When the news of New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning’s demotion to backup was announced in Week 3 of this season, the NFL veteran remained positive — at least in the public eye.
“There’s a lot to be grateful for,” he said. “I’m going to accept my new role and make the best of it.”
The team’s new starting quarterback, No. 6 overall draft pick Daniel Jones, stated at the time that Manning was “nothing but supportive” of him amid the team’s decision.
Late in the year, when an injury to Jones’s ankle provided Manning with the opportunity to start for the Giants again, he opened up a bit more about how he felt this season, stating that he was “eager” to play and that he missed being on the field leading his team.
On Monday, the day after the Giants finished the regular season with a 4-12 record and fired head coach Pat Shurmur, Manning was a bit more honest about the reality of being Jones’s backup, calling the job “no fun.” When asked if he would consider being a backup for another year, Manning rejected the idea.
Days after New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur told fans to “slow their roll”over rookie quarterback Daniel Jones’s perfect preseason debut, team owner John Mara is going one step further.
Mara publicly stated that he hopes the football is never even placed in Jones’s hands this season.
“I hope Eli [Manning] has a great year and Daniel never sees the field,” Mara said in a video posted to Twitter on Tuesday.
Many were confused when the New York Giants drafted former Duke quarterback Daniel Jones with the sixth-overall pick in this year’s NFL draft, but after just one week of preseason play, some fans seem to be changing their tune.
The rookie, assumed to be the heir apparent of 38-year-old quarterback Eli Manning, made his debut at MetLife Stadium on Thursday and impressed on his only drive of the game. Jones was a flawless 5-for-5 with a touchdown before being taken out of the game.
Long-suffering Giants fans were understandably excited over Jones’s preseason perfection. Head coach Pat Shurmur, however, had a message for those calling for Jones to start over Manning.
The idea of No. 6 overall draft pick Daniel Jones becoming the next Eli Manningjust got a lot more real.
Manning and his older brother, Peyton, are both two-time Super Bowl champions. Despite their long and largely successful careers, the siblings share a particularly forlorn facial expression that fans have somewhat-lovingly dubbed “Manning Face.”
Since Peyton’s retirement from the NFL in 2016, it’s been up to Eli alone to carry on the Manning Face legend – until now.
A photograph taken by Danielle Parhizkaran at the New York Giants’ offseason workouts on Monday began making the rounds on Twitter after fans noticed an uncanny resemblance between Manning and the newly drafted Jones.
The NFL regular season is only 16 games long, so it’s important to make them all count.
Of course, some teams will always get luckier than others. A weak division or the ability to face stronger opponents at home are obvious advantages that not every team receives each season.
NFL.com graded each team’s strength of schedule for the upcoming season and ranked the Washington Redskins’ 2019 opponents as the easiest group to face.
Other teams that got pretty lucky with their schedules include the New York Giants (who will “visit” the Jets this season), the Cincinnati Bengals (who will host three of 2018’s last-place teams), and the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots (who will play the Chiefs in Foxborough yet again).