Eli Manning recently appeared on Cam Newton’s show on YouTube. In the interview (which was very entertaining), Newton asked Eli what would personnel he would use and who would be in that personnel if he had 3:10 seconds left in a game and was down by 4. Eli went with 11 personnel (1 running back, 1 tight end, and 3 wide receivers), and chose his receivers to be Plaxico Burress, Victor Cruz, and Odell Beckham Jr. His tight end was Kevin Boss and his running back was Tiki Barber. When you think of the guys Eli played with throughout his career, he pretty much nailed this list besides maybe Kevin Boss. I mean, despite the love I have for Kevin Boss, Jeremy Shockey was a beast in his heyday. Some will also be mad about the Tiki selection for the way he left the team but there is no doubt that he is the best Running Back Eli ever played with (and the best back in Giants history).
This question got me thinking: Who would be my all time Giants personnel in this situation?
At QB, I’m going Eli Manning. I have heard many say that Phil Simms was better than Eli in his prime, but I tend to disagree. It also helps that Eli is my favorite Giant of all time, so Easy E will be my QB. I said earlier that Tiki Barber is the best running back in Giants history so he is going to be my running back. For the Tiki haters out there, I didn’t like what he said after he left the Giants either but at the end of the day, he was an absolute monster for the Giants, especially towards the end of his career, like when he single handedly got the Giants in the playoffs in 2006 against Washington. The receivers are going to be exactly the same as Eli’s. Plax was awesome in the sense that you threw that ball up to him and 9 times out of 10 he was coming down with it. Not to mention I don’t know if there was a receiver in Eli’s career that he had better chemistry with then what he had with Plax. Cruz is going to be in the slot because he is the best Giants slot receiver I have ever seen and when he was healthy, he was among the league’s best receivers. It still sucks we never saw a healthy Cruz team up with Odell. Speaking of Odell, he will be my 3rd receiver. I said Tiki is the best running back in Giants history, and Cruz was the best slot receiver I have ever seen. Well, I am 23 years old and Odell Beckham Jr. is the best player I have ever seen play for the Giants from a pure talent perspective. I don’t like a lot about what he did off the field, but he was UNREAL for most of his Giants tenure. He played just 5 years for the Giants and is second in Giants history in both yards and touchdowns. Where my team differs from Eli is at tight end. I never saw this guy play but I’m taking Mark Bavaro. From what I have heard and seen from old highlights and games, Bavaro was not only a great tight end, but he was a quiet, humble, tough son of a you know what. With this grouping, I am prettttttty confident the Giants are scoring a touchdown and winning the game.
I think this list will depend on your age group and your opinions on the players you have seen over the course of your fandom. Some have favorites and some may think of/remember players a lot different than others. We’re all Giant fans so I’m not going to hate anyone else’s list, but I’ll say this:
My personnel is going to be hard to beat.