After Eli Manning helped end the New York Giants nine-game losing streak against the Dolphins, it’s time for Daniel Jones to be the starter again.
Following the New York Giants’ 36-20 victory over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, the tide has turned. The moment Eli Manning left the field to a standing ovation, the discussion surrounding the Giants starting quarterback over the final two games of the season has surfaced.
The grizzled vet or young Daniel Jones?
Jones has missed the last two games due to a high-ankle sprain, and based on Pat Shurmur’s conference call on Monday, there’s still uncertainty whether Jones will suit up in Week 16.
“We’ll just have to see,” Shurmur said. “Even though this is what they call a victory Monday, there’s a lot of players in the building today getting weight training, treatment and studying tape. We’ll just push him along like we did last week. We started the week with the idea that he might be ready to play, and we’ll do the same this week.”
On Wednesday, Jones practiced as the first-team quarterback and all signs are pointing in the direction that the Dukie will start.
It’s the right call.
There have been only a few bright moments surrounding the Giants over the last three seasons. Witnessing Manning guide the team to victory last week and leave the field to a standing ovation is as good as it can get for a future Hall of Famer on a 3-11 team.
All players would like the kind of sendoff that Michael Strahan enjoyed. Winning a Super Bowl in dramatic fashion in your final game seems fictional, but that seldom happens, and it’s hard to fathom a scenario over the final two games of the season that can top what Manning experienced on Sunday in the win over the Dolphins.
The Giants organization mishandled Manning over the past several seasons by not surrounding him with enough talent to be competitive, ending his Iron Man streak by starting Geno Smith and for employing Manning for too long. Releasing or trading him would have been in the best interest of the franchise and for No. 10.
So if Jones is ready to go, Shurmur needs to start him and let the last image of Manning as a player be him on the sideline soaking in the applause of the fans and acknowledging them.
Starting Jones in the final two games of the year will also serve as a benefit for the team moving forward. Fans may see the final two games as meaningless, but every game matters, especially in the NFL against a divisional foe.
Jones can gain valuable playing experience against the Redskins and Eagles, and learn their defensive tendencies, which will help him in 2020 and going forward. Jones had a shaky game in the Giants’ Week 4 24-3 victory over the Redskins when he completed 23 of 31 passes for 225 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions.
In addition, Jones has yet to face the Eagles as he missed the Week 14 matchup. Moreover, the Eagles have always presented problems for the Giants. It’s time for Jones to get familiar with this bitter rivalry.
Shurmur is likely coaching his final two games with the Giants. He’s made some poor decisions during his tenure with the team which have all been documented. But he can at least do the right thing in what will seemingly be his last major decision as head coach, and that’s to put Jones back under center if he’s healthy.