After 210 consecutive starts, the New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning is being benched.
So, what quarterback did the Giants decide was so good that the only option was to bench the future Hall of Famer? Geno Smith!
That’s right. Geno Smith. The former New York Jets quarterback has been named the starter for the Giants, and the football world is infuriated.
Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers went public with his support for Manning.
“I honestly thought it was pathetic,” Rivers said Wednesday on Twitter. “… with the respect he’s had in the locker room over the years, and really the respect he’s gained throughout the league, you feel like the guy has earned the opportunity.”
Rivers and Manning’s history dates back to the 2004 NFL Draft when Manning was originally selected by the Chargers but was traded to the Giants for Phillip Rivers.
Former Giants head coach and Jacksonville’s current executive VP of football operations for Tom Coughlin also came out in support of Manning.
“Surprised is not the word,” Coughlin said to WJXL-AM. “I haven’t followed the Giants. I know it’s a disappointing year, but my thoughts are strictly with Eli.” Coughlin coached Manning for a decade and helped Manning secure his two Super Bowl titles.
Manning has gained a lot of support from around the NFL after the word of his streak ending came out, and a lot of heat has been put onto Giants’ coach Ben McAdoo.
New York radio host Mike Francesca went on a long rant about McAdoo and Manning on WAFN:
“You can’t run this clown out of town fast enough. The worst thing that’s ever happened is that Eli Manning had to be associated with you as head coach with the career he’s had here,” Francesca said. “Maybe on your way out, you can take a look at Eli’s rings. That’s the closest you’ll ever get to one, too … with actions like this, you’re going to try to tell us that Geno Smith is the answer?”
The difference in performance between Geno Smith and Eli Manning is almost incomparable. This is partly due to the fact that Manning has started 210 games in his career and Smith has started just 30.
But even in the statistics that take this factor into account, Manning is far superior. Manning’s career TD/INT ratio is a 1.5, while Smith’s is .77.
Manning’s career passer rating is 83.8.
Smith’s is 72.3.
Manning’s yards per game is 238.8 and Smith’s is 175.4.
And the list goes on.
The implications of Manning being benched could be huge – the first being McAdoo’s firing.
Fans and critics can forgive a poor season – it happens to the best of coaches, but benching a Hall of Famer for a washout is unforgivable.
The second implication (and possibly the greatest) is Manning walking away from the Giants and moving on to another team. The popular choice is the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Jaguars are just a quarterback away from having an AFC Championship-contending team. Also, Coughlin works in the front office, which is more incentive for Manning to go.
It’s no surprise that the Giants are in turmoil. They lack an offensive line, they’ve been riddled with injuries, and their defense isn’t performing up to expectations.
But none of those reasons is the quarterback. Now Giants fans are calling for McAdoo’s job and, if he leaves, mourning the loss of Super Bowl champion Eli Manning.
Columnist Brent Jansen can be found on Twitter @brentjans. Any tips or suggestions should be forwarded via email to [email protected] For video updates from The Seahawk, subscribe to our YouTube channel.