The reports out of New York also say that the Giants asked Manning about what he wanted to do. They offered him the ability to start the remainder of the games this season to keep the streak alive. However, they also said they wanted to test out the other QBs on the roster with the extended "pre season" they have now complements of a 2-9 record. Manning declined and said it would just make sense to start the person who will get the majority of the snaps to make sure they get enough preparation in practice. I actually saw that as a classy move by Manning, even if it was somewhat begrudgingly stated.
The fact is that Manning would not break Favre's record. Even if he played the balance of this season as the starter, Eli would still sit at 215 games - 82 games short of Favre's record. That would take over five more seasons to match that mark. Unlike Peyton Manning in his final few years, Eli has not looked sharp at all. While he won more Super Bowls than his brother, he never was loved by Giants' fans the same way as Peyton was in Indianapolis and seen as the superstar that can put a team on his back. Instead, more people saw Eli as a mediocre quarterback for most of a big game that just knew how to turn it on in the last 2-3 minutes of a game. So, just by his own performance, it is not likely that Eli Manning would be an NFL starter for more than another year or two and likely not likely to reach the record anyway. Even Tom Brady looks much sharper at his age than Eli does now.
So, what are the Giants to do? If you have a “legend” – if you want to call Eli that – that is on the down side of his career and you are trying to treat him well but also position your franchise to the aftermath of his career? I think the Giants are in a position where they are raising the white flag on the season – rightfully so at 2-9 and with no hope for the post-season. They did not bench Eli, they offered him the starting spot still similar to how they would do it in the pre-season: Eli plays a quarter or two and then you bring in the next guy. Eli declined saying that you should just prepare for someone else to start. That is a classy and pragmatic move, but not something I team would even ask if they did not respect you.
For Rivers to say it was “pathetic,” it really shows some ignorance on his part. After all, the Chargers cast off Drew Brees when they brought in Rivers too. Brees was a decent QB in San Diego before he was traded to the Saints. We all know how it worked out for him in New Orleans. You can ask the question of whether the Chargers were better off with Rivers instead of Brees too? Phillip did not want to consider that – but it is the football business and teams have to make those tough decisions.
For the Giants, they took on Geno Smith knowing that they had a serviceable backup in case Eli went down. Geno was not a fan favorite with the Jets and was essentially run out of the franchise. So, if you are the Giants, you can to consider whether you have any value there. Secondly, you give him the opportunity to showcase himself too which allows for trade possibilities too. Webb was a developmental guy. So, you will be able to see where he is versus Geno too and see who on your roster will be the heir apparent. At some point, that move will have to be made – the Giants want to see if that guy is currently on their roster.