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GLENDALE, Ariz. — The New York Giants appear to be sticking with quarterback Eli Manning even in the final week of the season against the Washington Redskins.

“Eli will start, and then we’ll probably take it bit by bit,” interim coach Steve Spagnuolo said after Sunday’s 23-0 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. “We just take it and see how it goes. Eli is the starter.”

Manning started Sunday, and the Giants lost tight end Evan Engram (rib) and wide receiver Sterling Shepard (neck) by the end of the game. He threw a pair of interceptions and lost a fumble that was returned for a score. He also played from start to finish despite the lopsided result.

Rookie Davis Webb wasn’t even an option. He was inactive for the contest, the 15th time in as many games the third-round pick failed to dress. There’s a chance Webb will be active next Sunday after he took some first-team snaps at practice last week.
But since Spagnuolo was named interim coach in place of the fired Ben McAdoo earlier this month, he has insisted that the Giants are prioritizing winning and that Manning gives them the best chance to win.

The Giants still scored 10 points or fewer for the sixth time this season Sunday and lost their fourth straight game.

Spagnuolo didn’t contemplate taking Manning out for backup Geno Smith at any point.

“No. I really didn’t,” Spagnuolo said.

Smith started a game earlier this month in Oakland to end Manning’s streak of 210 consecutive starts. McAdoo was fired less than 24 hours after the game, and the Giants reversed course with their plan, which was to eventually get to Webb.

Co-owner John Mara said he wanted to see the young quarterback play, and by play he didn’t mean come in late to close out a game.

Manning went 27-of-45 passing for 263 yards against the Cardinals.

“Hey, we didn’t score any points, so I didn’t play well enough,” he said.

Neither did his supporting cast. The Giants fell to 2-13 this season and are in position to potentially land the No. 2 overall pick in next year’s draft.

That could put them in position to draft Manning’s potential successor, namely UCLA’s Josh Rosen or USC’s Sam Darnold. But Manning wasn’t ready to discuss his future after the latest loss Sunday.

“I’ll figure out next week and go from there,” he said.

Manning turns 37 next week.

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OAKLAND, Calif. — Geno Smith’s pregame routine included watching “Sunday NFL Countdown” on ESPN.

Before making just his second start since 2014 and first start as the New York Giants quarterback, Smith caught a whiff of a comment made by his former coach and current analyst Rex Ryan. He didn’t like it.

It came not long after a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen that coach Ben McAdoo could be fired by Monday.

“No, I didn’t see that, and I love Coach Mac. I think we all do,” Smith said before completing 21 of 34 passes for 212 yards with a touchdown and two fumbles in a 24-17 loss to the Oakland Raiders. “I enjoy playing for him. I want to continue to play for him as long as I can.
“But I did see one of my ex-coaches say he didn’t want me to be his quarterback, and that really upset me, you know? A guy that we saved his job in 2013, and we fought our ass for him both years, and for him to come out and say that just shows you how much of a coward he is.”

Smith was drafted in the second round of the 2013 NFL draft by the New York Jets. He was Ryan’s starting quarterback his first two seasons in the league.

Smith started and finished his first game since 2014 — when Ryan was his coach — on Sunday in Oakland. Beforehand, Ryan’s comment caught him off-guard.

“I was just sitting in my room watching because we have the time difference,” Smith said. “So I am just watching a little bit of football and, you know, see that happened, and it is like, wow, the guy, first of all, you drafted me. Second of all, you started me. Third of all, I went out there, and I gave you everything I had, and then you go out and say that. It’s unfortunate.”

It’s fair to say that the two won’t be exchanging Christmas cards anytime soon.

“No, I don’t care to speak to him again,” Smith said.
He could be busy preparing for another start. McAdoo said Smith didn’t do anything to lose the opportunity to start again in place of Eli Manning, who saw his string of 210 consecutive regular-season starts come to an end.

The Giants next play Sunday at MetLife Stadium against the Dallas Cowboys. It could be another opportunity for McAdoo and the Giants to evaluate Smith.

Smith, 27, started slowly against the Raiders but flashed at times throughout the final three quarters. He led an impressive drive in the fourth quarter that was capped by a 10-yard touchdown laser to rookie tight end Evan Engram that drew the Giants within three. Overall, he was sufficient.

“We said we’re going to take it one week at a time, and these games are emotional,” McAdoo said. “So to stand up here and make a decision right here after the football game is not a good way to go about [naming a starter]. We’ll take a look at the tape first and put our heads together and see where we want to go with it.”