Geno Smith will be the first Giants quarterback not named Eli Manning to start a game since 2004. (Photo: Getty Images)

It hasn't even been 24 hours since the New York Giants announced that Geno Smith will start in place of Eli Manning on Sunday against the Oakland Raiders. Fans and pundits alike are still trying to rationalize why head coach Ben McAdoo, general manager Jerry Reese and co-owner John Mara made this decision. 

 

Manning is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, quarterback in franchise history and despite a 2-9 season, his numbers are actually solid given the circumstances he is performing under.

 

Without Brandon Marshall, Odell Beckham Jr., a functioning offensive line and a legitimate play-calling scheme, Manning is completing almost 63-percent of his passes for 2,411 yards, 14 touchdowns and seven interceptions. 

 

He is the face of the franchise, having started every game since Nov. 21, 2004, a 210-game streak that is second in NFL history behind Brett Favre's 297. 

 

But that all will come to an end as the Giants inexplicably are starting the former Jets signal caller Smith. 

Just to further drive the point home, let's just take a look at the stats between Manning and Smith:

 

Games played

Eli Manning- 212

Geno Smith- 34

 

Games started

Eli Manning- 210 (in succession)

Geno Smith- 30

 

Record

Eli Manning- 110-100

Geno Smith- 12-18

 

Yards

Eli Manning- 50,625 (7th in NFL history)

Geno Smith- 5,962

 

Touchdowns

Eli Manning- 334 (T-7th all-time)

Geno Smith- 28

 

Interceptions

Eli Manning- 222

Geno Smith- 36

 

Playoff appearances

Eli Manning- 6

Geno Smith- 0

 

Playoff record

Eli Manning- 8-4

Geno Smith- 0-0

 

Super Bowls won

Eli Manning- 2

Geno Smith- 0

 

Super Bowl MVP's won

Eli Manning- 2

Geno Smith- 0

 

But somehow, starting Smith is the right thing to do for Ben McAdoo and the Giants. The only way this decision was acceptable would be if McAdoo bluntly came out and said: "we're tanking."

It's also unfair for Smith to be thrown into the mix like this. Not only does he have to contend with the same offensive problems Manning has had all season, but he will be doing this with limited playing time over the past three seasons while being expected to suddenly fill some enormous shoes. 

At the end of the day, Smith is still 27 years old and has a lot to prove.

But New York could be 0-11 right now and if Manning wanted to keep playing, he should be able to without interference from the team's inept management. It's the least the organization should do for him given what he's done for them over the last 14 seasons.