At 2-9, the New York Giants are officially throwing in the towel by starting Geno Smith this week.
With a 2-9 record, the New York Giants are not going anywhere this season. There had been some hints Eli Manning would be benched, but it’s not like Geno Smith or rookie Davis Webb represent an upgrade with an injury-thinned wide receiver group and a mostly bad offensive line making a quarterback’s job difficult.
Manning is not known to be injured, at least in a significant enough fashion to miss any games. But it appears a miserable showing on Thanksgiving night against the Washington Redskins (13-for-27 for 113 yards with an interception) was the last straw for head coach Ben McAdoo heading into Week 13 against the Oakland Raiders.
On Tuesday, the team made an official announcement of a quarterback change.
Manning has started 210 consecutive regular season games, the second-longest streak in NFL history, dating back to the middle of his 2004 rookie season. The two-time Super Bowl MVP was apparently given the option to keep his streak alive, but declined it.
Manning went a little further, via the team’s website.
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.
Smith started one game for the New York Jets last season, and he has attempted just two passes so far this season as Manning’s backup. During his first two seasons (2013 and 2014), he started 29 games for the Jets with 25 touchdowns, 34 interceptions and an 11-18 record over that span.
McAdoo also suggested Webb, a 2017 third-round pick out of Cal, would get a chance to play over the final five games. Who starts under center each week for the Giants is irrelevant at this point, outside of the fact it won’t be Manning unless injuries strike.