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Was it Fair to Bench Eli Manning After 210 Consecutive Starts?

Robert Collins, Writer

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Eli Manning, the 2-time Super Bowl winning MVP and quarterback for the New York Giants since 2004, came to tears when he heard the news that he was going to be benched going into Week 13 of an already lost season. Manning’s 210 consecutive starts streak (second most in NFL history)  ended on Sunday, December 3, when the Giants played the Oakland Raiders. After this decision by Ben McAdoo, fans and players ripped apart the Giants, claiming how unfair it is not to let your franchise quarterback finish out the loss of a season and do their changes in the offseason. Ultimately, this decision–among others–contributed to the firing of McAdoo and GM Jerry Reese the next day.

When Ben McAdoo told Manning the news on Tuesday morning, leading up to the game, he gave Manning an opportunity to keep his streak alive. McAdoo would let Eli play the first half and backup quarterback Geno Smith would play the second half. Eli said “It’s not a preseason game where you are going to start the half, the next week a quarter, a series, that’s not fair. That’s not fair to me, not fair to Geno, not how you play. You play to win. When you are named the starting quarterback you think it’s your job to go win the football game.” Eli felt it was unfair to only let Geno Smith play the first half; he feels if you’re in the game you’re in it to win it.

Not only fans of the “G-Men” feel that the benching of Eli was unfair. Philip Rivers, the quarterback of the Los Angeles Chargers who was traded for Eli Manning in the 2004 NFL Draft, talked to reporters about the situation. Rivers told reporters, “I honestly thought it was pathetic, really,” when asked what he thought about the situation. “I feel like he’s earned the opportunity to finish it off, finish off these last five weeks.” Many fans–including this one–agree with Philip Rivers that Eli has earned the right to finish out the last few weeks as a Giant and see where his future will go with the “G-Men”. Eli should not have been benched. Even though McAdoo gave Eli the opportunity to play, you can expect him to have that reaction due to the fact that he has been their franchise 2-time winning Super Bowl MVP quarterback since 2004. And frankly, if you know anything about Eli Manning, you know that you should never have approached him with that silly situation; he wants to win, just like the team, and just like the fans.

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Was it Fair to Bench Eli Manning After 210 Consecutive Starts?