A career year and five fourth-quarter wins have put Eli Manning in the same category as Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady, and helped the New York Giants (6-2) take a two-game lead in the NFC East.
So why the breakthrough this year? Why is everything falling into place for the 30-year-old, who never seemed to get credit despite leading the Giants to a Super Bowl title in February 2008?
Offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride says if you take away Manning’s 25 interceptions last year his statistics are about the same.
Talk to his receivers, and they see a steady hand at the controls, the same guy who sits them down Fridays for Eli’s players’ only briefing.
“His confidence is through the roof now,” receiver Michael Clayton said. “He’s really making some phenomenal checks at the line of scrimmage, not only passing but running the ball. I’ve played with a lot of quarterbacks in my career, more than 11, and he by far, how he reads coverages is the best of anybody I’ve seen. Our success is on his shoulders. He’s up there. He is a special quarterback, a guy you can count on to put you in the best position to win.”