There was a lot of snickering earlier in training camp when it was revealed that the goal for Eli Manning this season is to post a completion percentage of 70 or better. And then on Sunday he came out and completed 86.7 percent of his passes against the Bills.
Sure it was a small sample size. He played only three series and threw only seven passes. None of his six completions was for more than 10 yards. But the fact that he was connecting so regularly after missing his first attempt was encouraging.
"Just trying to make good decisions," Manning said on Tuesday. "Trying to find completions, trying to get the ball into the open receiver's hands and have positive plays. From that aspect, not really changing your game plan, just trying to do what's best for the team and put your team in the position to have positive plays, which will hopefully lead to moving the ball and getting first downs and putting more points on the board."
Manning said this season won't be all about the short passes, something defenses would be able to hone in on.
"I think that's why we have to switch it up," he said. "We have to be able to throw the ball down the field some, throw it short, hit some screens, take our shots downfield. I think you have to have a great mix so the defense can't decipher exactly what you're going to do on each play."
That will theoretically lower Manning's completion percentage a bit. Those deeper passes provide more risk for incompletions. But while 70 percent is the goal, something only four quarterbacks in NFL history have accomplished over a full season, Manning said the Giants are not going to be thinking about that when they call plays or make decisions on the field.
"You don't play the game to get a completion percentage," Manning said. "You play each play to try to find a completion, know your reads, know the timing of the play, and just try to make your decisions off that."