Inside Eli Manning, Saquon Barkley Excellence During New York Giants Win Streak; Early 2019 Outlook

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NEW YORK (WFAN.com) -- The New York Giants blew out the Washington Redskins on Sunday to improve to 5-8 with three games left in the season. The Giants have been eliminated from winning the NFC East, but they actually are still alive for the second Wild Card spot in the NFC. 

Giants head coach Pat Shurmur joined WFAN's Mike Francesa on Tuesday to talk about the big win and things starting to come together for his team. 

"We're making progress. I think what we experienced Sunday was really enjoyable," Shurmur said. "To be in the locker room up 34-0 (at halftime), you don't really have a speech for that. We wanted our guys to start fast. We took advantage of some of the things we had to. We scored points. We did it in a way where we started with the run and we did the things necessary to beat an opponent. The sheer joy and the excitement that the players were feeling...I'm not a real big hugger. You had a bunch of adults that were playing a kid's game and having fun with it. That's the kind of excitement you get when you have some success and things are working. There's something to be learned from that."

Shurmur said he hasn't doubted 37-year-old quarterback Eli Manning.

"I never doubted Eli Manning. I appreciate all the things he is as a person, as a player, how he trains, how he thinks, the interaction we have with him," Shurmur told Francesa. "I've watched him do it before. It's safe to say that when he's had his best success, he was playing behind really good offensive lines. I knew once we got that fixed or along the way, we were getting that fixed, he was going to have a better chance to show us what he can do." 

Stud rookie running back Saquon Barkley continues to get better and better. 

"Saquon is a competitive guy that loves football," Shurmur said. "You can see the excitement in his face as he was involved with what we were doing. I'm happy for him. He ran a certain type of run in college. He's had to learn some of the NFL type runs. We're seeing progress each week there. As well as he's played, there's things each week he's getting better at. That's really good for New York Giants fans. He has such a good feel. He gets it. He has such a great feel for the show and it shows up in his running style." 

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The Giants have improved since the first half of the season, and Shurmur said he would like to see a lot of his players back in 2019.

"There's only 13 guys left on this roster from a year ago. I'd like to have all these guys back because I think we have learned a lot together and we have made progress. We have made a lot of changes," Shurmur said, "Running parallel with some people's excitements of who you'll draft and who you'll add ... running parallel with that is learning how to win again. That's the place we're at right now. I marvel at some people who think one season doesn't connect to the other, but if you believe that experience matters, then you can't say one year is not connected to the other. 

The offense line has seen improvement as well:  "Huge progress. I think it's the main catalyst for some of the success we have had here in the back half of the season. If you don't block em, nothing looks good," Shurmur said.

"You have to do something every year to improve both lines. I really believe that. If you let your lines depreciate and it's an easy thing to happen, because all of a sudden you're in the draft and that's not a glamorous pick. We have always got to look to solidify the guys up front, because the certainly helps the guys in the back."