Eli Manning thinks ‘it’s time’ for Giants to make playoff return

Giants legend Eli Manning is putting the playoff pressure on his former team, which hasn’t made it to the postseason since 2016.

“I think it’s time obviously to get back to the playoffs, and I think they have a great opportunity,” Manning told The Ringer’s Kevin Clark Thursday during an appearance on “Slow News Day.”

“I think coach [Joe] Judge and what he’s done, [he’s] kind of changed the culture there as a tough coach and the players are buying in. It’s been exciting to see that.”

The spotlight is on quarterback Daniel Jones to perform, especially with the return of star running back Saquon Barkley from a torn ACL and the addition of stud receiver Kenny Golladay in free agency.

“I think with Daniel Jones kind of that second year within the same offense and putting some players around him, he’ll make great strides,” Manning said of Jones, who replaced him as starting quarterback two games into the 2019 season. “So I think they have a great opportunity to kind of check that box.”

Co-owner John Mara has the same mentality when it comes to the team’s playoffs hopes.

“I think our roster is good enough to make the playoffs,” Mara told The Post in March.

When asked if he believes Jones is the quarterback who can lead the Giants to a Super Bowl win, Mara gushed, “Yes he does. — I can say that without any hesitation.”

Eli Manning on Dec. 29, 2019.
Eli Manning on Dec. 29, 2019.
Getty Images

Last month, Mara expressed the urge for the Giants to deliver a success story this season, but said he was “not issuing a playoff mandate” when it comes to the job status of GM Dave Gettleman.

“I don’t think those ever do you any good,” Mara said. “I don’t think I need to say or do anything to motivate the people in this building any more than they’re already motivated. They all want to win.”

The Giants finished 6-10 last year, though they battled for the top spot in the putrid NFC East until the final week of the season.

Eli Manning (left) and Daniel Jones at Giants practice in 2019.
Eli Manning (left) and Daniel Jones at Giants practice in 2019.
Robert Sabo

“I want to see us make progress and become a winning team again. We’re overdue on that,” Mara said, before he played coy about Gettleman’s future if the Giants miss the playoffs.

“We’re all on the hot seat. With our fans in particular, we’ve given them too many losing seasons. It’s time for us to start winning. I expect to win more games than we did last year. Hopefully, we’re going to be a playoff team this year.” 

In Gettleman’s first two seasons the Giants went 5-11 and 4-12 in 2018 and ’19.

The Giants open the 2021 season at home against the Broncos on Sunday.

New York Post

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