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Big year for Eli and the Giants

Statement year for Eli Manning

Eli Manning is a two time super bowl champion and has won both of his super bowls against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.  With that said, there are still some who say that Eli is not an elite quarterback in the NFL.  Unlike his brother Peyton, Eli is not a great regular season quarterback which feeds into these criticisms of him.  Eli has had few years where he takes the Giants and runs away with the NFC East with a 12 or 13 win season.  When he does get into the playoffs however, he is one of the most clutch postseason quarterbacks of his generation.  Twice down in the fourth quarter in both of his super bowl victories, he led the Giants down the field for game winning drives.  These facts cannot be disputed. 

Early in his career he struggled and many wanted him out of New York but he was able to turn it around in 2007 and make a cinderella type run to the super bowl.  Whenever Eli throws a dumb interception or makes a key mistake, people refer to it as the "old Eli".  This past season, we saw a lot of the "old Eli".  A combination between the "old Eli" and poor defense led to a disappointing 9-7 season for the defending super bowl champs.  

One of the admirable things about Eli is that he does not shy away from the blame, he takes full responsibility and is a bottom line type of player.  The upcoming 2013 season provides Eli a chance to redeem himself from 2012 and once and for all prove to the critics that he is an elite NFL quarterback.  Having Victor Cruz back will definitely help Eli's cause on the field.  Hakeem Nicks is also getting healthier over the offseason and that will provide Eli a much needed deep threat on offense to stretch out the defense.  A big question however will be if running back David Wilson can pick up blitzes and protect Eli as well as Amhad Bradshaw could.  Will Eli take his play to the next level or will he go back to the "old Eli"?

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