Archie says don’t make Eli the scapegoat for this lousy Giants season

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 10: Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants is pressured by Jason Hunter #93 of the Oakland Raiders at MetLife Stadium on November 10, 2013 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Elsa/Getty Images

Quarterback Eli Manning has ‘done his part’ for the NY Giants says his dad, Archie.

It’s not surprising a father would come to the aid of his son.

Asked one too many pointed questions about the struggles of Eli Manning this season, the normally stately Archie Manning briefly deviated from his aw-shucks persona to run interference for his son, saying that Eli has “done his part” and that fans shouldn’t make him the scapegoat for the Giants failings, even if he leads the league in interceptions, tied with Geno Smith of the Jets with 20. The Giants (5-8) were officially eliminated from playoff contention in Sunday’s 37-14 loss to San Diego during which Manning was intercepted twice.

“That’s one of the problems we have in analyzing football now,” Manning told the Daily News on Tuesday, speaking at the National Football Foundation annual awards press conference, where he serves as chairman. “We kind of put the quarterback in an individual thing,” the elder Manning said. “When Eli led the Giants to championships here, it’s because they had a good team and they ran the ball. They balanced the offense. They got after the quarterback. For various reasons, the Giants haven’t been able to do that this year. And Eli’s done his part — he hasn’t played as good but the Giants haven’t played as good. I don’t individualize a quarterback.”

Solicited again on his son’s struggles and if he deserves to shoulder a lot of the blame, Manning again balked, insisting it’s unfair to put the onus on a single player since it’s a team game. Using the same rational, he then pointed to the play of his other son, Peyton, saying the Broncos as a team deserve a lot of the credit, not just Peyton’s play under center.

“I don’t put it (on Eli),” Manning said. “Everybody is ranting and raving about Peyton (Manning). Peyton is having a good year because the Broncos offense is having a good year. That’s the way I look at it.”

At the same time, Archie said he understands why some will blame Eli Manning, since he does manage the most visible position on the field.

“I don’t, but I understand that it’s part of the game and I understand some people do but that’s football,” Manning said. “And I don’t have any control over that.”

Manning shed light on son Eli’s state of mind this season, saying that while he’s “dying” inside he’s also been able to keep things in perspective.

“Eli is a solid guy,” Archie said. “Eli doesn’t go too high or too low. He’s dying just like everyone on the Giants. He hates what’s going on but he’s plugging. He’s fighting, just like the rest of them are.”

The senior Manning said there was little advice he could give him at this point. And despite his poor play, father still believes his son is having success at keeping the team together.

“I’m proud of Eli as a leader,” he said. “And that’s the only thing I ever tell him — you keep fighting and you keep leading. So that’s all — not a lot you can say. We don’t have-hour conversations about this. We just talk father-son, not too long. He’s busy. He has work to do, so Eli will be okay.”

On the topic of Peyton and whether he will continue to play past 40 after undergoing multiple neck surgeries, Manning said he hasn’t had those conversations with his 37-year-old son, though he did joke that Peyton won’t play past “45” and that he would “love it” if Peyton led the Broncos to Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium.

“He and I talk but I don’t ask him how long he wants to play,” Manning said. “I know he’s glad to be back playing and I do know this about Peyton — if he can’t play like he wants to play, he’ll say it’s been a good journey and move on. I know that about him. He won’t linger.”


Daily News – Sports

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