Tom Coughlin on Eli Manning’s performance vs Tampa Bay: “One of the best I’ve seen with regard to his utilization of his eyes and his pump-faking and pulling defenders out of position.”
This is huge… is necessity the mother of invention? Could it be that the Giants coaches saw all of the cheating and the humongous turnover advantage of the Bucs and said to Eli- YOU MUST LOOK OFF DEFENDERS!…???…!!!
What took so long? Darren Sharper? LaRon Landry? Could it be that Ronde Barber and Company forced Eli Manning to get religion? If this is true, let’s watch next game and see if he can look off more defenders and create more space for his targets. Of particular note is the play linked here (3:05 time) where the Giants go up 24-7 on the TD pass to Toomer. Manning fakes a throw to Boss, pulling away Barber long enough to give Toomer the lane for the catch. In watching the replay, what gets my attention is the crowded space of a 3rd and goal play from the 4 yd line with everyone breathing down everyone else’s neck… w/o the look off, there is no way Toomer gets that ball- Barber is Toomer’s ORIGINAL assignment!
In another play (0:46 time), Manning pump fakes, draws #26 to break in and commit to the pass too early, which then allows Smith to get clear for an extra few steps sideways so that he is able to make the catch. And you can certainly argue that the yards after catch are completely caused by the pump fake, because w/o it the play is either an INT, most likely a broken up pass, or at best a caught ball w Smith immediately brought down.
Jim Mora also remarks that was has impressed him about Manning is how he has done so well the past two weeks vs two very good defenses in the Patriots and Bucs. I do not believe yet, but I certainly see the first signs of improvement in a long while.