So this is how it ends for Eli Manning?
Seems that way. The 38-year-old backup quarterback spent most of the day wearing a rain parka on the sideline, never took a snap in the game, then jogged through the tunnel for the final time as a Giant beneath a smattering of fans who showed their appreciation for his 16-year career with the team. Manning waved back.
Now that the season is over, for the first time in his life, Manning is a free agent. He almost certainly will not be back with the Giants, and while he has not given any indication of future plans, retirement seems the most likely option.
Surely the Giants did something during the game for the two-time Super Bowl MVP, right?
There was no big video, no emotional send-off. The only time Manning was even close to center stage was in the second quarter, when he was the answer to an in-house trivia question during a commercial break. The camera showed him on the video boards from behind. He was cheered, but he was having a conversation on the sideline at the time and did not appear to notice.
What about his teammates in the locker room?
Nope. Manning quietly peeled off his uniform in front of his locker, got dressed, grabbed his bag, and walked out the MetLife Stadium locker room door for the final time as a player. No one stopped him, no one looked up, no one even nodded. He strode purposefully to meet up with his family and then left.
“It wasn’t like the Miami game,” safety and fellow captain Michael Thomas said of Manning’s departure two weeks ago, when he engineered a win in his final start.
It certainly was not.
Where did the Giants land in the 2020 draft order?
They’ll have the fourth overall pick in April, if they choose to use it. They are the only team in the NFL to finish with four wins, so there were no tiebreakers to consider after the Lions lost and the Dolphins won. The teams selecting ahead of them are the Bengals, Redskins and Lions. The Dolphins, Chargers and Panthers — three teams that could be in the market for a quarterback — pick directly behind the Giants.
What happened to Jon Halapio?
The center had to be carted off the field in the fourth quarter with what teary-eyed teammate Kevin Zeitler called “the worst-case scenario.” Coach Pat Shurmur said Halapio suffered an Achilles injury, but he did not know the extent.
Halapio, who fractured his ankle in the opener last season and fought back to be the starter this season, left the stadium on crutches. “If anyone can come back from something like that again, it’s him,” guard Will Hernandez said.
Any other injuries?
Sterling Shepard left the game at several points with a variety of injuries and was moving very gingerly in the locker room after the game. He seemed to suffer a rib injury that required X-rays. Fullback Eli Penny left the game with back spasms.
Did Leonard Williams finally get his sack?
Yes. Well, half of one. He and David Mayo combined to bring down Carson Wentz in the first quarter. The defensive tackle, who spent time with the Jets this season before being traded to the Giants, posted 15 quarterback hits this year before finally cashing in.