EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY-In a move that shook the entire sports world, New York Giants star quarterback Eli Manning was benched by head coach Ben McAdoo and will not play next Sunday when the team plays at Oakland. Backup Geno Smith, a former second-round pick of the New York Jets, will start. The Giants are currently 2-9, and are officially eliminated from the playoffs.
There are questions surrounding the veteran quarterback, who is the only person to ever defeat New England Patriots superstar quarterback Tom Brady in two Super Bowl: He led the comebacks in the 2007 Super Bowl (The David Tyree Catch set up the go-ahead touchdown), and in the 2011 Super Bowl (again, another ridiculous catch made by a Giants wide receiver). He’s been to the Pro Bowl multiple times. Oh, and he has a famous football dad and older brother. Eli’s benching comes at a surprise. He has played every Giants game since his NFL debut in November 2004, a historic streak.
But Manning isn’t to blame for the mess that is the New York Football Giants. According to espn.com, he completed 247 out of 395 of his passes this season, with a completion percentage of 62.5, 2,411 yards, and 14 touchdowns. Eli’s been doing his job, despite all the drama surrounding the Giants front office and the play around him. The Giants offense ranks 26th in rushing and 28th in passing. Horrible numbers, but there are factors for these performances: The offensive line hasn’t stepped up consistently to protect Manning (giving up sacks and committing silly penalties way too often). Plus, the running backs and receivers haven’t found the end zone frequently.And general manager Jerry Reese has done little to nothing to upgrade these major weaknesses in free agency and the draft. His days are numbered.
Eli Manning should consider wanting a trade out of the Big Apple. He should also consider his options. Jacksonville and Denver are possibilities. A reunion with current Jaguars front office special advisor Tom Coughlin, who was the coach for both Super Bowl wins, makes sense. Joining the Broncos would make sense too. His big brother, Peyton, reached two Super Bowls with that franchise, and had the playmakers on offense and defense to back him up. And playing under the hall of fame QB turned GM John Elway? Who wouldn’t want that opportunity? Still, after all that he’s been through, Eli Manning deserves a second chance. But not with the New York Giants.