After being eliminated from playoff contention, there’s no excuse for the New York Giants to keep Kyle Lauletta sidelined.
The end of an era is upon the New York Giants, and they need to look towards the future.
The team is officially eliminated from playoff contention after losing to the Titans. While the playoffs were a long-shot after a 1-7 start, the team was still hopeful that they could sneak into the last playoff spot.
The team now has two games that they will be playing that are essentially meaningless. Despite having rookie Kyle Lauletta on the roster, Pat Shurmur announced that Eli Manning will start against the Colts on Sunday (1 P.M., CBS) per Dan Schneier of CBS Sports.
Manning was a great quarterback for the Giants, winning two Super Bowl MVP awards, and should be a Hall of Famer one day, but this decision makes little sense.
The Giants offense has been anemic most of the season, and while not all of the blame should fall on him, his best days are behind him. He will be 38 next season and has struggled at times to make throws successfully.
His deep ball is not as good as it once was and he occasionally gets happy feet in the pocket, resulting in check downs in situations where he has a chance for a big play.
While it’s not impossible to think that the Giants could give Manning one more run in the final year of his contract next season, it’s clear that he isn’t the long-term answer. The team is currently slotted in the ninth spot of the draft, likely taking them out of the race for Justin Herbert (should he come out of school).
Assuming the Giants are unable to trade up to get their quarterback in the draft, the team likely won’t have a high-end quarterback available where they pick, leaving the team in with a question mark as to who will replace Manning.
Meanwhile, Lauletta, the rookie fourth-round pick out of Richmond, has not seen significant time this season. He went 0-5 with one interception in mop-up duty against the Redskins before being made inactive against the Titans, but he has not played other than that.
While Lauletta’s stats were not encouraging, he went into the game when the Giants took out their starters. He was not throwing to first team receivers and with a massive lead, it’s easy for a team to play at half-speed.
The team has two games left, and while they can’t fully evaluate Lauletta in those two games, they can and should use them to measure how he has improved from the preseason. The team invested a draft pick in him hoping that he could develop into a starter. It’s time to see if he has developed like they wanted him to.
Is it unlikely that he will be a starter? Yes. There is a reason that he fell to the fourth round and he doesn’t have great arm strength. But Manning definitely isn’t the long-term answer, while there is a chance Lauletta might be.
As unlikely as it is, in a season that’s already over, there’s no reason to not find out if he can be the guy moving forward.