On Tuesday, November 28, 2017, the New York Giants announced that their week 13 game versus the Oakland Raiders will feature a quarterback not named Eli Manning under center, something fans of the struggling NFC East franchise have not seen in over 13 years. A Giants fan in the eighth grade is about to witness something that has yet to occur during his or her lifetime. Manning has been a fixture at quarterback for the well-respected organization since taking over for veteran, Kurt Warner, midway through his rookie season in 2004. Two Super Bowl MVP awards and 210 games later, fans of "Big Blue" will now be forced to watch former New York Jets disappointment, Geno Smith, run the show.

The West Virginia product will attempt to lead the struggling 31 ranked offense in what now seems to be a lost season. A team that was widely believed to be a playoff contender in the preseason now sits amidst one of their most embarrassing campaigns in recent memory. The decision to bench a franchise icon will surely not appease a passionate fan base.

Reaction around the league.

A report by Deadspin noted that the immediate reaction to the decision was not popular with the public. Fans, analysts and even former Giants legends took to Twitter to voice their apparent displeasure.

Many are left to wonder if this could be the end of the Eli Manning era in the Big Apple.

Sound bites emerged from those involved in the decision, including Manning, Smith and the teams highly criticized head coach, Ben McAdoo. As reported by the Sporting News, McAdoo shared with reporters the following sentiment during a Tuesday press conference, “My intention is this week Geno is going to start the game, play the game, and Eli will be number two.” The Giants also roster a third quarterback, Davis Webb.

The 22-year-old rookie was a third-round draft pick for the Giants in 2017 and has yet to see the field this season. It is still unknown whether McAdoo has any plans on working Webb into future contests, but it is clear he has officially moved on from the Eli Manning era. “I think a lot of Hall of Fame quarterbacks who have done a lot for a lot of teams haven’t been able to choose the way that they get to move on,” he continued.

“And I’m not saying that we’re moving on, but at some point in time, you have to make hard, tough decisions for the best of the franchise. And that’s what I have to do here.”

That last quote is very revealing about how McAdoo views the future of the franchise, and subsequently, the quarterback position. The only problem with this scenario is that the apparently disillusioned McAdoo is acting like a coach who expects to return next season. Which leads us to the main reason why concerned Manning fans may be overreacting. It is a foregone conclusion that McAdoo will be relinquished of his duties this coming January (as will current floundering general manager Jerry Reese). That would leave only one opinion of merit remaining, that of team owner John Mara, whose family has owned the team since its inception in 1925.

Why Giants fans shouldn't worry about Eli just yet.

There are two things well-known throughout the league, about the Mara family, in terms of how they run their organization. They are fiercely loyal, and they do not make decisions in haste. Although John Mara has likely already come to terms with the task of replacing both his general manager and head coach which awaits him at the end of the season. That likely does not make the anticipation any easier to stomach. Especially for an organization and an ownership group that has been notorious for giving coaches and front office executives longer leashes than many of their competitors (only three general managers since 1979). Considering all that lies ahead for the currently 2-9 franchise, Mara is only giving his blessing to the lame duck coach to make the figurative future "ripping off the Band-aid" a little less painful.

McAdoo will have gotten his wish, and yet still have been unable to guide this team to on-field competitiveness. Mara is positioning the coach to be out of excuses come reckoning day.

As Ralph Vacchiano of SNY noted, the coach has been subtly hinting that the offense would be more effective with a different quarterback leading the attack all season long.

Manning, to his credit, has brushed off McAdoo’s comments with class and professionalism, as has been the norm throughout his career dealing with the New York media. The true loser in this equation will be the loyal Giants fan base, now without the opportunity to watch their franchise’s most accomplished quarterback extend a historic streak as his, potentially, Hall of Fame career winds down.

Eli is, unfortunately, nothing more than collateral damage here. He will likely return in 2018 to mentor one of the top QB prospects New York is expected to select in next April’s NFL draft. Mara anticipates this, and will likely spell it out for the youngest Manning brother when they have a chance to meet later this week. McAdoo, however, will belly flop back into the coaching pool of recycled coordinators with failed head coaching gigs on their résumé. It is now clear that he was probably always best suited to be swimming there from the beginning.