DeVitomania over? Brian Daboll noncommittal on Giants’ starting QB for Week 17

Tommy DeVito’s time as the New York Giants’ top quarterback was at least put on pause on Christmas Day, but his time as their starting quarterback could be over indefinitely. 

The undrafted rookie was benched for Tyrod Taylor at halftime of the Giants’ 33-25 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. Giants coach Brian Daboll wouldn’t commit to naming a starting quarterback moving forward when he spoke with reporters following the game.

“I’m just worried about [Monday] here,” Daboll said when asked who the Giants’ starting quarterback would be moving forward. “We’ll talk about that here this week.”

DeVito struggled mightily in the first half, completing 9 of 16 passes for 55 yards as New York trailed 20-3 going into the break. The Giants played much better in the second half, although many of their big plays came from players outside of the quarterback position. 

After the Eagles fumbled on the opening kickoff of the second half, the Giants handed the ball off to Saquon Barkley three times in a row as the third rush went into the end zone. Later in the third quarter, Adoree’ Jackson picked off Jalen Hurts and ran his interception 76 yards for a touchdown to make it a 20-18 game. 

Taylor and the Giants’ offense finally made a big play not long after the Eagles took a 30-18 lead in the fourth quarter. On the second play of their penultimate possession, Taylor hit Darius Slayton on a deep pass for a 69-yard touchdown to make it 30-25. Trailing 33-25 in the final minutes of the game, Taylor drove the Giants’ offense down to the Eagles’ 26-yard line before his Hail Mary attempt was intercepted.

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Outside of his Hail Mary interception, Taylor finished Monday’s game by completing 7 of 15 passes for 133 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for 21 yards on a par of scrambles.

Monday marked the second straight loss for DeVito and the Giants after the local sensation led his team to three straight victories. The Cedar Grove, New Jersey, native captivated fans as he threw for 592 yards, five touchdowns and zero interceptions while rushing for 84 yards as he led a previously two-win Giants team to three consecutive upsets. But in the last two weeks, DeVito’s completed just 58 percent of his passes for 232 yards as New York’s offense hasn’t scored a touchdown when he’s been at quarterback during that stretch. 

As DeVitomania might be over, the Giants rookie understood the decision behind his benching.

“It’s tough. It’s just a constant reminder that it’s a business,” DeVito told reporters. “They’re always going to try to find someone to replace you, wherever it is.

“At the same time, it is a business. It’s your job. I respect it. There’s no hard feelings one way or another. I was hoping [Taylor] was going to go out there and ball and we win the game. It’s nothing more than that. That’s all it is.”

The rookie also doesn’t want to deal with any sob stories over his possible future benching.

“It’s just work to me. I just go out and I’ve been trying to enjoy it every single day,” DeVito said. “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — you never know when a snap is your last, so I try to go out and make the most of every snap when I’m out there. I appreciate every snap that I’ve had and I just try to keep moving forward.”

DeVito became the starting quarterback for the Giants in Week 10, but he made two appearances before that. He replaced Taylor in Week 8 when the veteran suffered a rib injury, forcing him to be placed on injured reserve. DeVito made another appearance the following week, replacing Daniel Jones in his return from a neck injury after the fifth-year quarterback tore his ACL.

Taylor was activated off injured reserve in Week 14, but DeVito remained the starter in the midst of his surprising success story. He declined to say who should be the starting quarterback moving forward, but he thinks he proved again on Monday that he can play at a solid level when his number gets called.

“That is not my decision,” Taylor said. “My decision is to be ready when my number is called and I think that I proved that [Monday]. I will continue to keep preparing whether it is me moving forward or not. I told you all this before. My mood or my attitude doesn’t change based on circumstances. I am the same person. I am the same leader each and every day.”

Monday’s loss officially ended the Giants’ hopes of reaching the playoffs as they fell to 5-10. Still, they have the opportunity to play spoiler in the final two weeks of the season. They host the playoff-hopeful Los Angeles Rams in Week 17 before facing the Eagles again in Week 18. 

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