When the Giants square off against the Raiders in Sunday’s Week 13 matchup, they will do so without Eli Manning at quarterback for the first time since 2004. The switch will put an end to Manning’s streak of 210 consecutive regular-season starts, which is the second-longest in NFL history, trailing only Brett Favre (297).
It was a curious move to say the least, and it left many fans and analysts alike puzzled. Manning has been operating behind a patchwork offensive line, and has no legitimate offensive weapons to throw the ball to, as his best receiver is currently rookie tight end Evan Engram. The team has also struggled to run the football, which has also made Manning’s job extremely difficult. With all that said, it’s hard to imagine that Geno Smith — who will start in his place — will perform any better than Manning did.
The reaction on social media after the news of his benching speaks volumes, as a number of his teammates — past and present — as well as other NFL analysts and players took to Twitter to weigh in about it.
Manning led the team to Super Bowl wins in 2007 and 2011, and clearly deserves better from the Giants organization. He had to fight back tears while explaining how he felt about the move in the locker room after the news broke, and one would think the Giants would have at least let him finish the season, thus giving him the option of going out on his own terms.