The two Eli Manning numbers I’m most impressed with have nothing to do with those 510 yards he threw for against Tampa Bay Sunday.
The first one is a number you know – the number two, which is how many Super Bowls he’s won. The second is 122 – Manning will start his 122nd game in a row Thursday against Carolina. He has started every Giants game since November 21, 2004. There have been 23 other starting quarterbacks in the rest of the NFC East since then.
That’s something to aspire to for Cam Newton, who will start his 19th straight game for Carolina Thursday. Newton plays a higher-risk game than Manning, who runs the ball only when he absolutely has to.
But one very good quarterback for nearly eight years straight … man. No wonder the Giants have been so good. For Newton to get to 122 straight, he wouldn’t be able to miss a start until 2018.
• Listen, you’ve got to come earlier to this game than you think you need to. The new security procedures in place are making things safer but also slowing things down at the gate. Don’t wait until the last minute.
• As many of you have very kindly pointed out to me, I have managed to start the season 0-2 on my Panther predictions on game day.
Many of you have also asked nicely for me to pick against the Panthers once again vs. the Giants to “guarantee” a Carolina win. OK, fine. I understand superstition. It’s hard to pick against the defending Super Bowl champions anyway.
My prediction: New York Giants 26, Carolina 24.