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Giants Benching Eli Manning

Eli Manning has started 210 consecutive regular-season games, the second-longest streak by a quarterback in NFL history behind Brett Favre's 297. He will not start a 211th consecutive game, though. The Giants announced on Tuesday that Geno Smith will start at quarterback against the Oakland Raiders. They said they will use the next five games to evaluate Smith and Davis Webb, a third-round rookie out of California, though they did not say that Webb will play this week.

"Coach McAdoo told me I could continue to start while Geno and Davis are given an opportunity to play," Manning said. "My feeling is that if you are going to play the other guys, play them. Starting just to keep the streak going and knowing you won't finish the game and have a chance to win it is pointless to me, and it tarnishes the streak. Like I always have, I will be ready to play if and when I am needed. I will help Geno and Davis prepare to play as well as they possibly can."

A second-round pick out of West Virginia in 2013, Smith was a starter for the New York Jets in each of his first two seasons, failing to make the top 30 in DVOA or DYAR in either season. He has thrown fewer than 60 regular-season passes since then.


121 comments, Last at 03 Dec 2017, 8:11pm

1 Re: Giants Benching Eli Manning

This is lunacy.

Not because they're benching Mr. Mediocrity... but because they didn't trade him before the deadline, and that they're doing it for Geno Smith.

Geno Smith is a known quantity. A VERY VERY BAD quantity.

What could possibly be gained from this?

Davis Webb? OK, I at least get that. I consider his chances of success very very low, but if you need to evaluate a kid, now is the time to do it.

But this is Geno Smith. They don't need to kill Eli's streak to evaluate Geno Smith. They know what they have.

Cheers to Eli for not making the streak a charade, though. Shame he can't force his way out and onto another team now.

4 Re: Giants Benching Eli Manning

I'm not sure it's 100% clear they would have received a quality trade offer. There's a reason trading for a QB in the middle of a season almost never happens. It takes time to learn a new offense, so unless you want the guy more for the future than the present (as with Garoppolo and the 49ers) a trade isn't that likely to help.

Also, if they think they can bounce back next season, holding onto Eli would make sense.

On the subject of Geno, I mostly agree, though he was young when he was a starter, so it's possible he's marginally improved since.

5 Re: Giants Benching Eli Manning

These days a 6th rounder sometimes counts as a "quality trade offer."

When you're giving up on a player and the other side knows it, your leverage is gone, so you'll take any random roll of the dice in the draft that you can get. As it is now, they're going to cut him and get nothing.

And with Bortles being hidden in Jacksonville and the door to that division and even a bye wide open (well, it was a few weeks ago before they lost to Blaine Gabbert, given their tiebreaker over the Steelers), it's at least sort of possible that they could've gotten a 4 or even 3 from the Jags. Especially since they could surely have had some other random interest to stir up competition.

22 Re: Giants Benching Eli Manning

I've thought about this. And there's some logic to the idea that a new regime (GM included) would want to keep him to keep up appearances in that market and while they groom their hand picked successor.

But the economics of that don't make sense, and Manning family history doesn't exactly lead one to believe he'd be OK with that either. (Especially after this.) And with his age and an upside of "pretty good," it's hardly worth the risk if you're a new GM coming in with an otherwise clean slate.

Plus let's not forget that Eli isn't shy about asking out of a situation he doesn't like.

24 Re: Giants Benching Eli Manning

I cannot see why any team would trade for Eli. He's below average right now, he's close to retirement, and he's not getting better. There are plenty of young free agent QBs out there that are young who might get better given time.

He's not better than Blake Bortles. That's where things stand. He's not better than Marcus Mariota. He's not better than Tyrod Taylor. I suppose he might be better than Flacco this season, but there's no way the Ravens would replace one fading older QB with another one, even if the second one has better stats this season.

Flacco just isn't good enough to be a player to trade for right now. If you put him in Green Bay would he be doing better than Hundley? No. Even though he has better DVOA this year, he doesn't know the Packer playbook.

34 Re: Giants Benching Eli Manning

Alright back up just a tad. I'm the same person that did a little happy dance when 538 published a piece entitled "Eli Manning is Profoundly Mediocre" and has spent a decade arguing with people who don't think he's horribly overrated.

But please. let's be realistic. He's still better than Blake Bortles.

55 Re: Giants Benching Eli Manning

The QB ratings have Bortles at -5.6% DVOA and Eli at -8.2% DVOA.

Eli has not had a good season.

Oh, and Flacco is at -32.6% DVOA. And he's still starting.

It's nice to have a good defense to carry the team.

Eli's salary also makes him very hard to trade.

67 Re: Giants Benching Eli Manning

But Eli has a reputation and that tends to count a lot. I'm not saying it should. In fact, I agree with you - though I do think in a vacuum, Eli is better than Bortles. But Bortles should not be a starter in the league so that doesn't say much.

103 Re: Giants Benching Eli Manning

Eli Manning has a -8.2% DVOA in the Giants Offensive situation while Bortles has -5.6% DVOA with the Jaguars team. Coaching and teammates matter there - and Eli's team has been essentially going out on carts and at times parts of it have just given up on trying this year (I cite Giants D vs 49ers - and that's as a 49ers fan I was embarrassed for the Giants D). The Jags have a better situation right now on Offense weird as it is to say.

94 Re: Giants Benching Eli Manning

>Geno Smith's job is to look terrible and absorb backlash from the Eli fans. Once he has done that they will try out Davis Webb.

I live in Giants territory, and every fan I've talked to has said some variation of the same thing: "I would understand if it was to try out the rookie, but it's crazy to bench Eli for Geno Smith."
I don't think it's ever smart for a team to make personnel decisions based on fan backlash. But even if the Giants were trying to do that, they would have gotten less fan backlash if they just went straight to the rookie. And besides, making a QB change that's actually aimed at setting up a FUTURE change is a little bit too three-dimensional-chess for a head coach who hasn't looked like he can play checkers this season.

120 Re: Giants Benching Eli Manning

But if you are ben macadoo, what do you care? You are likely fired anyways. If you are playing for the future, might as well play the rookie. If you are trying to win, play Eli. Under no circumstances does it make sense to play Geno.

66 Re: Giants Benching Eli Manning

If I were Eli, I'd probably ask not to be traded. You can release me after the season, and I'll pick my team next year, thank you. If he gets traded to Cleveland or something, he could always not report.

I think there's a non-zero chance Geno performs well for the balance of the year.

88 Re: Giants Benching Eli Manning

So I've learned over the course of the day. I've never heard of a NTC in the NFL before.

Which just confirms my point the Giants really couldn't have traded him, as several people here and in the media have said over the last 24 hours. Eli can sit tight, get released after the season, and pick his own team and terms.

104 Re: Giants Benching Eli Manning

They happen sometimes, they are a bit contentious and not common but it's not unheard of. People forgot about it in Eli's case cause its a lot of reaction pieces doing without thinking some and McAdoo's decision is just so stupid

2 Re: Giants Benching Eli Manning

Why Geno Smith? There is no chance he is the 'QB of the future'. Unless this is a sneaky tank job, but you can go with Davis Webb, he probably will not be good enough to win more than 2 games, and still get a top draft pick.

I agree with seeing someone else. I don't see any reason for that someone else to be Geno Smith.

65 Re: Giants Benching Eli Manning

And in larger part, to protect him from defenses. The best case for starting Eli is for him to absorb the pressure of teh defense. The Giants aren't going to be able to evaluate Webb properly until they can give him a modicum of protection. At least Eli has the experience to get rid of the ball quickly and avoid some hits.

6 Re: Giants Benching Eli Manning

Makes far more sense than benching Tyrod Taylor for Nathan FivePickMan, but that's not saying much. I can understand wanting to evaluate Davis Webb for all the already-mentioned reasons; you want to see what you have, and it's patently clear what you have in Geno Smith is a very bad QB. Maybe McAdoo is looking at how McVay turned Goff around and thinking, "hey, I'm a genius, I could totally do that with Geno Smith" and is thinking he's going to turn Geno into a real QB or some other insane thing.

9 Re: Giants Benching Eli Manning

- "hey, I'm a genius, I could totally do that with Geno Smith" and is thinking he's going to turn Geno into a real QB or some other insane thing."

Somehow that reminds me of some idiotic teenage boy seeing Evel Knievel jumping his motorcycle over a bunch of burning cars, and thinking "hey, I can do that, too!".

11 Re: Giants Benching Eli Manning

God yeah. And not just a good career - he was a good player. Not a great player, not without significant flaws, probably the worst professional QB in his family, perhaps less consistent than usual for a player of his overall stature, but nevertheless a good player, and a positive return on the first overall pick. And that's assuming he doesn't have some kind of Indian summer at another team, which he perfectly well could.

28 Re: Giants Benching Eli Manning

Weirder things have happened, though I don't see Eli being the kind of guy who would hold the clipboard. He's not used to that.

There's enough bad QB play in the NFL right now that, if the Giants were to let him go, he'd probably get interest somewhere. At least a camp invite to compete for a starting position.

10 Re: Giants Benching Eli Manning

Remember at the end of 2014 when Marc Trestman decided to bench Jay Cutler for Jimmy Clausen of all people? This is even more insane than that.

80 Re: Giants Benching Eli Manning

That was the first comparison I made when I heard the Manning news. It's inexplicable as anything other than a middle finger to management; it would be one thing to bench Eli for the rookie, but everyone knows that Geno Smith is terrible.

Who knows, maybe this means Ben McAdoo will coach a CFL team to the Grey Cup in 2020?

30 Re: Giants Benching Eli Manning

Not tank job.
Scapegoat job.

I can't tmae the constant tank talk.

Everything has to a tbak..
It doesn't . not everything is tabkjng. These people are competitive and want to win. Reese and McAdoo are on way out of town. Theey chose to scapegoat Manning like he causedthis 2-9 diarrhea fest of a seaodn.

32 Re: Giants Benching Eli Manning

Timing of this move is bizarre, especially since the only was Macadoo saves his job at this point is to hope he strings together enough wins to show late season competency. That was unlikely anyways, but far better than any chance Geno Smith would give or Webb would likely give.

Eli's supporting cast at this point is laughable, but most people, including me, consider him to be an average at best qb at this point. I would still take him over some of the drift wood that is starting right now, but I have to wonder if Eli is comfortable playing the Kurt Warner that he himself supplanted in his rookie season.

39 Re: Giants Benching Eli Manning

After his great playoff run to his 2nd ring, including a truly incredible NFCCG game performance, on the road against a great defense, while under constant hard core pressure, I thought it highly likely that he would string together a few more really good seasons, and have a HOF argument that consisted of more than "RINGZZZZ!", but, no, that playoff performance was a mountaintop that towered over what came after. A career that kind of frustrated this football fan.

40 Re: Giants Benching Eli Manning

Whatever happened to Ryan Nassib? I was just looking at stats this morning and saw that he has the second-best career passer rating (152.1) of all time, for players with at least 10 career attempts.

I know, extremely small sample size.

#1 is Antwaan Randle El: http://pfref.com/tiny/2Gcqr

44 Re: Giants Benching Eli Manning

Largely because of the SSS, some of those stat lines are really fun.

Jim Brown has a 110.1 rating despite going 4 of 12, because he threw zero picks and those four completions went for 117 yards and three touchdowns.

Any fan of the old p-f-r podcast (Which, okay, may be a population of just me, but I listened to every one of those episodes many, many times. It was awesome.) smiles at seeing Keith Lincoln, who had a 8/17, 240 yard, 5 TD, 1 INT career line. He was a do-everything back for the Chargers in the '60s who never got the most carries but helped out in all areas of the game, including throwing a pass about once a month.

And is it pretty terrifying that even with the minimum at 10 attempts, Aaron Rodgers actually is in the top 25? With over 3100 attempts?

43 Re: Giants Benching Eli Manning

Did Eli play a part in the ousting of Tom Coughlin from New York? Assuming those two are still on amiable terms I'd be surprised if there wasn't interest from Jacksonville this offseason.

Eli may have a serviceable season or two left in him in a favorable environment (Jacksonville could fit the bill), but with likely a very high draft pick on its way the time is right for the Giants to move on. But count me surprised that a coach/GM on a seemingly very hot-seat would make this move now, because Eli clearly still offers their best chance of winning this season. Perhaps they have been given assurances about their future?

48 Re: Giants Benching Eli Manning

Somewhat ironic: Eli is being unjustly benched and losing his consecutive games streak. That makes the active leader one Philip Rivers for the Chargers, the franchise for which Eli desperately did not want to play.

49 Re: Giants Benching Eli Manning

Can we talk about how insane Favre's streak is, though? I mean, Eli hasn't missed a game since the middle of his rookie year, and now he's 36, and yet he's nowhere close to Favre, barely more than 2/3 of the way there. It boggles the mind.

108 Re: Giants Benching Eli Manning


Jim Marshall with 270 at DE and Alan Page with 215 at DT is just as amazing as Ronde Barber at 215 at CB and Derrick Brooks at 208 with the Bucs. It's really strange to see a pair of teammates up on that list; I don't recall the Bucs being notably healthier than usual during that streak outside Barber and Brooks, who were apparently part robot.

52 Re: Giants Benching Eli Manning

OK, I don't usually post, but I'm in shock after today and I felt I needed to type it out. I've been a Giants fan for many years, and this is about the worst decision I've ever heard of.

I've been hearing for a while that Davis Webb should get some snaps, but I didn't get it then and don't get it now. Webb was acknowledged by everyone as not being "pro-ready" coming out. The plan was to sit him for at least a year or two and go from there. What would starting him accomplish? Learning that a guy you thought wasn't ready to play isn't ready to play doesn't do anything.

And of course the Giants aren't even planning to start Webb, which I can at least chalk up as just a poor decision. Starting Geno Smith, who we all know is not in any remote way in your future plans except to hold a clipboard makes no sense at all.

This is a huge slap in the face to Eli Manning, who regardless of any opinions about his quality of play has inarguably been a fantastic teammate and representative of the team from the time he was drafted. The Giants kicked mud on the face of their franchise player for absolutely no benefit.

Up until now I could at least see an argument for keeping MacAdoo and/or Reese next year. Not a great argument, but depending on what was going on behind the scenes I thought the Giants could keep either. At this point, however, they both need to go, and anyone else from the front office who signed off on the idea as well.

111 Re: Giants Benching Eli Manning

So Mara's statements have confirmed he was on board with the QB change and even with the half-game-start thing. That's one explanation for McAdoo's comments about knowing that he was a punching bag. So maybe it's an ownership-driven decision to decrease the team's chance of winning more games, rather than a random burst of stupidity by McAdoo. I don't believe players/coaches deliberately play/coach badly. But I would totally believe owners would try something like this. BTW I have no issue with it fundamentally. The structure is what it is and it should be changed if the league doesn't like it.

54 Re: Giants Benching Eli Manning

Usually when a decision gets made that looks this insane on the face of it, I can squint and see what the underlying motivation might be. Not this time. It's as if Ben McAdoo thought: "People like me too much; I wonder what I can do to generate some real antipathy."

Edit: I mean, in twenty years the only way anyone is going to remember McAdoo is when they're talking about Eli and think "oh yeah, then that jagoff coach ran him out of town; what was that asshole's name?"

57 Re: Giants Benching Eli Manning

man, i'm seriously bummed. been a giants fan for decades. i get this is a total tank job, but i just wished my favorite sports organization would let him ride it out and do one of those "we are releasing him to a contender" stories...

if not for eli, that crybaby brady would have 7 super bowl rings

if not for eli, people in ny would think phil simms was a good qb

if not for eli, philip rivers would be a giant and his wife and 18 children will live in nyc, and there'd be 8,000,020 people in that city

if not for eli, we would have watched jared lorenzen and his 275 pounds play qb

86 Re: Giants Benching Eli Manning

Really am a giants fan! Started in the LT days when I lived in nyc, rooted for Hostetler over Simms. Lived through bad years before Eli but that’s another story

Next giants will pull DRC and Apple to “evaluate” some more (maybe they did already)...

if they really wanna evaluate, put Webb in there today. They should also evaluate all their backup O linemen

I’m just sad...no O line even back when giants won SBs (they got by on cohesiveness and no injury). Bad RBs since Joe Morris (I don’t think Ahmad Bradshaw was elite talent, Ron Dayne was sad, Jacobs was a little less sad). And the guy who was the difference is the SB wins get the shaft...

Brady just popped the champagne though...

113 Re: Giants Benching Eli Manning

2007 gaints offensive line one of best ones in league. 2011 lien not chopped liver either

e. apple 2nd year player. why wodul they bepulling him?

bad running backs since Morris? Hampton and Barberw ere pretty dran good and O.j. Anderson, although yards per carry number not scintillating, was very effective runner in 1989 and for 1990 super bowl team

115 Re: Giants Benching Eli Manning

Apple's the reason some argued the Giants' defense already mailed it in. He pulled back from trying to make the tackle on the Rams 3rd and 34 touchdown screen pass. If anybody deserves to be benched, it's him. Belichick or Parcells would have cut him the day after that; if they couldn't do that because of the cap ramifications, they would have found some other way to get him away from the team.

62 Re: Giants Benching Eli Manning

Definition time-

Tanking- purposefully losing games

McAdoo and Gisnts spent several weeks in July and August pratcicing in heat for thsj season. Team is 2-9. If you understand tha giants situation (head coach and GM may not ve back), then you know there is no way team is laying down and lettting Raiders win on Sundya. If you also know and watch the tema, then you also knwk Manning has not actually been good. Receivers situaotin bad Due to injuries. Offensive bline also bad situation. Geno Smith not chopped liver. Cna be argued due to age and scrambling ability that he actually does givs nyg better chance to win. Btu he is free agent end of year so hard to believe giants seee him as future QB.
Issue here is sucky wayy for manning to be benched even if move actually may make soem football sense. Maybe do thsi week 16 to giwv Davis Webb two starts end of seaosn and there si no controversy.

68 Re: Giants Benching Eli Manning

The only way I'd believe it was tanking is if Macadoo and Reese are both brought back next year. Then I could believe that Mara gave them a quid pro quo for this move. Beyond that, it just feels like stupidity.

69 Re: Giants Benching Eli Manning

Actually the sport psychology definition of tanking is not "purposefully losing games", it's "giving up and not caring what happens".

Someone like Nick Kyrios from tennis is a great example of a player who tanks. He just starts hitting the ball as hard as he can on serves or just doesn't care about returning. If those hard serves begin to land in or he wins points he might pick himself up again and start playing properly. But invariably it just hastens getting to the end of the match as quick as possible.