What recent veteran vs. rookie QB battles mean for Justin Fields

Chicago Bears - Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
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Chicago Bears, Daniel Jones
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Comparing the Chicago Bears QBs: Daniel Jones vs. Eli Manning (2019)

Week 1 Starter: Eli Manning

Daniel Jones’ First Start: Week 3

With Eli Manning in the twilight of his career, the New York Giants selected Duke quarterback Daniel Jones with the sixth overall pick in the 2019 draft. Manning’s play had been declining for years, and the team finally made a step to part ways with their long-time starter. Jones turned a lot of heads in the preseason, but it wasn’t enough to win the job entering the regular season.

Eli Manning’s early-season struggles made the decision easy

Moving on from a franchise quarterback who has won your team two Super Bowls is a hard enough decision on its own. If Manning played well early in the season, it would have made for a really difficult decision for the Giants.

Many fans would’ve criticized the Giants for benching a possible hall of fame quarterback when he still had more left. Manning, however, made this decision much easier. He went 0-2 to start the season, and Manning hadn’t been able to lead the offense to more than 17 points in either game.

After that, Jones was named the Week 3 starter and went 2-0 in his first two games. Manning filled in when Jones had to miss Weeks 14-15 with an injury, but he never took another snap as New York’s starting quarterback.

Everyone in the Giants organization knew who should be starting. The resistance to benching Eli Manning was due to his past with the organization instead of his present or future value to the team. Manning was given a final chance to hold the starter spot for a year, but his poor play made it impossible to justify keeping a top-10 pick on the bench.