On Tuesday afternoon, the New York Giants made the stunning announcement that quarterback Eli Manning has been benched in favor of Geno Smith, who many seemed to forget was even on the roster until today’s news.
The benching comes with the Giants sitting at a disappointing 2-9 on the year.
“Each and every week our number one job is to win the football game. We’re 2-9 and out of contention,” Giants head coach Ben McAdoo told reporters. “With that, we’re going to start Geno Smith and give him an opportunity this week to see what he can do.
“This is not the end of Eli in New York. At this point it’s my responsibility to take a look at Geno Smith and Davis Webb.”
The decision to bench Manning ends his 210 game consecutive regular-season starting streak. It was the second-longest in NFL history, behind Brett Favre’s 297.
“Coach McAdoo told me I could continue to start while Geno and Davis are given an opportunity to play,” Manning said. “My feeling is that if you are going to play the other guys, play them. Starting just to keep the streak going and knowing you won’t finish the game and have a chance to win it is pointless to me, and it tarnishes the streak. Like I always have, I will be ready to play if and when I am needed. I will help Geno and Davis prepare to play as well as they possibly can.”
As you would expect, Twitter was ready with the jokes.
First: Geno Smith?
Second: Let's go see how Giants twitter is taking this pic.twitter.com/aglXUwlbWe
— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) November 28, 2017
I had no idea Geno Smith was still in the NFL. Fun fact I just learned about today
— Big Cat (@BarstoolBigCat) November 28, 2017
Colin Kaepernick is better than Geno Smith in every facet of the game.
— Trevor Sikkema (@TampaBayTre) November 28, 2017
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) November 28, 2017
Giants: “We’re starting Geno Smith this weekend.”
Giants fans: pic.twitter.com/sjHkbXkLjL
— NOTSportsCenter (@NOTSportsCenter) November 28, 2017
Wow can’t believe Tom Brady lost 2 Super Bowls to someone who got benched for Geno Smith
— lindsey ok (@lindseyyok) November 28, 2017
At least when the Undertaker had his streak end, it came at the hands of Brock Lesnar.
Geno Smith is no Brock Lesnar.
— Adam Rank (@adamrank) November 28, 2017
Eli Manning's face when he found out Geno Smith was going to be starting. pic.twitter.com/E30Z9PaX48
— The Shadow League (@ShadowLeague) November 28, 2017
Lemme tell y’all, though, if anything, Geno Smith might be the best September Heisman winner of the last 10 years. So, there’s that, I guess
— Jack Crosby (@JCrosbyCBS) November 28, 2017
This season, Manning has thrown for 2,411 yards, 14 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He has also fumbled the ball seven times.
Geno Smith’s first start of the year will come on Sunday afternoon against the Oakland Raiders.
Kickoff is set for 4:25 p.m. ET on FOX.