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Mario Manningham's Value To Giants Offense

Essex : 7/7/2013 4:25 pm
My young son is becoming increasingly more interested in the Giants, so I usually put some Giants clips on for him. Many of them are, of course, Eli Manning highlights. The one thing I keep noticing as I watch these same highlights day after day is how much I undervalued Manningham. To be sure, he often had a brain fart in terms of route running, especially by the sidelines, the prime example of the good and bad, was probably the Eagles game in 2010. But, Mario made so many catches, where the degree of difficulty was so high. Moreover, those catches always seemed to be big. Whether it was his most famous catch in the Super Bowl or the 3rd and 15 catch against the Niners. In addition, he knew how to run fade routes in the endzone really well, which accounted for crucial scores in the NE regular season game or the SF regular season. While I always rated him high, I think we underrated him as an organization. Whether we could have afforded him (his contract was not that high) is a different question, but I think some of our redzone issues had to do with his absence. The real question is whether Randle will be able to make the contributions that Mario made in providing that third WR option for Eli. As much as last year's productivity problems could be traced to Nick's injuries, I think a compelling case could be made MM's departure was equally significant.
It's not fair to say the organization underrated him  
Bino5 : 7/7/2013 4:29 pm : link
And also say if they could afford him is a different question.
How are you rating him  
UConn4523 : 7/7/2013 4:30 pm : link
being undervalued?
The problem wasn't just the loss of Manningham  
BillT : 7/7/2013 4:34 pm : link
Nicks was out as well. That took the Giants from three productive WRs to one. With Nicks back and Randle I think the WR corps will be every bit as potent as it was with Manningham if not more so.
Dylan fan : 7/7/2013 4:36 pm : link
Then again, he didn't do much in SF (albeit w/ a much more pedestrian QB) & Hixon had very similar #s & made a bunch of clutch catches in his stead. So did Randle at the end of the year.
Essex : 7/7/2013 4:37 pm : link
the point in saying whether we could afford him is in the context of whether we sign Cruz and Nicks too. But the real issue is should we have spent on him, given that his contract is not really that much. This year, for example, he has a 1.8 cap hit. Not sure, he is not worth that. However, it is hard for me to make those assessments without knowing the Giants long-term plans for Nicks and Cruz and that is part of the point in saying it is a different question. But, I feel in isolation we definitely underrated him.
My sense is that we loved MM more than the Giants did,  
Big Blue '56 : 7/7/2013 4:47 pm : link
what with his repeated mistakes and supposed inability to get the playbook down. He was(as it turned out) eminently affordable, yet we passed and probably didn't offer to match, so that in all likelihood, should speak volumes...

I like our receiving corps a great deal, at least on paper
Bottomline is that he was a #3 receiver  
Milton : 7/7/2013 4:53 pm : link
And was destined to remain a #3 receiver at best if he remained with the team. And you don't give a #3 receiver a veteran longterm contract. It's just not a prudent use of your limited salary cap room. Your #3 receiver should either be playing on a rookie contract (Jernigan, Randle) or the one year veteran minimum contract (Murphy, Barden).
we haven't found a better #3 for Eli  
spike : 7/7/2013 4:54 pm : link
just yet.
Dave in MD : 7/7/2013 5:08 pm : link
is our number 3. He was coming on at the end of last year. He did much more his rookie year than Manningham did in his. He's going to break out in a big way this year.
I think Murphy will be a big help at wide receiver  
Ira : 7/7/2013 5:13 pm : link
as well.
Milton : 7/7/2013 5:24 pm : link
Or not.

p.s.-- All kidding aside, I'm not as confident as you are that the light bulb has suddenly gone on for Randle. It'll be interesting to see who gets more playing this year, Randle or Murphy.
all the talk  
Dave in MD : 7/7/2013 5:37 pm : link
from both the coaches and Eli has been about how impressive Randle has been. I'm very confident Randle is the third guy and will have a very good year.
BillT nailed it.  
Enoch : 7/7/2013 5:42 pm : link
It wasn't Manningham, per se, that we missed. It was having more than one above-average WR out there.

Letting Mario walk and drafting Randle was the smart move for the medium and long term, but it came with risk of poorer depth in 2012.
The Giants couldn't afford to keep Manningham  
GiantJake : 7/7/2013 5:48 pm : link
and they couldn't offer him a chance to compete for a starting job. The problem with the Giants offense last year was not because they missed Manningham. The problem was the offensive line. They had no push in the run game allowing the defensive front and linebackers to handle the run game. That allowed the safeties to stay back and play pass. No run game meant too many passing situations. That made the offense too predictable. Hakeem Nicks not being 100% allowed the defense to focus on taking away Victor Cruz. The offensive line needs to get back to knocking people off the ball. David Wilson being fully integrated will help. Safeties will have to keep their eyes in the backfield because with Wilson's speed he is one broken tackle away from the endzone. That should loosen up the pass game. If Hakeem Nicks can stay healthy and Randle and Murphy can take the top off the defense, Cruz and Myers should thrive underneath. The Giants have never had more explosive weapons, but it won't mean much if the O-line doesn't get back to pushing people around.
Randle hasn't proved squat yet, unless you believe in the  
Reese's Pieces : 7/7/2013 5:51 pm : link
infallibility of off-season interviews.

We had to let Manningham go. He was demanding less money than we paid him the season before.
Hixon vs. MM  
Dylan fan : 7/7/2013 5:54 pm : link
Hixon 2012: 13 games, 2 GS, 39 rec, 567 yds, 14.5 avg, 2 TDs, long 41
MM 2011: 12 games, 10 GS, 39 rec, 523 yds, 13.4 avg, 4 TDs, long 47
MM 2013: 12 games, 10 GS, 42 rec, 449 yds, 10.7 avg, 1 TD, long 40

Yup, MM was head over hills better than Hixon despite that Hixon started only 2 games compared to MM's 10. No denying MM's huge catches in the playoffs & SB, but perception trumps reality otherwise.
Hey Dylanfan  
Essex : 7/7/2013 5:58 pm : link
those two extra TD's might get us into the playoffs. Our margin for error has been razor thin. If we win one more game,we get into the playoffs. Plus, stats can often be misleading. Manningham always seem to come up with a big catch. Perception is sometimes reality.
MM again  
Dylan fan : 7/7/2013 6:04 pm : link
It takes 2 parties to sign a contract. As others have mentioned, it could very well have been that MM wanted more playing time &/or to start, which he certainly would've expected more in SF than the Giants. It's just so much more convenient to just habitually rag on Reese for letting a #3 WR who he & the coaches didn't think as highly as someone sitting on their couch go.
2 fewer TDs  
Dylan fan : 7/7/2013 6:12 pm : link
Well, Nicks had 4 fewer TDs last year than the year B4 & Bradshaw 3 fewer, so I guess using your logic they should be even higher on your list of players to blame for missing the playoffs than Hixon.
I am not making the argument  
Essex : 7/7/2013 6:23 pm : link
that the two TDs matter in a vacuum, the argument I making is that you can't just pull out a statline and say this is his value to the team. It happens to be that Manningham had some very nice TDs, including 4 in the post season by itself. But, a statline does not make your perception right. He is a much better player than Hixon.
How does it feel? Tell me how does it feel?  
Reese's Pieces : 7/7/2013 6:27 pm : link
To think that Manningham's playoff contributions, on the big stages, should not be counted when comparing him to Hixon?

Twenty years of schoolin'
And they put you on the day shift.
First Down & Touchdown Conversion Percentage  
Dylan fan : 7/7/2013 6:29 pm : link
Last year, Hixon finished ahead of MM 41.38% to 38.18%. In fact, his % was higher than Cruz's 37.96% & Nicks' 36.46%. For First Downs & Touchdowns Per Route Run, Cruz was only 2 players ahead of Hixon, 9.61% to 9.52%. Hixon was 7 players of Nicks' 8.79%. MM was 8 players behind Nicks @ 8.43%. Once again, proof that Hixon is underrated & slammed on BBI, especially compared to MM & these stats seem to add fuel to the argument that Nicks was the problem last year rather than Hixon or the loss of MM.

These were @ & I couldn't find these stats for 2011.
Dylan Fan  
Joe in Cambridge : 7/7/2013 6:31 pm : link
MM was playing behind a healthy Nicks and Cruz in 2011. The Giants often didn't need much production from their third WR with the season that those two were having. Not like in 2010, when Steve Smith was lost for the season and Nicks was dealing with a foot injury. That's when MM finished the year with 3 consecutive 100+ yard receiving games to go along with 4 receiving TD's. And you already mentioned the Giants' last playoff run. That was difference between MM and Hixon on the Giants. When the Giants needed him, more often than not, MM stepped up.
Dylan fan : 7/7/2013 6:35 pm : link
When did Hixon play in the post-season in order to compare their performances? Thanks in advance. Once again for the reading-impaired, I'm not discounting MM's play in the post-season, but arguing that MM is so much better trhan Hixon & that the Giants missed MM so much is just plain wrong IMO & not borne out by FACTS.
OK. You convinced me. Hixon was better.  
Reese's Pieces : 7/7/2013 6:42 pm : link
Actually Hixon was done in like so many players by his injuries. Whether he would have been better than Manninghamm if injury-free is just something to be debated. I happen to be partial to Manningham because we would not have won the 2nd ring without him.
MM > Hixon and its not close.  
shabu : 7/7/2013 6:45 pm : link
MM can be a 2 WR in my view but that opportunity was not on the giants... Hixon ?

Stay healthy and maybe you have a case but MM was a big game big catch WR and there is high value in that from my POV.

Compare Eli's stats to other QBs, then look what Eli does when it counts... and MM was right there with him for the most part.

Hixon did not have an opportunity in 2008 playoffs?  
Essex : 7/7/2013 6:49 pm : link
. . . Didn't he have a big drop in the game against the Eagles?
Reese's Pieces  
Dylan fan : 7/7/2013 6:54 pm : link
Good point. We're talking about Hixon's performance after 2 straight years of ACL surgeries, rehab & a good deal less speed & he STILL put up almost identical #s as MM did healthy.
Dylan fan  
Essex : 7/7/2013 6:58 pm : link
and you keep leaving out 2008 after Plax got shot? In this offense, DH was ok, but nothing great. After the injury disaster in Minny, Manningham was unstoppable in 2010. Since you like stats and all.
Dylan fan : 7/7/2013 7:03 pm : link
That was game 13 (I Googled it) & Philadelphia led by 3-0 early in the second quarter, but try again. Sorry but I did forget that Hixon played in the Eagles playoff game that year. He had 2 catches for 37 yards & a long of 34. He was tied for 3rd in receptions behind Ward's 5 (for a whopping 4.5 avg) & Boss' 3. Eli played 1 of his worst games w/ an awesome 27.1 QBR thanks to no TDs & 2 INTs. Smith had 2 catches for 17 yards & fumbled the ball away.
I miss Mario ...  
Manny in CA : 7/7/2013 7:05 pm : link
I think the Giants mis-used him many times.

They tried to force him to be a down-and-up sideline type receiver, which he never was (because he's just not strong enough to fight for optimum position). If you may remember, his biggest plays both with the Giants and Michigan came from deep crossing patterns.

Receiver screens were his best play, because he's always been very quick and has amazing feet. every time I saw the Giants call that play for Nicks, I wondered why they didn't see the special abilities that Mario had to execute that play.

I'm guessing that he was very frustrated here. When he arrived at the 49ers, he noted that the schemes there were more suited for his type of play. I think he's right.

The Giants got to, and won Superbowl XLVI with a terrible rushing offense, but with outstanding pass protection, passing, and pass reception efforts.

Dylan Fan  
Joe in Cambridge : 7/7/2013 7:05 pm : link
That MM > Hixon is borne out by the overwhelming majority of facts during their careers. MM was a higher round draft pick than Hixon. MM had a higher spot on the depth chart for most of their time in NY. MM has nearly twice as many career catches, receiving yards, and receiving TD's despite entering the league two years later. And when they left the Giants via FA, the contract MM signed was worth more than 3 times as much per year.
MM was an  
AnishPatel : 7/7/2013 7:09 pm : link
explosive player for us. The issue were the choice and option routes that are ran in our offense. I remember reading an article by the beat writers that he made mistakes but when he was thrown the ball he made great plays so the coaches had no choice but to play him. It's one of those things I guess where they decide if they can live with mistakes if explosive plays are a result of him getting playing time.
Dylan fan : 7/7/2013 7:12 pm : link
& Plax was also OK that year but nothing great, especially compared to the 2 previous years: 10 GS, 35 catches, 454 yds, 13 avg, 4 TDs, long 33. In FACT, Hixon's year was better: 7 GS, 43 catches, 596 yds, 13.9 avg, 2 TD, long 41. So even compared to Plax, who many BBIers still drool over, Hixon compared favorably. & no, I'm not his father or other relative. :)
Dylan fan  
Essex : 7/7/2013 7:18 pm : link
you leave out that Hixon played in 13 games and Plax played 10, but really played in 9. I think it was the Arizona game where Plax pulled up lame on the first play of the game and was out for the rest of it. In addition, Plax was suspended for a portion of the Pitt game, I cannot remember if it was 1 quarter or 2. Your leaving this out is now becoming par for the course. Anyway, Plax drew double teams, which helped out our offense. Not sure anyone was double-covering Hixon.
Dylan fan : 7/7/2013 7:25 pm : link
In case you missed it, Hixon missed 2 years of his career due to ACL injuries. It's pretty amazing he was able to play at all last year. MM's 2nd & 3rd year w/ the Giants were great & certainly better than any of Hixon's. The last 2 years it's pretty friggin' close. I'm done w/ this discussion. Have a good one!
Hixon in Playoffs  
Mike in Boston : 7/7/2013 8:12 pm : link
I am not interested enough to pull stats, but he and Eli failed to connect on what would have been a big TD vs the Eagles in 2008, 30 yards in front of me. Not sure whether it was a mix up, a bad route or a bad throw, and if the former who got confused, but he was wide open and the ball wasn't in reach.
Mario is gone aand him leaving is last years news.  
wgenesis123 : 7/7/2013 8:29 pm : link
Mario was a good Giant and perhaps will always be a Giant once he retires. No one can change that he is gone so I see no advantage to rehashing any should of's and could of's. I'm just gratefull he caught that big pass from Eli in the Super Bowl. Lots of people here on BBI believe that the Giants were hurt last year by Mario's departure because the offense lacked a burner to stretch the defense. Lets hope Murhphy can provide that for the offense.
That Hixon play  
Doomster : 7/7/2013 8:31 pm : link
was not in the playoffs, it was during the regular season....

How in the world do you compare Hixon vs MM with Smith throwing to MM?

When Hixon caught a pass from Eli, and Mario caught a pass from Eli, who did you think was more likely to score after the catch?
Mike in Boston : 7/7/2013 8:35 pm : link
It was in the playoffs. I was in the stands for the game, and i wasn't there for the regular season game.
Hixon put up similar numbers to what MM did the year before  
UberAlias : 7/7/2013 9:18 pm : link
The difference was Nicks missing so much time and not being himself even when he was in. The dropoff in Cruz's production was not due to not having MM, it was due to not having a healthy Nicks.
Randle will be better  
UberAlias : 7/7/2013 9:19 pm : link
This year.
I'm not saying Mario wasn't a good player for us  
UberAlias : 7/7/2013 9:21 pm : link
Or that Hixon was as good, but it seems pretty obvious to me what the passing game was missing was a healthy Nicks.
I agree with the OP Manningham was a Super Bowl hero on the rise  
Federal Power : 7/7/2013 9:59 pm : link
He made mistakes as all receivers do. The well documented speculation about his inability to learn the playbook is probably inaccurate and overdramatized. The Giants playbook has some complicated nuances, but is not rocket science! The saga of Mario Manningham is already in the history books due to his Super Bowl heroics. Manningham was a productive addition to the Wide Receivers corp and but that time has past. We will have to grow and improve with our new receivers.
The Niners got MM for dirt cheap...  
SHO'NUFF : 7/7/2013 10:30 pm : link
the Giants could've afforded him...they just couldn't guarantee him the #1 spot. I think he made a mistake by signing with SF.
There are many pluses to Manningham,  
Blackbeard : 7/7/2013 10:48 pm : link
but pluses can be negated in a coach's mind by badly run routes. They can lead to busted plays and missed first downs, missed TDs or, worse yet, interceptions.
How many Int.'s did MM cause? I can't remember. Maybe some of you guys can.
Yeah the Niners got him cheap  
blueblood'11 : 7/8/2013 7:19 am : link
That's because the Giants didn't give him the money he wanted, and he needed somewhere to go and the Niners came a calling. You see that happen all the time. Look at the Yankees and Russell Martin. He wanted a multi year deal for a nice chunk of money. The Yankees declined and so he settled for a measly 2 million dollar deal the left Yankee fans scratching their heads.
The Third Man  
jLefty : 7/8/2013 3:34 pm : link
Nicks Cruz and Mario.A super trio. Made each player greater than the individual.
Unless Manningham could pass block  
old timer : 7/8/2013 4:37 pm : link
He wouldn't have helped our pass game much last season.

Our offense went backwards in 2012 because Diehl and Snee went backwards. Eli can't pass from the seat of his pants.
old time  
RD in CT : 7/8/2013 4:45 pm : link
a banged up Nicks didn't help either
msh : 7/9/2013 5:57 am : link
is an upgrade over manningham think he is better all-round manningham made some big catches but he also left points on the field and wins as a result.

he wasnt worth the price he wanted,tore his acl with the 9ers last year as well,they moved on think the fans need to as well. if nicks was healthy the giants would have more likely won the division at least,not saying they go on another super run but as it was we will never know

he blew that route on 2nd down in the superbowl before making it running the same route on the opposite side of the field had he made the catch on 2nd down it was a sure TD

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