There’s a question being asked around the NFL right now, and it’s one no one thought would ever be asked. Should the New York Giants sit a healthy Eli Manning in favor of Davis Webb? The team is struggling, having just lost to the previously winless San Francisco 49ers. Manning is 36-years old and only has so many more games in him. Webb is their rookie draft pick that might be the quarterback of the future, but the only way to find out is to put him on the field. There is also a really good chance that the Giants will get a high draft picks this season and they have to know if they should spend that on a quarterback if Webb isn’t the guy.
There are a lot of issues at stake here. Manning is no one to want to sit. He is eager to play and wants to help the team through this bad season. Their head coach, Ben McAdoo, is on the hot seat with fans and some sports writers calling for him to be fired. And it’s quite clear that both the NFL and the Giants owners don’t want to throw in the towel and have fans not go to games. You have to appear to be putting your best team on the field week-in and week-out. To sit Manning without an injury tells your fans that you are giving up. And Manning doesn’t get hurt. He just tired his brother Peyton for the longest consecutive starts streak at 208 games.
The Giants are sitting at 1-8 having only beaten the Denver Broncos who are also struggling right now. They have seven games left including match-ups with the Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders, Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Arizona Cardinals and two with the Washington Redskins. None of those are ‘easy’ games. They’ve lost the majority of the wide receivers to season ending injuries and their defense doesn’t seem to be able to stop anyone. It’s a lost season that the best outcome is a top prospect. But can an NFL team actually accept that and not try? Does switching from Manning to Webb hurt the league? They say that on any given Sunday any team could beat any other team… but that’s assuming that both teams are putting their best available players on the field. It’s a similar question to what happens at the end of the season when teams rest players once they’ve clinched a playoff birth.
Eli Manning is healthy and the best chance for the New York Giants to win now, but the best thing for the future may be to have him take a seat let the team find out if their future is already on among them.
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