Yesterday was a rough day for Denver Broncos and New York Giants fans. The fanbases of both teams were able to rejoice early on in their teams games, but both would eventually turn sour on the day. Sitting right in the heart of each performance were the two quarterbacks — Eli Manning and Peyton Manning — as we may be watching the fall of NFL’s regal sons.
The day started out great in Denver, as Peyton moved to the top of yet another list, taking down another one of Brett Favre ‘s records:
This is how Peyton Manning joined the record books and became the NFL all-time leader in career passing yards https://t.co/snFpuavBph
— NFL (@NFL) November 15, 2015
The day quickly went afoul, as Peyton would inch closer to another of Favre’s records… most interceptions thrown. Peyton would finish the day 5-for-20, throwing for 35 yards while being sacked twice and tossing four picks. He would be benched for Brock Osweiler. No, folks that is not a typo.
After the game, my old friend Gary Kubiak had this to say:
“I’m disappointed with myself. This is on me. I probably should’ve made a decision not to play him in the game,” Kubiak told NFL.com. “Saturday, as you all know, his ribs were bothering him a little bit and I probably should have said right there, ‘No, he’s not going to go this week.'”
Well, Kubs, allow me to be the first to say that I have been disappointed with you for close to five years. While Peyton’s decline in ability and health is part of the reason, I also like to think — whether I be right or wrong — that your offensive prowess — or lack there of — is behind the downfall of the once mighty Broncos offense. I mean, aren’t you a running game guru with your zone blocking, Mike Shanahan-coaching tree schemes? What happened to C.J. Anderson, aka Olandis Gary 2K.
But I digress. Kubiak said as long as Peyton is healthy he is the man behind center for the 7-2 Broncos. The Broncos only need one or two more wins to lock up this division, which is disappointing somewhat to me because I think this Raiders team is fun to watch. They simply can’t win games. Something a broken down Peyton Manning was able to do for the first seven games of the year, but the last two he could not.
What do you do? Does Kubiak want to be forever known as the man who benched arguably the greatest quarterback of time and began the Osweiler Era for good? Or does he want to let Peyton go out on his own terms? And what should Peyton’s own terms be? Being the fierce competitor that he is, with nearly every record in the book his own, should he not be concerned about the well being of the Broncos first? Is he the best man to lead this team to the playoffs? With the weather getting colder it will play no favors to his achy, brittle body.
2,180 yards, 9 TDs and 17 INTs. Any other quarterback on any other team gets benched, possibly cut for those types of numbers. We have all watched the passes, they are not Peyton passes that get to the receiver on a dime. The receivers have to work to catch poorly, under thrown balls. The Broncos have a huge decision to make in regards to the remainder of 2015. Osweiler is not the man to lead you to a Super Bowl, but it’s time to wonder if Peyton can keep them in contention at all.
Across the country, brother Eli had the New England Patriots on the ropes. He had them once again and appeared to be the only quarterback in football that could figure out Big Bad Belichick and the mighty Pats. Eli the Patriot Slayer.
Yet once again, the Giants poorly mishandled the clock down the stretch and gave the Pats the win. The Giants are currently 5-5. Had they had any inkling of how to manage a clock this team could — and SHOULD — be 7-3, possibly even 8-2. I mean, poor Eli throws six touchdowns in a game and loses. Who does that?
Many of you know how I feel about Eli: a few big, clutch drives have turned a good quarterback into one of the most overrated QBs of all time. But is the current state of affairs Eli’s fault, or is it Tom Coughlin’s?
The Giants had the Dallas Cowboys in week one and in one of the most inexplicable final drives I have ever seen, they threw the ball with a lead leaving time for Tony Romo, Dez Bryant and Jason Witten. The following week, they entered the fourth quarter up 20-10 against the Atlanta Falcons and would lose 24-20 on a Julio Jones- Matty Ice inspired final drive.
Yesterday? I get it. They were down one and threw to an open Beckham in the corner, a usually all but certain completion. But it wasn’t. And because they didn’t run the ball, the clock stopped, making them run one more play before the two minute warning and essentially giving the Patriots a free time out and the ball game. We all know you don’t give the Patriots a thing.
Is Eli calling these plays? Is Tom Coughlin out of touch with clock management? Coughlin — the oldest head coach in the league — is a dinosaur in today’s NFL that has a few head coaches a mere two years my senior. Has he lost it? Or is this on Eli? Are we seeing that Eli’s “elite” game really is the product of a faux image created by two memorable Super Bowl winning drives?
Maybe, just maybe, Eli isn’t clutch at all, and the Giants defense are really the ones who are responsible for those Super Bowls… you know the eleven guys who first held an undefeated team that set records through the air to 14 points and then the top offense in the NFL to 17 points the second time around?
I don’t know what the problem is in New York, but with the injuries to the Cowboys, the reality that Chip Kelly and his Eagles are phonies and the Redskins… well, being the Redskins, the Giants should be running away with this division. Sure, they have suffered some injuries and setbacks along the way. But they have also suffered some losses that should easily be Ws… and it’s time that someone is held accountable.