EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Miami Dolphins came up empty for the second straight game at MetLife Stadium.
They lost to the Jets a week ago on a last-second field goal and weren’t even close after a dreadful second half in the 36-20 loss to the Giants on Sunday. Both teams are 3-11 with two games left in the regular season.
What Fitzpatrick will remember is a few moments after the game talking with two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning, who threw two touchdowns in the win.
The game turned into a love-fest for the 38-year-old Manning. He returned as the Giants’ starting quarterback last Monday against the Eagles. On Sunday he put a bright spot on a dismal season by leading to Giants to a win that snapped a franchise record-tying nine-game losing streak in what might have been his final home start for New York.
Manning’s contract runs out at the end of the season and first-round draft pick Daniel Jones, who missed his second straight game with an ankle injury, is the new guy in town.
Fitzpatrick walked up to Manning and shook hands after the game, which featured fans giving Manning two standing ovations, and chanting his name after a final curtain call.
“I just think he’s meant a lot to this league, obviously he’s been a face of not just the Giants franchise, but of the league for a long time now. And he’s been the model of consistency for 16 years, too, in terms of staying level-headed and with all the stuff that you have to deal with in this media market,” said Fitzpatrick, who threw two touchdown passes to DaVante Parker.
The 37-year-old Fitzpatrick actually played in New York during his career. He was the quarterback of the Jets in 2015-16.
Fitzpatrick said Manning has been a class act his entire career.
“Our playing styles are a little bit different and he’s had a lot more success than I have, so I’m not even trying to compare our careers, I’m just, the class act that he is and always watching from afar the way that he handles himself, that’s something that all of us NFL quarterbacks can learn from that example. And you know he’s had a great career and I was happy to see that for him today.
The Dolphins defense did their best to spoil the day, picking off Manning three times. Picks by linebackers Vince Biegel and Jerome Baker set up two Jason Sanders field goals.
However, the offense was limited to 10 points in the second half, the final seven coming on a late touchdown.
“We didn’t come out in the second half and play as a team,″ Baker said. “That’s really all it is. We didn’t come out and execute. The Giants did a great job of coming out in the second half and capitalizing on that. We can’t blame anybody, we can only look at ourselves in the mirror and just say we came up short.″
Biegel said the Dolphins struggled to stop the run in the second half, allowing 92 yards and three rushing touchdowns, two by Saquon Barkley.
“I feel like the Giants, credit to them, they got momentum and they made the plays when they needed to make them,” Biegel said. “Flat out we didn’t make the stops when we had to, so it’s a credit to the Giants. They were able to come out and execute at a high level. I think it goes back to us, self-inflicted wounds, and those are the things we have to clean up if we want to be a great team and if we want to be a team that can win week in and week out.″