For the first time since November 2004, the New York Giants will have someone other than Eli Manning as their starting quarterback.
On Tuesday afternoon, New York head coach Ben McAdoo announced that Geno Smith will be the Giants starter when they play the Oakland Raiders this Sunday.
The plan was originally for the Giants to play Manning during the first half to keep his streak of 210 consecutive starts alive, and then move to Smith in the second half. But the two-time Super Bowl MVP wasn’t on board with that idea.
“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,” Manning said (via Giants.com). “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. 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. … When you’re just going out there to play knowing you’re not going to finish the game, I just didn’t see that being the right thing.”
When Manning met with members of the media following Tuesday’s announcement, he was understandably very emotional.
— Pat Leonard (@PLeonardNYDN) November 28, 2017
It would be totally understandable if the Giants decided to bench Manning in favor of a highly-touted rookie. But the fact that they replaced the face of their franchise with Smith is an absolute slap in the face to one of the best players in franchise history.