Eli Manning
ESNY Graphic, ,AP Photo

As the New York Giants look to climb to 1-1 on the season, Eli Manning will attempt to keep his career win-loss record above .500.

Jason Leach

There’s no such thing as a “must-win game” in Week 2 of an NFL season. There are still 14 games remaining on the schedule, and we’ve seen teams such as the 2007 New York Giants start the year 0-2 and go on to win the Super Bowl.

But for the 2019 Giants, securing a win in their home opener against the Buffalo Bills (1-0) on Sunday is crucial. Head coach Pat Shurmur and company hope to avoid a pattern of starting a season 0-2. The Giants have lost the first two games of the season in each of the last two seasons.

For the Giants to win against a strong Bills defense, New York will need running back Saquon Barkley and quarterback Eli Manning to perform well.

Week 1 against the Cowboys, Manning was efficient, completing 30 out of 44 passes for 306 yards and one touchdown. He missed some open receivers in critical moments and the team only scored 10 points for the first 57 minutes of the game.

Fair or unfair, anytime a team struggles to score points and lose games, all eyes point to the quarterback. For the second week in a row, the Giants will face one of the best defenses in the league.

Dating back to last season, the Bills have not allowed a 200-yard passer in three games. If the Giants are going to pick up a win on Sunday, they’ll need for Manning to end that streak.

In a bit of irony, as Manning and the Giants look to get their record to .500 at 1-1, Manning will look to keep his regular-season win-loss record above .500.

Manning’s regular-season career win-loss record stands at 116-115. It’s shocking that his record has dipped to this point considering the success during Manning’s first nine seasons in the league.

In his first nine seasons from 2004-2012, Manning’s regular-season win-loss record was 78-57. Since then, his win-loss record is 38-58.

Manning has to own some of the blame for the Giants woes over the last few seasons. The quarterback is the most impactful position in football and his play has dipped in recent years. The true root of the Giants downfall is the fact that their former general manager, Jerry Reese, had horrible draft classes year after year. The team failed to provide Manning with a stable offensive line for years.

Manning will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, without a shadow of a doubt. His legacy will be tied to his 8-4 postseason record that includes two dramatic victories over the Patriots in the Super Bowl. Not to mention, those Super Bowl victories wouldn’t be possible without two wins on the road in NFC Championship games in adverse weather conditions.

But his win-loss record may prevent him from becoming a first-ballot Hall of Famer. Although he’ll never admit it publicly, you can bet that Manning doesn’t want his record to dip to .500 or below. Athletes are prideful.

Defeating the Bills won’t be easy, especially since No. 1 receiver Sterling Shepard is unable to play due to a concussion. But the good news is Manning and the Giants have never lost to the Bills in his career (3-0). So you have to be hopeful that history will repeat itself.

Sunday isn’t a must-win game for the Giants, but a win would go a long way toward setting a different tone than the previous two seasons. Manning will do his best on Sunday to prevent his team from starting the season 0-2, and to preserve his winning record.

Jason's first love was football while growing up in northern New Jersey. For the past three years, he has covered the New York Giants, as well as several boxing events along the East Coast.