Eli Manning went out a winner. In what was likely his final start at home (the Giants have another home game, but Daniel Jones should be back under center by then), Manning helped navigate the Giants to a 36-20 win over the Dolphins to up his career record as a starting quarterback to 117-117. He jogged off the field to a standing ovation from Giants fans.
A good day for Manning, a disastrous day for the Giants.
The Giants came into this NFL-Draft-positioning showdown against the Dolphins as the lone team in the league with only two wins. They were set to pick second in the NFL Draft (behind the one-win Bengals), with the possibility of landing transcendent pass rusher Chase Young.
Now, after this win, the Giants are one of four teams (Giants, Dolphins, Lions, Redskins) with three wins vying for the No. 2 pick.
Some fans struggle with the idea of tanking. They want their team to win, even when the playoffs and bigger goals are no longer within reach. I am not of that mindset.
If you can't win the Super Bowl, or can't even make the playoffs -- as is the case for the Giants -- the only thing that matters is getting the best players available in the upcoming draft. In order to do that, you need the highest pick available. When it comes to Young, you need a top-two pick, because he's not falling further than that. This win might crush any hopes of Young being in blue.
There are still two more weeks of football. The Giants could lose out and get lucky with the Dolphins, Lions, and Redskins (they play the Giants) all winning another game. But they controlled their own destiny coming into this Dolphins matchup. All they needed was three more losses. Eli Manning had other plans. Now the Giants have to pick up the pieces and take a few more loses. Anything less would make a bad season even worse.