The New York Giants offense has been bad this season, scoring just 13 points over their first two games. NFL on CBS analyst Boomer Esiason gave a number of reasons why the Giants have struggled. But none were bigger than two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback Eli Manning.
“It goes back to the quarterback,” Esiason told The Jim Rome Show. “As much as I admire and respect, and do like Eli Manning, as both a football player and gentleman off the field, and somebody who always carries himself with great dignity, and somebody who leads his team, it’s obvious that over the last two years skills have deteriorated.”
Esiason said the top pick in the 2004 NFL Draft’s play has regressed the past few seasons, with the past eight or nine games showing a sharp decline.
“Eli is 36, he’s not getting any younger,” Esiason said. “He doesn’t look like he’s getting any better. He plays every game, which I think Giant fans have great respect for, but in all honesty, if you really take a look at it, there are some things around him that are obviously not supporting the way that he plays. But if you’re going to be making over $20 million a year in this NFL in the cap era, and you play quarterback, you have to be able to camouflage some of the short comings of your team. And unfortunate Eli is no longer that type of player.”
In addition to the Giants, Esiason also touched on last night’s action packed Thursday Night Football game, where the Los Angeles Rams held off a late rally to beat the San Francisco 49ers 41-39. The former NFL MVP hopes games like that are the type of product the league can show more often in prime time.
“It was an awesome game. It was really entertaining,” Esiason said. “And what I love most about it is you had two young coaches. You can see that both teams are significantly better. And in the case of the Rams, you can see the impact that a coach like Sean McVay can have on a young player like Jared Goff. Because Jared Goff looks like a completely different player than he did last year.”
After averaging just 12 points a game during his seven starts as a rookie—seven-straight losses for the Rams—Goff’s game has exploded under the tutelage of his 31-year-old head coach.
“The fact that the Rams right now basically have the number one offense in football, I’m sure somebody will have a big game this week and maybe catch up to them, but I just thought it was great to see Kyle Shanahan. It was great to see Sean McVay,” Esiason said. “Young players really playing to the forefront. Todd Gurley now being reinvigorated, so is Sammy Watkins. It was great. The color rush uniforms, I love it. I wish every Thursday game would be like that, I think it would be far-fetched to think that would happen, but just an awesome game. That’s the best of what NFL football looks like.”