What a difference a week makes for the New York Giants. Sure, they lost 30-10 against the Cowboys, so the result remains the same, but the air of negativity surrounding the franchise was lifted.
In essence, they went from a team on death row to just another bad football team and this late in a lost season you will take it.
And it was nice to see Eli Manning back under center, as well. Because of Ben McAdoo incompetence, he went from struggling veteran to martyr status in the last week. And the outpouring of love was unprecedented for a player still with the club.
“I appreciate it. I appreciate all of the support the fans have given me for 14 years and these last weeks, especially,” Manning said. “I appreciate them coming out today and cheering me on and cheering on the Giants.”
However, you have to wonder how long will Manning be with the Giants. At 2-11, they are very quickly looking to be in the position to draft one of the prize quarterback in the draft, which will leave Manning expendable. You need to wonder if these next few weeks will be a valedictory for the future Hall of Famer or will it be a just an aberration for Manning who will be under center next season.
Frankly, Manning can help decide his own future.
With three games left, if Manning can win two of those games, the Giants will probably fall to sixth or seventh in the draft, rendering the quarterback question moot and the new general manager can concentrate on fixing the offensive line, which will keep the quarterback safe and effective.
Manning is the least of the Giants concern this season. He has been pretty effective, even though he had no offensive line and all his major receivers have been on the shelf. Today, there were too many dropped passes, which stopped drive after drive. These weren’t Eli’s fault and a better group of receivers would have caught the ball.
“We moved the ball real well. If my recollection is correct, they drove pretty good the first drive, kicked a field goal,” Spagnuolo said. “We got it and answered with our own long drive and kicked a field goal that got us right back into a 0-0 game, so to speak. So, I was proud of them in that regard and I know there were times during the game where he got us into some really good plays because I’m listening and I know I’m listening to Sully (Mike Sullivan) and that’s what he does. He does that real well for us.”
The Giants have the Eagles next week at home. It’s a tough game. But after that there’s a game in Arizona and then at home against Washington to end the season. Both are winnable, even with the Giants only having two wins on the year. If the Giants win those and end the year on a high, they will have no choice but to keep their current franchise quarterback.
Otherwise, they will be forced to make a choice. By grabbing QB with a top pick, the Giants will be forced to make a decision and probably trade Manning. It wouldn’t be fair to their new quarterback of the franchise to keep both of them. It will be time to turn the page.
But Manning still can have a say. He just needs to win a few games this year and make that point moot.
There’s still something to play for at the Meadowlands. Manning and the Giants need to know that.
The season isn’t totally lost yet.