Eli Manning struggled mightily in a 17-0 shutout loss at home to the Titans on Sunday, completing 47 percent of his passes and throwing an interception.
Yet it has done nothing to change Pat Shurmur’s long-term view of the 37-year-old quarterback.
The Giants head coach said on Monday that he still believes Manning has years left in him despite his most recent performance.
“Yeah, I do,” Shurmur said. “Because I’ve seen him play good football. I’ve seen how when we have a coordinated effort of protecting him and running the ball throughout the game it helps us.”
Manning is on pace to throw for 4,000 yards and has 18 touchdowns to nine interceptions despite battling a shoddy offensive line that has allowed 46 sacks this season.
But Manning’s play has also been wildly inconsistent.
The Giants quarterback has thrown multiple touchdown passes in a game just five times and has had quarterback ratings of 54.1, 65.2, 66.1 and 67.8 percent.
He has been off-target on a number of throws and his 65.9 completion percentage can be attributed for his tendency to often resort to checkdowns.
Manning has a year remaining on his contract with a cap his of $23.2 million. Cutting Manning in the offseason would save the Giants $17 million in cap space yet Shurmur wants the veteran quarterback to return.
“I think what’s important is things you decide in the offseason is things you decide,” he said. “Right now we got two games left and put a plan together to be in Indianapolis. We stay in the moment in that. After every game, practice we evaluate a players’ performance in all positions. In offseason we know there’s decisions.”
Meanwhile, Manning said on Monday all he could do was worry about it “one year at a time,” but also said he believes he can still play at a high level.
“I can play. I can make the throws,” Manning said. “Yesterday, I made some good throws. I still feel we can run around and make plays and do a lot of good things. There was a stretch we were playing good football and got to get back to it.”
Shurmur has already announced Manning as the starter for Sunday against the Colts because he “gives us the best chance to win,” despite the fact the Giants are now officially elminated from the playoffs.
Shurmur would not commit if Giants’ fourth-round pick Kyle Lauletta, who was inactive this week after being activated the previous two weeks, would get a chance to enter one of the final two games.
“I think we’re going to go with the players who give us the best chance to win,” said Shurmur. “Wer’re getting a lot of guys here in the game. We’ll see if that’s Kyle.”