It turns out that Tony Romo might not be the only delusional quarterback in the NFC East. A year after the Dallas quarterback guaranteed the Cowboys were going to win the Super Bowl, Giants passer Eli Manning has a post-season proclamation of his own. To be fair, Manning's guarantee isn't as foolishly bold as Romo's was. But when recently asked if he sees the Giants as a playoff team in 2016, here's what Manning said (via New York Post).
"Yeah, definitely. We added some great players in the offseason. We were aggressive in free agency, but still have a lot of our core guys, especially on offense, back and I think we made some good moves on defense. We're getting some guys back healthy. It's just a matter of, hey, the talent is there, can we put it together, can we find a way to win the games and play our best football when we need to?"
OK, so that quote is pretty mild. But before you come at me with the "What was he supposed to say?" line, consider that he easily could have thrown out something like "We're taking it one game at a time," or some other cliche.
I can't fault Manning for showing that he believes in his squad. I just think it's funny that he really thinks the Giants are a sure-fire playoff team given their recent history. The G-Men haven't been to the playoffs since the 2011 season. They've gone 28-36 in a weak division since then.
New York had an historically awful defense last season. Yes, the front office spent money to help fix it, but Steve Spagnuolo is still the defensive coordinator. Spags hasn't overseen a top 10 defense since his first run with the Giants in 2008. He's been in charge of some really bad units since then.
The Giants have more reason for optimism on offense. Ben McAdoo, who is now head coach, has overseen some good offensive production since being hired by New York. Odell Beckham Jr. is obviously a tremendous talent. Still, he's only one player. Who else do the Giants have that defenses are fearing?
It's not totally crazy for Manning to think the G-Men can be a playoff team. The NFC East is weak and the title is up for grabs. But what makes him so confident he can take care of his division opponents? He sure hasn't been able to beat the Eagles recently. Philadelphia is 13-3 in their last 16 games against Manning. The Giants haven't had good fortune against the rest of the NFC East, either. New York hasn't won at least four division games since all the way back in 2009.
"Definitely" a playoff team, though.