I know this week we are hearing it all over that the New York Giants “did Eli dirty” and that we should fire Reese, and fire McAdoo and the entire organization should be ashamed for benching Eli.
I can honestly say, I don’t think I mind the move… Not at all actually. I think it’s pretty smart. And I want to tell you why so you can stop from freaking out about it.
(It’s worth noting a few things before we get going here. First, I believe Eli has two to four more years in the NFL in him – if he wants – to keep playing the game. Second, he has never been a great QB; he’s never been trash; he’s been Eli. Circumstances around him lead to his numbers inflating or deflating over the years, but his play itself has stayed pretty steady. Get him a line and receivers, he does fine. Lose one or both of those, look out. Lastly, I am not writing this post in defense of McAdoo or Reese…)
“We did Eli dirty and he deserves to start in front of his fans one last time!”
Okay, I do not believe we have seen Eli’s last game as a Giant. Far from it. I want him in there the next few years, and I believe that’s the smartest thing for this organization… This is not the end of Eli in New York.
“If you’re benching Eli, at least let the young guys play… Don’t bench him for a career backup in Geno!”
They have said Geno and Webb will split time. So relax. Yes, maybe you don’t “like” that it’s for GENO SMITH because you associate him with total and utter failure – but you can easily say that failure was due to a more systemic problem from the top (**cough cough REX RYAN cough cough**). Now, we get a chance to evaluate both. Can Webb prove to us that he can play in the big leagues? And maybe we see whether Geno can even be a backup… What’s the worst that happens – we either (A) lose out and get a better pick and learn these guys SUCK, or (B) they play great and we find out that we stumbled on a great guy!
“Eli won two Super Bowls and he’s the best quarterback we have. I don’t believe in giving up.”
Mathematically it’s impossible to make the playoffs, plain and simple. So we aren’t giving up, we lost. Yes, he is the best quarterback we have, and I believe he should be our starter for a couple more years. My personal opinion is we use this year’s misfortune that will lead us to a high draft pick, either use it get a great offensive lineman, or trade back and get a couple, and give this team that is ONE YEAR REMOVED from going 11-5 another shot.
“Geno sucks, but Davis Webb might not… Might as well see and start him!”
Ignoring the fact that I already addressed this and BOTH of them will be splitting time, let’s say “YES – GENO SUCKS!” I’ll humor you… He’s “terrible“! Okay? Isn’t that what we want? To tank? Is there any purpose at this point of going 3-13, or 4-14 by putting Eli back out there?! NO!! Put in our worst guys! Now, I’m not saying don’t compete – but I am saying why don’t we chill out with the “you gotta play your best guy” bullshit, because we don’t want to win. We want a better pick. Plain and simple.
“Geno is on a one-year deal. If he does well, he’ll just leave!”
I like this one because it would suggest Geno can do well… First, if Geno does so well that he earns a huge contract elsewhere, then maybe we need to re-think everything. Maybe Eli WAS the problem and we know to end his era. But my take is that Geno is a backup, I think most of the world agrees. If he plays SO PUTRID in these last five games, we know he cannot be our backup anymore. Plain and simple. We will move on from him now that his deal is over and have to find another. But at least we KNOW, from real game situations, whether he is even a serviceable backup. Can we trust him to plug into games in the future, and if so, maybe he earns another one-year deal.
“But… the starting streak!!”
Eli Manning has two Super Bowl rings – you think he cares about this THAT much? (**Maybe, Eli is an interesting dude**) Listen, he passed his brother’s active streak – so bragging rights in the Manning household are his. AND, he’s 87 games behind Brett Farve for #1… I did say earlier that he has two to four good years in him, but 5+? I don’t know. I don’t think so. Also, Eli said he doesn’t care about the streak. Starting meaningless games like this would tarnish his streak, not make it more impressive. Why not just look back at the streak and be thankful that for TWO HUNDRED AND TEN straight starts out of Eli, the Giants were playing meaningful football. We are spoiled. But let the streak go.
I think those are six repeat narratives I have been hearing, and yes, I’m pretty damn tired of them… So there are my rebuttals.
But there is one absolute indisputable reason Eli should not be playing anymore in these games, which like I said are meaningless… WHAT IF HE GETS HURT??
Let’s say he sustains an injury. He’s going to be 37 in January. Anyone’s body at 37 is going to heal a little slower than a young buck… Maybe in these stupid 5 games left, he gets hurt badly and it starts to effect next season – a season I already blueprinted for us to be contenders again (@JERRYREESE, GET AN OFFENSIVE LINE!!). Then we played Eli, in a meaningless game, and negatively effected our future’s success… And for what? Effectively an exhibition game.
Or worse, we see an injury that takes him out longer.
Look, football is a physical sport. This is a reality. No one likes to see a player hurt, but they happen. Protecting a guy who your fanbase adores seems alright in my book. Let’s let him live to fight another day.
I will see Eli in September, behind a better offensive line, and the Giants will come into the season as underdogs.
Count us out. I dare you.
New York Giants 4 Lyfe,