Manning beginning to justify hype

Eli Manning has improved this season, but he still has plenty of work to do to justify the hype, writes KC Joyner.

Updated: October 27, 2005, 2:24 PM ET
By KC Joyner | ESPN.com
One of the articles from "Scientific Football 2005" that I took the most grief for was Eli Manning's review. I thought Manning was getting somewhat of a free pass from a lot of the media because they wanted another superstar Manning quarterback. I came down pretty hard on the opposite side, as you can see by this excerpt from the book:

"One of the things that I can't stand as an analyst is hype. Some of the PR in this league simply bugs me to no end, and the Eli Manning PR probably bugs me more than just about any other. Eli played so poorly last year that at one point I wrote this: 'NY Giants -- I pulled out the thesaurus for this one, as I simply couldn't find the words to describe how poorly Eli Manning is playing. Repulsive was too powerful a word, while gross and raunchy gave the wrong connotation. ... Abominable, appalling, deplorable, ghastly and unsightly all seemed to hit the spot the best.'

Manning's list of mistakes was nearly as long as Michael Vick's. He couldn't find his passing lanes in the pocket, so a number of his passes were knocked down at the line. He frequently made bad decisions and would have ranked in the bottom 10 in the league in the bad-decision categories had he been a qualifier. He wasn't particularly accurate with his passes and seemed to have trouble holding onto the ball while throwing. He had frequent miscommunications with his receivers. He underthrew a lot of his passes because he didn't step into the pass rush and basically looked completely out of synch.

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