Barry Cofield: Eli Manning is a ‘Completely Different Animal Now’
Prior to this season, Barry Cofield and Eli Manning were teammates. Cofield was on the Giants’ 2007 Super Bowl team, so he saw Manning lead the most important game-winning drive of his career to achieve the impossible. Still, that was not Manning at his best. This year’s edition of Eli is one of the best quarterbacks in the game, and has been particularly lights out in the fourth quarter. Cofield has taken notice.
“He’s a completely different animal right now,” Cofield said according to the Washington Post. “He’s playing unbelievable. If he would’ve played that well last year, we may have (given) Green Bay a run for their money. He’s playing extremely well.
“It’s a different team, just a completely different look. They’re playing differently. They have a lot of different faces in there… And it seems like Eli has matured — a couple seasons worth of maturity in one year with how well he’s playing and how well he’s playing down the stretch this year.”
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t agree. If not for Manning elevating his game to a new level this year, the Giants season would already be over. Almost every one of their wins has been the result of a fourth-quarter comeback he put together. New York’s defense has struggled, but Manning has picked up the slack. In the course of an offseason Eli has gone from a viable NFL starter to a player who can carry a team.