It’s official: Eli Manning back as Giants’ starter

Eli Manning has reclaimed the starting quarterback job with the Giants and will be under center when the New York offense takes the field against the Cowboys Sunday, interim coach Steve Spagnuolo announced Wednesday.

The move was expected. During Monday’s press conference announcing the firings of coach Ben McAdoo and GM Jerry Reese, Giants co-owner John Mara said his understanding was Manning would start against Dallas.

While Las Vegas sports books Sunday opened the Giants as 6-point home underdogs vs. the Cowboys, the point spread adjusted down to +4 as it became clear Manning, not Smith, would start.

But despite the outcry over Manning’s benching, he has not been playing like the Hall of Famer some claim him to be. Yes, the Giants’ problems go deeper than Eli, but he’s thrown for just 2,411 yards this season (21st in the NFL) and 14 TDs (tied for 20th), while also tossing seven interceptions.

While Philadelphia’s loss of injured quarterback Carson Wentz hurts its chance at a Super Bowl run, the Eagles at least can clinch a first-round bye this week with a win and some help from teams in other games. Philly also has a chance to clinch homefield advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.

Yes, a Steelers win over the Patriots in Week 15 would all but lock Pittsburgh into the No. 1 seed for the AFC playoffs, but Jacksonville is not yet out of the race for the top seed and homefield advantage in the conference.

Philadelphia guard Markelle Fultz might have left the University of Washington for the NBA after just one year, but Sixers coach Brett Brown says the No. 1 overall pick’s classroom education is continuing while he is sidelined with a shoulder injury.
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