I imagine most people who read the title of this blog are thinking I’m a crazy person. Just give me a chance to explain.

The Giants signing of Davis Webb on Monday got me thinking about the G-Men’s former 3rd round pick.  Back in 2017, some people thought that Webb may have had a chance to be the heir apparent to Eli Manning.  He never got that chance because the regime that brought in Webb was fired, and the next regime cut him in favor of Kyle Lauletta.  But what if that regime was never fired?  I obviously don’t think Webb would have ever become the Giants franchise quarterback, but it very well could have changed the Giants course of history.  Now, you may be asking yourself what the hell does Davis Webb have to do with changing the course of Giants history?

My answer to that is the butterfly effect.

For those who don’t know, the butterfly effect is defined as the phenomenon whereby a minute localized change in a complex system can have large effects elsewhere. It basically says how one small act can lead to huge effects everywhere else.  The final nail in the coffin of the Ben McAdoo/Jerry Reese Era was the benching of Eli Manning.  The outcry of fans, sports radio/television hosts, and former players was so loud that Giants ownership pulled the plug on McAdoo and Reese the Monday after Manning’s benching.  I think much of the outcry that occurred was due to the man who was starting over Manning: Geno Smith.  Smith had already failed in New York as the Jets quarterback at this point.  He was never going to be the Giants franchise quarterback, so why would Benny with the Good Hair ruin Eli’s 210 consecutive start streak for Geno freakin Smith?  To be fair, McAdoo did at least offer to keep the streak alive by playing Eli for the first half before putting in Geno (yikes), but Eli did the right thing and said no to that.  What if the man selected to start over Eli was Davis Webb though?  It would make a whole lot of sense, wouldn’t it? The Giants were not going to the playoffs, it was a lost season, why not get a look at your young QB that you just spent a 3rd round draft pick on?  I don’t think everyone would have been calling for heads as much as they did if Webb was picked to start that day in Oakland.  Whether that would have been fair to Geno is up for debate (it wouldn’t have), but it may have saved McAdoo and Reese’s jobs.

John Mara signed off on the plan to bench Eli Manning.  The plan that was laid out, was in short words, awful.  Asking Eli to play a half to keep a streak alive is a slap in the face to the greatest quarterback in Giants history.  Regardless, Mara signed off on it.  If he signed off on that joke of a plan, don’t you think he would have signed off on a plan that included playing a young rookie quarterback to see what he had in him?  Who knows how that would have played out, but I’m pretty sure McAdoo and Reese would have survived to at least the end of the season. It’s important to remember that the Giants were coming off of an 11-5 season in 2016.  Would Mara have pulled the plug on two guys who together had the Giants best record in 8 years one year, and the worst record in franchise history the next?  I’m not sure, but if he decided to roll one more year with them, the Giants may look a lot different in 2022.  Maybe the Giants take a QB at 2 in the 2018 draft.  Josh Allen, Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, or Lamar Jackson may have been the Giants next QB.  Maybe Odell Beckham is still in blue.  Maybe the Giants take Nick Chubb in the second round of the 2018 draft and Saquon is playing elsewhere.  Maybe Daniel Jones is never a Giant.  The possibilities are endless, and some may have come true if Davis Webb was selected to play over Geno Smith.

Realistically, things probably wouldn’t have changed at all.  McAdoo lost the locker room in 2017, and was losing games in embarrassing fashion. Reese had one playoff appearance over the last 6 years.  The Giants very well may have just pulled the plug anyway.  But that’s not fun to think about, so don’t be a Debby Downer.

Davis Webb is back in Giants blue, and if he started against the Raiders in 2017, maybe we’re looking at a completely different Giants team today.

(Photo: 2017 Nick Cammett/Diamond Images/Getty Images)
















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