Tuesday morning, the New York Giants and head coach Pat Shurmur announced that they were benching the two-time Super Bowl champion Eli Manning in favor of a rookie in Daniel Jones. After an 0-2 start with losses to the Dallas Cowboys and Buffalo Bills, the team wanted to make a change in order to (hopefully) save the season. Jones doesn't have the experience of Eli, but he does have mobility and the ability to make every throw on the field.
While this move caught many by surprise, there was one figure that actually expected this change after two weeks. Former NFL wide receiver James Jones, who spent time with the Green Bay Packers and Oakland Raiders, actually made a prediction about the Giants and Eli Manning back in August. Interestingly enough, he was completely accurate.
"Eli is on a short leash here," Jones said on NFL Total Access, "and if they don't start off fast ... if they do not start 2-0, or maybe 1-1. If they start 0-2, this young guy is going to come in the game. He has to come in the game. Because if you don't put him in the game, that's sending a message to the locker room that, 'listen, we are just going to tank this season.' Because we both know right now, that when you watch preseason, Daniel Jones gives them the best chance to win."
As Jones continued to explain, the first-round pick out of Duke brings some explosiveness to the offense that was nonexistent with Manning under center. While the veteran was throwing passes short of the first-down marker, Jones was chucking it deep. He was taking chances and utilizing his big arm to make plays. Not all were successful, but he still provided a spark.
What's fascinating about this entire situation is that the fanbase was outraged when the Giants drafted Jones in Nashville. Social media was filled with videos of fans burning jerseys or breaking TVs in response to the news. The calmer individuals were simply calling for general manager Dave Gettleman to be fired for his momentous mistake.
Fast forward to preseason, however, and these same fans were calling for Manning to be benched in favor of the exciting, young rookie quarterback. There was no longer any concern about whether or not he could find success in the competitive NFC East. It was instead replaced with optimism and dreams of playoff appearances.
Entering week three's battle with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it's unclear if Jones will be able to provide the expected boost in production, but that is slightly less important at this point. The Giants fans are just eagerly anticipating his first official start. A new era has begun in the Big Apple.