In a season that’s been a roller coaster ride of emotions — rookie running back Saquon Barkley breaking records, wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. getting sidelined with a quad injury at the most critical of times and losing safety Landon Collins to a season-ending shoulder surgery — the Giants have seen their fair share of success and adversity.
Head coach Pat Shurmur said learning how to win again and playing through adversity are two things that factor into future roster-shaping and the team’s subsequent goals.
“I want all our players to be back. I really do,” Shurmur said. “I believe experience matters. I believe that what we’re trying to learn to do — we’ve grown two games better than we were a year ago here [improving from three to five wins]. We’ve got two more opportunities.”
Despite being out of playoff contention after the Giants’ Week 15 loss to the Titans, Shurmur sees a positive side to the tough realities of football. He said he learned a lot about his players in Sunday’s cold and rainy 17-0 Tennessee defeat, and compared it to some of the harsh games Big Blue endured earlier in the season.
“I think we’re doing a lot of good things,” quarterback Eli Manning said. “We have good players. We have a lot of the right pieces. When you have a lot of turnovers and a lot of new guys that come onto a team, it takes time for everybody to get on that same page and to play well as a team.”
Manning completed 21 of 44 passes for 229 yards in brutal weather on Sunday and Shurmur said his quarterback has years left with the Giants, regardless of the cloud of inconsistency surrounding Manning. The 37-year-old two-time Superbowl champion also has eyes on New York’s future.
“I think we are close and starting to build that winning culture back here,” Manning said.