, Saquon Barkley.
Barkley was selected by the Giants with the second overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. The decision to draft Barkley gives Manning another young weapon. It makes the offense less predictable and the veteran quarterback won’t need to need to throw the ball as much as he has in past seasons. He has the skill set to make an immediate impact in the Giants’ offense.
While at Penn State, the dynamic playmaker rushed for 3,843 yards and 43 touchdowns in three seasons. He finished his career as Penn State’s all-time rushing touchdown and total touchdown record-holder. Barkley became the only player in Nittany Lions history and just the fourth Big Ten student-athlete to gain 3,000 rushing and 1,000 receiving yards in a career.
Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard, Evan Engram and the Giants’ newest additions are must watch football. This offense will score a ton of points, something they struggled with last year and they will be explosive.
Manning’s career window is closing, but the Giants have done everything possible to make sure the future Hall of Fame quarterback ends his career on a high note.