Giants’ Brian Daboll explains mid-game QB change: ‘Trying to spark the team’

New York Giants quarterback Tommy DeVito (15) looks for a receiver against the Philadelphia Eagles during the second quarter at Lincoln Financial Field
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Tommy Devito era may be all but done as the rookie quarterback was benched during the New York Giants’ 33–25 defeat to the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 15 on Christmas Day.

New York opened the second half with a new signal-caller

After falling behind 20–3 at halftime, New York opted for a quarterback change to open the second half, swapping undrafted sensation Tommy DeVito for backup Tyrod Taylor.

DeVito’s struggles contributed to his benching

DeVito struggled in the first half against a gritty Philadelphia defense, completing only 9 of his 16 passes for just 55 passing yards as the team struggled to move the ball downfield. Being just a week removed from a rough outing in Week 14 against the New Orleans Saints, head coach Brian Daboll felt that a change was needed.

The coach said he was “trying to spark the team” when he made the controversial decision to move DeVito to the bench.

“I made a change to try to make a spark,” Daboll told The New York Post. DeVito had started the team’s previous five games prior to Monday, even after Tyrod Taylor returned from a rib injury.

Tyrod Taylor wasn’t as sharp as the Giants hoped

After replacing DeVito, Taylor completed seven of his 16 passes for 133 yards to go along with one touchdown and one interception. The highlight of his day was a 69-yard touchdown pass to Darius Slayton, which cut the Giants deficit to 30–25.

Other than that, Taylor appeared rusty, under-throwing a pass to running back Saquan Barkley that would’ve been a first down, as well as under-throwing another pass to tight end Darren Waller that had touchdown potential.

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DeVito speaks on his benching after a rude awakening on Christmas Day

After the game, DeVito spoke with the media about his benching, referring to the move as “business.”

“It’s just a constant reminder that it’s a business,” DeVito said. “They’re always gonna try to find someone to replace you, whatever it is. But at the end of the day, it is a business, it’s your job, I respect it. There’s no feelings one way or the other.”

With Giants playoff hopes gone, Daboll will have a decision to make

Head coach Brian Daboll has yet to reveal who will start at quarterback in Week 16 against the Los Angeles Rams. After their defeat to the Eagles on Monday, the Giants were officially eliminated from playoff contention. Daboll will now have to make a decision based on New York’s new priorities with their season essentially over.