The benching only lasted one week, as Eli Manning is expected to be back starting for the New York Giants in Week 14.
A bad, messy season for the New York Giants got worse last week with the decision to bench Eli Manning for Geno Smith. A loss on Sunday to the Oakland Raiders brought the firings of head coach Ben McAdoo and general manager Jerry Reese on Monday morning. Now, ESPN’s Jordan Raanan is reporting Manning is expected to get the starting job back on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys.
Manning is not having a great season, with 2,411 passing yards (219.2 yards per game), 14 touchdowns and seven interceptions over the first 11 games. But Geno Smith was not any better on Sunday, going 21-for-34 for 212 yards with a touchdown and two lost fumbles, and rookie Davis Webb was not even active for the game. Benching Manning to get a look at a young quarterback at the end of a lost season is one thing, but any idea Smith could be the answer was dismissed immediately and the proof came when he was dusted off on Sunday.
To hear Giants owner John Mara talk of the move to bench Manning afterward, McAdoo and Reese were obviously the ones who made the decision and their plan was not made clear to the rest of the organization. Ending a 210-game regular season starting streak has to come with the details clearly conveyed, even though Manning was given the option to make token starts and not play the entire game. McAdoo and Reese paid the price with their jobs even though there are four games to go, as waiting until the Monday after Week 17 was not worth it.
These are probably still Manning’s last weeks as a Giant. But at least he’ll be playing, barring a significant injury, and not looking out of place on the bench while the offense is on the field.