What's wrong with Eli Manning?

Breaking down where Eli has gone wrong, plus the Sanchez-Tebow question

Originally Published: December 21, 2012
By Ron Jaworski | ESPN Insider

Pure and simple, this is not the same Eli Manning we saw last season.

His play has been nothing if not erratic in 2012. For every gem -- such as the stellar showing against Green Bay -- there's been an equally unimpressive counterpoint. Maybe more than one. If you include Week 15, Eli has three games in which he has thrown for fewer than 200 yards and no touchdowns, his most since entering the NFL. In the past two weeks, he has combined for four interceptions, and he put up a Total QBR of just 4.8 Sunday.

Manning throws his share of picks -- he has 56 since the start of 2010; for comparison, Tom Brady has 20 -- but the overall play has been highly uncharacteristic of a QB who has continued to get better throughout his career and has performed particularly well in the clutch in recent seasons. Compare his performance in pressure situations in 2011 with that in 2012 and you see a stark difference. In 2011 he ranked third in the NFL in third-down passer rating, throwing for 13 TDs and 4 INTs. In 2012, he stands 29th in that same category, with 6 TDs and 6 INTs. In 2011, Manning ranked behind only Aaron Rodgers in fourth-quarter passer rating, completing 65.9 percent of his throws. This season, he sits 18th, with his completion percentage down to 55.2.

But what exactly is going on with the reigning Super Bowl MVP? And is it fixable in time to make another postseason run? To find out, I dove into the tape and took a look at all 15 of Manning's interceptions from this season, and in the process found several key points of interest.


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Ron Jaworski

NFL analyst / writer
Ron Jaworski is one of the most popular and knowledgeable analysts covering the NFL today. Since joining ESPN in 1990, the former standout NFL quarterback has covered the league from virtually every angle -- sideline reporter, game-site reporter, host and both studio and game analyst. From 2007-11, Jaworski occupied one of the most coveted positions in sports as a Monday Night Football analyst.