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Sic Transit Gloria Eli

September 17, 2019

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This weekend’s NFL games were more agony.

The Jets are down to their third string quarterback.

And the Giants, as of this morning, are benching Eli Manning.

I hope the new kid quarterback does well.   But I must confess, it looks premature to me.   I would rather Daniel Jones sat on the bench for a year to learn, as Patrick Mahomes did in KC.

Yes, the G-men are 0-2 so far… but let me point out that they were also 0-2 in 2007, the year they upset the undefeated Patriots to win the SuperBowl.

But the die is cast now.

((Comments allowed, but ONLY on NFL)).

Current Mood: sad sad



  • Ibbison says:

    I hardly think the benching of Eli is premature. He should have been benched and cut after 2013. The Giants will not make the playoffs this year, and every realistic person knew that halfway though last season. Eli has nothing to teach Jones that Cutcliffe hasn’t taught him already.

    The Jets are a sorrier case. Worst front office in the league.

    Still and all, you have nothing to complain about. If the league were truly even, each team would have won about 1.5 Super Bowls by now. You root for two teams, and have been able to celebrate 5 championships. You’re ahead of the average, and likely have many years of reverting to the mean to look forward to.

  • Ryan Daniels says:

    If Drew Brees were a westerosi Knight, who would he be?

    • Alan says:

      I don’t know about Drew Brees but I think Tom Brady is like Jamie Lannister. Full of pride but then loses his hand effectively destroying who he once was then spends the rest of his life trying to regain the honor he lost but still won’t give up and just quit already. (I haven’t finished a Dance with Dragons so I don’t know the final outcome of Jamie Lannister). Tom Brady is old and really not that great of quarterback…. his success is the result of Belichick but Brady has too much pride to admit it so he also refuses to just quit and go home.

      Both Jamie and Tom are great at cheating their way through life and taking credit that doesn’t belong to them. haha

      Who would Joe Montana be?

      • King in the Northeast says:

        If you cut Tom Brady’s career in half, each half contains three Super Bowl wins and together compose arguably the two greatest careers in NFL history. Many teams have been cited for cheating more than the Patriots ( “Not that great of a Quarterback” makes it impossible to take you seriously. Tom Brady is Aegon the Conqueror.

      • George says:

        Did you really just say Tom Brady is “really not that great of quarterback”? He is at this point close to being objectively the best quarterback of all time. If anything, he boosts Belichick. The coach needs the quarterback more than the alternative.

      • Brian says:

        Salty much? Brady is the GOAT and if he played for your team you would love him. There is no player who works harder to perform at the level he does. from taking care of his healt to watching film to know his opponent, there is none better. I can’t wait for him to hoist his seventh Lombardi! oh how the hater tears will flow!

    • V says:

      Honestly, Drew Brees is the kind of knight that is no longer alive in ASoIaF. I liken him to someone like Arthur Dayne. Well known, chivalrous and ultimately slain for his courage. I thought this a few weeks ago when I initially read your comment, and even more now that he’s benched (slain, hahaha) by a player that reminds me of a massively powerful brute – Aaron Donald – who is not unlike the fearsome Mountain. I know the two never met in Westeros history, but if Dayne had stayed alive, I can see the two clashing swords just on general principle.

  • Urik says:

    Hi GRRM. The narrative stuff drives me crazy. Look at Odel! “Letting NY have it.” Odel was traded by the Jets! He is highly talented and played a great game. Does this lazy narrative stuff drive you crazy too?

  • Matthew says:

    As a KC fan, we were all hoping the Jets would do good this season. Oh well…

  • Matthew Smith says:

    As a KC fan, I was hoping that the Jets would be able to do well and give the Patriots at least one loss. Oh well…

  • Ben says:

    I think benching Eli is a good step for the Giants. He’s been bad for a long time. Put the kid quarterback in and see what he’s made of.

  • James says:

    I tend to agree that benching Eli was a bit early. It makes sense to me to let him get to mid-season and then transition to the rookie if the season isn’t going well. That gives the new kid some time to see how the game is played and then let Eli help him the remainder of the year.

    There was no way the Giants were going to cut Eli before now. This (I think) is the last year of his contract and there would be dead money if they traded him or cut him. The Giants don’t have the cap space (they are losing money with the OBJ trade). By the end of the year the Giants can release Eli or let him retire.

    What would be nice is if they traded for Ramsey in Jax. We need a better secondary if we’re going to have a competitive team.

    • Chauncey Gardiner says:

      James FYI the Giants could have cut Eli after last season and only had to pay $6 million of his $23 million contract. Since he’s not bringing much to the table at this point and is now the highest paid backup QB in league history I think that would have been the smart move. Unfortunately the front office and ownership is clouded by nostalgia goggles and think that Eli was magically going to revert to his 2011 form once he got a good offensive line and a great RB. Obviously that was not the case.

  • Arthur says:

    Alas, I wish the G men would at least wait until week 6 to let Eli battle Brady one last time. Hope springs eternal (for a week at least), Jones looked good in the preseason, mayhaps he’ll make everyone eat their words. You responded to a comment I made after the draft about some of your favorite historic players and I just want to thank you very much for your thoughtful response, I was going to reply but I can procrastinate with the best of them (even when it comes to a conversation with my favorite author). It put such a smile on my face that somehow I find myself rooting for an all New York Super Bowl, maybe not this year but someday soon… On a side-note NFL Primetime is back with Chris Berman and Tom Jackson on espn+, gotta pay $5 a month but its nice to see the dynamic duo back in action. If nothing else enjoy watching Saquon, the finest Knight in the 8 conferences

  • And then there were the Dolphins… I’ve a sinking feeling that I’m going to sound like a broken record about this. What a brutal demolishing.

    As to Eli Manning, I have to agree with the sentiment that it was past time for a QB shake up. Manning just hasn’t had it for several years now, as his abysmal QB rating since 2016 shows. Being loyal to the man that led you to two Superbowls I can understand, but three seasons seems like more than enough.

    Not that I think even a great QB is going to turn the Giants ship around. But it’s a start.

    • I didn’t know you were an NFL fan, Elio!

      Eli is too old and has not the level of NFL starter, but he is not the biggest problem of the Giants. The team is a mess.Trading OBJ just one year after the renewal is a great metaphor of the state of the team.

      But Jets season doesn’t look better with Darnold injury. I wonder what NY team is going to have a better record (and a worse draft pick)

      Number 1 pick will be for Dolphins, for sure. Worst team I remember. The team seems even more awful than the 0-16 Browns.

    • King in the Northeast says:

      Eli is a career .500 quarterback who had two exceptional (truly, exceptional) games. Let the kid play and let’s see what he has.

  • Frank says:

    As a Bills fan, I had two nice Sunday afternoons watching the games from MetLife.

    • King in the Northeast says:

      Rooting really hard for the Bills to be good. Makes the NFL much more fun.

      On another note, is the kid in Baltimore legit?

    • Well will you look at that! What a game for the Gmen. Missed field goal to end it too. Best game of the week for sure.

      But dang it, my Eaggies are 1-2. Looking to be a tight race in the NFC east.

  • Matthias says:

    Eli’s era is over and you’ll just have to accept it. This isn’t 2007.

  • matt says:

    buffalo bills 2019 nys champs!

  • The coaches know things we don’t. There could be a minor injury, say, to Eli’s throwing hand. The Jets wouldn’t list it on the injury chart, because if they’re keeping him eligible, there’s no reason they would.

    That’s just one hypothetical, but I think the general idea is enough to keep us random fans from expecting to out-think the coaches.

  • Jamie connolly says:

    George makes a good point about the Giants being 0-2 the year they upset the Patriots. But Eli isn’t being benched because of the last two games. He’s being benched because of the last 2 seasons and 2 games. The Giants are in need of a new franchise quarterback and the earlier he gets his start the more prepared he’ll be when the time comes. Eli did much for the Giants is past his prime. The best think he can do now is mentor Jones. I don’t blame Eli for the Giants failures. They fell short as a team. If Eli had Brady’s team he’d likely be an all star still but they’ve no choice but to do the best with what they are given. And it’s not as if this change needs to permanent. Eli could still end up starting most games this season for all we know. Ben macadoo is at home laughing right now thinking,”I told you so.” Time will tell. It also seems to me that the Giants always seem to be preparing for the next season way too early. Like they’ve given up on this season already and are already thinking about putting together an improved team for next season. And OBJ, hot-headed as he is, was needed on the team. The Giants were in no position to get rid of such a talented player for any reason. That was stupid. The failure lies in management more than anywhere else.

  • Cassie says:

    My hubby is a diehard Raiders fan, but his second team is the Giants. He’s upset but he also thinks it’s a good idea to bench him. Actually, he was saying last night that he should retire. Who really knows where the future holds for Mr. Manning. Not sure of his contract either. Perhaps they’re pushing him to retire if this is the last year of his contract w/the Giants. I don’t think anyone would pick him up. But, w/so many quarterbacks going down so early in the season, I wonder would anyone have the gumption to pick up Kaepernick. Hum… I myself will always remain faithful to my Chicago Bears. 🙂

  • Rachel M says:

    As a Steelers fan, I’d be happy to have Manning given our current circumstances. Even staring down a bleak season after the limitless potential of September, there’s still nothing better than week after week, as fall cedes to winter, watching our soldiers rise and fall in this pointless war.

  • Patrick Byrne says:

    Oh the hyped rookie quarterback. Will you be Peyton Manning or Ryan Leaf? How often the NFL chews you up and spits you out! We lose touch with you only to recall your name years later when reading a “Biggest Draft Busts in History” list.

    Looking back at it now, Eli’s draft class was stacked with future star QBs: Eli at #1, Philip Rivers at #4 and Roethlisberger at #11. How often has it happened that all the first round QB picks pan out?

    If the Gmen continue to tank then remember that they went 1-6 when Eli started in his rookie year. All is not lost!

    Sad day for Eli to be sure.

  • Zach Seal says:

    When the Giants and Jets play each other, who do you root for?

  • Scott says:

    All things must come to an end and it is is seldom fair when it does. Having said that, Eli deserved to keep his job at least until the G-Men were eliminated from contention. Anyone who has watched those first two games knows damn well that the Giants have bigger problems than their quarterback. I fear a ling season ahead for New York football fans.

  • JJ says:

    When Mahomes sat for a year to watch and learn, he was watching Alex Smith play competent football. It’s doubtful that Danny Dimes would gain much from watching Eli throw incompletions.

    You could also argue that Mahomes (and Rodgers many years before that) would have been successful without sitting and watching for a year. The best way for these QBs to get better is to be out there on Sundays. You never get better at something by doing it less. The one exception being poor Josh Rosen, who has had such a terrible supporting cast in both Arizona and Miami that it’s impossible for him to develop and impossible for us to assess his performance fairly.

  • Meg says:

    Can we get an Eli reference in twow for a proper goodbye?

  • Chauncey Gardiner says:

    George I love you but it was time. I know the defense is terrible but Eli is completely washed up. I could go into a long spiel about why it’s important to get rookie QBs experience in year 1 since the best time for a team to be competitive is when they have a young QB on a rookie contract playing well. If you bench him an entire year he’s just going to waste 2 of those precious years since it will most likely take him about a year to get used to the speed and intricacies of the NFL game vs. college. So if you bench him for one year chances are he won’t be ready to lead the team to the playoffs until year 3 of his rookie contract, which means he only has 2 years left before getting paid $30+ million a year and then the team is in trouble the same way we were when Eli was getting paid 20 million plus for mediocre QB play.

    Love the books George wish you the best. Hopefully there are better days to come for us Giants fans.

  • Jesse K says:

    Hey George, happy birthday. I hope things are going well.

  • JTL says:

    I personally think it is a mistake. Eli has had virtually no supporting cast at all this year with a banged up receiving corps and pass protection issues. It might be tough for a young quarterback to thrive in that environment.

  • Kevin of Raven Tree says:

    Breaking News: Pats release AB… Jets only lose by 60 points 🙁

  • Jackson says:

    how would Manning look in a Jets uniform?

  • John Dewbre says:

    Giants found the win column, hope this lifts your spirts George.

  • Hamilton says:

    Huzzah! It’s not all doom and gloom. Daniel Jones looked like the real deal even with the expected rookie plays mixed in. It may be time for some cautious optimism!

    It’s sad to see a favorite leave, but Eli’s days have been numbered for years. He’s no quitter, credit to him, but the arm strength hasn’t been there for years.

    Wishing luck to the giants and jets. This message has been brought to you by a smug packers fan

  • VikingsFan says:

    How bout the kid! Great overall game and that TD run at the end had me hootin and hollerin and I dont like the Gmen! Heres to a bright future!

  • Ron D says:

    Daniel Jones looked pretty solid yesterday. Unfortunate about Saquan, but the longer term picture looks a little brighter.

  • Joe says:

    As a Pats fan… never mind. I’ll stop there. I’m pretty sure you stopped reading this post. Either that or your blood pressure just spiked about 30 points. If you made it this far, I love your work. Please don’t hate me because of my team.

  • Vegan Keith says:

    Well I guess Daniel Jones is a little more advanced than Mahomes was in year 1, what a debut! I had to stop by your blog to find out what my favorite Giants fan thought about it. Shades of 07?

  • Skye Dent says:

    Can’t really find a section to congratulate you on your Emmy win. I was hoping you would be featured more in the telecast, but I might have missed it. I still have those copies of your Doorways script that you gave me back in the day. Still hoping to move to Santa Fe. Cheers, Skye Dent

  • Roberto Tosco says:

    Daniel Jones looked sharp in his first NFL game, so Giants may have done the right move benching Eli Manning.
    The loss of Saquon Barkley for multiple weeks won’t help the youngster though.

  • John says:

    Daniel Jones looked quite good in his debut. It was especially nice to see that after the fans savaged him before ever seeing him play a single down in an NFL game. We’ll see how long the honeymoon lasts, but so far the indications are that he can do the job.

  • michael cutter says:

    Not a football fan but whenever I watch I always think of you and support your two teams ! Hope the writing is going well and have a great day.

  • Dumitru says:

    New kid did well. There is some light at the end of the tunnel. Good luck the rest of the season. Go Danny Dimes!

  • Jonathon R says:

    Hi George – How do you feel about the Giants going into the second quarter of the season now that you’ve had a chance to see Daniel Jones in live action? Thanks!

  • Alex says:

    Look it’s really not that bad… – just my POV as a Dolphin’s fan. 🙂

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