Eli Manning latest quarterback to get benched against Oakland Raiders

LANDOVER, MD - NOVEMBER 23: Quarterback Eli Manning
LANDOVER, MD - NOVEMBER 23: Quarterback Eli Manning /

For the second straight week, the Oakland Raiders will be facing a backup quarterback making his first start of the season. Eli Manning is out. What gives?

The Oakland Raiders are one game back of first place in the AFC West at 5-6 entering Week 13. They have gone 3-2 in their last five games, but remain on the outside looking in at a playoff spot. Oakland is a touchdown favorite over the New York Giants on Sunday, but that’s with long-time starting quarterback Eli Manning getting benched in favor of Geno Smith. Seriously?

Yes, the Giants have decided that Manning’s 210 straight starts streak will come to an end on Sunday versus the Raiders. Manning had a semi-legitimate shot at breaking Brett Favre‘s record for consecutive starts, but now that’s not the case.

The Giants quarterback doesn’t have terrible numbers this season. Manning has completed 62.5 percent of his passes for 2,411 yards, 14 touchdowns and seven interceptions. That being said, his team is 2-9 in games he has started and his 6.1 yards per attempt is dreadful. Only his rookie campaign in 2004 was worse at 5.3 yards per attempt.

In short, Giants head coach Ben McAdoo is tired of the dinking and dunking from Manning. New York is without two great wide receivers in Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall for the season, but McAdoo is doing everything in his power to keep his job for next season. Benching Manning in favor of Smith is a ridiculous move, but these sort of things happen when you’re 2-9, eliminated from playoff contention and your job is on the line.

What’s weird about this from a Raiders perspective is this. This will be the second straight week where a backup quarterback will be making his first start of the season against the Raiders. Paxton Lynch was horrible in his lone start of the year for the Denver Broncos last week. He replaced the ineffective Brock Osweiler in Week 12.

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Once Denver puts its best quarterback in there in Trevor Siemian in relief of an injured Lynch, the Broncos offense looked competent. One has to wonder if Siemian would have led the Broncos to victory if he would have started the game. He did carve up the Raiders defense twice for two touchdown strikes to make it a 21-14 ball game.

But let’s ask ourselves this. Is the Raiders playing two backup quarterbacks in succession merely coincidental or is there more to this? Yes, the Broncos and Giants are awful football teams, but by them choosing to make the move in the Raiders game on the road means that neither team respected the Oakland defense.

Oakland did fire former defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. shortly before Thanksgiving. John Pagano takes over in the interim, but this is still a bottom of the barrel defense in football. The Raiders are 18th in points allowed (261), 24th in yards allowed (3,890) and last in turnovers (7). Basically, these moves are saying that if the backup quarterbacks can’t throw for yards and score points on the Raiders defense, then they can’t do it on anybody.

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Sure, we can take it as a sign of disrespect. A win is a win, but wouldn’t you rather get a w over the Broncos will Siemian starting and get Manning’s best effort in a game with the Giants? Then again, this team is in a playoff race and the Raiders will take wins from teams who have already punted their seasons all day.

What could be even stranger is what might happen in Week 14 at Arrowhead. If the Kansas City Chiefs lose for the sixth time in seven tries on Sunday versus the New York Jets, would you be surprised if Andy Reid puts rookie Patrick Mahomes II in there over a struggling Alex Smith?

Yes, that would be a total shocker since the Chiefs are currently the AFC West division leader. However, the Chiefs are playing awful football for the last month in a half. For all we know, they could bench Smith in favor of Mahomes. It’s a more realistic move than seeing Manning getting benched in favor of Smith, if we’re being totally honest.

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Raider Nation can take these quarterback benchings as a sign of disrespect or just take the easier victory the opposition is trying to give the Raiders. Wins are wins and it doesn’t matter how you get them. The Giants are bad so just win, baby!