Eli Manning, Patriots, fans
Eli Manning. (Photo: Getty Images)

It was time. The New York Giants decision to fire head coach Ben McAdoo and general manager Jerry Reese was the right thing to do. The problem was that Giants ownership waited as long as they did to do so.

 

That the duds atop this organization the past two years were able to let things slip so low, so fast is one thing. That they directly disrespected a franchise legend is an entirely other situation. Eli Manning deserved far better than this — he didn’t deserve to be benched and he didn’t deserve the public ridicule he went through the past week.

 

The travesty here is that the Giants let this whole thing play out as long as it did. When ownership caught wind of the plan to bench Manning, the first suspicion that the expiration date had come on the bumbling buffoons who ran this team into the ground was the execution of their plan. It didn’t make any sense but instead reeked of desperation, an attempt to save their own jobs rather than do what was best for the organization.

 

Not only were they going to bench a quarterback who was far from the team’s only problem, they were going to replace him with a very average, very plebian backup quarterback. Geno Smith wasn’t the choice of the future, not by any stretch, but that was the plan unveiled by these two geniuses.

 

They were going to bench the legendary Manning, still playing well, in favor of a quarterback in Smith who has backup written all over him. Huh?

 

The injustice here is that these two should have been fired just for the stupidity behind this plan. To replace Manning in order to evaluate the franchise’s future quarterback is one thing. But to do it so as to name an also-ran as a starter, well, that takes a certain special kind of idiocy.

The kind of sheer lack of thought that has McAdoo and Reese scanning the classified ads as we speak.

Manning was far from the Giants problem on offense this year, which begin and end with the offensive line. The failure to invest adequately in the line and protecting Manning over the past three offseasons has led to this moment.

That Manning’s numbers such as completion percentage as well as his touchdown-to-interception ratio are both steady against his career averages shows that he wasn’t the issue. It is a line that left him throwing from his back much of the season.

But now the Giants and Manning are left to pick up the pieces, to hopefully begin a new streak of consecutive starts this upcoming Sunday.

That they do it without McAdoo and Reese leading the organization is certainly a positive. The decision couldn’t have truthfully been a difficult one, given how they botched the benching of Manning as well as the personnel decisions that ignored the Giants weaknesses along the offensive line and at running back. This firing was long overdue, last season’s 11-5 record sheer dumb luck as they threw money at their problems.

When the going got tough, McAdoo and Reese took it out on their legendary starting quarterback.

Rather than blame themselves, the dimwits who used to lead this team blamed Manning, the four-time Pro Bowl quarterback and twice Super Bowl MVP. Despite their attempt at spin, everyone knew that they were the problems all along, not Manning.

And now Manning stays on the team with fingers crossed that he is the starter this weekend. A week too late for the streak but not too late to reclaim the Giants sense of purpose and building. This year is a disaster but next year need not be, especially if Manning returns under center.

Hope is certainly brighter now with McAdoo and Reese gone, a right decision that was a week too late. But while it was too late for Manning and his streak, it isn’t too late for an organization that suddenly is headed in the right direction.