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Eli Manning Has to Play Better

As well as Manning has played in a couple games, most notably in Philadephia, this season, his inconsistency is a major problem for the Giants who are in serious danger of missing the playoffs. I don't like to overreact due to one bad game (I wasn't worried after their losses to Indy and Seattle earlier), but that was because I was sure their defense would come around. Now, I'm not so sure Manning will bounce back, and the defense is much too banged up. Manning has routinely missed open receivers this season, but the last several games, he hasn't had to do much, so it wasn't a big deal. But against the Bears, he threw high on several passes, held the ball too long, made bad decisions, and rarely delivered an accurate, crisp throw. He's just not a very good quarterback right now, and in Year 3, you have to wonder whether he will ever be. Sure Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger have looked bad at times this year, too, but both of them have had sustained runs of consistently good play. Manning never has. The Giants go to Jacksonville this week (another tough game), and still have the Cowboys, Eagles, Panthers and Saints on the schedule. With Michael Strahan out, Osi Umenyiora's status in doubt, their best cover corner, Sam Madison, hurt, Amani Toomer out, and not their starting left tackle, Luke Petitgout out for the year, the Giants could easily finish 9-7 or worse. Unless, Manning gets a slap in the face from his coach, older brother, father or whoever, basically saying: "Snap the f*** out of it, boy. Play with some focus and throw the ball lower and with some accuracy. Come on, now, Tiki's retiring, Strahan only has so much left... Get it done." It's not acceptable for Manning to fall apart down the stretch in Year 3, just as he did last year. He can do better, and he must. It's his responsibility to the franchise given what they pay him and what they gave up to get him. The ability's there, but the mental part of it is up to him.