Eli Manning back as Giants’ starter

Eli Manning is back as the Giants starting quarterback, the team announced Wednesday.

The Giants are 2-10 heading into a Week 14 matchup with the Cowboys. On Sunday, Manning missed a start for the first time in 210 consecutive games and Geno Smith was under center for New York. The Giants lost to the Raiders 24-17 as Smith went 21-for-34 for 212 yards and one touchdown.

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When the Giants made the decision to bench Manning for Smith, there was tons of reaction from across the league as players, former players, former coaches and media questioned the move and speculated on what it meant for the two-time Super Bowl MVP’s future.

“I just wanted him to know that I do want to play. I want to be the starting quarterback,” Manning said. “So, I’m happy that he went with that decision and he has the faith in me, we can go win this football game with me as the quarterback.”

“I appreciate all the support that the fans have given me this past week, it’s been overwhelming. And I appreciate them so much for all the texts, the letters, the way they expressed their appreciation for me, so I’d appreciate it if they came out on Sunday and cheered the team on,” Manning said.

Manning has already suffered the indignity of having to watch Smith, a flop with the New York Jets and a guy who seems unlikely to be a Giant beyond this season, start in his place last week. He has to be aware of the calls to look at Webb, even the curiosity of co-owner John Mara. He has to be cognizant of the possibility the Giants would draft a quarterback with their first pick in the upcoming draft.

Manning has two years beyond this one left on his Giants contract and said he has “no retirement plans.” He told Steve Serby of the New York Post that “I want to be the starting quarterback next year.”

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