A long and disappointing season for the New York Giants will be over soon. After two more games, the Giants can put 2013 in their rear view mirror and focus on the 2014 season. But in the case of Eli Manning, perhaps it’s best to put him out of his misery now, as the Giants should bench him and start rookie Ryan Nassib in their final two games.
This entire season has been a nightmare for Manning, and his five interception performance Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks was rock bottom. The Giants aren’t playing for anything, so why force Manning to go back onto the field and continue this nightmare? He’s not young and he doesn’t need the extra reps.
The sooner the season ends, the sooner he can try to forget about it, and the sooner he can try to regroup and get ready for 2014. The Giants will gain nothing by playing Manning in the final two games of the season.
Benching Manning doesn’t have to be viewed as a punishment, or a sign that he’s not going to be the starting heading into 2014. It’s simply a way of trying to end his painful and confidence-shattering season a little early. The Giants have nothing to lose by sitting Manning and plenty to gain by playing Nassib for the final two games.
The Giants used a fourth-round draft pick on Nassib when they could have drafted a defensive player that might have been able to help them this season, so they might as well see what they have in him after a season of standing on the sidelines. If nothing else, the Giants can see if Nassib will be ready to usurp Curtis Painter as the team’s backup next season, and whether or not he shows the promise to be a starter one day.
If Nassib is impressive, they may be able to trade him away for a third-round pick or higher, which would be making a small profit on a short-term investment. Of course, if he plays well, the Giants could look to continue grooming him to perhaps challenge Manning for the starting job in the next year or two if Manning continues to struggle. If Nassib struggles and shows little promise, then the Giants will know to take a close look at the crop of quarterbacks in next year’s draft.
Whatever happens, the Giants are bound to learn something meaningful about Nassib if they play him for the final two weeks of the season. Meanwhile, continuing to play Manning has little benefit. Manning should still be looked at as the starter heading into 2014, but the sooner the nightmare that has been the 2013 season is over, the better.