Geno Smith is a career 12-18 QB with a completion percentage under 58% and more interceptions than touchdowns. This is the man that will be leading the New York football Giants, one of the most storied franchises in ALL OF SPORTS, in a football game. Now, you may ask… “Is Eli Manning hurt? Did Eli Manning retire?”
The answer to that question is no. Cold, hard no. Eli Manning has essentially been benched, although the media is calling it a “mutual decision” of sorts. If you watched Eli Manning’s press conference after this announcement, well, it’s not mutual. There is nothing MUTUAL about it. Eli Manning wants to play. Eli Manning wants to win. Eli Manning wants to be Eli Manning on Sunday afternoon like he has 200 times before.
So, what happened? Well, I’ll tell you. The Giants management is spineless. The Giants coaching staff is spineless. Ben McAdoo is spineless. The lack of respect for a future Hall-of-Fame quarterback who has given over a decade of his life grinding it out for the G-Men is astonishing. Not only is Eli Manning a franchise quarterback, he’s been the face of a team with some of the largest media scrutiny in sports for over a decade and done it gracefully, proud to be the one who takes the blame for the 100 losses he’s been a part of in the regular season.
In reality, has Eli Manning been the problem? Most people would tell you he’s the only constant the Giants have had over the last decade+. After Tom Coughlin was fired, the most recognizable member of the Giants was Eli. The sad truth is this has been one of Eli’s better seasons for the circumstances. Eli’s interception percentage is far lower than his career rate and will go down as his lowest in his career in a season. His 1.8% is lower than Russell Wilson, Matt Ryan, Derek Carr, Carson Palmer, Ben Roethlisberger, Cam Newton, Dak Prescott, Deshaun Watson, Marcus Mariota, and Joe Flacco.
Essentially, Ben McAdoo is scapegoating Eli Manning as the “reason for failure”, which is not only ridiculous but just plain foolish. Linda Cohn said it best when she tweeted “deer in headlights coach” because in reality, McAdoo can’t admit he’s the problem. Instead, his decision and the ownership’s inability to stand up and end the madness left a man who’s made 210 starts in a row near tears in a press conference directly after the announcement was made.
Listen to Mike Francesa talk about the situation. Usually, his takes are too hot for words. This time… purely money.
Where do the Giants go from here? Let me tell you… if this is Eli Manning’s final start as the Giants franchise quarterback, his legacy will not be tarnished a single bit. In reality, at 36, he’s probably considering retirement. As Giants fans, we all pictured Eli Manning going out on top as a Superbowl champion for the third time. We all figured this was the year that Eli would go out, throwing to Marshall, Beckham Jr., Shepard, Engram, and the gang, leading them to the promised land. Sadly, that’s not an option and probably will never be an option again.
John Mara is ruining his legacy every minute he allows Ben McAdoo to run the show. John Mara is ruining his legacy every minute he allows Jerry Reese to run the show. John Mara is ruining his legacy every minute he’s not being a part of the every day operations, leaving it to two incompetent, moronic men who have brought a Superbowl contender with a legendary quarterback and stripped them down to a competitor for the first overall pick.
Then, there is Eli Manning, being as gracious and loyal as he has been his entire career since day number one. Thank you for what you’ve done for the Giants Eli, and if it’s over, what a ride it’s been.