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Giants’ Eli Manning still a great deep-ball passer, statistics show

Eli Manning haters have long contended that he can no longer compete in the NFL and has lost his touch on deep passes.

Not so, according to the statistics. ESPN posted an infographic of the most 20-plus-yard passes thrown this season (meaning the ball traveled over 20 yards in the air). Manning was 10th in the NFL in the category with 57 attempts.

What the haters might be surprised by is that Manning completed 25 of those passes for a completion rate of 44 percent — the highest of any quarterback in the top 10.

And if you want to believe Manning can’t succeed outside of the pocket, well … you’re wrong about that, too.

This stat comes a day after Giants head coach publicly committed to Manning for the foreseeable future. He wants Eli back in 2019, and the Giants do have Manning under contract for one more season.

“Because I’ve seen him play good football,” said Shurmur when asked why he believes Manning has “years” left to his career. “I’ve seen how when we have a coordinated effort of protecting him, running the football effectively, and being able to run the ball throughout the game, it helps us. We threw the ball more than I would have liked to in the game that was really one score, but seven of those throws were two-minute before the half, and then there were 15 in the fourth quarter when we were down by 17. That skews the numbers.

“The important thing about yesterday in our coordinated effort was we didn’t get enough out of the runs when we chose to run the ball. We had a couple of situations where we ran the ball and got penalties and got knocked back and knocked off schedule. That’s where that coordinated effort comes in.”

This could all change in the offseason, but the other options for the Giants are not very appealing. Starting a rookie would not likely be a wise move nor would inserting Kyle Lauletta, who the club appears to be backing off of.

Free agency offers very little, and a trade isn’t likely to happen, either. Signing a veteran like Teddy Bridgewater is an insult to all Giant fans. He hasn’t started a game in this league in three years. There’s no way the team will go in that direction. They’d rather let Eli, if anyone, be the bridge.

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