They were happy to have No. 10 back after a week-long exile as the backup. Much has changed with the Giants between Manning’s last game, a Thanksgiving night loss to the Washington Redskins, and Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys. The team fired head coach Ben McAdoo and general manager Jerry Reese. Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo was named interim head coach.
New coach, same quarterback, and the same results for the Giants. The Giants fell to the franchise formerly known as America’s Team 30-10.
Manning looked like the same quarterback who was behind center for nine of the Giants’ 11 losses, for better or for worse.
He completed a high percentage of passes (31-of-46 for 228 yards, 67.4 percent). Manning methodically led the Giants on an eight-play, 68-yard drive to give the Giants their first lead since a 3-0 advantage over Washington.
That touchdown would be the last Giants’ points of the afternoon as Dallas went on to score 27 unanswered points. Manning threw two interceptions in the pivotal fourth quarter, when the Cowboys put up 20. He didn’t take many shots down the field and his receivers routinely dropped perfectly thrown passes.
Giants fans got exactly what they wanted: Manning back in the starting lineup. Unfortunately, Manning’s presence wasn’t enough to uplift a Giants offense that has only put up 20 points twice in their last 19 games going back to Week 12 of last season.
Now that Manning is back as the starter, he will undoubtedly be blamed for all of the Giants’ woes. The Monday morning sports talk circuit will feature countless analysts, fans, and onlookers calling for the Giants to put Geno Smith back in or get a look at Davis Webb.
Manning’s return, if anything, shows the world the Giants’ problems go well beyond the quarterback position. No. 10, being who he is, will stand there and smile and put everything on his shoulders. He will never, ever throw the organization under the bus even though last week’s benching gives him a pass if he decided to do so.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.