The End of an Era? The Streak Ends Today for Eli Manning and the Giants by Vincent Zahler
Back in the Middle Ages, a poet named Geoffrey Chaucer coined the oft-repeated and truthful phrase "All good things must come to an end". Fortunately or unfortunately, this is the current state of the New York Football Giants. At a miserable 2-9 record, one would have reasonably thought that there was no direction to go but up. That simply was not the case. After 14 seasons as the starting franchise quarterback for the Giants, the Eli Manning era appears to possibly have to come an end in a rather sickeningly unceremonious manner. 14 seasons of dealing with the vicious New York media and fans repeatedly calling for his benching, all the while putting together quite possibly the best career a New York quarterback has ever had. In the top 10 of almost ever major cumulative statistical passing category to go with 2 Super Bowl rings and MVPs as well as being the 2nd all time in consecutive starts. Eli Manning has been a borderline Hall of Famer for a few years now and fr that alone, it wasn't supposed to end like this. Then again, most, if not all things end poorly. If not, they wouldn't end, Following the disaster that was the 2013 season the saw Eli Manning have by far, the worst season of his career, it was Offensive Coordinator Kevin Gilbride who was the first to be given the blame for the sharp decline in success. He was replaced with current and soon to be former Head Coach Ben McAdoo who with the help with a special wide receiver, was able to revitalize Eli who would proceed to have 2 of his best statistical seasons in 2014 and 2015. However, the Giants failed to make the postseason in either season. Due to some questionable clock management decisions and concerns about age, future Hall of Fame Head Coach Tom Coughlin would be the next sacrifice of the once Super Bowl level franchise. Now we have come to the end of the line. Quarterback Eli Manning and General Manager Jerry Reese are all the replaceable parts left from the glory days that now seem so very long ago. We all knew this day would eventually come but few ever expected it to come like this. To end Eli Manning's storied Iron Man streak with a mere benching for someone who already busted in the league and failed to impress in preseason is unacceptable. Some may try to spin it as to avoid having Eli take an unnecessary beating to finish out a long lost season but that doesn't sit well with most everyone who has watched Eli be a warrior for well over a decade. Its not that Eli was never injured, its that he played through injury, Eli played through separated throwing shoulders, sprained elbows, plantar flasciitis, etc without so much as a whimper. Pound for pound, one of the toughest players in the league and without question a model person on and off the field. A Walter Payton Man of the Year recipient and someone who has never thrown a teammate, coach, front office member, journalist, fan and/or anything in between under the bus, Even when being thrown under the bus himself, It is truly a disgrace that someone with the class of Eli Manning is being given this type of treatment. Sure, he may not have had the numbers of Phillip Rivers or the overall success of Ben Roethlisberger but he has the rings that Rivers lacks and he never had the off field issues that plagued Roethlisberger early on. The New York Giants were fortunate to have had someone like Eli Manning be the face of the franchise since taking over for Kurt Warner back on November 21st, 2004 Eli Manning has not been the problem in 2017. His play has actually been one of the few bright spots considering what hes had to deal with, The offensive line was infamously a complete mess to start out the season and didn't to improve with the proper tweaks and shake ups it needed well after the season was out of control. Even at 0-4, the season still seemed somewhat salvageable as the Giants were leading against the equally struggling Chargers until they ended up losing their top 4 wide receivers, A tragedy most teams couldn't even hope to overcome. Now after Eli has done what he could do with what little he has had he is being the scapegoat which is absolutely absurd, This team was held together with the thought that Eli would once again pull the team on his back and carry them as hes done before, If this really is the last we see of Eli Manning as a New York Giant, he will sorely missed and even with his most ardent critics he will be remembered fondly. Somehow, someway, as long as Eli was under center, you felt that anything was possible. No matter how bleak things would look, when #10 was on the field the game was within reach. His innate ability to play his best when his back was against the wall kept every fan glued to the game no matter how ugly it looked, knowing that at any moment, Eli might be able to pull something out with yet another perfect 2 minute drill. With Eli Manning being sent to the bench to allow the organization to evaluate the known failure that is Geno Smith, as well as rookie Davis Webb, and the seat of Jerry Reese being set ablaze, it appears that the once good thing, will, and quite possibly already has, come to the an end.