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Big Blue Report: Eli’s Final Stand

The New York Giants finally ended their loosing streak on Sunday defeating the Miami Dolphins 36-20. That wasn’t the big story.

Saquon Barkley finally got back in to the end zone for the first time in seven games and rushed for over 100 yards. That was not the story either.

Michael Thomas played against his former team for the first time since having a nasty falling out and having the defense dealing with the fallout of the departure of Janoris Jenkins. Nope, not even close to the story.

The day and the big story goes to the guy who throughout his career never wanted the attention to start, Eli Manning. He just wanted something simple, he just wanted to play football.

Manning, who had been on the sidelines for the majority of the season, started for the second week in a row and completed 20 of 28 passes for 283 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. Manning’s touchdown passes were to Golden Tate and to rookie Darius Slayton.

“If that is his last game and that’s the way we send Eli off, then that’s the way we envisioned doing” said Saquon Barkley after Sunday’s win.. I know I wanted to go out there and play my tail off and I know those guys wanted to do the same too for #10. He’s meant so much to this city and to this franchise for such a long time. He’s a special person and a special player. If that is the way he gets sent off, I’m glad we were able to do it in a win and do it in that fashion.” 

With a 1:50 left in the game, Pat Shurmur pulled Eli Manning for his teammates, crowd and the Giants faithful pay respect for what Eli has done for them. The crowd cheered and his teammates rallied behind him.

“It’s special Manning said during his post game media session. “I think it’s special that my kids get to come and watch some games. I don’t remember my dad playing at all. He retired when I was four years old. My brothers have memories. They always kind of talked about it, in the locker room, around games and I don’t remember. So, I try to bring my kids around as much as possible, bring them to some games. I know my youngest son won’t remember any of it, but we’ll at least have a picture to show him one day.”

The Game itself was a battle and close until a key tackle which resulted as a safety by Sam Beal which put the Giants up for good. Manning drove the team down the field the next series which resulted in a Saquon Barkley touchdown.

Sterling Shepard had season-high totals of nine catches for 111 yards and discussed the imprint Manning has left on this franchise.

“He’s done so much” said Shepard. “David Tyree and I were talking about it on the sideline. He was saying Eli has a piece of all of us and it’s just a special day. We were able to get this win for him and send him out on the right note and it’s a blessing.”

This was most likely the end of the road for Manning with the Giants as he is reaching the end of his contract and has been more used as a mentor this season for rookie Daniel Jones. Manning still would like to play if possible but the ending of yesterday can not be topped or over shadowed.

“Of course I’d like to(Play Next week)” Manning stated. “I know Daniel’s (Jones) getting close to getting ready and getting better. We’ll see what his status is. I get it either way. I know they want to get him back and get him more experience and more reps and everything. Whatever I’m asked to do, I’ll do it.” 

Time will tell but if that was Eli’s final chapter, the writing could not have been better.

The Giants’ inactive players were quarterback Daniel Jones (ankle), guard Kevin Zeitler (ankle), tight ends Evan Engram (foot) and Rhett Ellison (concussion), running back Wayne Gallman and offensive lineman Chad Slade. The Giants had six inactives instead of the usual seven because they have not filled the opening on their roster created when Janoris Jenkins was waived/injured on Friday

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