The Giants will have a new starting quarterback this weekend for the first time since November of 2004.
It’s Geno Smith, who I don’t think is the future in New York.
But Eli Manning isn’t the future, either.
So what? What then?
Giants fans threw a fit this week because they felt like their future Hall of Famer was being mistreated by the organization and disrespected by a lame duck head coach. They’re not wrong. Eli probably does deserve better. But what’s the alternative? Keep losing with Eli and go out with a feel-good story? Or lose with Smith and/or Davis Webb to at least get a better idea of what you’ve got in-house? Either way you slice it, you’re crap.
The original plan, apparently, was to have Eli start Sunday in Oakland, then cede the second half to Smith, according to Ben McAdoo.
Giants co-owner John Mara says he’s on the same page with his head coach regarding that strategy, but said this when asked if there was a better way to approach it:
“There probably is. Tell me what it is. I don’t know. I mean, I didn’t necessarily think it had to be at the half. I think if he’s playing well in the first half, we’re winning the game, it looks like we’ve got a chance, the offense is clicking, I would argue then keep him in the game. But having him definitively come out at the end of the first half — I can understand why he would object.”
Manning told McAdoo he didn’t want to do that, so he was benched.
“I was upfront and honest with Eli. I don’t have any regrets there,” McAdoo said today.
Ex-Giants and other NFL athletes ripped the decision. Of course they’re going to side with a former teammate and fellow player. What do you expect? Eli is a two-time Super Bowl champion and NYG legend, so the optics look like shit when you bench him for Geno, who was a great Mountaineer but probably doesn’t have NFL chops.
What, then, should McAdoo do? His team sucks, and it’s not entirely his fault, or Manning’s fault, or anybody’s specifically. They’ve had some bad injuries, the offensive line is poor, and they need to do some drafting and rebuilding. His job is to figure out the future of the entire franchise, not cater to a guy who is no longer part of it. This clash between veteran fan-favorites and new-ish coaches happens all the time.
There are basically two takes.
Stop the pity party for Eli Manning. He's a QB. Only the Pope keeps the gig until death. A ton of great QBs have been sent packing. Montana, Farve, Namath, and Peyton Manning. U need anymore proof. Eli had his parade – two, in fact. It's over in NYC. #stopit
— Rob Parker (@RobParkerFS1) November 29, 2017
And the other:
— NFL UK (@NFLUK) November 30, 2017
Eli is going into the HOF with a pair of rings and a bunch of New York records. How many people get the storybook ending?
That’s about as much time as we’ll spend on the Giants.