June 13, 2024

 

“I’m not going to make a week-to-week change,” stated coach Brian Daboll a week ago. “He deserves it. It will not always be ideal, but he has earned the right to play.”

DeVito may have earned the right to play, but the coach has the last say. And Daboll did just that after the Giants trailed the Eagles 20-3 at halftime on Monday night. Out of the break, the coach benched the undrafted rookie in favor of veteran Tyrod Taylor.

Daboll stated he made the adjustment to “spark the team.”

To some extent, it worked. To begin the second half, the Giants took advantage of an Eagles turnover on the kickoff and scored quickly. Taylor later connected with Darius Slayton for a 69-yard touchdown to cut the deficit to one score in the fourth quarter, 30-25. Taylor marched the Giants down the field late in the game, giving them a chance, but his last-second pass was intercepted in the end zone, and the Giants were eliminated from the playoffs 33-25.

When asked about his comments indicating DeVito deserved to start during his postgame press conference, Daboll maintained that his squad needed a spark Monday.

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The benching of DeVito marks the likely end of DeVito fever, which has been growing since November. Injury to starting quarterback Daniel Jones and Taylor moved DeVito into the starting lineup, and he quickly gained national prominence. He performed admirably, but it was the underlying story that captivated the hearts of millions.

He was a Cedar Grove, New Jersey, native who played for the neighboring Giants. He continued to live at home with his parents, with his mother preparing his meals, washing his laundry, and making his bed. Throw in his full acceptance of his Italian roots — replete with a viral video — and you’ve got a winner.

Daboll kept DeVito out of the bye week after a pair of victories, despite Taylor’s return from injured reserve. To avoid any quarterback controversy, the coach made DeVito the starting on the first day he could. The gamble paid off when DeVito led the Giants on a last-second, game-winning drive against the Packers on “Monday Night Football,” catapulting DeVito mania to new heights.

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