Is Eli an Elite Quarterback?

August 18, 2011

Sports Illustrated had an article on their site today talking about a recent interview Eli Manning had on a radio program.  He was asked if he considered himself to be in the same elite class of Quarterbacks as Tom Brady (who Eli and the Giants defeated in the Superbowl a few years back).  Naturally, Eli did say he’s in the same class, and that’s to be expected from an NFL star.  Of course, he’s received a lot of grief by his critics and the media, as covered in SI’s article “The never-ending debate over Eli Manning.”

He has his problems, but he’s undervalued as well. One of the problems plaguing Eli (and the Giants in general) is their WR position. Look at the point leaders of the WRs over the past few years.

2010 WRs: Nicks, Manningham, Smith (Smith injured)
2009 WRs: Smith, Nicks, Manningham (Nicks and Manninghams’ second year)
2008 WRs: Toomer, Burress, Hixon
2007 WRs: Burress, Toomer, Moss
2006 WRs: Burress, Toomer, Carter

Burress and Toomer were Eli’s go-to guys for much of his high-point years (so far), with Smith taking over that role (almost solely) in 2009. These three WRs compensated for Eli’s sling-and-pray throwing style. Eli knew they would catch the ball, and the WR’s knew when to expect the ball to come their way.

In 2009, Eli was fortunate to have two raw receivers step up to fill the gap with Nicks and Manningham, though both didn’t play a full season. In 2010, Smith, Nicks, and Manningham all returned, but only Manningham played a full season. The lack of time on field with Nicks and Manningham (plus 4 green WR’s becoming starters in 2010 due to all the injuries) hurt the chemistry between them and Eli, which is why we saw so many “should have caught that ball” moments, with more than a few landing in the defenses hands.

“CAN” Eli become “elite?” It depends on your definition, but he definitely does have room to improve. John Elway wasn’t considered elite until near the end of his career, and a lot of that came with finding the right chemistry with the right personnel. If Manningham and/or Nicks stay healthy enough to mature into the next Burress, Eli might see his on-field performance improve (he does have great stats under the large turn-over figure). Then again, he simply might end up taking the Brett Favre path of “turnovers be damned.” Favre had 1.51 Touchdowns for every interception he threw. Eli is currently at 1.38 touchdowns for every interception. Of course, Elway had 1.33 touchdowns for every interception.

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Weeks 4 through 6

June 22, 2011

Where oh where have my updates been?  Probably the same places as me!

Over the past three weeks, I have been traveling between Texas and New York.  As such, there hasn’t been much running.  I did get one day in the gym while in Texas (while it was over 100 degrees outside), and I walked all over creation in New York City for three days and nights.  I still haven’t been able to run two straight miles, though I was close on the treadmill in Texas.  Though while I’m behind in my running, I did achieve the weight-loss goal.  For the first time in my six-week challenges, I have lost 5 pounds.  I’m down to 196 from 202.  YEA!

The stats:

As you can see, I went ahead and added in notes as to why I didn’t have any run-times posted.  There’s a lot of travel listed, and the heat from Texas followed me home making it unsafe to run (even at 8:30pm).  The asterisk (*) comes from a night that I was headed out to run, but was stopped by a 40 minute phone call and then an hour talking to my neighbor on the street.  Instead of running my planned route, I decided to just do sprints up and down the hill on my street until it was too dark.

The training will continue past the six weeks as I’ve got to get ready for the Tough Mudder.


Week 3

May 30, 2011

Week three was the first real challenge.  The Summer heat has come in with a force, bring with it a lot of humidity as well.  I found myself going out later and later in the evenings just find a comfortable heat index.  On Thursday night, I didn’t head outdoors until 8:30pm.  But the heat wasn’t the only problem.  My right foot and ankle were hurting as well, and I wasn’t sure if I was coming down with shin splits.  So, I decided to not head out on Wednesday and only walk on Thursday.  Because of this, I am going to push back the next stage of the challenge by one week so I can reattempt the “1-run, 1-walk” stage.

And with that, here are the stats:

As can see, Wednesday was left black (for the reason noted above), and so was Friday.  Friday was a golf day, and after 5 hours out in the heat and tackling 18-holes, I felt that it was an equivalent amount of exercise than an hour of running/walking.  The average of 62 minutes for the approximate 4 miles is slightly better than the totals of stage one and stage two (64.2 minutes), so it is a sign that I am improving.  Hills are still my weak point, however, and I need to build up those muscles if I am going to be able to complete the next stage of running the approximately 4 miles.

On a positive note, all the physical measurements (except for my stomach) saw a decrease.  I am now down 3 pounds since the start of the 6-week challenge, and I’ve shed almost a half-inch from my waist.  I would argue that a lot of this loss is water weight due to the amount that I was sweating this week.  If that continues, I could possibly lose the five pounds by mid-June … especially if this heat continues.


Week 2

May 23, 2011

TO THE STATS!

As you can see, all the stats remained the same or dropped (which wasn’t much of a surprised).  After the bump last week, I expected lower figures this week – especially after starting the running portion of the challenge.  Speaking of running … oh my goodness!  On the first night of running, I thought I was going to die.  I didn’t even get the first quarter of a mile under my belt before I was out of breath (it didn’t help that it was raining much of the week as well).  The thighs were also sore by the end of the week, but fortunately my bad knee and feet held up.

After the first night, I did start to increase the distance I was able to run each night, though I wasn’t able to run the full 2.2 miles at any point.  With the new week bringing an additional 1.75 miles (walking) to the mix, I hope to be able to run the first lap straight by Friday.  I was averaging 13 minutes and 22 seconds a mile running last week.  Let’s see if we can get that down to 12.5 minutes by Friday.


After week one

May 15, 2011

The first week of the new six-week challenge has come and gone, so let’s take a look at the stats:

As we’ve seen in past challenges, the first week tends to see the measurements go UP for some reason, but eventually goes down, so I’m not too concerned by the increase.  However, the weight did go down a surprising 2 pounds.  It could be that either last week or this week’s measurement might be an outliner, but taken for what it is, it’s a nice change.

Coming up this week will be the first week of running.  Unfortunately, looking at the weather forecast, it should also be raining (with a chance of thunderstorms) all week.  I guess this will be trial by fire.  If I can do my first week of running in the rain, then I should be able to continue running when it’s dry.

Well … here goes nothing!


The next “6 Week” challenge

May 11, 2011

The never-ending quest to lose those pesky five pounds continues.  This time, it’s not really a six-week challenge as much as it is a six-month challenge.  A coworker has asked if I would join him in this years Tough Mudder – a 10-mile off-road obstacle course.

Running has never been my strong suit, so it’s going to take some time to get into shape (if I do take him up on his offer).  I went ahead and bought a pair of new running shoes with help from a running professional, so my flat feet should be able to handle all the impact.  Now I’m in the process of breaking the shoes in.

The Tough Mudder website says the race is about 10 miles and should take approximately 2.5 hours to complete.  In order to start practicing for the running aspect, I’ve mapped out a route in my neighborhood to begin practicing.  The first lap is 2.2 miles, and each additional lap is 1.75 miles.  My plan for getting up to par with the running is to do the following:

Week 1 – Walk the first lap (2.2 miles).
Week 2 – Jog the first lap (2.2 miles).
Week 3 – Jog the first lap, walk the second (3.95 miles).
Week 4 – Jog the first two laps (3.95 miles).
Week 5 – Jog the first two laps, walk the third (5.7 miles).
Week 6 – Jog the first three laps (5.7 miles).
Week 7 – Jog the first three laps, walk the fourth (7.45 miles).
Week 8 – Jog the first four laps (7.45 miles).
Week 9 – Jog the first four laps, walk the fifth (9.2 miles).
Week 10 – Jog the first five laps (9.2 miles).

From that point on, I will be mixing in strength exercises with the running.  Since the event will require carrying logs, climbing walls, and negotiating monkey bars, I’ll be working on pull-ups and probably push-ups.  Hopefully that will be enough to get me up to speed with my coworker.

As with all the prior six-week challenges, I’ll be keeping track of my weight and measurements at four key points: chest, stomach, waist, and glutes.  A chart and graph will be updated periodically so we can see where improvements are being made.  Maybe I’ll finally shed those five pounds once and for all!


Bin Laden Dead

May 3, 2011

This is definitely a great day/week for the United States.  Not that we should ever rejoice in the death of an individual, but the removal of Osama Bin Laden from the equation in the War on Terror is definitely an emotional and strategic boost for the nation.  Congratulations to all the hard work over the past 9+ years by our intelligence, military personnel, and government contractors.  Keep up the good work!

However, I am a little bummed.  I’ve always wanted to see Bin Laden captured, tried, and punished by having to wear a bright pink jumpsuit while he tended White House lawn.  Oh well, there is always Gaddafi.  (I jest … well, maybe a little.)