Based on FiveThirtyEight.com’s 100,000 simulations for the rest of the 2018 season, the New York Giants have less than a 1 percent chance at making the playoffs. Basically, it’s not happening. The math just isn’t on their side.
So, if you were a fan of the Giants armed with that information, I’m sure you’d understand (even prefer, maybe) if the team wanted to take a look at rookie QB Kyle Lauletta to evaluate the franchise’s potential quarterback-of-future with their remaining time this year, right? Right. I always knew you were reasonable.
Unfortunately, not everyone is as reasonable as you. Instead of looking forward, Giants Head Coach Pat Shurmur announced the team will stay the course for at least another week:
Eli Manning again makes it clear: He expects to start until someone tells him otherwise. “I wanna play.”
Pat Shurmur says Eli will start vs Bears on Sunday because he gives #Giants best chance to win.”
— Art Stapleton (@art_stapleton) November 26, 2018
Eli Manning will be the Giants’ starting quarterback against the Chicago Bears on Sunday … because he will be their “best chance to win.” Yoooookay. I might consider playing for a better draft position at this point, but that’s up to them.
At age 37, Manning has taken a beating with a league-high 38 sacks that have resulted in a loss of 295 yards through 11 games. At some point, the Giants would be wise to evaluate their internal options before seeking a long-term replacement for Manning via free agency, trade, or most likely, the 2019 NFL Draft. But I suppose striking a balance of building toward the future while also respecting a quarterback who brought the franchise two Super Bowls is easier said than done.
So what about Lauletta? Well, actually, it doesn’t sound like he even appears to be in the picture right now, even if the team decided to move away from Manning:
Shurmur says Eli will start vs. Bears. He’s not entertaining the idea of starting Kyle Lauletta at this point. Shurmur actually said we shouldn’t forget about journeyman Alex Tanney when asked about Lauletta starting.
— Dan Duggan (@DDuggan21) November 26, 2018
Apparently, the Giants aren’t throwing in the towel just yet and that’s, well, absolutely adorable (forgive me for being sold cocky, but … come on). You can’t help but admire the competitive spirit and the gumption it takes to keep pounding away with something that isn’t working, while simultaneously hoping it gets better, you know, just because. And also, like, even if he did get better, they’d still have just a 1% chance at the postseason.
It’s just a strange decision all the way around, especially because it’s not like their head coach is sticking with Manning because he (the coach) is fighting to keep his job. Remember, Shurmur – who was once a candidate for the Bears head-coaching gig – is in the first year of his deal after being hired during the offseason. To play my own devil’s advocate, I suppose I could be convinced that keeping the rookie away from a top-5 Bears defense that has feasted on quarterbacks all season is the right decision. But that may be giving credit where it isn’t due.
Indeed, the Giants don’t appear to be doing themselves any favors as far as the long-term health of the organization is concerned. And I’m just happy this isn’t a problem the Bears have to deal with right now. They’ll play the Giants this Sunday at noon in New York.