I noted in my look back at the Green Bay game that it seems like recently every time we have had a 3rd and 10 that Easy Eli has been there to keep the drive alive with a huge completion. If it seems that way to anyone else too, there is good reason. Eli has been lights out on 3rd/medium-3rd/long. Not good, not great-LIGHTS OUT. Nearly perfect.
Here's the thing, the chart below contains all twenty of the Giants 3rd/5-3rd/15 snaps (3rd and medium-3rd and long) since the Dallas game. I decided to leave out anything 3rd and 15+, which as we all know is nearly impossible to convert and teams make their calls on those plays with that in mind.
As we all have seen, Eli has played some of his best football over this stretch. Pretty impressive to say, especially in a season that was filled with plenty of that for him. A short note about each of the unbelievable completions that Eli has made on third down is also included in the table below.
If you're someone who is interested in this stuff then feel free to read the chart. It's pretty remarkable stuff. If you're someone who a) doesn't care about these things or b) doesn't understand them then head to the bottom where the stats I will give gets the message across just as well.
That message is this: EVEN ON A MICRO LEVEL (3rd down, where QBs make their money), ELI MANNING IS CLUTCH. We all have heard it in regards to his play in the 4th quarter or in the playoffs, but these stats should add another layer to that clutch reputation on an even more detailed level.
|GAME||Time||3rd and ?, Ball on?
|GB||Q1 13:45||8, NY 22
||yes||19 yd completion 10-82||
corner route; 82 busted up zone and found spot on sideline
|GB||Q1 12:15||10, GB 42
||yes||11 yd completion 10-80||
great route, great throw, beat 21 in man!
|GB||Q1 4:47||11, NY 19||yes||11 yd completion 10-88||
3 man rush, get real! 88 comes way back underneath zone from deep for catch
|GB||Q2 7:07||8, GB 44||yes||17 yd completion 10-85||
let Dilfer take this one to describe 10’s perfect lead to 85.
@TDESPN: #filmstudy G-men:Eli throwing rec open as good as anybody, shows tremendous trust in his guys. pause tape=covered, play tape=completion
|GB||Q2 5:42||5, GB 34||no||INT (10-88)||
pressure, no one open, like a punt. 88 needs to get him down when he makes the catch.
|GB||Q4 10:19||5, GB 28||yes||17 yd completion 10-80||
80 patient in zone-d like ten-year vet...one of best in league at that... 10 has so much trust in him!!!
|GB||Q4 8:28||5, GB 12||no||sack||
66 and 67 whiff on their blocks on edge, 10 has no chance.
|GB||Q4 4:31||11, NY 49||yes||17 yd completion 10-80||
pass on 3rd/long late, late in Q4 w/ 10 point lead? Welcome to 2012 Giants fans. No rush..see above comment about 80
|ATL||Q3 12:01||8, NY 26||yes||19 yd completion 10-88||
88 burns soft cb on dig route who was begging for inside release and got it and paid the price.
|ATL||Q3 10:16||12, NY 43||yes||22 yd completion 10-80||wow! Great example of underrated quick feet of 10, dances in pocket and then finds 80 coming across|
|ATL||Q4 13:33||7, NY 33||yes||18 yd completion 10-44||
RB in flat by Giants? WOW! 10 hits 44 immediately who as we all know is unreal in open field
|ATL||Q4 6:34||6, NY 48||yes||13 yd completion 10-82||Big Blue shows unreal trust in 10 to throw here. 10 returns the favor with trust in 82 who makes catch and then some!|
|ATL||Q4 4:55||8, ATL 37||yes||17 yd completion 10-82||See above for comment on Giants throwing late in 4th....82 so athletic on tip toe sideline catch|
|DAL||Q1 7:08||9, NY 5||yes||12 yd completion 10-86||
10 goes to all on 3rd, does not play favorites! dump to 86 and let him make play
|DAL||Q1 1:22||8, DAL 48||yes||14 yd completion 10-15||see above ^. 10's pocket presence so underrated|
|DAL||Q2 12:16||7, DAL 47||no||5 yd rush 10||10 sees pressure, gets some back for Giants|
|DAL||Q2 6:01||6, DAL 35||no||SACK||pressure too much, this one isn't on 10 at all.|
|DAL||Q4 12:35||6, NY 14||no||5 yd completion 10-88||88 needs to run that route past marker, otherwise great play|
|DAL||Q4 9:27||7, NY 27||yes||44 yd completion 10-80||10 great in pocket, trusts 80 to make a play and does..will be one of those people look back on in 10 years
|DAL||Q4 4:04||5, DAL 40||yes||36 yd completion 10-88||
Giants throwing with lead late? Heard this before in this article.
If you're still with me then here is the important stuff from all of that.
Eli Manning last three games on 3rd/5-3rd-15 (3rd/medium-3rd/long):
20 plays-15/16, 287 yards, 17.9 ypa, 14 first downs, 1 INT, 2 sacks, 1 rush
15/16!!! Are you kidding me. Just incredible stuff. This guy is playing some of his best football of the season, one that has been the best of his career. Is it possible he is getting better? Sure is. Seems like Eli is getting more and more efficent with each game.
Let's not forget, all three of these games were outdoors (that's right, I'm talking to you Drew Brees) and while it didn't feel like winter in the Dallas or Atlanta games, it is still not a dome.
GB: 5/6 92 yds
ATL: 5/5 89 yds
DAL: 5/5 111 yds
Cruz: 5 catches for 111 yards
Nicks: 5 for 71
Manningham: 3 for 49
Ballard: 1 for 17
Pascoe: 1 for 12
Bradshaw: 1 for 18
Thomas: 1 for 14
Some closing thoughts....
-The consistencey with which Eli has played on these plays is pretty remarkable and if the Giants can figure out a way to start converting the short ones out in SF and possibly beyond, then this will be a close to unstoppable offense.
-Another thing to take away from this is that whille sure, Eli tends to favor his stars a bit in the clutch, he has no biases as to who he will throw to. Get open and the ball is yours. It's that simple with Eli.
In conclusion, just another angle to analyze quarterback who has proven time and time again that he plays his best when it matters most. Truly impressive. I have no doubt that he will bring that level of play to Candlestick Park on Sunday.
follow Rich Conforti on Twitter: @richconforti
Basically : if the Giants play like they did most of the season, the 49ers will win. If the Giants play like they played the last 3 games, it'll be close.
Garafolo on the DBs and how they discuss things.
I don't want to read to much into this but it doesn't make Fewell look too good.
Nice job there Rich.
It was frustrating in years past to see Manning go from top 5 to bottom 10 from game to game.
He had a couple of rough games this season (but no help whatsoever in those) but overall he seems to finally be what we all expected him to be.
Sure it's just his 1st year at this level but the way he got there (constant progression exept for 2010 + flashes of greatness) makes me think that he could maintain that kind of playing level for a few years.
I keep going back to when Andy promised that Eli had a free pass for life at this site...not that he seems to need it anymore!
Very nice article, Rich!
@Arthuro The poor guy wasted a lot of time analyzing a bunch of irrelevant ancient history. Sure we COULD digress all of a sudden, but I'm not expecting that.
@CommanderShepard I don't know about irrelevant.
It's still the team we were for 80% of the season ...
@ArthuroMaybe. But unless he thought there is a greater than 50% chance that the Giants of the last month all of a sudden revert back to the Giants of the previous three months, he wasted his time, and it was a homer decision (to discount the recent play in his statistical analysis) imo.