As good of a quarterback as Eli Manning has been in the past, the New York Giants might want to seriously consider sitting him as they walk away from Week 6 with a pitiful 0-6 record.
Since the 2013 campaign kicked off, Manning has been the most turnover-prone passer in the NFL. With 15 interceptions and two lost fumbles to his credit through six games, the Giants’ starter is quickly becoming the biggest train wreck in the league while his big brother stays on pace to rewrite the record books.
His performance has been so bad that the Giants could consider letting him hold a clipboard while he works through whatever mental hangup he’s currently suffering from.
Unfortunately, the Giants don’t have many options in terms of replacing Manning under center.
At this point, Manning’s immediate backup is veteran Curtis Painter. Signed this offseason to be the No. 2 quarterback, Painter started nine games for the Indianapolis Colts in 2011, completing 54.3 percent of his passes for 1,541 yards, six touchdowns and nine interceptions in the process. During his tenure as the Colts’ starter, the team went 0-9 as Painter failed to provide any sort of spark as a passer. Even when he stepped in for Manning in Week 3, he managed to throw one interception in only four attempts.
The No. 3 quarterback on the Giants’ roster is Ryan Nassib, a rookie fourth-round pick. The Syracuse product was extremely unimpressive during his limited preseason action, completed 36.8 percent of his passes for 114 yards while taking five sacks. As far as the Giants are concerned, Nassib is far from being ready to see his first NFL snap.
Considering their current options, the Giants are better off sticking with the slumping Manning as their starter. If his play continues to deteriorate, though, head coach Tom Coughlin could be forced to make a drastic change, especially if he wants to keep his job through 2014.
Free agency and trade are both options for the Giants to find a capable replacement until Manning can get his head on straight. Especially with the 2013 season already a lost cause, it would be better for New York to let Manning sit and work out the kinks instead of allowing him to lose even more confidence.
There’s a down year, and then there’s what the Giants are suffering through right now. Manning is still the Giants’ long-term starter, but the bench might benefit him in the short-term.