Geno Smith wasn't terrible in his first start with the Giants and his first extended action in more than two years. Even Giants head coach Ben McAdoo seemed pleased with Smith's performance.
Just not enough to guarantee Smith another start next week.
McAdoo added another confusing layer to the Giants' festering quarterback mess on Sunday when he refused to say that Smith would start next Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys. He said things were too "emotional" in the moments after the Giants' 24-17 loss to the Raiders in Oakland, and he preferred to go back and "look at the tape."
"We said we're going to take it one week at a time," McAdoo said. "These games are emotional. So to stand up here and make a decision right after the football game is not a good way to go about business. We need to go look at the tape first, put our heads together and see what direction we want to go.
"But Geno did not do anything that would cost him an opportunity, no."
McAdoo did promise he would make -- but possibly not announce -- a quarterback decision at some time on Monday. Of course, that's assuming he's even the one allowed to make that call. There was a possibility, according to multiple sources, that McAdoo would be fired some time on Monday thanks to the chaos and the Giants' 2-10 start.
But if McAdoo isn't fired and is part of the decision-making process, why is this even a question? Smith really wasn't bad against the Raiders, completing 21 of 34 passes for 212 yards and a touchdown. He had two fumbles, including a costly one at the Raiders 9-yard line late in the first half, but even those weren't terribly surprising given the battering he took behind the Giants' porous offensive line.
Besides, there is likely no alternative. The Giants certainly aren't going to turn back to Eli Manning at this point. Some in the organization thought the Giants might turn to rookie Davis Webb as soon as their next game against the Dallas Cowboys, but McAdoo insisted he has yet to increase Webb's practice reps. Webb, who was inactive on Sunday, has still being prepared as the third-string quarterback, meaning most of his action has come running the scout team.
Asked if the Giants planned to at least increase Webb's practice routine this week, McAdoo said, "We'll take a look at again. We'll have a plan early in the week."
It won't just be McAdoo's decision either. He said he'll make it with his coaching staff, "and I'm going to bounce it obviously off [general manager] Jerry Reese."
It's not inconceivable that Giants ownership will want to weigh in on the decision, too.