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Eli Manning's streak ended; why even he doesn't seem to mind

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Archie Manning says 'don't feel sorry for Eli' (1:35)

Archie Manning gives an update on son Eli Manning's recent benching and how the Giants QB will move forward. (1:35)

NEW YORK -- Eli Manning's streak of 210 consecutive regular-season starts ended Sunday in Oakland. In retrospect, it was for a one-week look at Geno Smith, and it expedited the firings of coach Ben McAdoo and general manager Jerry Reese.

Manning is expected to start at quarterback Sunday when the New York Giants host the Dallas Cowboys at MetLife Stadium. That should go over well with fans.

That the streak ended for a peek at Smith did not go over well, but the Mannings don't think it's a big deal. No, seriously.

"Eli didn't want a token start," his father Archie Manning said before his son, Peyton, was being inducted into the National Football Foundation College Football Hall of Fame. "I understand that and I appreciated that. At the same time, don't go feeling sorry for Eli because of the record that was broken. As he said, [it's] a second-place record.

"He was pretty funny. He said, 'It is not Joe DiMaggio here.' Eli handled it, he doesn't feel great about the way everything turned out but like I said it's football."

Manning, 36, was never going to catch Brett Favre. He holds the record for most consecutive starts at quarterback with 297. Manning would have to play every game for another five-plus seasons to pass Favre.

That was never going to happen. He has two years remaining on his contract and might not last that long with the Giants. He says he has at least one year left in him.

"I plan on playing next season," Manning said Sunday after watching his first game from the sideline since his rookie season in 2004.

Manning has continually downplayed the streak. He declined the opportunity to start to keep it going.

It ultimately created a circus and led to the departures of McAdoo and Reese, even if co-owner John Mara said the decision had "no effect" on the Giants' decision to make the moves.

While Archie Manning didn't necessarily like the end result with the coach and general manager, he downplayed the demotion or benching being a serious matter.

"It is fine. Like I told Eli, it is football. It is life," Archie Manning said. "It is not cancer, war, all those things. It's football, he handled it. He handled it.

"It is unfortunate. I played years in New Orleans, couple other places where things didn't go necessarily great. We got coaches fired. I don't like coaches getting fired. I don't like people getting fired. I don't like anything about that. I'm sorry it happened, it is unfortunate. Keep moving, keep moving."

What's next? Nobody seems to know for sure. The Manning's aren't even thinking about that right now. It's too early, and there are too many variables in play.

"I talked to [Eli] probably 10 seconds about that," Archie Manning said. "He agreed, there is absolutely no reason to try and make a plan right now for this postseason. Got to get through this thing, do the best we can. Going to be things happening in the Giants front office. No sense forming opinions. He'll evaluate things, see where he is, see where the organization.

"It will work out, it will all work out."