The Book of Eli

In the film The Book of Eli, Eli was led to a book by a voice in his head and he made it his mission to protect that book with his life. Now that story is in no way similar to Eli Manning’s narrative but he did hear a voice and it happened to say “Geno Smith is starting on Sunday.”

After 210 consecutive starts, New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning will not be starting on Sunday against the Oakland Raiders. Eli said that he was given the chance to start and continue his streak while Geno Smith and rookie Davis Webb would get the opportunity to play but instead he decided to sit and let Geno start.

You can take Eli’s decision to sit one out of two ways.

Either Eli didn’t want to be remembered as the guy who once led his team to two Super Bowl wins to be replaced by a quarterback who threw 36 interceptions in his youthful five year career or he actually wanted to give Geno and the rookie a full chance to play on Sunday.

I’ll go with the latter and say that Eli’s decision was a class act.

Eli has always handled criticism and tough decisions with class even when his coach has a habit of throwing him under the bus. But as this chapter of Eli’s book comes to a close, there is hope for a possible Tom Couglin-Manning reunion.

Tom Coughlin who has a heavy hand in the Jacksonville Jaguars’ front office, wasn’t too excited to hear the news of his Super Bowl quarterback being benched. He said, “I haven’t followed the Giants. I know it’s a disappointing year, but my thoughts are strictly with Eli. I’m very upset about when I heard that.”

That disappointment may land Eli a starting job next year with the Jacksonville Jaguars who obviously can’t rely on Blake Bortles to be a franchise quarterback.

The end of Eli’s career is near and being the head of a team with a powerful defense may give him the crutch he can rely on to end his career and ride off into the sunset.