"I've been trying my best to be good," said a tearful Manning after the game. "But that loss was very, very bad. And Santa watches to see if you are good. What if Santa doesn't give me what I want for Christmas now? What if I don't get the Ninja Turtles costume I asked for?"
Manning himself put up good numbers, throwing for 289 yards and four touchdowns, but several three-and-outs in the fourth quarter repeatedly gave the ball back to the Eagles.
Eli's mother and father, Olivia and Archie Manning, say they are considering telling their son the truth about Santa to help him get over the disappointment of the loss.
"We're not sure what to do," said Mrs. Manning. "I still want him to believe in the magic of Christmas. He's only 29. And much younger developmentally. But he's just so upset."
Archie Manning worries that telling Eli that there is no such thing as Santa Claus could only make him sadder.
"I don't want another incident like last Easter when he found out about the Easter Bunny," said Archie. "He didn't come out of his tree fort for three days."
Manning was busy Monday morning writing a letter to Santa to remind him that the Giants still had a very good shot at making the playoffs.
"I hope you will still visit my house, Santy Claus," read Manning's crayon letter. "And can you please give me nice gifts like you give to my big brother Peyton?"