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Eli Manning’s Giants career plunges into uncertainty

Manning

Once again, the Giants are 0-2. Once again, things look bleak for coach Tom Coughlin.

Perhaps once again, Coughlin will respond to being on the hot seat by winning a Super Bowl.

Don’t hold your breath, or any other bodily function. The Giants have flaws, starting with both lines of scrimmage. The five-man wall of blockers that worked seamlessly and seven-man front on defense that created havoc have become a distant memory, three years after the team’s most recent NFL championship.

But amid plenty of complaints about the head coach and the offensive line and the defensive line and the new offense, one guy gets a pass. Maybe it’s because of those throws for the ages in a pair of memorable Super Bowl victories. Maybe it’s the famous last name. Maybe it’s because of the easygoing demeanor, the nervous smile, and the personality that cries out anything but “starting NFL quarterback.”

As Rodney Harrison of NBC’s Football Night in America declared after Sunday’s loss to the Cardinals, Eli Manning gets a pass for those Super Bowl wins. That won’t last much longer; with four interceptions in two games (on pace for 32 this year), Eli isn’t far from being back in the position he occupied after an ugly November 2007 loss at home to the Vikings. With his rookie contract chugging toward its conclusion, some openly asked whether it was time to look for another quarterback.

Of course, Eli followed that by leading a playoff run and, eventually, a historic march to a Super Bowl win, one that stopped the Patriots from going 19-0. With a salary of $17 million for 2015, anything other than a similarly dramatic turnaround could mean that Eli, like his brother Peyton Manning, will finish his career with another team.

Especially if, after the season, there’s another coach and/or another General Manager in New York.