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.
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.
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.