Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Manning Stays Focused

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Manning Stays Focused

Article excerpt

ST. LOUIS -- Eli Manning has given no thought to the chance he could receive an invitation to his fourth Pro Bowl next month.

And no one really can blame him, considering the future of the Giants -- his included -- seemingly has been hanging in the balance of a season that fell apart prior to Thanksgiving, ending on the outside of the playoffs for the fifth time in six seasons.

But if the Giants were judged by what their greatest priority for 2014 actually was -- fixing what was wrong with Manning, not solely his offensive line -- then there might be some optimism after all to glean from the current 5-9 campaign.

With two games remaining, Manning has been nowhere as bad as he was last season.

In fact, the two-time Super Bowl MVP quarterback actually has been pretty good, save for a disaster of a Nov. 16 game against the 49ers in which he threw five interceptions.

So yeah, about that Pro Bowl thing: The way these honors go, when the dust settles, Manning at least has played his way into the conversation again.

Well, maybe for others, but not in his mind.

"I wouldn't expect that, so I'm not worried about that," Manning said. "I'm just worried about these Rams and trying to get a win."

The Giants have followed the seven-game losing streak that knocked them out of playoff contention with two consecutive wins over league cellar-dwellers Tennessee and Washington. Today's game against the 6-8 Rams represents a step up in competition, considering whom St. Louis has beaten in its building, namely Super Bowl contenders Seattle and Denver.

Manning has shown this season he is not the reason for the Giants' struggles and you could not say that with certainty at the end of last season, not after the worst campaign of his career featuring a league-leading 27 interceptions.

The Giants brought in offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo, a brand new West Coast offense and a new quarterbacks coach in Danny Langsdorf, three moves made with the intention of sparking Manning to a reinvention of his game. …

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