Pat Leonard: Changes Coming For Eli Manning, New York Giants

At 1-5, the Giants' season is over – and changes are coming, Pat Leonard says

Taz and the Moose
October 29, 2018 - 8:18 am

USA Today Images

It was a must-win game, and it was a game the Giants had little interest in winning. 

The Eagles beat the Giants, 34-13, in East Rutherford on Thursday and made it look easy, leading 24-6 at halftime. The Giants fell to 1-5 on the season, including 0-3 at home.

“I cannot believe how the Giants came out in a game where they could have turned their season around,” New York Daily News Giants beat writer Pat Leonard said on Taz & The Moose. “This is the first game this year that looked like last year. When I say that, I don’t just mean the offensive frustration and Eli Manning; I mean how easily the defense gave things up to the Eagles and how, at times, it looked like there was some disinterest out there.

“I’m not finger-pointing at every player on the Giants defense or on the field,” Leonard continued, “but you heard Troy Aikman saying it on the broadcast, too – that he saw some guys that just didn’t look like their desire was there.”

Carson Wentz finished 26-of-36 for 278 yards and three touchdowns. He was sacked just once and rarely pressured.

“Pat Shurmur is doing a very good job of not throwing guys under the bus,” Leonard said, “but when he goes back and watches the film on last night’s game, he is going to see a lot of characteristics and traits of a team that is not a team that he would normally be associated with. Not only do I think they need to start planning for the future, but there’s going to be some decisions made. Shurmur is not going to sit on his hands and coach and tolerate a team where players are running free and there’s just not enough effort out there.”

Changes could also be coming on offense, as Eli Manning finished 24-of-43 for 281 yards, an interception and a fumble. He threw 12 passes to Saquon Barkley, who had nine catches for 99 yards. 

Kyle Lauletta – a fourth-round pick out of Richmond – will likely see the field this season. And sooner rather than later.

“I think it’s going to happen earlier than most people would assume,” Leonard said. “I don’t think it’s necessarily just a Week 16 or 17 thing because this has just gotten so bad. You’re not tanking. The Giants will never do that. They’re going to try to win. But if you play Lauletta and you get a look at him – and in the process you hold on to, say, a No. 1 or No. 2 pick, is that the end of the world?”

The jury is also out on Odell Beckham Jr., who finished with six catches and 44 yards and remains a distraction on and off the field.

Is OBJ’s act wearing thin?

“They have to be having a case of buyer’s remorse that he’s saying he’s not even fully happy in New York – and they gave him $65 million guaranteed,” Leonard said. “So yes, I think it’s wearing thin.”

The Giants (1-5) play at Atlanta (1-4) and against Washington (2-2) before their Week 9 bye.