New York Giants fans weigh in on if they think this is quarterback Eli Manning’s last game as a Giant.
Danielle Parhizkaran, NorthJersey
EAST RUTHERFORD – Not many New York Giants fans are sad to see this season end, but even the disappointing season wasn’t enough to make fans at MetLife Stadium on Sunday forget Eli Manning’s contribution to Giants history.
Speculation has been swirling that the 5-11 season, prior to the season closer, would be the 37-year old Manning’s last as Giants quarterback. Fans and critics alike are not shy about pointing out Manning’s age and declining performance on the field.
But even with a new quarterback on their minds, Giants fans attending the game weren’t ready to dismiss Manning so quickly.
“Thank God he came to the New York Giants,” said Matt Campbell of West Caldwell. Sporting his Number 10 jersey, Campbell said critics shouldn’t be so hard on the guy.
“He won two Super Bowls and is a real team player. Think about all he brought to the team and the fans. Eli will go down as one of the greatest Giants ever,” he said.
On “eggshells” about an incoming quarterback, Cory O’Donnell of Howell said it’s time the team moves on.
“I love Eli, and everything he’s brought to the team. You can’t forget his legacy, though he seems to be surviving on that right now,” said O’Donnell. “It’s about what’s best for the team.”
Allison Horvath of Freehold echoed other fans in praising Manning’s sportsmanship and leadership.
“He’s a real stand-up guy,” said Horvath.
His older brother Peyton Manning has two Super Bowl rings, Eli also has two, noted Steve Murphy of Cedar Grove. An acquaintance of Archie Manning during his days in New Orleans, Murphy said the family is dedicated to teamwork and duty.
“It ain’t his fault he can’t get a decent offensive line and running game before this year,” said Murphy. “It’s time to plan and build for the future.
Tom Nolan of Ridgefield said he didn’t start out as an Eli Manning fan, but grew to like his professionalism off the field.
“I give him credit for sticking with the Giants,” said Nolan.
Sharonda Hector of Hillside said she had mixed emotions.
“It’s a little sad because this might be time for him to go,” said Hector. “If he stayed I’d be happy, if he left I’d be sad but excited about the new possibilities.
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Steve Bonomo of Syracuse, New York was quick to acknowledge Manning’s two rings, but also the need for change.
“The two Super Bowls are big, you can’t take that away,” Bonomo said . “The guy’s been great, it’s just the end of the road, that’s how it goes. If they move up in the draft and get a quarterback, I’ll be happy.”
Kathy Dunn of Montvale wasn’t convinced the Manning years were entirely over, saying he may stay another year or two to mentor his replacement.
“They should find a young quarterback and train that young quarterback,” said Dunn, pointing to the up-and-coming star Trevor Lawrence from Clemson.
With Clemson’s quarterback on his mind, Joe Dellafave of Parsippany believes Manning should remain for the transition to the next generation.
“Sports are for young people, and sometimes, you got to know when to pass the baton,” said Dellafave.