By Michael J Basile, @MdoubleJB
The last time the Big Blue franchise drafted a QB in the first round there was plenty of anticipation, excitement, and controversy surrounding the timing of his NFL debut. Eli Manning took over for former 2 time MVP and super bowl champion Kurt Warner. At the time the Giants were 5-4 and in playoff contention. Warner had 6 TDS, 4 INTs and an 86.5 rating.
Although the Giants started 4-1, they lost 3 of 4 to drop to 5-4. The Philadelphia Eagles were 8-1 and NYG rookie head coach Tom Coughlin felt like the timing was right to move on to Eli Manning. Despite Warner playing well and holding off the future 2 time Super Bowl MVP, Tom Coughlin clearly made the right call at the time. Fast forward to Eli now being the one that needs to hold off a first-round pick: When is the right time to make the change from manning to Daniel Jones?
The Book of Jones:
Jones was selected 6th overall out of Duke where he threw for 8,201 yards and 52 TD passes. He played in a pro-style system under David Cutcliffe and seems to have the right mentality (Eerily similar to Eli) for NY. Again, when will he get his chance?
While there are similarities to that 2004 season, there are major differences as well. Eli’s taken this franchise on 2 historic postseason runs and has been an iron man for 15 seasons. He’s amassed nearly 56,000 yards, 360 touchdown passes, and clutch game-winning drives on the biggest of stages. Many fans have been ready to move on from Manning for several years now. Then there are others who still support #10 and blame the Giants offensive struggles on a horrible supporting cast and poor front office decisions since their last Super Bowl victory in February of 2012.
Due to the above-mentioned reasons, switching from Eli to Jones won’t come down solely on wins and losses. If Eli plays better than the 92 QB rating he posted last season and the offense looks sharp behind a revamped offensive line then Eli’s the starter until late in the year. On the other hand, if the line does show improvement and Manning struggles to consistently put points on the board then the offense might need a jolt. Considering 24 QBs had above 90 ratings last season, I’d say that’s the number.
Signs to Look for:
If Manning dips below that (90 Rating) after September and the offense isn’t scoring 20+ per game, it’s time. Chances are they’d have a poor win-loss record with that kind of QB play and offensive scoring output. There won’t be any change nor should there be in the first month of the season but as we approach Halloween, watch these numbers closely to see if it’s time for Eli to pass the torch to Jones. Giant fans can only hope that the next time this QB debate comes up…it’s 15 years from now, and 2 super bowl trophies later.