I know, I know, I know. He’s different now. Ever since the four-touchdown performance against the Old England defense, he is playing turnover-free ball and he looks like, well, his older brother Peyton.
Leading the Giants to Super Bowl XLII, Eli Manning is playing flawless football and leaving his bad habits behind. The 20 interceptions in 2007, the career passing rating of 73.4 and the 12,000 grey hairs he has given Coughlin have all been forgotten.
But people, come on, that Patriots game was only four weeks ago. That is 28 days since the perpetual horror flick played at Giants Stadium and visiting fields called Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Raw Hyde.
Like Week 12, when Elisha hosted the Vikings at the Meadowlands and served a turd burger by throwing four interceptions in a 41-17 loss. Or his sour milk soiree, the next Sunday in Chicago, with two picks and a stellar 63 QB-rating.
And I’m sure that his father Archie went to Hallmark.com and ordered a scrapbook for Eli’s 18-for-53 grenade launching on the Redskins — two weeks before his career performance against the Pats.
This is a schizophrenic quarterback.
So swallowing three playoff pills may have masked the problem, but it’s still there.
Do you suffer from throwing the ball to the wrong team on odd weeks? Are your leadership skills still questioned to the point that you have to celebrate with your punter when your team advances to the Big Game? Do you still look like a 13-year-old boy, live in the shadow of your consistent brother and make a face of apple-cider constipation when things go wrong?
Well now you no longer have to despair and can play the way you have performed the last four weeks every time the ball is snapped. Make sure you consult your Coach before ordering Elitra.
Side effects may include insecure teammates, doubting media, large Vegas point spreads, Belichick game plans, banged up offensive linemen, and defensive ends that want to rip your head off of your shoulders.
Or maybe I’m just being a pill and raining on the parade of the next superstar in the making. Hell, if Eli just keeps chucking it up to Plaxico Burress, he might just be all right.
$100 million will be wagered on next week’s game if you don’t count the action with bookies. You can bet on anything including who wins the coin toss.
To me, whether or not Eli plays well in the Super Bowl is the same thing.
Mark Havens is a former sports writer who has never lost the jones. He currently runs business development for a 9-year-old software company named BlueTie. Mark is engaged, has two nephews and one niece, and voluntarily coaches basketball for 15 high schoolers.