The future is now in the Big Apple.
“Eli and I spoke this morning,” coach Pat Shurmur said Tuesday in a statement. “I told him that we are making a change and going with Daniel as the starter. I also talked to Daniel. Eli was obviously disappointed, as you would expect, but he said he would be what he has always been, a good teammate, and continue to prepare to help this team win games. Daniel understands the challenge at hand, and he will be ready to play on Sunday.”
The news came a day after Shurmuropened the door Mondayfor a possible quarterback change. It didn’t take long for Big Blue to make the franchise-altering move.
With theGiantssitting at 0-2 to start the season, it was inevitable the rookie would take the reins. The Jones-era will now begin earlier than many expected, beginning with Sunday’s tilt versus theTampa Bay Buccaneers.
Jones impressed during preseason action, completing 85.3 percent of his 34 passes for 416 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions and a 12.2 yards-per-attempt average. Fumbles were an issue for the rookie in the preseason (three, losing two), and in his brief appearance in Week 1. Jones displayed accuracy to all levels of the field during the preseason, an ability to manage the pocket, mobility, and the mental acumen to succeed in the pressure of New York.
Turning to the rookie in Week 3, theGiantshope the first-round quarterback can help lift a listless offense. With a receiver corps missing several key players, Manning’s passing attack looked limp through two weeks of the season. In Sunday’s home loss to theBuffalo Bills, Manning completed just one of his first seven passes, and finished the game with 250 yards on TD toss and two interceptions.
Beyond bursts fromSaquon Barkley, Big Blue’s offense has been stuck in the mud. Turning to Jones early could provide a needed spark. At the very least, the rookie should be able to make more happen with his feet, which is something theGiants‘ offense needs at this stage.
“Ultimately, this is a move that I felt was best for this team at this time,” Shurmur said. “I have said it since I got here, I am very fond of Eli. His work ethic, his preparation, his football intelligence. All those attributes are as good as I have ever seen in a player. And Eli worked as hard as you could ask of anybody to get ready for this season. This move is more about Daniel moving forward than about Eli.”
It’s the second time theGiantshave moved Manning to the bench in the past three years. Back in 2017, then-coach Ben McAdoo attempted to move on from an ineffective Manning in the middle of the season, namingGeno Smiththe starter, ending Manning’s consecutive starts streak. The move lasted just one week before Eli was back under center.
This year’s change should be more permanent.