New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur does an incredible job keeping secrets.
Sure, those “secrets” could also also qualify as “lies” but I guess it all depends on perspective.
Whether that be telling the media that Olivier Vernon would return to practice the next day.
(he didn’t return for another two weeks)
Whether that be telling the media that Odell Beckham Jr. wouldn’t be penalized for his comments made in the infamous ESPN interview.
(he would eventually fine Beckham Jr. for his comments)
Or whether that be telling the media not to skip over Alex Tanney as a potential option to replace Eli Manning.
(he made rookie quarterback Kyle Lauletta surprisingly active for Sunday’s game while making Tanney inactive)
Shurmur doesn’t give away anything. But I think he will start Lauletta this week vs the Redskins.
Even if he won’t publicly admit it.
It Sets Up Eli Manning To Play The Home Finale
The Giants have no choice but to give Eli Manning the proper send off in Week 17 at home vs the Dallas Cowboys.
There are rumors that Manning may return next season but I just don’t see that actually happening.
This will give Kyle Lauletta three starts, two of them being on the road.
That’s a nice sample size for a fourth-round rookie who wasn’t expected to play at all prior to the season.
If the Giants follow my plan and play Lauletta the next three games, you are talking about three games against three teams (Redskins, Titans, Colts) who are fighting for their playoff lives.
The same can’t be said for a Week 17 matchup where the Cowboys could already have the division wrapped up and choose to sit starters.
The Titans and Colts also boast top 11 defenses.
So, if Lauletta plays well, it may not be a mirage.
Having Him Active vs The Bears Gives It Away
You can’t start a quarterback this late in the season without ever having him active at least once.
I believe Lauletta was ready to play in garbage time vs the Bears on Sunday, but the decision to make him active was ultimately to set up a start this week vs the Redskins.
What would be the point of having him active as the backup for multiple games?
I doubt Shurmur announces Lauletta as the starter during the week, but as I mentioned, Shurmur’s word to the media means nothing.
Lauletta wasn’t even aware that he’d be active until Sunday morning.
Shurmur will keep this decision close to the vest.
Eli Manning Ain’t Winning You Games
The Giants won on Sunday thanks to an all-around team effort.
Alec Ogletree had a pick-six. Odell Beckham Jr. threw a touchdown pass. The defense recorded five sacks. Aldrick Rosas nailed three field goals.
And Eli Manning … averaged less than 5 yards per attempt with a passer rating of 65.2.
The “playing the guy who gives you the best chance to win” argument is no longer valid with Manning.
Play Lauletta. I don’t think he could be much worse.