Philip Rivers, players react to Eli Manning's benching

Head coach Ben McAdoo's benching of long-time starter and two-time Super Bowl MVP quarterback Manning has garnered much criticism in league circles.

Kahron Spearman

Players and fans have provided interesting reaction to the New York Giants benching longtime starter Eli Manning, with some calling it the end of an era.

Former teammates, respected opponents, and commentators have come to Manning's aid, in blasting the Giants, and specifically McAdoo for the benching. The move has especially seemed callous given McAdoo is handing the keys to Geno Smith, a player lacking anything resembling the respect Manning has earned.

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers had some specific words about the move.

"I honestly thought it was pathetic," said Rivers on Wednesday. "He's been out there 210 straight games -- with no telling how many bumps and bruises and injuries -- for his team. He won two Super Bowl MVPs.

I just thought it was too bad the way it was handled. And with Eli, we're not close buddies, but as a friend and fellow quarterback, it was tough to watch him yesterday. You can only imagine how he felt. And he handled it like a pro, like he's handled everything.

Philip Rivers
Quarterback, Los Angeles Chargers

Continued Rivers: "And with the respect he's had in the locker room over the years, and really the respect he's gained throughout the league, you feel like the guy has earned the opportunity -- if they are, in fact, deciding to go another direction -- he's earned the opportunity to finish it off these last five weeks."