Eli Manning

Former Giants QB Kyle Lauletta on Eli benching: ’They’re giving the young guy the nod’

Former Giants QB Kyle Lauletta on Eli benching: ’They’re giving the young guy the nod’

This week, the biggest story in the NFL is that the Giants have finally moved on from Eli Manning. They benched their former franchise quarterback in favor of their 2019 first-round pick, Daniel Jones. 

Because Eagles practice squad quarterback Kyle Lauletta was with the Giants from 2018 until final cuts this year, he has a unique perspective. So I asked him about the biggest news of the week:

I respect both those guys. I got to know those guys and had good relationships with them. Eli, obviously, has a lot of respect in that locker room and in that organization. 

But they’re giving the young guy the nod. I wish him the best. As far as what I think about it, they’re both good quarterbacks and both really good players. Daniel had a heckuva preseason. I think they’re 0-2, so maybe they’re just giving him a shot and seeing how they do with him in there. I wish them both the best and we’ll see what happens.

Manning, 38, seems to be handling this whole situation with a ton of class and with plenty of perspective. 

Lauletta said he learned a lot from Manning in their year-plus together. A big part of learning from Manning was simply observing the veteran’s daily routine and incorporating some of it in his own routine. 

A neat specific thing Lauletta learned from Manning was about footwork. You wouldn’t think that because Manning isn’t much of a threat to run, but Lauletta explained it’s Manning’s footwork that allows him to get through his reads, always be on line and deliver the football quickly. 

As a 24-year-old in his second NFL season, Lauletta was really impressed by Manning’s durability. Manning started 210 consecutive games before he was benched for a game in 2017. 

“He’s had an amazing career,” Lauletta said, “he’s probably a future Hall of Famer.”

But the decision to start Jones is probably a wise one for a Giants team that is 0-2 and desperately needed a fresh start. 

In the preseason, Jones completed 85 percent of his passes for 416 yards and two touchdowns, with a passer rating of 137.3. So after the Giants stumbled out of the gate, you’d understand why they didn’t wait long to see what their No. 6 pick can do. 

Lauletta is eager to see too. 

“We’ll see what he can do. Obviously, had a great preseason,” Lauletta said. “We’ll see when the bullets are flying. I’m excited to be here and hope we take them down twice. I’m going to be fired up for those games for sure.”

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The Eli Manning Hall of Fame debate has one obvious answer

The Eli Manning Hall of Fame debate has one obvious answer

Eli Manning is one of only 12 quarterbacks in NFL history to win more than one Super Bowl.

Is that enough to get him into the Hall of Fame?

Manning was benched by Giants coach Pat Shurmur Tuesday in favor of rookie Daniel Jones. 

Manning is 38 and in his 16th season. He's faced the Eagles more than any quarterback in NFL history.

Maybe he’ll get another chance to start somewhere, but most likely the body of work that he’s put out in 246 games so far is essentially what he’ll be judged on when the Pro Football Hall of Fame voters start considering his candidacy five years after he retires.

Let’s take a look!

The case for Eli Manning 

Manning is one of only 12 quarterbacks in NFL history to win more than one Super Bowl, and of the eight QBs who are already eligible for the Hall, seven have been enshrined. 

The exception is Jim Plunkett, who beat the Eagles in 1980 and the Redskins 1983.

But it’s tough to make any sort of case for Plunkett, who played 16 seasons, was a full-time starter eight years, had a winning record twice, never made a Pro Bowl, threw 34 more interceptions than touchdowns and has the 8th-lowest passer rating since 1970 among QBs who played at least 100 games.

You can definitely make a case for Manning.

• He didn’t only win two Super Bowls, he was MVP of both and he toppled the greatest dynasty in NFL history, the Bill Belichick Patriots, in both. He's one of only six multiple Super Bowl MVPs in history.

• Manning never missed a game because of an injury, starting 210 straight games — second-longest QB streak ever — before sitting for one week in 2017. 

• Manning ranks seventh in NFL history with 56,537 passing yards and eight with 362 touchdown passes. Every eligible QB who’s reached either 50,000 passing yards or 300 TD passes is in the Hall of Fame.

• From 2005 through 2012 — his first eight seasons as a full-time starting quarterback — the Giants never had a losing season. Manning made his first three Pro Bowls during that eight-year stretch, and only three QBs won more games during that span — Tom Brady, older brother Peyton Manning and Drew Brees. 

The case against Eli Manning 

• I start with this: When I’m judging a player for Hall of Fame consideration, I ask whether he was ever the best in the NFL at his position for any five-year span. Manning never even came close close. His best five-year span was probably 2011 through 2015, and during that span he ranked 19th in the NFL in passer rating, 20th in completion percentage and 15th in wins. He was seventh in TD passes but first in interceptions.

• He was never great over a full season. Manning played 14 full seasons and finished in the top 10 in passer rating once — he was seventh in 2011. He also ranked 20th or worse six times. He never had a passer rating over 93.6. Sure-fire Hall of Famers like Drew Brees, Brady, Peyton, Philip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger have each had a passer rating over 93.6 at least eight times.

• He never led the NFL in completion percentage, touchdowns, passing yards, yards per game, passer rating or any other major category except interceptions. He led the NFL in interceptions three times.

• Manning’s 3.09 interception percentage ranks closer to the bottom since he entered the NFL than the top. It’s 49th-best out of 73 QBs who’ve thrown at least 1,000 passes since 2004.  

• How many of those 246 games was Eli Manning truly great? He has five career games with 300 passing yards, 3 TD passes and 0 interceptions. That’s the same number as Jared Goff, who’s played 206 fewer games.

The verdict 

On Feb. 3, 2008, and Feb. 5, 2012, Eli Manning was the best quarterback in the world. For nearly all of the other 244 football Sundays since his career began he not only wasn’t the best QB in the world he was remarkably average.

He has a .500 career record, and in 12 of the 14 seasons he was a full-time starter the Giants failed to win a playoff game.

Even Manning’s Super Bowl performances weren’t off the charts. 

In the first one — after the 2007 season — he had a modest passer rating of 82.5, which is 13th-worst of any winning quarterback in Super Bowl history, and he put up just 17 points. In the other, he was very good but still only threw one TD pass.

A lot of people will tell you when talking about Manning that he doesn’t belong in the Hall of Fame, he should be in the Hall of Very Good. 

Honestly, I’m not so sure he belongs in that one either.

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Giants bench Eli Manning and Eagles will be sad to see him go

Giants bench Eli Manning and Eagles will be sad to see him go

Some big news out of North Jersey this morning as the Giants have officially named rookie Daniel Jones their starting quarterback. 

After 15-plus years of service and two Super Bowl rings, Eli Manning is heading to the bench. 

This is a development the Eagles won’t be happy to see. For the most part, they have owned Manning in his career. 

But this is the right call from Pat Shurmur and the Giants, although, I have to admit I’m a little surprised it happened this soon. I thought we’d at least have a few more weeks of Eli purgatory. But now the Giants can at least get their first-round pick some game experience, although it’s hard to imagine the Giants’ offense will all of a sudden pick up. He might give them a better shot. 

Really, the Giants shouldn’t have even brought Manning, 38, back this season. He’s getting paid a ton of money and now he’ll be getting paid a ton of money to not play. 

The Eagles don’t face the Giants until Week 14 this season (they also play them in the regular season finale), so it always seemed very possible (likely even) that Jones was going to be the starter by then anyway. If anything, this is bad news for the Eagles because Jones will now have more experience under his belt by the time the Eagles see him later this season. 

And, in a larger sense, this is bad news for the Eagles because it appears the Giants have finally moved on from a situation that has really stunted their progress for several years now. I’m sure the Eagles didn’t mind the Giants’ holding on to Eli over the past few seasons. At least now the Giants can attempt to move on. 

Manning might end up in the Pro Football Hall of Fame one day, but the Eagles should consider putting him in their Hall of Fame too. In his career against the Birds, Eli Manning is 10-20 in the regular season and 0-2 in the playoffs. Manning has lost his last five games against the Eagles and is 4-16 against the Birds since 2009. 

Manning now has a record of 116-116 and maybe that’s fittingly how his career will end. 

Well … until like Week 6 when Jones has a bad game and Shurmur goes back to him. 

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