Eli Manning has been quite bad in the New York Giants 0-2 start and, with fuel from head coach Pat Shurmur, it’s clearly Daniel Jones’ time to start.
After selecting Daniel Jones with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the New York Giants were steadfast that veteran Eli Manning was the starting quarterback. Even after Jones performed exceptionally well in the preseason, they stood the course in that regard. But with two weeks of the regular season and an 0-2 record on the books, things are changing.
Manning was downright bad in Week 2 against the Buffalo Bills, much worse than his 250 yards passing would indicate. After Saquon Barkley carried the load on the Giants opening scoring drive, Manning’s passing stalled the offense, leading the way to consecutive three-and-outs and then a four-play drive that ended in a punt. And let’s not forget the interception that ended the half to let Buffalo take a 21-7 lead into the locker room.
Every fear and concern about Manning has been on display to start the 2019 season. He’s immobile as ever, unimaginative and simply has a low ceiling. Thus, the temptation to put Jones in was always going to be present. It was just a matter of if and when the coaching staff would make that decision.
Then came this on Monday on the heels of the Week 2 loss from Giants head coach Pat Shurmur, per Kimberly Jones of NFL Network and WFAN:
“To this point” may be the most ominous phrase to possibly use in this situation.
Whether or not that means that Daniel Jones will start in Week 3 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the road remains to be seen. But as Shurmur understands, those type of comments are going to fuel speculation that the rookie could be taking over the offense.
And it should — because it’s time. You could make a viable argument that Week 1 was the time for the Eli-era to end for Big Blue. Especially with a depleted receiving corps, how was there ever legitimate faith that Manning was going to be better than what he has been, a middling veteran that isn’t going to elevate the team around him?
Jones may be that if for no other reason than that he’s not Eli Manning. That alone could spark a belief in the locker room that could lead to a change in fortune. Yes, Jones was a flawed prospect that was deservingly questioned as the No. 6 pick in the draft. But he showed promise and presence in the preseason — so maybe the Giants were right in taking him.
How Daniel Jones turns out, though, isn’t the point. The point is that he’s earned his shot and Manning’s time passed long ago. Manning has been the starting quarterback for the New York Giants to this point and that should be as long as that remains the case. It’s time for the rookie to take his place, for better or worse. If the Giants fail in that endeavor, it won’t be for a lack of trying to change things for the better.