For the better part of the past two seasons, the noise surrounding Eli Manning and his New York Giants future had gotten quite loud. The bandwagon to bench him or move on was overflowing, but in recent weeks, they’ve fallen relatively silent.
Ultimately, that bandwagon got what they wanted all along on Sunday afternoon, although it didn’t come for the reason many anticipated.
Rather, Manning was yanked from a Week 14 game against the Washington Redskins because the Giants, aided by his three touchdown passes, were blowing their NFC East rivals out of the water.
Enter rookie Kyle Lauletta and a glimpse at the future so many have been biting their fingers waiting for. Or not.
After entering the game in the fourth quarter, Lauletta promptly threw an interception before finishing the game 0-for-5. It was the first time the Giants didn’t score in the final quarter of a game they went on to win, and there was little positive to spin about Lauletta.
Lauletta performed like a rookie with no NFL experience, and proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that Manning still gives the Giants their very best chance to win.
After the game, Giants head coach Pat Shurmur, who has fielded relentless Lauletta questions this season, stuck it to the media a little bit and offered a less than stellar take on his rookie gunslinger in the process.
“I don’t think there was enough there to evaluate how he did,” Shurmur told reporters. “Would have liked to see him get a couple more completions and not throw that interception, certainly.
“I fielded enough questions regarding Kyle Lauletta, that those of you that were interested in seeing him, hopefully you got a chance to see what you were looking for.”
Even in the event the Giants are eliminated from the playoffs, do not expect Lauletta or fellow backup quarterback Alex Tanney to unseat Manning. In fact, if anything, Sunday may have proved the Giants need to stick with Eli in 2019 as well.