Did you know that when Eli Manning has faced blitzes this year, his passer rating is 76.6, while when he’s not blitzed, it’s 101.0?  Neither did I, before I read this piece by Mike Garafolo in the Star-Ledger.  (Garafolo’s the best Giants beat reporter out there, in my opinion – I recommend making his daily coverage your go-to.)

I’m not exactly sure what to make of this statistic because teams blitz more in obvious passing situations, when a guy’s rating is more likely to be lower anyway.  The article didn’t put these numbers in any kind of context in terms of where Eli stands vis a vis the rest of the league.

But according to Pro Football Prospectus 2008: “Eli Manning was hurried on a below-average percentage of pass plays, but when he was hurried – during the regular season, at least – he had the worst DVOA of any quarterback with at least 30 passes.”  So there you go…

On Eli’s first pick Monday, the Browns brought 5 (which means they blitzed one) and he was hit as he threw.  He had pressure in his face on the third pick too, though the Browns didn’t blitz.

His tendency to throw off his back foot in the face of pressure is well-documented.  A frequent shit-talking line of opposing teams is that they feel Eli can be rattled if they get pressure on him.  This isn’t to say that Eli’s turns into a total jellyfish in the face of pressure; rather, it just means that protecting the quarterback may be a little more important for us than for other teams.

Speaking of guys hitting Eli, the Browns’ Shaun Rodgers was not fined for intentionally driving his 578-pound upper body onto Eli a full step after he threw, which led to Eli’s chest injury.

I think he should have been: It’s not as if Rodgers’ momentum carried him into Eli, and he knew Eli had released the ball when he delivered the initial hit.  Now, I suppose he’s entitled to that initial hit, but driving the force of his upper body as they went down was just unnecessarily rough, given that he knew Eli had thrown the ball.  And that’s what that was: unnecessary roughness.

Eli has downplayed the injury, but he always does.  But last year, the shoulder injury sustained in the opener against Dallas was much worse than anyone let on – I got this from Ralph Vacchiano’s Eli Manning: The Making of a Quarterback.  So on this one, it’s kind of anybody’s guess if he’ll be limited or not.

Last but not least, no discussion about Eli under pressure would be complete without mentioning this play. 

Here’s an amazing quote in Vacchano’s book from head Mike Carey, the Super Bowl’s head referee:

“It was like a scene out of National Geographic, where it’s a lion jumping on the back of a wild horse.  You could see him just desperately trying to pull out and some how he did.  Usually, a quarterback goes straight ahead when that happens and just tries to get yardage.  For some reason he turned around and ran back deeper into the pocket.  Lucky for him that he did.  He had a little safe haven.”