In what were an emotional few moments speaking in front of the cameras, Eli Manning spoke of the New York Giants decision to bench him for this weekend’s game. Manning, a loyal and faithful Giants player as has ever suited up for the franchise, battled back tears when talking about the decision.
Manning’s benching means that the Giants quarterback streak of consecutive starts stops at 210 games. But it was also a disrespectful way to treat a player who has done everything right by the franchise.
And to pin the Giants 2-9 record and faltering offense on Manning as this decision suggests is just absurd. All of which makes the verdict from head coach Ben McAdoo and general manager Jerry Reese all the more difficult to understand and fathom.
Manning was given the chance to start this weekend so as to keep the streak alive.
“Yeah, I mean I just didn’t think that you start knowing that you’re going to come out of a game to keep a streak alive maybe. That’s not what it’s about. It’s not a preseason game where you’re going to play the start to the half, what’s the next week? A quarter, a series, that’s not fair,” Manning said on Tuesday. “That’s not fair to me, that’s not fair to Geno, that’s not how you play. You play to win. You’re named the starting quarterback, you think it’s your job to go win the football game. When you know you’re just going to play a little bit, I didn’t feel like that was the right way to play.”
Manning later said this was one of his most difficult days as a Giants player, also saying that “It’s hard. It’s been a hard day to handle this.”
Behind the league’s worst offensive line and with star wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall out for the year, Manning was set-up to fail. Now he likely finishes the season holding a clipboard and wondering if there will be a 2018 season for him in Giants blue.
He admits that he didn’t expect this coming down the pipeline.
“No. I mean I didn’t know. I didn’t know what was going to occur,” Manning said. “Hey, we’re 2-9. Kind of uncharted territory, so you don’t know what to expect when you’re in that situation.”