EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – Eli Manning predicted another four years in the summer of 2017. He said he still loved the training, the film work, everything about a beginning NFL quarterback, and he thought he could perform at a high level up to 40 years.
"So I do not see it slower," he told ESPN.com.
Odell Beckham Jr. ran from the field and into the locker room for the final game of the first half in a 34-13 loss for the Eagles and did not return to the sidelines until after the second half of the kickoff.
Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz looked like his old MVP caliber himself Thursday night, cut through the Giants' defense to place three touchdowns, no interceptions and a 122-rating when Philly rolled past his division rival 34-13.
The quarterback of the Giants has no bad numbers on the surface, but a closer look – and the win-column – reveal deep-seated problems.
But now, at 37, it slows down to a grueling stop. Manning moved into a shadow of his dual Super Bowl MVP self, and it was clear on Thursday night for every honest fan in the house that his time as franchisee of the New York Giants would come to an end.
Actually, that time has already expired. In professional sports there is no such thing as a franchise player for a 1-5 franchise, or for a team that has lost 18 or 22 matches in the past two seasons. No matter how hard it is to say about an athlete who has always supported himself in the world's noisiest market, Manning's exit is no longer a matter of when, but how.
Eli will play the rest of the year and in the spring the Giants will choose his replacement at the top of the NFL draw. Start by following top quarterback prospects such as Missouri's Drew Lock and Oregon's Justin Herbert and NC State Ryan Finley, Giants fans, because Manning in 2013, the last season of his deal, did not make $ 23 million. will earn under the middle. His employers will try to give the best possible face to the divorce after the mess that they made of the wedding in 2017. Most likely, they will try to persuade Manning to retire as a giant, to go out with his dignity and his body intact, while eating the $ 6.2 million in cash cash that they will absorb through him. to release.
The son of Archie and Jochie's brother of Peyton never wanted to have another job than the one he has. That's why he cried last season when Ben McAdoo and the Giants hierarchy pulled it off, trying to stay alive, put his successive streak and gave some of his playing time to Geno Smith and Davis Webb. Eli ended up on the bench for a unique Sunday that sealed the endings of McAdoo and general manager Jerry Reese.
But Manning has to be replaced after this season, just as Tom Coughlin had to be replaced after the 2015 season. Eli is 43-58 in the regular season and 0-1 in the playoffs since he won his second Super Bowl title with Coughlin in the 2011 season, and despite the talents he has had over the years, especially on the offensive line, he is a striking part of a problem that offers no easy solution.
"My self-confidence is good," Manning said after his Giants were embarrassed by the defending champion at home Philadelphia Eagles. "I know I can play, it's just a question of just having to find out how we can be more consistent and better at home."
The Giants played a spectacular player in this 34-13 defeat – Saquon Barkley, the number two in the 2018 draft. Like Red Grange, Barkley made the ball 13 times hard for 130 yards, nine times for 99 meters, and every time that the Eagles saw he saw how he Manning's figures looked better than they actually were. Eli threw an interception on his second pass of the night, and he failed to reach a single touchdown pass, while his whirling dervish of a counterpart, Carson Wentz, threw three of them.
So the Giants finished 1-5 for a second season and have brought the argument back to life that they made terrible mistakes in the design by passing Sam Darnold in favor of Barkley, an almost perfect prospect who happens to play the wrong position. The only thing missing on Thursday night was Manning, the ghostly pose of an aging, balding Y.A. Tittel on his knees, separated from his helmet as the blood trickled down his face.
At the end of the first quarter, Eli had a passant classification of 7.8 while Wentz checked in with a score of 128.8. At one point in the second quarter, Manning was 0-out-of-7 with an interception on every attempt deeper than two airers.
"Throw the ball," the exasperated Giants coach, Pat Shurmur, was caught by a Fox camera that barked after Manning had thrown painfully short on a second-and-twenty. & # 39; I'm sure the cameras & # 39; s could have angered me a few times, & # 39; Shurmur admitted later.
In the break, Manning had not converted any of his eight dropbacks into a third-down situation. The same fans who gathered around him last season and applauded him in MetLife and in the old Giants Stadium fascinated him after he had delivered a few of his many idiosyncratic passes, some of which should have been picked.
"That's something I do not get entangled in," Manning said when asked about the boos. "Hey, we have to play football better, I understand that, and we have to find ways to be in better situations and move the ball and be a more explosive attack and a better team."
Manning was forcibly in a large part of this rainy, foggy night and did not respond to the heat. He was fired four times and under pressure he became 2-for-14 16 yards. This was not the eli of your older brother, the opportunistic quarterback who could defy his lack of athletics with great escapes and memorable heroes. Frankly, Manning spent most of the game on a perfect impression of a shot player.
& # 39; I do not worry about Eli, & # 39; Shurmur said without any clear conviction. The coach seemed more worried Odell Beckham Jr., who reportedly received a fine for questioning the team heart in an interview with ESPN & # 39; s Josina Anderson. Of course Beckham and his friend Lil Wayne asked more than the desires of the Giants. They questioned the ability of an old Eli to be the Eli of old.
Beckham left the field with two seconds left in the first half and with his teammates preparing for a final stretch (he needed another IV, according to Shurmur), and he was seen as the leader of a side fan on his way to the finish. a crappy six-port, 44-yard performance.
Still, this evening was about Manning's defects, not Beckham's. Manning has not aged Tom Brady and Drew Brees have grown older, and there is certainly no crime in that. He will still go down, as co-owner John Mara described him after the second Super Bowl title – perhaps the best attacking player the Giants have ever dressed.
But it is indeed time for Eli Manning to go down, no matter how much it really stinks to have to say that out loud.