This Giants season has been an absolute disaster. There’s no denying that.
But Monday night against the Philadelphia Eagles could not have gone any better for fans of the organization — and even maybe ownership, too.
For one last time, Eli Manning was the man under center during a primetime game. It’s a place where an entire generation of Giants fans have grown accustomed to seeing the 38-year-old, with Monday night providing a semblance of closure after his unceremonious benching after Week 2 for rookie Daniel Jones.
And for one last time, Manning got to sling it around a questionable Eagles secondary during the first half.
After a three-month break, Manning completed 11-of-19 attempts for 179 yards and a pair of long touchdowns to the next great Giants wide receiver in rookie Darius Slayton.
Manning’s second scoring pass to Slayton was as easy as it gets, dropping a perfect deep pass to a wide-open receiver who streaked past the Eagles’ sedentary secondary to give New York a 17-3 lead just before the break.
And just for those few moments, Giants fans were transported back to a decade ago when Manning was pulling big plays out of thin air and leading Big Blue to improbable contention.
But then head coach Pat Shurmur happened.
He completed abandoned the gameplan that gave the Giants a two-touchdown lead.
Manning went 4-for-11 in the final 30 minutes for just 24 yards while the Giants defense allowed a shorthanded Eagles defense to storm back to win in overtime.
After Philadelphia tied the game at 17 with 1:53 remaining, Manning had an opportunity for one more vintage game-winning drive.
But Shurmur played the coward and opted not to go for it on 4th-&-3 from the Giants 32-yard-line.
Why does a 2-10 team have to play for overtime?
Alas, that’s exactly what Shurmur did. The Eagles got the ball first and rammed the ball down James Bettcher’s defense’s throats for the win.
It extended the Giants’ losing streak to a franchise-record nine straight games while Shurmur became the first head coach in the storied organization’s history to have two seasons of 11-plus losses.
He’s been here for only two years.
According to the New York Daily News’ Pat Leonard, Giants co-owner John Mara “stormed off past the locker room flanked by the Giants’ head of security, a Philadelphia police officer, and a team employee — a virtual media shield.”
So why is this good for the Giants?
Not only does the loss keep the team slated at the No. 2 pick with a clear path at Ohio State defensive end Chase Young, but ownership seems plenty fed up with Shurmur as he continues to find ways to lose games.
Like I said — overall — a pretty good night.