Eli Manning's benching by the Giants stinks of desperation
(image via New York Giants)
I've been a lifelong hater of the New York Football Giants. Never been too fond of that Eli Manning character, either.
But when news broke that Eli was to be benched this Sunday in favor of Geno Smith, even I was upset. I mean what kind of monster can watch a grown man hold back tears in a locker room without feeling something? I can only imagine what that must be like for actual Giants fans.
Worse than the decision itself - which is a bad one, from every angle - is how meaningless it all is. The Giants are 2-9. There are five games left in the season and no hope for a playoff berth. So, what's the point?
Eli has started every game since November 21, 2004. That's 210 regular season games, good enough for second on the all-time list (Brett Farve had 297 consecutive starts). You're going to break that streak for Geno Smith?
Geno has never looked good in the NFL. In his four years with the Jets he's only completed one "season" with more touchdowns than interceptions. That was 2015, where he came off the bench for one game and threw two TDs and one pick.
Oh, and if you're looking to Geno to be a more mobile quarterback, don't hold your breath. Even in his run-heavy days with the Jets, he was fumble-prone and unreliable. A simple QB spy should neutralize that game plan, especially with weak wide outs.
Take a quick look at the headlines and reactions over the past few hours. People are not happy, nor should they be. Geno is a middling backup at best and Eli could very well be a hall-of-famer.
The problem is not the QB, it's everyone else. The offense line is a disaster, the receiving core is non-existent. Poor passing stats should be blamed on those factors and should in no way fall on Manning.
This whole thing reads very clearly as an act of desperation. Not desperation on the Giants behalf, mind you. Desperation by Ben McAdoo and this front office.
McAdoo doesn't deserve to keep this job and he's on the verge of losing it. So why not piss off an entire city on your way out?
Famed New York radio host Mike Francesa said it best. The entire rant is magical, but here's a little taste:
"You're playing guys now who drop every ball in sight. You haven't disciplined a damn player all year. And you're gonna blame this now on your quarterback?! At two and nine?! What a gutless move."
"That's not gonna stand in this town because these guys have watched Eli Manning. They've watched him long before they ever heard your name. And they'll remember his long after they forgot yours."
I'll be rooting against the Giants with a little extra vigor this weekend. But this time it'll be in support of Eli. Go Raiders.