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Cofield to Eli: Where was this last year?

Eli Manning of the New York Giants walks

Eli Manning of the New York Giants walks off the field after the New York Giants beat the Dallas Cowboys, 37-34. (Dec. 11, 2011) Credit: Getty Images

Former Giants defensive tackle Barry Cofield is very impressed with the way Eli Manning is playing this season. So much so that he’s wondering where this kind of performance was last year.

“He’s a completely different animal right now,” Cofield, now a Redskin, told reportes this morning. “He’s playing unbelievable. If he would have played that well last year, we might have given Green Bay a run for their money.”

They didn’t. They lost to Green Bay in Week 16, 45-17, in a game that virtually knocked them from playoff contention. Manning did complete 17 of 33 passes for 301 yards and two touchdowns in that game, but he also tied his career high with four interceptions.

The Packers, of course, have not lost since that game.

Cofield was also complimentary – and more in a straight-forward way – to the Giants’ receiving targets.

“They have two receivers that should be Pro Bowlers in my eyes (Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks) and (Jake) Ballard has come out of nowhere. They have a completely different look about them. They’ve become a passing team, it seems, but last week you see (Ahmad) Bradshaw and (Brandon) Jacobs get back involved. They’re a top-five offense that’s a problem you have to deal with.”

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