Eli Manning reaches 3,000 career completions

The New York Giants have a renewed sense of optimism following their convincing Week 3 win and now Eli Manning can add another milestone to his list of career achievements after surpassing 3,000 completions.

The statistical bonanza that was Thursday night’s 45 — 14 mauling of the Redskins by the New York Giants included one particularly eye-opening tidbit. At 3,022 successful pass attempts, Eli Manning joined rarefied air by becoming the 17th QB with at least 3,000 pass completions.

Although the leader of the Giants is still behind four active players- Peyton Manning (2), Drew Brees (4), Tom Brady (5), and Matt Hasselbeck (16) - Eli has the (potential) advantage of youth.

At 33 and with a new offense that is dependent on Manning making regular successful pass attempts, the two-time Super Bowl winner could conceivably end his career with more pass completions than his brother (who is still a fair distance from the list-leading number one, Brett Favre).

Given the stats and the score sheet, G-Fans would be excused if they believed that the team’s growing pains with respect to the team’s installation of a new offense are over. This, however, may be wishful thinking as a closer analysis of the last two games indicates a strong correlation between the team’s defensive performance and its success.

Big Blue’s impressive back-to-back wins against tough opponents in the Texans and their NFC-East rival have been fueled by a defense that has created seven interceptions and recorded two sacks in each game.

The combination of Rookie Andre Williams and Rashad Jennings as twin ground threats has also relieved much of the offensive burden from Manning's shoulders which has resulted in solid but unspectacular performances. Against the redskins, he was picked off once and against the “other” team from Texas, Eli threw for a paltry (by today’s standards) 234 yards.

The emergence of Larry Donnell and Rueben Randle, both signed by the team in 2012, has also allowed Manning distribute the ball more evenly and keep defenses guessing.

Manning’s comfort would certainly grow if his number 1 receiver, Victor Cruz, starts increasing his catching intake. Cruz dropped another 4 passes on Thursday, mistakes that victory covers up but are often then revealed at the worst of times.

Note:

The Giants’ Thursday night win gives Tom Coughlin 172 career wins, moving him ahead of Joe Gibbs and is now 13th on the NFL’s career list.

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