Sunday marked the seventh loss of the season for the New York Giants, as they were humiliated 51-17 by the Los Angeles Rams. One of the fleeting silver linings, however, was another historic landmark for New York quarterback Eli Manning.
With a 37-yard pass to wide receiver Sterling Shepard in the fourth quarter, Manning became the seventh quarterback in NFL history to surpass 50,000 career passing yards. He joins his brother Peyton, the all-time passing yardage leader at 71,940, in this exclusive club, as well as Brett Favre, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Dan Marino and John Elway. He ended the game with 220 yards, giving him 50,034 for his career.
In what has become a far too common sight this season, however, Manning did not talk about his individual accomplishments, taking responsibility for yet another Giants loss.
“We’ve got to do a better job protecting the football,” Manning said after the brutal defeat. “We can’t give a team short field position and make it easy on them and tough on our defense. So, you know, they’ve been playing well, they’ve been scoring a lot of points, they’ve got a good defense, and you know, they just hit some big plays. Obviously, we had some big turnovers in the first half.”
Manning, 36, threw two touchdown passes, including one to tight end Evan Engram on the first play after the landmark pass. Alas, a blowout loss cast the spotlight on two Manning turnovers, a pair of first half giveaway that ended the Giants’ hopes before they could truly rise.
On the first drive of the game, Manning was sacked by Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who also forced the ball out. Recovered by linebacker Connor Barwin, it was the first of many Giants errors, as the Rams’ offense swiftly took the ball 52 yards for the score, needing just four plays and 110 seconds of game time to do so.
Down 24-10 later in the half, the Giants finally forced the Rams to punt, but Manning was unable to capitalize, as a forced ball to Roger Lewis Jr. was intercepted by cornerback Trumaine Johnson. He and the Giants failed to muster much more after, save for the scoring drive when the game was well out of hand.
“Obviously, guys are disappointed. It’s tough,” Manning said. “We’ll come back tomorrow, Tuesday, Wednesday, get ready to go to San Francisco, and have a great game plan.”
Manning was later subbed out of the game for Geno Smith on the Giants’ final drive of the game, sitting down for the first time this season. As the Giants continue to lose, fans have clamored for the debut of third-round rookie Davis Webb, who has not dressed for a game this season.
The durable Manning acknowledged that he could be sat in favor of either Smith or Webb, but stressed that he wants to be on the field no matter how ugly the Giants’ record may get.
“I want to be out there, I want to be playing,” Manning said. “We have to accept it, those are the facts, and we just got to keep trying to fix that in the sense of next week and following weeks, getting better and trying to get a win.” Asked if he can sense the coaches making a change, Manning replied “They’ve got to do what they’ve got to do. I want to be out there, I want to keep playing with my teammates and keep working.
Manning is currently 1,441 yards away from passing Elway for fifth all-time on the passing yardage list, and 10 touchdown passes away from passing ex-Giant Fran Tarkenton on the all-time touchdown passes list (342).