Posts Tagged ‘Eli Manning’

Philadelphia Eagles flying high after total shutout of New York Giants

Monday, October 13th, 2014

by Brandyn Campbell

Brandyn Blog





BSThe Philadelphia Eagles head into their bye week flying on the highest note possible: On the heels of total shutout of those New York football Giants 27-0. 27-zip. 27-to-nada.

However you say it, the score is beautiful.

This is the game when LeSean McCoy finally got going, notching 149 rushing yards. The tight ends got into the act, with Zach Ertz and James Casey both getting in the endzone. Nick Foles finished the game with 21 for 34 with 248 yards for 2 touchdowns, but also threw two interceptions.

The Eagles defense showed up big time, completely stifling an offense that had averaged 35 points its last few games. But the streaking Giants simply had no answers for the Eagles, who got eight sacks (6 on Eli Manning and 2 on backup Ryan Nassib), limiting the two-time Super Bowl MVP to 13 for 23, 154 yards for exactly 0 touchdowns.

Connor Barwin was an absolute beast, getting to Manning for three sacks. Vinny Curry had a blast getting to the quarterback and sacking the Giants’ QB twice. Brandon Graham, Trent Cole and Brandon Blair also got into the each, notching a sack each.  Much as the New York media wanting to claim dismay at the portrayal of “Lil Eli Manning” in the Eagles cartoons, that’s exactly what he looked like on the field Sunday night.

It’s the first shutout for the Birds since 1996, and the first at Lincoln Financial Field.  Oh, the previous shutout, which took place in December of ’96. Against the Giants. In that game the Eagles won 24-0.

Darren Sproles, who added to the team’s touchdowns on Sunday night, left the game in the fourth quarter with a knee injury. We’ll wait for news and hope that everything is okay with the most dynamic Eagles player this season.

It was the most complete win the Eagles have put together all season. The victory becomes all the more important as the Dallas Cowboys improved to 5 -1 earlier in the day, beating the Seattle Seahawks. Philadelphia retains its lead in the NFC East and has shown just how good–and dangerous–they can look when everyone is on their game. It’s a wonderful sight to behold for Eagles fans, and something that hopefully makes their next several opponents very nervous as they study the Birds’ Week 6 game film.

Cary Williams is a talker, but his line following the game was great:

“Who said we were a soft 4-1? We’re 5-1 now. Is that soft, too?”

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Brandyn Campbell of Philly Sports Muse, for War Room Sports

An epic week in Eagles-Giants trash talk

Saturday, October 11th, 2014

by Brandyn Campbell

Brandyn Blog





The hatred between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New York Giants runs deep, and the lead up to Sunday night’s matchup between the

Trent Cole will not be the only Eagles player going Eli hunting on Sunday night.

Trent Cole will not be the only Eagles player going Eli hunting on Sunday night.

NFC East rivals has done everything to demonstrate this truth. Play on the field doesn’t get underway until 8:30 Sunday evening, but the mouths of the players on both teams have been going and going and going all week.

The barbs have been flying back and forth all week, so I’ll pick up with Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul showing his dislike for the Birds, as well as basic arithmetic:

“They’re 4-1, but they could easily be 0-4.”

Eagles center Jason Kelce shot right back at JPP and then some, including Big Blue’s head coach in his counter attack, issued on the 94WIP Morning Show:

“I don’t think Jason Pierre-Paul is smart enough to come up with that statement on his own. I think he’s the type of guy that just reiterates what his coaches have been telling him. So, I’m a little worried about Tom Coughlin’s math ’cause I feel like maybe that’s where it was screwed up. Maybe it was just relayed to him.”

*Snap* *snap* *snap* “Men on Film” would need an entirely new snap formation to appropriately characterize Kelce’s words.

What has made this particular Eagles-Giants week unprecedented is how much the Eagles organization has gotten into the act. First, actor Bradley Cooper joined forces with the team to put out this trash-talking masterpiece, proclaiming, “You want to know the best way to shut a loud mouth up? Shut it for them.”


And then, they put out a Halloween-themed cartoon featuring lil’ Eli Manning scared of all of the members of the Eagles defense in their all-black err’thing:  

But our friends in New York couldn’t handle the heat. The New York Daily News, always an arbiter of taste, got in the act, responding to Cooper’s Eagles video with this backpage with the headline “Silver Whinings Playbook”:

Clever. Did they come up with that all by themselves?

It’s been a crazy week, even as Eagles-Giants weeks go. But talk is cheap, as has been said many times as a counter-point to the madness. What matters most is what happens between the white lines. The Eagles are top of the division and look to extend that lead with the outcome of Sunday’s game. Once that happens, we can all rest a little easier heading into the Bye. And you think we’re trash talking now?

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Brandyn Campbell of Philly Sports Muse, for War Room Sports


One Month ‘til the Draft: Who’s the Best Pick for the Philadelphia Eagles?

Monday, March 25th, 2013

by Brandyn Campbell






As March draws to a close, football’s focus turns increasingly to the upcoming 2013 NFL draft, which is exactly one month away.  The Philadelphia Eagles will get the spotlight early, selecting fourth due to their abysmal 4-12 2012 season.  With the stakes so high, Philadelphia cannot afford to miss with their draft choice.


This year’s draft will be different from that of 2012, including the fact that the first and second choice picks are not known.  In fact, there is not a clear consensus as to which prospect will be drafted first.  There isn’t the killer crop of quarterbacks that we saw last year.  But the draft is always a different animal from year to year.  The Eagles need to make the most of the talent present in 2013 and choose wisely.  So who might they choose?


There is a lot of buzz surrounding Alabama corner Dee Milliner (6’0, 201), particularly after the deficiencies of Philadelphia’s secondary in the past few seasons.  The corner is known for a remarkable combination of athleticism and size.  Milliner appears on Mel Kiper Jr.’s latest mock draft as the second-best overall player in the draft, saying


“Nnamdi Asomugha won’t be wearing an Eagles uniform in 2013, and in a division with Eli Manning, Tony Romo and Robert Griffin III, the Eagles can’t simply attempt to piece together the secondary.  They need talent, and Milliner offers the best cornerback talent in the draft.  Not a tough pick.”


Can the Birds get him?


Mike Mayock ranks 6’2, 311 pound Star Lotulelei of Utah as the top defensive end for a 3-4 system, which certainly has to make him of possible interest to the Birds, particularly after racking up 42 tackles, 11 for loss, 5 sacks in his senior year.


Chip Kelly is plenty familiar with 3-4 outside linebacker Dion Jordan (6’6, 248), also ranked as the top in his position in the draft.  His height allows him to quickly cover a lot of ground and get to tight ends and slot receivers in the open field.


Philadelphia could also use some help on the offensive line, with Jason Peters and Jason Kelce coming off of ACL injuries and former first rounder Danny Watkins showing repeatedly that he cannot provide what the line needs.  Texas A&M OT Luke Joeckel (6’6, 306) is considered by many to be the top overall talent in the draft.  However, if he still around when the Eagles are on the clock it will be a pick that will be hard to refuse.  If Joeckel is not available, perhaps the Birds will consider Central Michigan’s Eric Fisher (6’7, 306), who’s Bucky Brooks describes as, “adding an athletic edge blocker with tremendous potential.”


Half of the fun of the draft is the anticipation.  The waiting, the wondering, the storylines that may unfold leading up to draft day that may change a player’s standing.  But the Eagles have got to hit their pick out of the park and pick up a player that will add immediate impact to team.  Who will that player be?  Only 31 days left to find out.


Want more Philly Sports Muse? You can find me on Twitter at @sports_muse and on Facebook.


Brandyn Campbell of Philly Sports Muse, for War Room Sports


Eli Manning: Undoubtedly Elite

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

By Devin McMillan

It all started back in August (2011) on a New York City radio show.  Show host Michael Kay asked New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning if he considers himself an “elite” quarterback, in the class of say……3-time Superbowl champion and American Golden Boy, Tom Brady.  Eli’s response?…

“I consider myself in that class.  Tom Brady is a great quarterback, he’s a great player, and what you’ve seen with him is he’s gotten better every year.  He started off winning championships and I think he’s a better quarterback now than what he was, in all honesty, when he was winning those championships.  I think now he’s grown up and gotten better every year and that’s what I’m trying to do.  I kind of hope these next seven years of my quarterback days are my best.”

America’s response?…

Eli’s comments were met with laughter, ridicule, and in some circles, even a little anger.  No one believed him.  But what was he supposed to say?  Was he supposed to say, “no, I’m not in that class, I’ll never get any better than I was the last time you saw me, Tom Brady is my daddy”?  Had he spoken with that sort of lack of confidence, the firestorm of criticism may have been even greater than what he received for exuding the utmost confidence in his talent, skill level, and abilities.  What would Giants fans have thought had Eli cowered in the face of what should have been viewed as a challenge to him to become the very best he could be?  I wonder if they even believed him.  I’ve had discussions with Giants fans in the past few years who wouldn’t even say that Eli was the best quarterback in the NFC East, let alone one of the better signal callers in the league; a ridiculous notion if you ask me.

I believed Eli’s comments to Michael Kay, and had been a believer for quite some time prior to them.  I had long before noticed his propensity to shine in clutch moments and I believed he was well on his way to climbing from underneath the huge shadow cast over him by his older brother.  Only this was a belief difficult to defend due to the stat-lackey nature of most sports fans.  Though Eli Manning tossed the pigskin around for 4002 yards and a career high 31 touchdowns in the Giants’ 10-6 2010 season, football fans chose to concentrate on the one glaring statistic that could legitimize their arguments against Eli’s ascension into the conversation of the elite…the 25 interceptions.  Forget the 156 touchdown passes up to that point.  Forget the 4000 yard seasons that have become a trend as he improved as a QB.  Forget the 60-43 record as a starter.  Forget the 13 4th quarter comebacks and the 16 game winning drives.  Forget the Superbowl win after the 2007 season.  Forget the Superbowl MVP he EARNED with his performance in that game vs the then 18-0 New England Patriots.  Forget all of that stuff and just for a minute watch the game and make a judgment without a boxscore and preconceived notions.  It would serve the world better if more of us would learn to administer the “eye test” from time to time rather than depend on Sportscenter highlights to form our sports opinions (That’ll be the day…).  This was Eli Manning in a nutshell through the 2010 season.

Then came “the comments”.  Eli had boldly stated his arrival to a nation full of cynics.  And all he did after that was have his best season as a pro.  In the all-important 2011 campaign, Manning completed 61% of his passes, for 4933 yards, to go along with 29 TDs, 16 INTs, a QB rating of 92.9, 7 more 4th quarter comebacks, and 8 more game winning drives; all while the Giants struggled to a 9-7 record and a division title in an unexpectedly weak NFC East.  He also threw an NFL record 15- 4th quarter touchdowns; a record originally set by Johnny Unitas (14) and shared with Eli’s older brother, Peyton.  In the postseason, he raised his game even more, completing 65% of his passes, for 1219 yards, to go along with 9 TDs, 1 INT, a QB rating of 103.3, 2 more 4th quarter comebacks and 2 more game winning drives.  This run consisted of a home win vs Atlanta and 3 road wins vs the NFC #1 seeded, 15-1 defending champion Packers, the #2 seeded 49ers, and a Superbowl rematch with the AFC #1 seeded Patriots.

In my opinion, Superbowl XLVI was Eli’s finest hour.  Not because he had his finest game or anything of that nature; but because after all of the intense scrutiny that commenced prior to the season because of his comments, he was in a position to “zip-up” all of his critics in a Superbowl rematch with arguably the greatest quarterback, coach, and dynasty of this or any era…and boy did he deliver!  On the biggest stage in sports, Eli went 30/40, for 296 yards, 1 TD, 0 INTs, with a 103.8 QB rating.  Though quite efficient, it wasn’t Eli’s statistics that were most impressive (which it usually isn’t).  It was the calm and poise he once again demonstrated, but this time in the biggest moments of the biggest game of his life.  Eli Manning’s most important season ever came down to the wire with another one of his signature 4th quarter comebacks and another one of his signature game winning drives.  On that final drive, Eli went 5-6 for 76 yards, including a beautiful 38-yard sideline throw and catch from Manning to Manningham, capped off with a 6-yard Bradshaw rushing TD…”by mistake”.  The evening culminated with Eli hoisting his second Lombardi trophy and his second Superbowl MVP at the expense of Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, the New England Patriots, and anyone who still refuses to give Eli Manning his “just due” for being the “elite” winner that he is.

Besides his proverbial trip to Disney World, Eli’s night came complete with a 2012 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Convertible Centennial Edition (fit for an MVP) and these comments from his also often-embattled head coach, Tom Coughlin:

“That was quite a drive that he was able to put together.  He deserves all the credit in the world, because he really has put his team on his shoulders all year.”

Anyone with eyes and an objective opinion can see that Tom Coughlin is right.  The brightest spot of a struggling Giants team all season was the play of their quarterback.  Unlike Kevin Durant, Eli Manning didn’t sport a backpack at his press conferences.  But he damn sure hung a big blue one off his shoulder pads for 3 hours every Sunday this Fall.  I understand as much as anyone that football is the ultimate TEAM game and that no one wins or loses by themselves.  If not for the Giants front four stepping up to help late in the season, or their running game eventually showing up in the playoffs, or their entire team deciding down the stretch that they were “all in” for an historic run, Sunday night may not have happened.  However, not many thought that Eli Manning had a chance in the world to remotely live up to his reply to that dreaded Michael Kay question on an innocent August day.  Has he made you a b-ELI-ever yet?  No matter how you slice it, you definitely can no longer spell “elite” without Eli.

Take off your backpack Eli.  You can rest your shoulders now…and maybe; just maybe, the doubters can rest their mouths.

Devin McMillan of The War Room, for War Room Sports

Superbowl XLVI Preview

Saturday, February 4th, 2012

By Brandon Pemberton

Well, the biggest sporting event of the year is finally here, Super Bowl XLVI.  The 46th installment will feature the Eli Manning-led New York Giants versus Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, who are looking for their 4th Super Bowl ring over the last eleven seasons.  I will breakdown each phase of the game: Offense, Defense, Special Teams, for each team and give out my winner against the point spread afterwards.

Also be sure to catch Sports Trap Radio, Saturdays from 10am to 2pm live on , hosted by Brandon Pemberton (@BrandonOnSports) and Chris Marshall (@215_Sports_Guy).  We will bring you the realness, each and every Saturday morning, no holds barred, no opinions withheld.  Be sure to listen in and feel free to call in and join in on the conversation and debate.


Giants: Eli Manning has had the best season of his career, carrying this team on his back all season.  The running game has been pretty non-existent for much of the season, being as though Ahmad Bradshaw missed four games due to a foot injury.  Brandon Jacobs, who is one of the team’s emotional leaders, had a mediocre season, averaging only 3.8 yards per carry and compiling 571 yards in 14 games.  But offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride has done a great job calling plays by running the ball anyway, keeping teams honest and allowing the Giants offensive line to be physical and not retreat all game.

The Giants passing game has been its bread and butter all season and for them to win the game, they will need Manning to continue to play at the elite level that he’s been at over the last two months.  People laughed at him during the preseason when he said he was one of the league’s elite, and up to this point he’s done nothing but prove everyone wrong.  The trio of wide receivers: Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz, and Mario Manningham are among the league’s best.  Add in tight end Jake Ballard, who has been a pleasant surprise in the passing game and you have a deadly offense that can put up points fast.

Keys: The Giants will obviously need to protect Manning, not turn the ball over, and have some sort of running game to be an effective offensive unit and win the game.

Patriots: The Patriots offense is obviously driven by the future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady, who is looking for his fourth title and revenge of the Pats’ loss in the title game four years ago.  The Pats offense is very explosive, but in a rare way, a way that we’ve never seen in the NFL before to my recollection.  The Patriots best offensive weapons are their super duo at tight end, Rob Gronkowski (90 rec, 1327 yards, 17 TD) and Aaron Hernandez (79 rec, 910 yards, 7 TD), but you can’t forget about Wes Welker (122 rec, 1569 yards, 9 TD) as well.  Welker has kind of been forgotten because of the excellent play of the tight ends but he will be lined up in the slot against the 3rd corner or Antrel Rolle, who often plays corner in the slot as well.  Gronkowski is nursing a high ankle sprain and practiced for the first time on Thursday, so we will see how effective he is during the game.  He is Brady’s favorite red zone threat.

Four years ago, the Giants were able to get constant pressure on Brady with their front four defensively.  The Pats’ offensive line must do a better job protecting Brady in this game.  We all know when he is knocked around and has to move off of his spot and rush, he isn’t as effective.  The Patriots don’t have much of a rushing game, but when given the chance, BenJarvus Green-Ellis can be effective.  He is a big battering ram, who does well between the tackles, in short yardage situations and at the goal line, as he scored 11 TD’s during the regular season.  Danny Woodhead and Stevan Ridley get their fair share of carries as well, and are used in the short passing game.

Keys: Offensive line must protect Brady well; allow him to get comfortable in the pocket, Gronkowski’s ankle: How effective will he be?  How long will he be able to play?  They will need some sort of deep threat (via Ochocinco or Slater) in the passing game.  Also, be on the watch for the Patriots running screens to Woodhead and even Hernandez to slow down the Giants pass rush.


Giants: The Giants’ defense has gotten hot at the right time of the year, and is a big part of the reason why the Giants are playing in this game.  The defensive line is putting supreme pressure on the opposing teams’ quarterbacks, and playing well against the run.  The linebacker play was brutal the first 13 weeks of the season, but during the last 4 weeks and the playoffs, the linebackers have been great.  Led by Micheal Boley and Chase Blackburn, who was on his way to retiring, the linebacker core has been solid against the run and pass.  They will have their hands full dealing with the likes of Gronkowski, Hernandez, Welker, and Woodhead in the passing game though.

They might not get a lot of press, but cornerbacks Aaron Ross and Corey Webster are solid pros who don’t make many mistakes in coverage.  They are also willing tacklers in the run game and against tight ends and backs out of the backfield.  The Giants play three safeties on passing downs plenty, and Rolle, Dion Grant and Kenny Phillips are all good in coverage and devastating hitters as well.  They look to separate the ball from receivers frequently.

Keys: They must get to Tom Brady early and often. Get him frustrated, make him rush and he might turn it over. Try to contain the tight ends, when they make catches, they must be tackled immediately.

Patriots: The Patriots defense coming into the playoffs was ranked 31st of 32 teams in yards given up per game.  They were in the top half of the league as far as giving up points, ranked 15th as they have given up 21.4 points per game.  But in two playoff games they are giving up 325 yards per game and only 15 points.  They are doing a decent job right now getting a pass rush and it’s generated not only from the outside, but with a great push up the middle.

Early in the season the Pats were going with a 4-3 base defense and was unable to get any sort of pass rush, and it left the defensive backfield out to dry.  Belichick has since gone back to the traditional 3-4, but he often mixes his fronts and personnel as well during games.  Nose tackle Vincent Wilfork played out of his mind two weeks ago against the Baltimore Ravens.  He was a force in the middle of the line and he dominated the line of scrimmage against the pass and the run. Outside linebackers Mark Anderson and Rob Ninkovich must get pressure on Eli Manning, knock him around, force a fumble, an interception, something.  If they allow him to stand back there, he and the trio of receivers will tear this defense apart.  The Patriots are solid versus the run and should have no problem stopping the Giants running attack.

The defensive backfield for the Pats will be tested on Sunday for sure.  They will have to be at their best going up against the Giants passing game.  Whether it’s Nicks down field, Cruz in the slot, or Manningham on the outside, they cannot afford to have any blown coverage, missed assignments, or missed tackles.  Expect plenty of Cover 3 and man coverage with two safeties over the top to keep the Giants from making too many big plays down the field.

Keys: Get a pass rush and force Eli into mistakes. No blown coverage, eliminate the giants big plays downfield. Tackle the Giants WR’s after the catch.


Special Teams

Giants: Giants special teams play has been pretty solid all season.  Devin Thomas is not only their kick returner, but also one of their best kick and punt coverage guys as well.  Lawrence Tynes kicked the game winner two weeks ago, sending the Giants to the Super Bowl and Weatherford did a great job getting the snap down.  Their return game is special, Thomas runs kicks and Ross fields the punts.

Patriots: The Pats kicker Stephen Gostkowski made 28-33 FG’s during the regular season.  He only attempted 2 outside of 50 yards and made one.  Punter Zoltan Mesko is one of the NFL’s best and he does a good job putting punts down between the goal line and 20 yard line.  Julian Edelman and Danny Woodhead split the kick return duties, while Edelman returns punts.  Edelman has taken a punt back 72 yards for a TD this season.

My Prediction: This is going to be a great game to watch.  The Patriots are a three point favorite in Vegas and if the line was a bit bigger I would be certain that they would win.  But I don’t know how healthy Gronkowski is and I love the way the Giants are playing as a team right now.  Eli Manning could win his 2nd title with a win on Sunday, putting him in the elite of the elite.

Giants 29 Patriots 27

Super Bowl MVP: Hakeem Nicks

Brandon Pemberton of Brandon on Sports and Sports Trap Radio, for War Room Sports

The War Room Episode 76

Friday, January 27th, 2012

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Can’t Spell Elite Without Eli (Ep 75)

Friday, January 20th, 2012

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Tiki Barber: He Should Stay Absent

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

I read somewhere that Tiki Barber was planning on returning to the NFL.  I mean that can’t be true, right?  I mean how old is he?  Correct me if I am wrong, but wasn’t he a running back?  He is about to be 36 years of age.  That is like 100 in running back years.  He has got to be kidding himself.  I guess that analyst gig didn’t work out too well for him.

Interviewing the "non-leader" Eli Manning

I don’t want to sound like I am putting him down, but I really can’t see what he could possibly offer any NFL team.  It seems that the sudden urge to return to his comfort zone was predicated by the fact that his twin brother Ronde Barber still plays.

Ronde & Tiki (The Barber Bros)

This is a really inspiring reason but hardly logical.  Here are the facts: Number one, Ronde Barber is a cornerback (which means they have a longer shelf-life).  Number two, Tiki has been out of the league for FOUR years.  Number three, he threw his former teammate and quarterback Eli Manning under the bus, inciting he was the reason for why the Giants weren’t going anywhere.  To his shock (I’m sure), the Giants went on the next year to beat the best team in the NFL (the then undefeated New England Patriots) to win Super Bowl XLII.  You all see where I am going with this, right?

Stephanie C. Curry, Guest Blogger for War Room Sports