Lost in the debate over the play of New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning is the team’s win-loss record.
At 1-7, no one can say that the New York Giants, or Manning, are exceeding expectations. In fact, the reality is quite the opposite. As Big Blue tries to right the ship over the final eight games, no one knows what role the veteran quarterback will play.
In a perfect world, Manning plays mentor to his heir apparent, but viewing Big Blue’s tepid endorsement of rookie Kyle Lauletta, that dynamic may not manifest itself this season. But don’t take that as a guarantee that Eli Manning remains the starter at QB no matter what.
As the G-Men prepare to take on the San Francisco 49ers, the message was clear. Manning needs to win early and win often in the second half of the season. According to the New York Post, that message was originally delivered by head coach Pat Shurmur last week, and reiterated on Monday.
Per the New York Post:
“I spoke to Eli a couple times this weekend and I explained to Eli he’s gonna start Monday. I also explained to Eli that everybody needs to play better, and as we go through this it’s important we’re not ‘almost’ in these games, we do what we need to do to get it over the top and win football games. So we’ll just take it from there.”
Now only in New York would this revelation be shocking, as Manning has largely been immune from normal criticism heaped upon the quarterback of a losing team. For tried and true New York Giants fans, it’s time for your reality checktoo .
The new normal
The New York Giants are 4-20 over their last 24 games. While that may be acceptable in Cleveland, it isn’t, or at least shouldn’t be in New York. But the win-loss record has largely taken a backseat to the argument over Manning’s place in New York Giants history.
In terms of getting this franchise where it needs to be, those debates are utterly worthless. When Manning’s career is over, we can take time to evaluate his career in totality. Until that time, he’s one of 53 players, who needs to make an immediate impact on the field.
“[Manning’s] starting Monday — you guys roll with it how you want — with the idea he’s gonna get us on a run here and there’ll be no decisions to be made. Part of the conversation was we trust you, we’re gonna work with you and we trust the fact you’re gonna get in there and help us win football games.”
Credit to shurmur for delivering this message. It wasn’t easy, but it was necessary.
Obviously, this is uncharted territory for Manning, but this franchise has lacked urgency for too long. For his part, Shurmur has to utilize all the tools in the toolbox, and maybe the ultimatum jump starts the team.