1. If I had one takeaway from the debut of Monday Night Football, it would be from Eli Manning. OK jokes aside, Manning was distributing the ball to the boy in light blue like last season when he ended the year leading the league in interceptions, never ended. The Look of Eli made it much anticipated return on Monday Night Football in week 1. Like the Book of Eli's titular character, Eli threw caution to the wind and didn't rely on his vision before making plays. Unfortunately, it included the Manning Face that has become so prominent after a Manning Mistake that EA Sports included it on Madden 15. The Manning Face is football’s Blue Steel. It also appears to be the only face he can make lately.
2. Manning isn’t alone in his ineptitude. The running backs matriculated the ball up field like they were driving the wrong way against Midtown West Manhattan traffic. All in all, they gained 53 yards on 22 carries and were generally putrid. The Giants have failed to supplement their roster with young talent to replace the vets that powered their two Super Bowl victories and this is the byproduct of their failures. Tom Coughlin isn’t the only figure among the Giants leadership that should be feeling the heat. The cupboard is bare and the Giants front office may get cleaned out as well if their offense can’t spring itself out of jail.
3. If you think John Brown was John Doe before he reeled in a game-winning bubble screen, juked and maneuvered into the end zone, then you weren’t paying attention during the preseason when he had 10 catches for 165 yards and a touchdown. Brown is a firecracker with the ball in his hands and his debut performance probably isn’t a fluke.
In fact, that wasn’t even the best touchdown catch of his short NFL career.
This image of John Brown's only preseason TD catch says everything u need to know. He got skillz, puttin DBs to sleep pic.twitter.com/5n77tpmtdx— DJ Meta Dunson (@CerebralSportex) September 9, 2014
Cardinals general manager Steve Keim was extremely effusive in his praise of Brown when he spoke with Grantland’s Robert Mays (or anyone who would listen) during training camp.
“I haven’t seen a rookie come in and do what he’s done — and it’s early still — since Anquan Boldin. This guy came through the first day, and being from Pittsburg State, has uncanny instincts, unbelievable understanding of route concepts, leverage, being in the right spot at the right time. On top of great ball skills, he has unusual speed and explosiveness. You add all that in combination, and it’s amazing this guy who came from Pittsburg State can do this. Through this part of camp, I haven’t seen any of our players cover him, and I think you’d probably be able to put on the Texans tape and realize they didn’t have anybody to cover him.” — Keim
“He had five for 87 in the first half [against Houston],” Keim said. “If you watch the film, he probably should have had seven or eight for about 200.” Keim added.
Keim also said that he would have been “irate” if Brown had gone off the board in the third round before Arizona could make a pick.
If anyone comes off looking better than or as good a Brown after Monday night, it’s Keim for his vision.
4. Neither member of the Class of 2004 quarterback triumvirate has too much momentum behind them after last night. Philip Rivers was ineffective against The Chargers has a habit of waiting until November to get proactive in the win department.
5. Overall, the Detroit Lions were the most impressive team to run out of the tunnel on Monday night. Matthew Stafford is the polar opposite of Eli. His playoff resume is blank but in the regulars season, he is a fantasy football god. Jim Caldwell was brought in to fix Eli and MNF’s results how that his project is making significant progress. His footwork was much improved, he appeared to be in better shape and even juked a pair of Giants defenders with a subtle cutback move on separate plays.