It happens to the best of them. As a matter of fact it happens to all NFL quarterbacks. What happens? The realization of the fact that their professional sports career is over.
Manning's on-again, off-again performance has been a pattern for several years. But this year he's playing like his first year as a rookie quarterback. Manning's 2013 record almost mirrors his 2004 rookie year record. The season isn't quite over yet.
Unless Manning and company step it up for the last two games in the regular season, against the Detroit Lyons and then the Washington Redskins, the Giants will face their worst season in almost 10 years.
Giants head coach Tom Coughlin, has stood by Manning and almost turning a blind eye to his performance. By his own admission, not once did Coughlin consider benching Manning. A fatal error by some accounts. Manning is leading the league in interceptions at 15.
Coughlin was recently quoted as calling the team's shutout performance against the Seattle Seahawks, "pathetic." The truth is the entire 2013 season is pathetic. Manning had a career-high, of five interceptions, in the Seattle game.
Manning's two Super Bowl wins at the helm, seem illusory at this point in his career. Can the Giants' team management afford to chalk-up Manning's 2013 abysmal performance, as an anomaly? Or is it time to cut their losses and take a proactive approach in finding Manning's replacement?
New York Daily News wrote, "What if 2013 is really what Manning is all about now? He’s played 10 years and he won’t be 33 until next month — prime time years for a QB — but the Giants have to hope this season is an aberration and just a confluence of bad circumstances."
But what if Manning is reaching the downside of his career? “I just don’t believe that,” Coughlin said. Even so, Coughlin is concerned about the way Manning has played this season. “You perform that way and you have those sorts of results — there’s no way around it,” he said. “I mean, there’s no production. There’s turnovers.”