The Giants are 1-7 and after the season they’re going to clean house. Being bad is bad enough, but being bad in a season in which they were trendy Super Bowl contenders is going to cost coach Ben McAdoo his job, and maybe GM Jerry Reese his, and possibly even spell the end of Eli Manning’s time in New York.
A 51-17 loss to the Rams in a noticeably empty home stadium had owner John Mara fuming, and had the media basically asking everyone to justify their continued employment. McAdoo was asked if the Giants, out of the playoff hunt already, need to start figuring out who’s going to be around next year and get those players some game action.
“You really can’t look from my chair too far ahead,” McAdoo said. “But you also have to look at getting some players some reps in the game. So we’ll take a look and see if there’s any players that we can give reps to that have a chance to be a part of our future.”
Asked if that includes his quarterback, who started his 207th consecutive regular-season game Sunday, McAdoo did not hesitate when he said: “That includes everybody.”
That could mean giving snaps, possibly even starts, to rookie Davis Webb, the third-round draft pick out of Berkeley who’s been inactive for every game this season. And that would mean the end of an era for Eli Manning, who next week will tie his brother Peyton for second place all-time with his 208th consecutive start.
McAdoo’s vague-yet-ominous comment was relayed to Manning.
Asked if he would be “comfortable” with McAdoo taking a look at Webb, Manning said: “Hey, I want to be out there. I want to be playing. And um … I want to be out there.”
Asked if he would “understand” if and when McAdoo plays Webb, Manning said: “Well, they got to do what they got to do. I want to be out there. I want to keep playing with my teammates and keep working.”
Manning was bad on Sunday, missing three different wide-open throws in the first half that would have gone for touchdowns. In 2017 he is 19th among quarterbacks in yards per game, 27th in yards per attempt, 15th in completion percentage, and 23rd in passer rating. And that’s with a good amount of garbage-time inflation.
Complicating matters when considering Manning’s numbers is that everything around him is just as fucked; his offensive line continues to give no help, and his top two receivers are out for the year. The defense, which has been hampered by in-house suspensions to Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Janoris Jenkins, can’t get off the field. (Complicating these complications is that an all-around bad roster means the Giants will likely earn a very high pick in a QB-heavy class. The front office should want to know what it has in Webb before deciding whether to pursue another quarterback in the draft.)
Manning, 36, has two years left on his contract, but zero guaranteed money if the Giants decide to move on this winter. He would still carry $18.6 million in dead cap money combined for the next two seasons, but that’s a relatively small price to pay to get a head start on the search for the next Giants quarterback. It’s been a wildly successful 14 years in New York for Manning, but the Giants are about to miss the playoffs for the fifth time in six seasons. If a full rebuild isn’t possible, a reboot at coach and under center is inevitable. And there’s no reason to put it off.