November 28, 2017
The 2-9 New York Giants dropped a bomb on Tuesday when they announced that they have decided to bench Eli Manning. His replacement will be none other than fifth-year pro Geno Smith. Yes, Geno Smith is still in the league.
Manning has started 210 consecutive games for the Giants, dating way back to 2004. Such a move for a 2-11 team with a 36 year old quarterback who is clearly in decline isn't a crazy move, but it is interesting that the Giants chose to replace Manning with Smith, as opposed to rookie Davis Webb, who the Giants drafted in the third round back in April.
Are the Giants tanking? That would certainly make sense, although in theory they could just as easily lose their remaining games with Webb. Maybe they don't want to get Webb killed? Who knows? I'll go ahead and let the Giants media sort out that dumpster fire.
From the Eagles' perspective, there are short-term and long-term ramifications. In the short term, the 10-1 Eagles still have the Giants on their schedule, as they will head to New Jersey on December 17th, which is Week 15 of the NFL schedule. The Eagles will certainly still need that game. They would have been heavily favored in that game even with Manning, but now even more so with Geno freaking Smith at the helm.
In the long-term, there are now major questions as to whether Manning will be the Giants' quarterback in 2018 and beyond. My bet? Nope. With a good quarterback class upcoming, the Giants would be crazy not to select a quarterback if they are in the top three of the draft order, as those opportunities don't come around often, unless you're the Cleveland Browns. The Giants, in my view, will likely look to trade Manning to some other quarterback-starved team.
You may ask, "Who would trade for Eli Manning?" I certainly wouldn't under any circumstances, although I never would have given up a 1 and a 4 for Sam Bradford under any circumstances either.
Way back in June, when we published our 10 reasons the Giants would be a dumpster fire in 2017, regrettably I did not predict that Eli Manning would be benched for Geno Smith. I have failed you all.
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