The Giants were happy to snap their nine-game losing streak with Sunday's 36-20 win over the Miami Dolphins, but Week 15 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, meant more than just the final result.
Eli Manning made his second straight start in place of injured rookie Daniel Jones, who continues to recover from his sprained left ankle, and the veteran quarterback made the most of the opportunity.
In what was likely Manning's final home game with the Giants, he completed 20 of 28 passes (71.4 percent) for 283 yards and two touchdowns to three interceptions and led New York (3-11) past the Dolphins (3-11) 36-20.
From the fans that remained in the stands as Manning jogged off the field and into the tunnel, to the players in the locker room who celebrated his game ball awarded by second-year head coach Pat Shurmur, the Giants were thankful for what the 16th-year quarterback has done -- if this is, in fact, the end for him with Big Blue.
Rookie wide receiver Darius Slayton caught two passes from Manning for 31 yards and a touchdown, a five-yard reception at the 11:53 mark of the second quarter that gave the Giants a 14-10 lead over the Dolphins.
Slayton was only able to play with Manning the past two weeks, starting with last Monday's 23-17 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, but he quickly appreciated his experience around him.
"I got goose bumps," said Slayton, who added that he planned to keep his touchdown ball from Manning. "It was legendary. You know, he's a legend. He's going to go down as a Hall of Famer. I'm happy for him."
Fourth-year wide receiver Sterling Shepard built a long-standing relationship with Manning since the Giants drafted him in 2016, and he credits Manning for his rookie-to-veteran development.
"He's taught me a lot," said Shepard, who recorded a game-high nine receptions for 111 yards. "I came in here as a young pup and he's raised me right. I owe him a lot and I'm thankful to have him as my QB. He's one of the smartest guys that I have ever been around on the field. It's a blessing to be able to play with him."
In the same boat with Shepard as a second-year running back taking on a leadership role for the offense, Saquon Barkley echoed those sentiments, explaining why Manning's Giants presence went beyond the box score.
"If that is his last game and that's the way we send Eli off, then that's the way we envisioned doing," said Barkley, who took a season-high 24 carries for 112 yards (4.7 average) and two touchdowns, plus four receptions for 31 yards (7.8 average), to spark the offense under Manning. "I know I wanted to go out there and play my tail off and I know those guys wanted to do the same too for No. 10. He's meant so much to this city and to this franchise for such a long time. He's a special person and a special player.
"If that is the way he gets sent off, I'm glad we were able to do it in a win and do it in that fashion."