Leonard: Giants season is over. Time to get head-start on life post-Eli Manning following awful loss to Eagles

Leonard: Giants season is over. Time to get head-start on life post-Eli Manning following awful loss to Eagles

“I just said I’m not worried about their effort,” Shurmur said. “Listen, didn’t (another reporter) ask me about effort? And then I said I wasn’t concerned about their effort, right? Here we go again. I wasn’t concerned about their effort. I was concerned about how they executed, and how we didn’t get in the end zone and how we let them in the end zone.”

Pat Shurmur taking advantage of weekend off to go cheer on his son at Vanderbilt; inside his relationship with Doug Pederson

Pat Shurmur taking advantage of weekend off to go cheer on his son at Vanderbilt; inside his relationship with Doug Pederson

“I always followed his career, and he and I have always talked, whether we see each other at the (NFL) Combine, whether we’re playing against him, now coaching against him, have a really good relationship,” Pederson added. “I think it’s a tribute to Coach Reid, Coach Shurmur being a former coach and myself as a former player and eventually working for Coach Reid, and just having guys go on to be coaches. I’ve got a lot of respect for what he’s done and what he’s been through and followed his career, and I think he’s done a great job over his career, and he’s going to continue to be successful.”

Leonard: 3 keys to a Giants win over the Eagles, including why Eli Manning must take advantage of downfield throws

Leonard: 3 keys to a Giants win over the Eagles, including why Eli Manning must take advantage of downfield throws

Manning connected on eight passes that gained 20 or more yards Sunday in Carolina (57, 40, 33, 30, 28, 26, 22 and 20), after rarely connecting down the field to his receivers through four weeks. And the Giants snapped their drought of 37 games without scoring 30 points. The Eagles’ secondary is short-handed and struggling. Manning has had success throwing the ball and scoring touchdowns against Philly the last couple seasons, but the Eagles also have frequently turned Manning over. In their past four meetings, Manning is averaging 33 completions on 50.75 attempts (65% completion), 353.25 yards passing, 2.75 TD passes and 2.0 INTs per game. Sometimes the Eagles’ aggressive reads of Manning passes lead to turnovers. Other times, Manning and the Giants have used that against them, like making corner Jalen Mills bite on double moves. Pat Shurmur and Manning will have opportunities to push the ball down the field, but the quarterback has to take care of the ball, too. The Giants, believe it or not, are averaging more points per game (20.8, 23rd in NFL) than the Eagles (20.6 points per game, 25th in NFL), so there is an opportunity to repeat their Carolina output and get a win. Carson Wentz, back from last season’s torn left ACL, is starting his fourth game of the season at QB for Philadelphia after Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles handled the first two weeks.

Modiano: The Giants should sign Colin Kaepernick right now

Modiano: The Giants should sign Colin Kaepernick right now

In fairness, ‘killing this team,’ did not apply to Sunday in North Carolina. Despite two picks, Eli actually played well, and that loss was definitely not on him. Had Graham Gano not booted an insane 63-yard field goal (which would have been good from 70 yards), we would be celebrating Eli’s first 30-points-scored-in-a-win since 2015.

Leonard: Giants well aware of stakes heading into must-win Eagles game

Leonard: Giants well aware of stakes heading into must-win Eagles game

“This game, in my opinion, is the game,” Strahan, sixth all-time with 141.5 career sacks, said on a conference call Wednesday. “You’ve got to win this game in order to still feel you have a chance in this division … The Giants are still in it. The challenge for these guys will be do they believe they’re still in it? And it’s hard because they are losing games they very easily could win.