Giants won’t win again until they find their next Eli ManningDecember 18, 2018
The Giants will be led by a bridge quarterback next season, and if they choose to ride across the Eli Manning Bridge, they should recognize that there is little or no reason to believe there will be a Super Bowl championship waiting for them once they get across it.
You are what your quarterback record says you are, and the records of Manning’s Giants since Super Bowl XLVI: 9-7, 7-9, 6-10, 6-10, 11-5, 3-12, 5-9. It adds up to 47-62. And 0-1 in the playoffs.
The Giants have made their bed and will continue to sleep in it until they find their young franchise quarterback.
They better find him in the 2019 draft … if, of course, there is one to find.
But there is no more time to waste.
At some point, the Giants will need to stop running in quicksand.
The Giants began pondering Life After Eli Manning years ago, and Sunday provided another alarming reality that DEFCON 1 is upon them.
DEFCON 1: Manning returns — with a pay cut …
Or the Giants bid a tearful goodbye to Manning and his $23.2 million cap number in 2019 and instead pay a younger option such as Teddy Bridgewater or Nick Foles or Joe Flacco or Case Keenum or Ryan Tannehill at cheaper wages for more cap room with the understanding that he is simply a bridge quarterback possibly until the 2020 draft.
Or the Giants fall in love with one of the college quarterbacks — none of whom right now draws comparisons with Baker Mayfield or Sam Darnold — and draft him to start — and cut the cord on Manning.
If you bleed Giants blue, as much as you love Manning for delivering those two Super Bowls, I can’t blame you for viewing him now as an immobile anachronism in an NFL that demands extending plays and making plays off schedule more and more and asking:
What do we have to lose?
And as a longtime Manning guy, a part of me is starting to wonder whether he might be better off in a place where, virtually every time he struggles, he wouldn’t have to be subjected to questions about his dream job on a weekly basis.
It is the definition of Quarterback Hell.
Titans 17, Giants 0 was a sobering reminder that without Odell Beckham Jr. and with Saquon Barkley, the straw that stirs the drink, taken away, Manning cannot lift his team and is a bridge over troubled waters.
The tea leaves for now seem to suggest Manning will be the 2019 quarterback. Pat Shurmur reiterated Monday that he feels Manning has years left.
Shurmur: “I believe experience matters. … I’ve seen him play good football.”
But he has not seen him play good football often enough to lead his team to the playoffs.
Manning: “Coach has had my back all year. He’s been great. He believes in me, and that makes your job easier when the coach believes in you.”
The Giants have no regrets about drafting Barkley with the second-overall pick … Barkley was the best player in the draft. This is a recording.
And Barkley was indeed the best player in the draft, and if you do not have a conviction on a quarterback, you better not take him.
So Dave Gettleman didn’t.
He was dead right on Barkley.
The Jets are convinced he will be proven dead wrong by Sam Darnold.
And now Manning will be blowing out 38 candles on Jan. 3.
Hope is never a good strategy, but it will be all the Giants have in 2019 as long as it is true there isn’t a Patrick Mahomes or a Darnold (gasp!) pot at the end of the rainbow.
Hope that Gettleman can fortify the Eli Manning Bridge, if he is the quarterback, with more reinforcements on the offensive line (and on defense).
Hope that Beckham can stay healthy.
Hope that Manning being viewed by the front office as the lesser of any and all free-agent evils trumps any sentimentality and loyalty on their part.
Hope that Manning playing a second season in the Shurmur offense will, in the words of the coach, make it look like football.
Manning, his durability and class aside, has not given the Giants enough bang for their bucks. He is what Bill Parcells used to call a hold-the-fort guy. On days when everything doesn’t go perfectly, the fort cannot be held.
Enough kicking the can down the road.
Find the next guy, already.
No Supe for you this season, Giants fans.
No Supe for you next season either … or until you find your next franchise quarterback.
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