They say one man’s burden is another man’s fortune. Geno Smith is living and surviving in Eli Manning’s hellfire right now, and much to the delight of the football community, he didnt win his first start as Giants QB on Sunday – but he didnt embarrass himself either in a 24-17 loss to the Oakland Raiders. Problem is no one gave a damn except his West Virginia Mountaineer Family. It’s a cold world out here for Geno.
While the rest of the nation continues to doubt Geno Smith as he takes over for Eli. We know one group of fans that has his back. Time to shine, let’s gooo #HailWV #MountaineerNation
The minute Giants head coach Bob McAdoo announced he was benching Eli Manning and ending the quarterback’s streak of starting 210 games in a row, the football world turned upside down with emotion, shock and the venom being spewed towards the Giants organization, the general manager and coaching staff trickling down to Smith. It was another punch in the face for a guy who has done nothing but try to regain a job as a starting quarterback. Geno hasnt started and finished a game in almost four years.
In some twisted way, people blamed Smith for Elis benching as well. He was raked through the coals on New York sports radio and dragged through the mud as if he had something to do with the unprofessional way Manning was handled. Smith is an innocent bystander getting lit up, his feelings ignored as collateral damage in a battle between the fans, media and analysts who waged war against the Giants for benching the NYC icon. Eli being so gracious and real about the ordeal didn’t help.
Eli Manning was asked if he’d earned the right to start to keep his streak alive. #GiantsPride https://t.co/vhdABEh8Sr
However, nothing is going to change the fact that Mannings career as a Giants starting quarterback has come to an abrupt end. It’s not fair to Geno and he can’t seem to get a break in The Big Apple no matter how hard he tries.
WATCH: Geno Smith’s postgame press conference following Giants vs. Raiders https://t.co/yKSSTsc8El
Smith was MacAdoos choice and the fans have turned against the second-year coach, who went 11-5 in his rookie season, before all hell broke loose in this 2-10 campaign. Despite the pressure, Smith didnt embarrass himself on Sunday. He threw for 212 yards, a touchdown and no picks. He led the Giants on a couple of clean drives and moved the ball despite being under attack from an aggressive Oakland Raiders pass rush. Geno didnt panic, or run from the moment. Hes still just a guy with a dream of being a star QB in the NFL and will take the opportunity whenever it presents itself like any other backup.
While fans are sure to dismiss Smiths five-game audition as meaningless, for him — a guy considered a has-been at just 27 years old and stained by the buffoonery of Rex Ryan – this is the opportunity of a lifetime. No matter how you look at it, Geno has the NY spotlight to himself once again with a chance to end the game differently than he did last time.