There hasn’t been much to cheer for about the New York Giants this season. They’re 1-6 and have suffered a rash of injuries to key players.
But on Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams, Giants fans will have something to cheer for. If Eli Manning, the franchise’s best quarterback of all-time, is able to throw for at least 186 yards through the air, he’ll become just the seventh quarterback in NFL history to reach the 50,000 yards milestone.
The group of players he’d be joining is impressive.
Eli would also become the first NFC East quarterback to achieve this milestone. That’s quite an accomplishment, considering that the division has historically been one of the toughest and most physical, with offenses that love the ground-and-pound approach.
This speaks to both Manning’s ability and his durability, as he will make his 207th consecutive start on Sunday.
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He may have his detractors, but nobody can deny how dependable Manning has been. To play week in and week out for 14 years, despite having a shaky offensive line for the past several seasons, is nothing short of miraculous.
While he may never admit this publicly, he’ll take satisfaction in this.
It’s far from a lock that he’ll get the yards he needs, however. With his receiving corps destroyed by injury, he’s averaged just 131 passing yards per game over the past two weeks. But with Sterling Shepard set to return on Sunday after missing the previous two games with an ankle injury, Eli will be getting a big-time target back on the field.
Sunday could be the last significant milestone that Manning achieves as a Giant. He’ll celebrate his 37th birthday in January and with the Giants clearly in rebuilding mode, it’s not a guarantee that he’ll be with the team in 2018.
There’s been speculation that should he and the team part ways, he’d wind up in Jacksonville, where he’d be reunited with former Giants head coach Tom Coughlin.
So for those heading to MetLife Stadium for this game, celebrate Eli. You might not have too many chances left to do so.