When the New York Giants announced that Geno Smith would start in place of Eli Manning this Sunday, majority of Giants fans took exception. To them, the message was clear- in the midst of one of the most embarrassing seasons in franchise history, we are going to cowardly bench the face of the franchise. Many former Giants players, including Plaxico Burress and Antrel Rolle, described the move as pathetic and disrespectful to the man who lead the team to two Super Bowl victories. Manning was offered a chance to start the game in an effort to preserve his streak of consecutive regular season games, but declined because he “didn’t think that you start knowing that you’re going to come out of a game to keep a streak alive.”
Manning’s comments following Mcadoo’s decision showed that he was clearly upset and surprised by his demotion. And like many Giants fans, Manning definitely has a right to be pissed. He was the man under center in two of the four championships that the franchise has won. And he has done and said everything right in his almost fifteen years as a Giant-something that is not easy to do in New York. Manning is a true professional and probably deserved better treatment than he has received. Not to mention, Ben Mcadoo will likely be fired following the conclusion of the season. It’s a legitimate thought to view this move as Mcadoo trying to save face by blaming the team’s failures on Manning.
Lifelong New York Giants fan John Gallo of Melville, New York weighed in on the situation. “Benching Eli Manning is an absolute disgrace. The lack of success the Giants have seen this year has nothing to do with his play. Treating a Giant legend this way is a travesty.”
But here’s a message for those like Gallo who remain in disbelief: Manning has been mediocre at best in the past five seasons. The Giants have had just one winning record and the thought of Manning dropping back for a pass scared absolutely no defenses. In those past five seasons, Manning has not been very good. In that span, he possesses a 1.57 touchdown to interception ratio and a passer rating of 85. To put that in perspective, Manning would have ranked 28th in TD/INT ratio last season and 23rd in passer rating. Manning’s career numbers are eerily similar, as he checks in with a career 1.50 TD/INT ratio and a 83.8 passer rating.
It’s time for the Giants to move on from Manning. It’s always hard to part ways with someone who has led you to the promise land twice, but the Giants have held on way too long. The truth is, over the course of his career, Eli Manning has been an average quarterback. Fans such as Gallo are blinded by the emotional roller coaster that Manning took them on en route to two Super Bowl wins. Sure, Manning won two rings (one without a miracle catch by David Tyree) but that should not overshadow Manning’s mediocre career numbers. While Manning does rank seventh in career passing yards, he is also seventh in career passing attempts. Manning is a ferocious competitor, but that doesn’t mean he should remain the starting quarterback for the New York Giants.
There comes a time when every team has to move on from their franchise quarterback in search of a new one. It has been time for awhile for the New York Giants. The Giants definitely could have handled the situation more professionally, but the end outcome is exactly what it needed to be. Eli Manning is not the quarterback of the future for the Giants.
“It’s a smart move to bench him because it is obvious the team is not going anywhere. They shouldn’t risk him getting hurt because they need to squeeze the last remaining value out of Eli via trade,” longtime Eagles fan Tom Derer told us.