For the first time in 13 years, Eli Manning won't start for GiantsThe Sports Xchange
November 29. 2017 12:42AM
The Eli Manning era might be coming to an end in New York.
For the first time in 13 years, the Giants will have a different starting quarterback when backup Geno Smith starts in place of Manning in Sunday’s game against the Oakland Raiders.
Manning, 36, has made 210 consecutive starts dating back to 2004, when he was drafted with the No. 1 overall pick by the Giants.
“Geno will start this week,” Giants coach Ben McAdoo said Tuesday. “Over the last five games, we will take a look at Geno, and we will also give (rookie quarterback) Davis (Webb) an opportunity.”
An underwhelming season for the Giants brought about the change. Once a team with Super Bowl aspirations, New York has stumbled to a 2-9 record that included a five-game losing streak to start the season.
Manning said he understood the move and will do his part to help Smith and Webb.
“Coach McAdoo told me I could continue to start while Geno and Davis are given an opportunity to play. My feeling is that if you are going to play the other guys, play them,” Manning said.
“Starting just to keep the streak going and knowing you won’t finish the game and have a chance to win it is pointless to me, and it tarnishes the streak. Like I always have, I will be ready to play if and when I am needed. I will help Geno and Davis prepare to play as well as they possibly can.”
Giants general manager Jerry Reese did not rule out going back to Manning in the future.
“This is not a statement about anything other than we are 2-9, and we have to do what is best for the organization moving forward, and that means evaluating every position,” Reese said. “I told Eli (Tuesday) morning that an organization could not ask for any more in a franchise quarterback. He has been that and more. Nobody knows what the future holds, but right now, this is what we think is best for the franchise.”
A two-time Super Bowl MVP now in his 14th season, Manning has passed for 2,411 yards with 14 touchdowns and seven interceptions through 11 games this season.
Manning ranks seventh all-time in NFL history in passing yardage (50,625), third among active quarterbacks behind only Drew Brees and Tom Brady. Manning’s 334 career touchdown passes also rank seventh all-time.
Smith, 27, is in his fifth NFL season and first with the Giants. He was drafted by the rival New York Jets and started 30 of his 33 games played with the team before joining the Giants over the offseason.
He has appeared in one game for the Giants this season, going 0-for-2.
Webb, 22, has yet to appear in a regular season game in 2017.
Webb was the Giants’ third-round draft choice this year, from the University of California. He was inactive for each of the first 11 games this season.