When things were going very, very badly this season for the New York Giants, the next steps seemed clear. They would find a way to get playing time at some point this season for rookie quarterback Kyle Lauletta while preserving the dignity of Eli Manning. They would use the draft pick from their calamitous season to pick a quarterback in the spring and rebuild themselves around this rookie in 2019, likely without Manning on the list.
Now things are not so clear.
The game of Giants has improved significantly in recent weeks. They beat the Chicago Bears, 30-27, in overtime on Sunday at the Meadowlands for their third win in four games. Their record is now 4-8 after a 1-7 start, and though they were not unable to keep a lead in Philadelphia last week, the Giants would be on a four-game winning streak and , at 5-7, back in the playoff race.
The Giants certainly did not make things easy Sunday. They lost a 10-point lead in the last two minutes of regulation. The Bears scored a goal and then recovered a free kick when Odell Beckham Jr. of the Giants did not seem to want any part of the pursuit of football and the collision he could have caused. The Bears scored a touchdown in the pass game when the time expired on a pass of one meter of the attacking halfback Tarik Cohen from 5-foot-6.
But the Giants persevered and won with an investment and a defensive stop in overtime. It's good for them, right?
Yes and no.
It is good for the Giants to feel better about themselves, not to have surrendered and to have partially replenished their season. Back-rookie Saquon Barkley, who ran for 125 yards on Sunday, is an excellent NFL and Beckham player, despite the blundering counter-attacks against the Bears and other mishaps of the season, remains one of the top players. the most talented and dynamic in the league.
But the danger here is that the Giants, having used the No. 2 pick in this year's NFL draft on Barkley instead of a quarterback to succeed Manning, are now deceived to take a "one year more" approach. "with Manning.
There have been moments of this season when Manning, at age 37, seemed almost finished. That has not been so much the case lately, even though Sunday was a struggle for Manning. He pitched for just 170 yards in 19-for-35 passes. He launched an interception, as well as a touchdown pass, and was fired three times. He had a horror of going to 65.2. The Giants were successful because they scored a touchdown defense and another via a pass played by a Beckham gadget.
It should not be an excellent draft for the high-level quarter, unlike the 2018 class. This is not an off-season in which teams requiring a quarterback have a variety of intriguing options, as was the case for such teams this past season. If the Giants continue to play well in the stretch and finish with a record of, say, 7-9, General Manager Dave Gettleman and Coach Pat Shurmur will encourage the owner to accompany Manning for one more season ?
It would not be desirable. Nevertheless, Manning's game has varied from bad to ordinary this season, with only a few promising performances dotted. The offensive around him, especially the offensive line, did not help. But Manning has not been a quarter, at this stage of his career, able to improve the game of his team and fill other gaps. He was not the quarterback to shut things down with Barkley and Beckham.
The Giants need to move to quarterback after this season, even though they keep Manning a little longer as his successor gains ground. Whatever happens during the rest of this lost season, it should not deter anyone from believing it.