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Eli Manning
New York Giants
9/25 4:10PM

Eli Manning yet to find groove on deep-ball throwing


Eli Manning has appeared far more comfortable in Ben McAdoo's new offense in the past two weeks.

The New York Giants quarterback has completed 70 percent of his passes overall -- his QB coach's magic number -- against the Arizona Cardinals and Houston Texans. That's the good news. One aspect of Manning's game that hasn't clicked, however, is the deep game.

According to the NFL Media research team, Manning is 0-for-7 with an interception on passes beyond 20 yards this season. That's a continuance of a trend that started last year, when Manning completed just 28.6 percent of his downfield throws and posted a passer rating of 62.9.

From 2009 to 2012, Manning was one of the most dangerous downfield passers in the league. He completed 36.3 percent of his passes during that four-year span and posted passer ratings of 92.2, 94.7, 94.1, and a career-best 116 in 2011.

Manning's big-play ability used to be the best part of his game. Now McAdoo is operating an offense that's built for more quick strikes. When they have opened it up, it hasn't worked.

The silver lining in all this is Odell Beckham Jr., the first-round pick who has been sidelined since August with a hamstring injury. Beckham returned to practice this week and could give the Giants' vertical attack the shot in the arm it needs. He needs to get in the mix first.
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