Eli Manning and the Giants offense looked lost Sunday night in a 42-17 dismantling against the Minnesota Vikings. Manning was without his top target Odell Beckham Jr. who was serving a one-game suspension for multiple unsportsmanlike plays against Josh Norman of the Carolina Panthers. Manning finished the evening with just above a 50% completion percentage, 234 yards, a threesome of interceptions and an out-of-place touchdown toss to Rueben Randle.
Without Odell Beckham Jr, Manning was forced to rely on a few other receivers to step up. Those larger roles were expected to come from Rueben Randle, Dwayne Harris, Miles White, and Shane Vereen. However, Manning was unable to complete more than three passes to any Giants receivers on the evening.
Manning did however complete three passes to the opposing defense. While the first interception came off of a tipped ball, the proceeding two interceptions were on arrant passes and missed readings. Harrison Smith returned Manning’s second interception back for a touchdown on a throw initially intended for Rueben Randle, and Captain Munnerlyn undercut a ten yard pass, returning the pick to inside the Giants five yard line.
While it’s easy after a porous offensive showing to shoulder blame onto the quarterback, Eli Manning wasn’t the only the reason the Giants first team offense put up ten points through the first 55 minutes of play. The offensive line was beaten all night long, sending Manning running from pass rushers, conceding four sacks, multiple more pressures, and a fumbled snap on a third and long.
Perhaps the offense’s performance would have been different without the standing suspension of their star wide receiver. The evening was certainly revealing for Manning and company of their lack of potency without OBJ, as an elite quarterback should be able to orchestrate a competitive game even without his top target.
Manning could have compiled a better performance if the game plan had been designed to give him a lot of short and reliable throws to ignite their offense and give the Giants offensive continuity. There were certainly a few drops throughout Sunday night by his receivers as well, and they did not step up in the manner that the game mandated for a victory.
With the playoffs now out of the picture, the 6-9 Giants will be wrapping up their season next Sunday at 1PM versus the Philadelphia Eagles. Manning will look for a rebound performance after throwing the most interceptions in a single game during the 2015 season.