Eli Manning will not be feeling any pressure from his father to play another season.
Archie Manning sounded at peace with the possibility of his youngest son calling it a career following Sunday’s 36-35 loss to the Cowboys, but if not, things are going to need to change with the Giants after a disappointing 5-11 season.
“If Eli is done playing, I’m fine with it,” Archie told ESPN’s Ian O’Connor. “But if he comes back, the Giants have got to win. They can’t go through another season like this.”
The Giants have had five losing seasons in the last six years and Eli turns 38 as he heads into the final year of his contract.
His 2018 season was filled with question marks as he struggled early in the season to find the end zone with an offense that contained weapons like Odell Beckham Jr. and Saquon Barkley, contributing to a 1-7 start.
But Eli finished with decent numbers, completing a career-high 66 percent of his passes and throwing for 4,299 yards, 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions despite being sacked a career-high 47 times behind a shoddy offensive line.
And while Archie is okay with Eli walking away, he still believes he can perform at a high level.
“I haven’t seen any decline in his arm strength,” Archie said, “And he never did run fast. Eli understands the game. He knows how to run a football team, and he’s still physically capable of playing at a high level. That’s just the way I feel, and of course I’m his father. But I know this: If Eli felt like he couldn’t do it anymoe, he would quit. I know he would.”
Eli also has a supporter in his head coach, Pat Shurmur, who said he “absolutely” expects his starting quarterback to return next season.
“Everybody thinks I’m nuts,” Shurmur said on Sunday. “But I’ve seen the good in Eli. I certainly hear things [bad], but I believe in him. I feel strongly about Eli.”
Eli, of course, downplayed it all. Even dismissing the fact that he did something he has never done before prior to a game when he stood in the end zone at MetLife Stadium taking pictures with his three daughters.
“Ever hear the phrase, ‘A happy wife, a happy life?” said Eli, who is expecting a son with his wife Abby. “I think that fits that category.”