Kyle Rodriguez continues to evaluate clutch quarterbacks, concluding his examination of Eli Manning.
After taking a brief look at Eli's playoff performances on Tuesday, today we'll be looking directly at his situational statistics, in order to get a broader view of how Eli has performed in specific pressure-filled scenarios.
So, without further ado, here are Eli Manning's situational stats for his career.
|Years||1st Half||2nd Half||Last 2 Mins||Behind||
|Tied||4th Quarter||4th Q w/in 7||Margin: One Possession||Passer Rating|
Once again, Manning's data is fairly erratic in the situational statistics as well, but we can again apply some general trends.
Overall, Manning tends to get better as the game goes along, figuring out the defense as the game goes on. This is a contrast to Brady, whose performance trends slightly downward as the game progresses.
The stark difference between Eli and Brady though, is their performance at the end of games. Eli tends to be steady throughout the different categories (overall), where as Brady's performance dips significantly in a few key categories. Brady's career passer rating is 96, and compared to Eli's 82 looks far superior. And, it should be, as Brady has had a far better career, and has been the better quarterback for the vast majority of the time. Brady's situational stats tend to vary around 96, with only a few numbers below 90. Those numbers would be: Last 2 Mins (87.6), Behind by 1 Score (80.38), 4th Quarter (88.25), and 4th Quarter w/in 7 (82.81).
Now, those first three categories listed for Brady are heavily influenced by his early years, where he was pretty bad in those situations, especially the "Behind by 1 Score" category. However, the 4th Quarter w/in 7 category has been erratic in the past few years, and has only been slightly better than the first half of his career. That 82.81 is much worse than his career rating of 96.
Here is that comparison in a more visual format:
Meanwhile, when we look at Eli, we see his play staying consistent throughout the games, with all of his situational stats staying within four points of his overall rating. The ironic thing is that while Eli is known as being the inconsistent quarterback (and he is), he tends to be much more consistent throughout the game than Brady. While Brady is consistent, generally, from season to season, game to game, he can be inconsistent within the games, especially late in close games. A great example of this is the Super Bowl, where Brady was great in the middle of the game, but couldn't get it done in the beginning or in the end.
Eli, on the other hand, is very streaky, game to game, and has had very inconsistent seasons. But, within the games, he tends to play the saame throughout the entire game, good or bad. For example, here is his Total Season QB ratings versus his 4th quarter w/in 7 category:
Eli keeps his play late in close games very similar to his play overall, in fact it's usually slightly higher (although generally not enough to be very significant).
So, who is the better clutch quarterback? It seems that Eli keeps his head a little better, dealing with the pressure a little better, and keeps his play steady. Brady, especially in the past four years or so, has gotten into a habit of having a much lower level of play late in close games. However, because Brady tends to be a much better quarterback overall, their play directly combined tends to be about the same.
Of course, if Eli's career continues to improve/mirror his 2011 season, he would have a clear advantage over Brady in this department.
Overall, I stand by my claim that truly "clutch" quarterbacks are very hard to find, but Little Brother may be as close as you'll get. Eli Manning does a great job of dealing with the pressure, keeping his play level in pressure situations, but he doesn't elevate his play in any significant manner. Rather, he keeps playing the way he always does, good or bad. Of course, keeping your cool in such situations is nothing to sneeze at, and Eli should be commended for doing something that Brady has struggled with recently.
Next week we'll take a look at Ben Roethlisberger, who, like Eli, has two rings in his young career.
Something to keep in mind: the passing stats aren't exactly the best barometer of who was "better" when you're breaking it down by drives like this. If a QB goes 2/2 for 8 yards, but goes three and out, his passer rating is 83.3. Meanwhile if a QB is 1/3 for 10 yards, his rating is 43.8, but he just got a new set of downs to extend the drive.
It's really more about drive success rate (and I don't mean the formula for FO's drive stats) than it is the actual stats. If a guy goes 8/10 for 78 yards, but misfires on the last two plays (3rd & goal, 4th & goal at the 5), that's not getting the job done.
@ScottKacsmar You could say that about any point in the game though. No statistic tells the whole story.
An interesting thing to note: while Eli does do a better job at continuing to play at the same level no matter what the game situation is, Brady still has the better QB rating in many of the situational stats. So, even if Eli keeps his cool better, Brady is still likely the better quarterback in "clutch" situations because Brady playing at a lower level is still better than Eli at his norm.
@ajorck If Brady is better in "clutch situations", why has Eli beat him the last 3 games, where they both were put in those very situations?
Second, Eli hasn't been that much better in the fourth quarter of those games. Eli: 27/41, 363 yds, 4 TDs. Brady (Excluding hail mary plays): 24/41, 267 yards, 3 TDs, 1 Int. Take away Tyree's miraculous catch (where the throw was akin to Brady's pick), and Eli's at 26/40, 318, 4 TDs. Good, but not drastically better than Brady's. Both QB's have been good, but Eli's had the last (realistic) shot at a touchdown in all three games.
@theBSR 2.5 mins is a whole lot different than 1 minute is. It's a pretty classic case of last team with the ball wins.
Also, on the topic of him having the last shot. In the first Super Bowl, even. Brady had a long drive that left Eli with barely 2 and a half minutes to get a TD. Week 9 this year, Eli drove down field for the TD with just over a minute, again, right after Brady got a late TD. So while those two are close, Eli still finished, and has the edge. This years Super Bowl, Brady left his team scoreless for basically the last half of the game. Eli not only drove up the field for another game winning TD, but he killed enough time that Brady had to have a miracle to win. That factors into being clutch just as much as the actual scoring.
@Kyle Rodriguez @theBSR @ajorck He won two Super Bowls in those three games, Brady lost two. They were heads up, in games fairly evenly matched. I'd say the two rings are proof enough. I'm not knocking Brady, the guy is a legend, but to say he is more clutch than Eli, that's knocking Eli. Brady is famous for last minute drives, in tie games, that ended with a FG. Eli is famous for last minute drives, with his team behind, that ended in TD's. As crazy as it sounds, we're comparing apples and oranges, one situation has far more pressure than the other.
@theBSR @ajorck To be fair to Brady, in the first two games, he led a TD drive to take the lead right before Manning did. In SB XLII he was left with 35 seconds (but all three timeouts, and needing just a field goal, the Pats decision to basically throw hail mary's was curious) and in Week 9 this year they were left with 14 seconds.
@ajorck If the game's tied and I just need a field goal, i'll take Brady. If I'm down 4-8 and need the TD, give me Eli instead. And my answer would have been the same 4-5 years ago too.
I know he has once gotten a TD down 8 against SD in 2006. A drive that, it should be noted, Brady threw an INT on but McCree fumbled. Even in the regular season I am having trouble coming up with examples. The one that really jumps to mind is the Baltimore game in 2007 when he led a TD drive down 24-20.
11/10/2002 at Chicago: down 5, TD w/0:21 left. He did have an INT on the drive overturned (correctly) on replay
11/25/2007 vs. Eagles: down 4, Maroney TD run w/7:20 left.
12/3/2007 at Ravens: down 4, TD pass w/0:44 left. The Ravens actually stopped them on 4th down, but a penalty kept the drive alive, as did a false start.
12/29/2007 at NY Giants: down 5, 65 yd TD to Moss w/11:06 left
9/14/2009 vs. Buffalo: down 5, TD pass w/0:50 left. This was after McKelvin fumbled the kickoff on opening night.
2011 AFC-C vs. Ravens: down 4, TD run w/11:29 left.