Written by: Glenn Warciski
The LOSING continues! Up by seven points, late in the 4th quarter(1:12 left to be precise), it appeared the Giants would secure their sixth victory of this miserable 2018 season. Not so fast. The Giants sieve defense could not stop Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott. With three starting offensive lineman not playing and no Zeke Elliott in the game, the Cowboys had difficulty running the football -51 yards on the ground. But it was Prescott who overcame adversity. Under pressure on 4th and 15 on the Giants 32 yard line, Prescott evaded the rush and threw an accurate touchdown pass to WR Cole Beasley. Giants 35 Cowboys 34. Then a successful 2 point conversion to WR Michael Gallup to put the Cowboys ahead 36-35. Wait. There was still 69 seconds left and Dallas was flagged for taunting which was enforced on the ensuing kickoff. I was waiting for Eli Manning to lead his Giants to a come from behind victory against arch rival Dallas. The Giants had the ball with 1:09 seconds left on their own 48 yard line. 20 yards needed to get “Mr. Automatic” Aldrick Rosas in field goal range. What happens? Our once star quarterback could not get the job done. 3 crappy passes and one pass well defended fell incomplete. Instead of a thrilling win to end this season, the Giants are losers!
Eli Manning: What we saw at the end was a player who cannot get the job done anymore. Enough of the excuses. Offensive Line. Defense. Coaching. etc. As former Giants GM George Young stated: “There’s one big difference between college and pro football. In college you have your name on the jersey for four years and you graduate. In the pros, the name on the jersey may be the same for nine or 10 years but the athlete isn’t the same guy.”
In addition, from Ernie Accorsi’s scouting report on Manning- Throws the ball, takes the hit, Gets right back up… Has Courage and Poise…In My Opinion, most of all, he has the quality you can’t define. Call it Magic. As former Colts defensive back Bobby Boyd told me once about Unitas, “Two things set him apart: his left testicle and his right testicle.”
Magic. Poise. Taking the hit. In the last drive, sadly, we did not see this. 15 years in the NFL has taken its toll on Eli Manning. It is time for him to retire. Or it is time for the Giants to move on from Eli. My hope is GM Dave Gettleman witnessed what unfolded in the Giants final drive of 2018. Like Ernie Accorsi, I only care about championships. This was the reason he traded for Manning. Eli gave the Giants two memorable and improbable Super Bowl titles. I will never forget. In Accorsi’s words, “If you want to be a consistent championship contender, you need a great quarterback.” The Giants had one in Eli Manning. Not anymore.
Saqoun Barkley. “All World” we call him. Despite having dreck blocking for him all season, this stud eclipsed 2,000 yards rushing and receiving. (2,028 to be exact) A phenomenal feat. And no fumbles. Plus, he caught 91 passes. This ties a Giants rookie record with Odell Beckham Jr.
Rebuilding. It is my hope, the Giants will win once again. Indeed, GM Dave Gettleman gutted the roster. Clearly, it is going to take some more time to get the Giants back on track. In the offseason, I predicted a 6-10 season. The Giants finished 5-11. It was not a season in which one can rejoice on a lot of positives. Barkley and Rosas were stellar. Gettleman’s draft picks which included Barkley, BJ Hill, Lorenzo Carter, and Will Hernandez are players to watch going forward. As Bill Walsh stated, “The lifeblood of an NFL franchise is through the draft.” It may take 2 or 3 more drafts to get our Giants to prosperity.
Tight End. Can Dave Gettleman get a guy who can cover an opposing teams tight end? If you are a tight end facing a Giants defense, it must be like Disney World. This has been going on for a long time. (2009), Unheard of Blake Jarwin caught 7 passes for 119 yards. 3 of the 7 passes caught went for touchdowns. In fact, no Cowboys tight end caught 3 touchdowns in a game since Billy Joe Dupree. This was 1973.
Losing hurts. Back to back seasons of putrid football. 24 losses. Only 8 wins. Two consecutive last place finishes in the NFC East. As of the writing of this post, the hated Eagles clinched a playoff berth. This really stings. The Giants had them beat and collapsed in the second half. The Eagles can point to this win as their flash point. This got them going to finish the season with a winning record and a wild card berth.