Around the NFL  

 

Ben McAdoo won't rule out benching Eli Manning

Print
  • By Jeremy Bergman NFL.com
More Columns >

With the New York Giants' season completely out of control and the postseason nearly out of reach, now seems as a good a time as any to make wholesale changes to the lineup, if not the organization.

One day after Big Blue's defense surrendered the most points (51) in the Meadowlands in franchise history, it wasn't Steve Spagnuolo's unit that earned the media's ire. Instead, it was Eli Manning, the Giants' starting quarterback since 2004 who is piloting an injury-riddled offense and is now receiving calls for his benching.

When asked whether Eli was "his quarterback" going forward, embattled Giants coach Ben McAdoo told reporters Monday that the veteran will be his starter ... that is, until he isn't.

"Eli, he's our quarterback. But that doesn't mean at some point in time, we won't throw another guy in there to get a look at him," McAdoo said. "Every position needs to be held accountable and every position needs to play to a high standard. Same thing with the coaches. And obviously, when you lose in the fashion that we lost yesterday, it's not good enough. Anywhere. Coaching or playing."

Through eight games, Manning has led the Giants to a disappointing 1-7 record and has notably lost zip and accuracy on his downfield passes. He's also been without three wide receivers, most notably Odell Beckham and Brandon Marshall, and a competent offensive line for quite some time now. All that considered, Eli has compiled the highest completion percentage and the lowest interception percentage of his career through Big Blue's half-season slump. Reason would have it, on a competitive team, Manning still provides you the best chance to win football games.

But with only one win to their name, the Giants are beyond contending for a postseason berth. They won't admit it, but the organization's eyes have moved toward the future. Hence McAdoo's hedge.

Behind Manning on the depth chart are two different options. There's former Jets quarterback Geno Smith, who is likely a career backup, and rookie QB Davis Webb, drafted in the third round out of Cal. Are either of these guys New York's quarterback of the future? Does the organization even want to find out?

As the Giants continue to lose games -- six of their remaining eight opponents are at least .500 -- they increase their chances of gaining the top pick in next year's supposedly QB-heavy draft. Names like Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen and Josh Allen are there for the taking, especially now that the winless 49ers have their franchise signal-caller in Jimmy Garoppolo. The Giants have needs at other positions too -- Penn State RB Saquon Barkley, a shoe-in top-five pick, would fill an immediate hole in their backfield -- but with the 36-year-old Manning aging out of the position and New York primed for a rebuild, and restructuring, the Giants have to start evaluating their quarterback room sooner rather than later.

Whether that starts with benching Manning and seeing what they have in Geno or Webb is up to McAdoo, whose job is now just as insecure as his quarterback's.

Print

Fan Discussion