One thing became abundantly clear in the New York Giants 20-13 loss to the Washing ton Redskins on Sunday: the Eli Manning era needs to end.

Jason Leach

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY—Following their 20-13 loss to the Washington Redskins on Sunday at MetLife Stadium, the New York Giants sit at 1-7 for the second year in a row and have nothing to play for except pride and to find building blocks for the future.

The first thing the Giants need to do as they build for the future is to tell their 37-year-old future Hall of Fame quarterback, Eli Manning, that it’s time for him to step aside and for the Giants to see what Kyle Lauletta is made of.

Manning knows that the NFL can be a cold business. He was on the other side of this in his rookie year in 2004 when Kurt Warner had the Giants at 5-4 and in playoff contention, but head coach Tom Coughlin and owner Wellington Mara decided it was in the best interest of the franchise moving forward if they played Manning.

The team would go onto lose their next six games under Manning before winning the season finale against the Cowboys. Statically speaking, Manning’s rookie year was a failure. But he gained valuable playing experience that would help mold him into a two-time Super Bowl champion.

After what we witnessed against the Redskins, it’s time for the Giants to turn the reigns to Lauletta to see if he has the potential to be a quality starter in this league.

Against the Redskins, Manning completed 30 out of 47 passes for 316 yards threw one touchdown, was intercepted twice, and was sacked seven times. We all know the offensive line is bad and has been bad for years, but Manning could have avoided some of the sacks if he was more mobile and willing to step into a throw while taking a hit.

The front office has failed Manning over the last few years by not building a quality line in front of him. Now, due to a poor line and his physical regression, Manning can no longer lead the Giants to success.

It’s time to start prepping the Giants 22-year-old rookie quarterback to make his first NFL start sooner rather than later.

The Giants have a bye week before they play the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football on Nov. 12.

During the bye week and the week leading up to the game against the 49ers, the Giants need to increase Lauletta’s reps during practice. The ideal scenario would be to dress Lauletta for the game against the 49ers and then to play him or start him when the Giants return home to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Nov. 18.

Having Lauletta make his first appearance at home is the best scenario because it would excite the crowd while not putting extra crowd-noise pressure on the kid.

The Giants can’t afford to wait and play Lauletta in the season finale. They have to give him as much playing time as possible so that he gains experience. Also, so they can see if he progresses week to week.

Lauletta may not be the Giants long-term answer at quarterback, but you at least have to give him a chance to see if he has the makings of being a starter. The Giants can’t afford another Davis Webb experiment where they spent a third-round pick and he never saw the field.

For all Eli Manning has done for the Giants over his career, he deserves to have a statue built in his honor outside of MetLife Stadium. But because of the quarterback that he is in 2018, they have to move on and insert the kid.

It’s officially time.

Jason's first love was football while growing up in northern New Jersey. For the past three years, he has covered the New York Giants, as well as several boxing events along the East Coast.