WASHINGTON — For one week, it looked like the Washington Redskins might have the distinction of being the last opponent Eli Manning faced as quarterback of the New York Giants.
After a lackluster Thanksgiving night performance, Manning was benched by coach Ben McAdoo in favor of Geno Smith.
Never mind that Manning was in the midst of the NFL’s longest consecutive games started streak (210), that he was the aging face of the franchise and Smith is a journeyman, or that his contract runs out at the end of a season that’s already been lost.
Smith performed as expected vs. the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, and McAdoo was relieved of his coaching duties on Sunday evening.
Now, as the organizational dumpster fire rages in the Meadowlands, a new report has emerged:
Indeed, now that Manning has already been publicly emasculated by a now-deposed head coach, and had his NFL starts streak broken, the interim head coach (Steve Spagnuolo) will reinsert him in the lineup.
At least Manning still wants to suit up:
Assuming that Manning survives physically and emotionally until Week 17, he will start what is likely to be his final game in a Giants uniform against…the Washington Redskins.
This will give him an even 27 games against the Redskins in his career, and a chance to push his winning percentage to .667. His 17 wins vs. D.C. are the most against any team, even though he hasn’t played particularly well against them statistically.
His 28:24 touchdown to interception ratio is his worst mark against the NFC East, as is his 78.9 passer rating. It should be noted, however, that Manning–a pocket passer in every sense of the word–has three rushing touchdowns against the Redskins. He has only six in his career.
With the Giants eliminated from playoff contention and the Redskins not far behind, at least this should give fans something to watch for in an otherwise meaningless game.
Then again, given everything that’s happened in New York this week, the Giants might find a way to get him back on the bench before Week 17.