NFL

Will Monday Night be Eli Manning’s final farewell to the Giants?

Eli Manning is “very likely” starting for the New York Giants in Week 14. Will it be his final game with the franchise?

Eli Manning might be getting a farewell tour, after all.

On Wednesday morning, Giants General Manager Pat Shurmur announced that it is “very likely” Manning will start in the Giants Monday night matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles. Rookie quarterback Daniel Jones suffered a high ankle sprain in Sunday’s loss to the Green Bay Packers, and while Jones was able to finish out that game, it appears New York isn’t taking any chances with his health.

Jones’ injury sets the stage for what could be Manning’s final start with the Giants. Manning was famously drafted by the Chargers in the 2004 NFL Draft, but was immediately traded to the New York Giants, where he has spent his entire career. Over the last fifteen years, he has brought two Super Bowl titles to New York and was named MVP in both matchups.

But since the Giants won the Super Bowl in 2011, they have gone to the playoffs just once (2016). That season, they went 11-5 in the regular season and they lost the Wild Card game 38-13 to the Green Bay Packers. In both the 2017 and 2018 seasons, they finished last in the NFC East, with a combined record of 8-24.

The Giants lack of success in recent years is part of what led to 38-year-old Eli Manning being benched after Week 2 this season. Daniel Jones, who the Giants drafted with the No. 6 pick earlier this year, took over as the presumed heir to the throne.

But the Giants haven’t improved this season, which adds to the idea that Manning wasn’t really the problem in the first place. The Giants are 2-10 and last in the NFC East. Only the Cincinnati Bengals (1-11) have a worse record.

With how bad recent years have been, it is easy to forget how much Eli Manning gave to the New York Giants. But he is on par with legends like Ben Rothelisberger, Drew Brees, and his brother, Peyton Manning, when you consider what he has given to this city and this franchise. He holds the franchise record for most passing yards, most passing touchdowns, and most completed passes in a career. From 2004 to 2017, he had 210 straight starts for New York, the second-longest consecutive starts by a quarterback in NFL history. And, most importantly, he brought home two Super Bowl titles.

It is unlikely that Eli Manning will ever be the Giants starter again. On Monday night, Giants fans will say goodbye to the man who has arguably given more to the team than any other player. No matter what the score, the game will surely be one to remember.

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