EAST RUTHERFORD — The Giants have not done much right since Super Bowl XLVI.
And the missteps over the last decade have been well-documented.
One of best moments they’ve had was what transpired in Sunday’s 36-20 victory over the Dolphins, somewhat organically, in what turned out to be a pseudo-farewell at MetLife Stadium to Eli Manning.
Don’t screw it up now by putting him back in the game the next two weeks.
If Daniel Jones can’t play against the Redskins this Sunday, play Alex Tanney at quarterback. Yes, it’s understandable that such a decision would be counter to what Manning has represented as a competitor throughout his decorated 16 years as quarterback of the Giants.
There are two ways to look at the events that took place Sunday.
Was this just a special moment for Manning, or was this a deserved farewell for Manning, a player adored by a fan base that has endured plenty of gut punches since their team last held the Vince Lombardi Trophy eight years ago?
Are they one in the same? Do they have to be?
Any debate about preserving the moment for Manning and the fans is moot if Jones is healthy and returns as anticipated at Washington. We’ll find out more Wednesday when the Giants hit the practice field and begin preparing for the final two games of what remains a lost season, two games that could signal yet another shift for the organization with the futures of coach Pat Shurmur and general manager Dave Gettleman still uncertain.
Maybe Shurmur is right when he said Monday that we’re overthinking it when it comes to Manning and who plays.
Remember this: the Yankees orchestrated Mariano Rivera’s exit much in the same way the Giants did for Manning, and Rivera didn’t pitch again. That was his choice. It’s hard to argue against giving Manning the choice if circumstance presents itself, but Sunday was the ending he deserves.
I was surprised they set up the curtain call for Manning by bringing Tanney in with 1:50 remaining. It’s so anti-Eli. Was Rivera looking for a participation trophy when he decided he wasn’t going to pitch that weekend after his farewell in the Bronx?
The only difference here — and granted, it’s potentially a big one — is that Manning has not announced his retirement.
Considering the emotions Sunday, it’s hard to imagine a better scenario to complete the Manning era. We can try to script things over these next two games by saying, what if Manning beats the Redskins, what if he plays well against the Eagles, but all of that is part of the unpredictable mystery of game day.
The Giants and Manning have their ending as currently constituted. No reason to keep searching for a better one that might not come.
Art Stapleton is the Giants beat writer for NorthJersey.com. For unlimited access to all Giants analysis, news, trades and more, please subscribe today and sign up for our NFC East newsletter.
Email: [email protected] Twitter: @art_stapleton