Is Eli Manning a Hall of Fame QB?

I’m not even going to entertain a discussion of whether Eli Manning is better than Peyton Manning.

Eli’s best season is unquestionably this one.

It would be roughly on par with Peyton’s 9th best season.

So let’s not insult America by seriously entertaining this conversation. It’s not even a debate worth having. Peyton has better post season numbers than Eli does, so Eli can’t even hold that over big brother.

A much better question is whether or not Eli Manning is even a Hall of Fame caliber quarterback.

 

Consider:

  • He has never lead the league in any statistic but interceptions (twice)
  • Until this season he has never been considered a top five quarterback in any given year.
  • His team has missed the playoffs 2 of the last 3 years. I’ll grant you that that might not be on the quarterback, but when a team misses the playoffs in a year the quarterback leads the NFL in interceptions, you have to at least bring it up. Where was he in the clutch those years? That’s the ‘playoff game’ fallacy. Wins to get you into the playoffs don’t count. It’s like there are no big games until January. That’s just not reality.
  • Since 2005 (Eli’s first full year as a starter), he ranks 4th in TD passes, 1st in INTs, 17th in passer rating, 13th in YPA, and 23rd in completion %.
  • The only thing Eli Manning has done consistently well since 2005 is show up for work. He leads the NFL in games played over that span.

Super Bowl ring(s) or not, you’d easily take the careers of Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger, and Aaron Rodgers over Eli without batting an eye. Kurt Warner would have to be in that boat as well and obviously Brett Favre.

Eli Manning is a fine quarterback. He’s having a wonderful career and I’m not trying to denigrate him. But he’s at best the 8th best quarterback of the past 7 years. He only reaches that level if I give you that he’s clearly better than Phil Rivers.

If the Giants win the Super Bowl in two weeks, and I pray they do, Eli Manning will likely get a disproportionate share of the credit.  “The stats don’t matter!” they’ll say. “He won two rings!” It’s sad really. Eli Manning is the Phil Simms of the passing age. He’s a very good, occasionally great quarterback. He’s not one of the all time greats.

Notes from the weekend:

  • Wonderful football games. The best effort of the weekend went to the Patriots defense which has been horrible all year. They stymied Joe “Most wins in my first four seasons” Flacco all day, exposing him as one of the most overrated players in football. Flacco is an average quarterback, nothing more. Sometimes I wonder if winning with Dilfer didn’t curse the Ravens. It’s as if they have an institutional memory that says QB doesn’t matter. If they had anything better than Flacco on Sunday, they trounce the Patriots. His numbers weren’t bad, but he missed a lot of open throws and left points on the board all day.
  • Gut wrenching loss by the 49ers. The 49ers had the 2nd best special teams in the league (the Giants were a middling 16th), and lost thanks to two turnovers in the kicking game. That game will sting in the bay area for many many years.
  • I hope that field goal John Harbaugh settled for in the first half keeps him warm all winter.
  • Leave it to Tom Brady to keep me from being able to praise him. Until yesterday, I was prepared to declare Brady’s efforts in getting a terrible Pats team to the Super Bowl among the finest accomplishments in NFL history. Then he had to go and play like crap, getting a win after throwing just one fourth quarter completion.  Curse you, Brady. You won’t even give me the opportunity to be magnanimous.
  • The glory of our city will be on full display in the next two weeks. Lots to do and see. Make us all look good, fellow Hoosiers. Economically, the Giants/Pats is a win. We need a big fortnight to help offset the price tag for the Luke. Come spend your money, you East Coast yankees!
  • I almost felt bad for Ray Lewis and that defense. If ever a unit deserved to win, it was that one. That was one of the best defensive games I’ve ever seen. You got the feeling that they were hurting the Patriots. They deserved better from their quarterback. 
  • Listening to Collinsworth talk Brady/Eli will be painful. Prepare yourselves now.
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