In a division of young up-and-coming quarterbacks, the Giants believe their old man gives them an advantage. At least for now.
“He’s seen everything,” general manager Jerry Reese said of Eli Manning, 35, who was drafted when the Cowboys’ Dak Prescott and the Eagles’ Carson Wentz were still in grade school and was winning a Super Bowl while the others were still in middle school. “We have a couple of young guys doing a nice job in the division. We should have the advantage because we do have a veteran quarterback and he’s seen everything. These guys haven’t seen half the things that Eli Manning has seen.”
It’s true, Manning holds all the aces when it comes to experience in the NFC East. He has started 190 regular-season games in the NFL; the three other starters in the division (Prescott, Wentz and Washington’s Kirk Cousins) have a total of 47 career starts.
But it’s only an advantage if Manning’s play makes it one.
“I just have to keep up with the young guys and make sure that I’m playing good football,” Manning said.
It’s also not a potential advantage the Giants will have forever. One day someone other than Eli Manning will be the Giants’ quarterback. Reese said there are always preparations for that eventuality.
“How long does he have to play? Who could we get in line? Who’s the next guy in line?” Reese said of questions he asks himself. “Eli is not going to play forever but we still think he has a lot of football left in him.”
The Giants believe it’s enough to overcome the new generation of NFC East quarterbacks for the time being.
“We just look at what his skill set is,” Reese said of Manning when asked how age factors into the team’s view of their quarterback. “We still think he has a good skill set. We can win a lot of football games with him.”