Twelve years ago Monday, the Giants made a decision. Rookie Eli Manning started as their quarterback for the first time.
They have not had to make such a decision since.
Manning will start his 194th consecutive regular-season game for the Giants (205th counting the postseason) on Sunday against the Browns with no questions asked, no options weighed, no announcement made.
Not every team is as lucky in that regard, of course. A sober reminder of that comes from the Browns themselves.
For the Giants and their quarterback stability, this week is like going to an anniversary dinner, seeing a couple bickering at the adjacent table and realizing just how good you have it.
Since Manning’s first start, the Browns have used 24 different starting quarterbacks. Twenty-four! That’s by far the most in the league (the Rams reached 17 on Sunday with the debut of first-round pick Jared Goff).
Browns coach Hue Jackson announced Monday that Josh McCown will start against the Giants on Sunday in place of Cody Kessler (concussion), so while that list will not expand — McCown already was on it — it again will be shuffled.
When it comes to starting quarterbacks, the Giants’ biggest headache for more than the past decade has always been trying to figure out whom they’ll face rather than whom they’ll use. Despite Jackson’s announcement, that again will be the case this week.
At roughly the same time that Jackson named his starter in a news conference Monday afternoon in Cleveland, Ben McAdoo said he and his coaching staff were heading into a meeting to discuss the options the Browns have at the position. Given Cleveland’s non-stop carousel, they likely proceeded with that meeting as planned despite Jackson’s assurances.
“They’re all three very different players, so of course that will be a challenge,” McAdoo said of preparing for McCown, Kessler and even Robert Griffin III, who is eligible to come off injured reserve (although Jackson said he is not yet ready to play). “We have to be ready for them.”
The Browns may be 0-11 this season, winless in their last 14 games and the owners of one victory in their past 22 efforts, but at least they know for sure which quarterback they’ll see from the Giants.
Teams who have used the most different starting quarterbacks since Eli Manning became the Giants’ starter on Nov. 21, 2004: