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Manning should finish this season

Leslie Monteiro

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Let’s stop this hysteria right now.

Giants quarterback Eli Manning is likely going to finish the season as a Giants starter. There’s no point having him benched with the season going to be over a month from now. Plus, it’s not like Alex Tanney or Kyle Lauletta is going to do much if they play. If either was good, one of them would be playing long time ago.

It’s the right thing for the Giants to do. Manning has earned the right to finish the season. He has conducted himself as a professional during the good and bad times of his Giants career. He was always accountable. He always was ready to play no matter how hurt he was. He gave the Giants everything he got with two Super Bowl championships to show for it.

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It’s frustrating for some Giants fans who want to see what Lauletta can do, but the fourth- round pick does not have a future with this team. He was a drafted in the fourth round for a reason, and he has not received much work at practice. Plus, he was arrested this season for traffic violation and evading cops in the process. Odds are the Giants are going to sign a free agent quarterback or make a trade for a quarterback this offseason.

It was interesting Shurmur mentioned Tanney’s name when asked about Lauletta starting this week. This should be a sign right there that the fourth-round pick has no chance of ever starting.

The problem with football fans is they think the backup quarterback is the best option available if the starting quarterback can’t get it done. Even if he has not showed football coaches what he can do, there’s this myth that he can do good if he gets a chance to play.

Being a NFL player does not work that way. Football players get playing time based on how well they practice and how much trust they have earned from their coaches.

It’s why Davis Webb was never starting a game for the Giants, and it’s why Lauletta and Tanney will not get that opportunity. As bad as Manning has played these last few years, he earned the benefit of the doubt by Shurmur and the coaching staff.

You can say the Giants rigged this for Manning to never lose his job by putting two unknown quarterbacks on the roster. It wouldn’t be a crazy thought since if the Giants put a competent quarterback as a backup, there would be many howls from the fans for that guy to play and there would be questions from the media about when he will start in case Manning struggled. This is not the distraction Manning and the Giants want.

It’s still mind-boggling the Giants brought the veteran quarterback after two awful seasons. Last season had to be the season that he had to be gone. This was a perfect opportunity to end this relationship. It was time then.

Giants CEO John Mara did not have the heart to let the popular Giants quarterback go. He felt the Giants failed him more by not providing him a good offensive line for him to throw.

The Giants offensive line has not been great this season, but it’s been competent enough where Manning has had time to throw, and it hasn’t worked for him. The bottom line is he can’t throw the football anymore like he used to. That’s really the problem.

The Giants hitched their wagon on Manning despite his shortcomings, and now they are paying for it.

They know they can’t try him again as the starting quarterback next year. There’s nothing to gain from doing this. It’s like watching Willie Mays trying to capture his magic with the New York Mets after starring with the New York Giants and San Francisco Giants. It’s sad watching Manning trying to capture that glory moment.

Manning has been beaten down with the losing and his awful play this season. He wants this season to be over more than any other New York Giant.

He has gone through so much, so he might as well finish this season with dignity after what he has meant to the Giants franchise and the NFL. Let him finish the year starting. Let him have his last game at MetLife Stadium and let him have his last moment with the Giants fans. He deserves this much at least.

The Giants are cognizant of that, and that’s why in the end, he will start the final five games of the season as he goes his merry way.

The Giants should publicly make this announcement now rather than have this pointless question about when Tanney or Lauletta is starting.

Leslie Monteiro is a syndicated sports columnist who writes about the Tri-State area teams for the Upstate Courier. He is based in Fort Lee, New Jersey, and can be reached on Twitter @MongoGoesInSane.