I know this will be hard to hear for many fans of the New York Football Giants but trust me when I tell you, it's not time to give up on Eli Manning.
Don't me wrong for all intents and purposes the 2013 season is all but over for the G-Men. Their turnover filled 27-21 defeat at the hands of the Chicago Bears Thursday Night saw to that.
And Manning, who was responsible for all three Giants' turnovers, tossing three game-changing interceptions, should shoulder the blame. Not all of it, but he deserved a good portion of the blame for the team's 0-5 start and on Thursday Night in Chicago as much as anytime this season, Eli was the Giants undoing.
One first quarter interception is bad enough but when you throw two and one of them gets returned for a touchdown, it doesn't do much to help you chances and that's exactly what Eli did.
Yet, as Eli often does, he recovered from that awful start and with a resurgent ground game behind him, he led back-to-back 80-yard touchdown drives to keep things close.
Then faced with a 13-point deficit in the third quarter, Manning engineered a 91-yard touchdown drive to get New York within six points entering the fourth quarter.
It seemed for the first time all season, the Giants had real hope of winning a game. The offense even got two cracks at the ball with a chance to take the lead in the final stanza, but again, as he has done all season, Manning threw a costly interception as the team was driving for the go-ahead score and just like that it was over, a heartbreaking defeat that continued a season of humiliation.
Yet, for as bad as Eli has been this season (nine touchdown passes compared to 15 interceptions and an anemic 53 percent completion rate) he is still worth believing in and like it or not Giants fans, if this team is going to regain relevance anytime soon, it will come on the shoulders of the former No.1 overall pick.
For whatever reason, Eli has always had moments in his career when he looked flat out terrible. Sometimes, he throws the stupidest interceptions that just make you want to scream or rip out your hair. But in the end, he has always had resilience and before long, he will show it again.
Eli and the Giants struggles this season remind me of the Green Bay Packers of 2005, a team that was coming off four-consecutive playoff appearances with a veteran laden roster and Brett Favre at quarterback–that team ended up going 4-12. Favre threw 20 touchdowns and 29 interceptions. The team was ravaged by injury and Favre, trying to do to much no doubt, was a turnover machine.
The moral of the story here is that after that season, most experts thought Favre was done, no longer capable of performing at a high level. But, we were all wrong and over the next four seasons Favre went on throw 101 touchdowns compared to 62 interceptions, while leading his respective teams to three winning seasons, two playoff berths, two NFC Championship game berths and an overall record of 42-22.
Favre was counted out just as Eli's being counted out now. But don't forget, the same guy who tossed three interceptions Thursday Night, is the same cold blooded quarterback that beat Tom Brady twice in the Super Bowl, with two of the most clutch fourth quarter drivers you will ever see.
Eli may not look it now, but he can still be that guy. The Giants need to get younger and they need to reload but they don't need a new quarterback. Eli will be fine and someday soon he will remind us of his greatness.
So don't give up on him yet Giants' Fans, he's the greatest quarterback in the history of the franchise for a reason and even though he's been absolutely terrible this season, Easy E has a lot of good football left in him.