Eli Manning gave the New York Giants 16 years of scares and some joys – along with momentous Super Bowl wins over the “big baddies” the New England Patriots not once- but twice. He gave them highlights, and he gave them his share of head scratchers. Many have questioned and many have fought over the thought that Eli is a Hall of Fame player.
Manning is top 10 all time in a multitude of passing categories, as he also carries the record for most passing yards in a postseason with 1219 in 2011 – and he did beat what was arguably the best team ever back in 2007. But, I feel that a QB being in the top 10 in stats is a slightly overrated talking point quite honestly. Any player that plays at least decently and plays for enough seasons has an outside shot at being a fat stat monger. Granted stats surely do stand for something – of course – but there is much more to it as well.
Firstly, the New York Giants defense did most of that beating the 07 Pats, and Eli kind of just tagged along for the joyride. Back in the magical season of 2007 – people tend to forget, he was on the verge of losing his job over throwing 20 INTs – but then the run happened. The Pats were scoring 37 /game – and were held to just 14 points. Yea, that is on the defense, which drilled Brady 5 times – and kept him stifled in the pocket all game long.
The 2011 Giants were a middling team at 9-7, they definitely were not great. They had a tough D-line that had gotten a ton of pressure during the season – and a nice running game with Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw. But then they had an amazing run in the playoffs – when Manning went on a 9 TD / 1 INT run. Manning ripped teams up in the playoffs which led them to the Bowl, he caught a fiery hot spark at the right time – nothing more. It was far from continued excellence.
Eli happened to be lucky enough to be the starting QB of 2 Super Bowl winning teams and because they won – he was then given the MVP honors by default, based on a couple of lucky passes he made. The famous “helmet catch” pass was really all David Tyree – let’s be clear about that. The escape from the Patriots sack – was all Eli – but him pulling away and chucking the ball up, wasn’t a “dime” or a “what a throw” moment. It was a “how did he catch that ball” moment. If Tyree didn’t make that ridiculous catch – and let’s say the ball was picked off even – most people would have been saying “why did he throw that ball?” And when you watch the replay of the helmet catch, when Eli Manning was pulling out of the pocket in slow motion – he threw the ball up with his eyes closed.
It just seems that through all the love fest for Eli Manning – nobody wants to talk about the high amount of picks he threw – 244 to be exact. Take a look at his lackluster QBR and his completion pct – it will show you some things that your eyes might not want to accept. Eli Manning was really reckless with the ball an awful lot of the time, 7 seasons throwing at 60% or less, 7 seasons with 16 picks or more, including 3 leading the league in picks. And 8 years with a 6.9 YPA average or less, none of those numbers make me scream HOFer. The biggest reason he is in the big conversation, in reality, is based strongly off of the New York Giants miraculous win over the Patriots in 07. Eli is a prime example of a mediocre QB that had a couple of amazing runs.
I have a tough time saying he was clutch or cold with his great play, Manning also missed making the playoffs 11 of his 16 years – I think of Eli as a guy who doused out drives and threw a ton of picks. Does anyone actually think of Eli Manning as legendary? He never was even the best QB in the division when Tony Romo and Donovan McNabb were both better in their primes. Does anyone really think Eli has the numbers? I can’t help but to think he’s really being considered is because of his family name. He struggled with getting a winning record over his career, as he ended it at 117-117. He went over 4400 passing yards just 3 times, a career 4.5% TD passing pct – which is not great – and a 3% int pct – he had only 3 seasons with a QBR over 65, terrible…again. Just because a player has 2 Super Bowls doesn’t make them legendary or a HOFer. I look at it all – stats, big games won and the most important, eye test.
Eli Manning was tough as a $2 steak – I will give him that. He played 236 games, including starting 234, which until a dirty coaching move his start streak should have remained intact. But, anyway – Eli kept opposing teams in games with his bad decisions. But Manning had been a questionable QB during his whole career as a good QB – not even mentioned as a top 3-5 QB during his heyday. Literally the only thing Eli Manning has going for himself in the fight is his 2 Super bowl victories.
I think when the dust settles, he will get in.
Even if I personally don’t think he deserves it – and if Terrell Owens had to wait – then so should Eli. T.O. had the numbers – but they didn’t like him. They like Eli – which makes me think they put him in as a first ballot – which he absolutely should not be.