NFC East Notes: Giants, Manning, Eagles, Foles, Wentz

Toward the beginning of the season, it seemed like a formality that Eli Manning wouldn’t be the Giants’ quarterback next year. The Giants were 1-7 and the season was circling the drain again, with Manning struggling heavily in his first year in Pat Shurmur’s offense. But the Giants then shockingly turned things around. They won four out of five games after that, znd very nearly pulled off a massive upset in Indianapolis this past Sunday.

Manning is suddenly having his best statistical season in many years, and his yards per attempt is the best it’s been since 2011. With all that’ happened, Manning won’t be getting any sort of send off this upcoming week in the Giants’ home finale, and fans shouldn’t write off Manning just yet, writes Ralph Vacchiano at SNY. The team isn’t planning anything special because they don’t view it as Manning’s last game as a Giant, and sources told Vacchiano that “it’s still more likely than not that he’ll be their starting quarterback again in 2019.” It’s a pretty surprising development, and it’ll be an epic comeback for Manning if he manages to hold onto the job for at least another year after his fate appeared all but sealed. With the Giants having won some games they’re no longer in a position to pick at the top of the draft, and the top quarterback or two could be gone by the time they’re up. What the Giants do at quarterback will surely be one of the most talked about storylines this offseason.

Here’s the latest from the NFC East on Christmas morning:

  • Speaking of the Giants, the team will likely be making a “series of roster moves” this week as the season winds down, according to Paul Schwartz of the New York Daily News. Schwartz writes that the team isn’t going to officially shut down Odell Beckham Jr. yet and hopes that he can still return for Week 17, but several other players will be placed on IR. That likely means some practice squad call-ups are in order for the Giants’ last hurrah at home against the Cowboys, and a lot of young guys should see some action.
  • Over in Philadelphia, it’s been Deja Vu for the Eagles as Nick Foles has come in cold off the bench to lead them to a couple of crucial wins. Foles has the Eagles on the verge of making the playoffs after they were all but eliminated, and is really helping his future value in the process. With Foles set to be a free agent after the season, Tim McManus of ESPN took a look at Foles’ potential suitors this offseason, and what type of contract he might be looking at. McManus lists the Jaguars, Buccaneers, Dolphins, and Redskins as some of the potential landing spots, and thinks he’ll end up with a deal somewhere in the Case Keenum range of $18MM per year. Foles will have at least one more chance to boost his stock in Week 17 against the Redskins.
  • Speaking of Foles, coach Doug Pederson formally announced earlier this week that he’d start against Washington, but the team still isn’t placing Carson Wentz on injured reserve, according to Eliot Shorr-Parks of 94 WIP (Twitter link). Pederson cryptically said Foles would be the starter for “at least this week”, and refused to say whether or not Wentz could or would play if the team makes the playoffs. If Wentz is healthy enough to play and the team makes the playoffs, it would make for a fascinating dilemma.
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