Member of The Press sports staff since 1986, starting my 25th season as The Press Eagles' beat writer. Also cover boxing, MMA, golf, high school sports and everything else.

Giants' Shurmur still believes in Eli Manning as his QB

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) reacts as Philadelphia Eagles' Destiny Vaeao (97) closes in for a sack during the first half of an NFL football game Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Hold your horses, Eagles fans.

The Birds looked fantastic in their 34-13 beatdown of the New York Giants on Thursday night, but it’s way too premature to start thinking of another trip to the Super Bowl.

To their credit, the players agree.

“Let’s not make this out to be more than it is,” linebacker Jordan Hicks said after the game. “It’s definitely a step in the right direction, but we still have plenty of things we need to work on.”

Take a look at the teams the Eagles have beaten en route to their 3-3 record. Atlanta (1-4), Indianapolis (1-4) and the hapless Giants (1-5) enter Sunday’s action a combined 3-13.

The Giants are the worst team in the league.

Rookie running back Saquon Barkley is the real deal — he’s fast, powerful, elusive and has more moves than John Travolta in “Saturday Night Fever” — but he got no help against the Eagles.

Odell Beckham Jr.’s best play came before Thursday’s game, when he spun the football on the damp turf at MetLife Stadium, then booted a 32-yard field goal that cleared the crossbar with 10 yards to spare. His worst came just before halftime, when he left the field before intermission to reportedly receive an IV.

Oy vey.

And don’t forget his strange interactions with inanimate objects. He head-butted a cooling fan on the sideline during the second half Thursday. Two years ago, he punched a kicking net, only to get down on one knee and propose to it a few weeks later.

At least Beckham provides some comic relief for Giants fans who are forced to watch Eli Manning’s sad, pathetic fall.

He resembles a boxer who can’t get out of the way of punches, a cleanup hitter who can no longer catch up to a fastball.

Giants coach Pat Shurmur may still believe in Manning, but no one else does.

He should retire at the end of the season, and the Giants can use the No. 1 overall pick — they’re going 1-15 — on University of Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert or Duke’s Daniel Jones.

I’m starting to think Eagles tackle Jason Peters should follow Manning into the sunset.

Or at least to Canton.

It was tough to watch him Thursday night. Even before he tore his left biceps tendon, Peters struggled against Giants linebacker Olivier Vernon. The six-time Pro Bowler used to maul pass rushers but now has trouble containing them.

At 36, he’s starting to wear down, like a once-reliable car with 200,000 miles on the odometer.

There’s been speculation that Peters’ injury is not season-ending, but considering he had trouble protecting Carson Wentz with two arms, it’s hard to believe he’s up to the challenge with one.

Coach Doug Pederson should consider “resting” Peters when they resume their season against Carolina on Oct. 21. Halapoulivaati Vaitai wasn’t much better against the Giants and was horrible in the preseason, but he showed potential last season after Peters went down with a torn ACL.

Regardless of who is playing left tackle, the Eagles will win the mediocre NFC East this season, but that’s faint praise considering it’s the weakest division in the NFL.

Upcoming games against the Los Angeles Rams (5-0), New Orleans (4-1), Carolina (3-1) and Jacksonville (3-2) will determine if they are legitimate contenders much more than a lopsided win over the Giants.

That’s not to suggest the Eagles aren’t capable of earning a return to trip to the Super Bowl, but they’ve got a long way to go.

Let’s revisit this in two months.

In the meantime, cool your jets.

David Weinberg’s Extra Points column appears Wednesdays and Sundays in The Press.

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Contact: 609-272-7201 DWeinberg@pressofac.com

Twitter @PressACWeinberg

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