Terrell Owens Says NY Giants Should Bench Eli Manning, Backs Odell Beckham Jr.

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistNovember 1, 2018

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 28:  Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants is sacked against the Washington Redskins on October 28,2018 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

NFL Hall of Famer Terrell Owens has said quarterback Eli Manning deserves blame for the New York Giants' disastrous 1-7 start to the 2018 season and should be benched.

Wideout Odell Beckham Jr. has attracted some blame for his return of just two touchdowns in eight games, but former Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers star Owens told TMZ he backs his fellow wide receiver to come good:

"Odell can't perform because the quarterback is not performing. So, they should basically replace the quarterback.

"I mean, if it was anybody else, any other quarterback, he would have already been replaced. So, at this point, give someone else an opportunity.

"He's won a couple of Super Bowls, but I wouldn't put him in the legendary status. I wouldn't put him in that legend status as of yet ... no disrespect."

Manning, 37, has thrown eight touchdowns in eight appearances this season and is posting a career-worst touchdown percentage of 2.5, per NFL.com.

Owens also railed against those criticizing the Giants' offensive line, arguing there are other NFL quarterbacks who make do with less:

"You have special players that are behind those not-so-great lines that can make something out of nothing. Eli's not one of those types of quarterbacks. He needs protection. [Eli's] skills are pretty much eroding, and he's not really giving the guys an opportunity."

Simms & Lefkoe recently joked about those who continue to defend Manning's place in the Giants' starting lineup:

Simms & Lefkoe @SimmsAndLefkoe

If you’re a Giants fan still defending Eli Manning, you may be suffering from a rare condition known as #Elitis 😂😂 https://t.co/MW9ZK7oDq7

Manning, 37, is in his 15th NFL season and has never represented another team in the league. He has a contract running through the 2019 season, but a combined four wins since the beginning of the 2017 season suggests drastic change is required.

Beckham had only 25 receptions and three touchdowns in four games, as injuries ruined his 2017 campaign. However, the fact that he's scored fewer in twice as many outings this year is damning.

Fantasy football pundit Jeff Ratcliffe also recalled his recent run-in with Josh Norman in the Giants' 20-13 loss to the Washington Redskins as one example of him being shut out by a solid cornerback:

Jeff Ratcliffe @JeffRatcliffe

Odell Beckham Jr. lined up against Josh Normam on 68% of his routes and 0 of his catches came against Norman in Week 8.

Perhaps there isn't any single party to blame, and the Giants' dismal form is an amalgamation of factors. However, Beckham signed a five-year, $95 million contract ($65 million guaranteed) to become the highest-paid wide receiver in the NFL, and with that status comes added pressure to perform.

Backup Giants quarterback Kyle Lauletta recently compounded the franchise's misfortunes when he was arrested, per NFL reporter Mike Garafolo:

Mike Garafolo @MikeGarafolo

On #Giants QB Kyle Lauletta’s arrest (first reported by @njdotcom), a Weehawken police source says he hit the gas, ignored cops’ orders to stop, almost hit the cop and another car, cut off other cars and then refused to put his window down or step out of the vehicle.

If Lauletta is unavailable, it would leave Alex Tanney, 30, as the Giants' only other quarterback option if head coach Pat Shurmur decided to drop Manning. Tanney has played one game in six years as an NFL player, a 30-24 loss to the Indianapolis Colts in 2015, when he was with the Tennessee Titans.

Owens has made his call on Manning, but a drop to the bench seems unlikely for the 15-year franchise veteran until a decent option presents itself.