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.
- 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.
I thought Eli was in that Drew Bledsoe class of QB for years. Both were #1 picks, both started a lot of games, threw a lot of passes, but they were volume passers and not efficient QB's. I think Eli's moved above that group with his performance this season, but he's still far behind the elite/HOF class.
HOF? Sure, if he's a starter for 5-8 more years, piles up the totals, and has more playoff success beyond these two seasons (just getting there consistently would help). But he'll be much more in the Kelly/Moon class than any of the top-tier guys.
"That [49e4rs] game will sting in the Bay Area for many many years." Funny, but I'm over it. Oh right - that's because I already knew who the winer would face and I trust Eli to do some damage FAR more than I would have Smith!
@LovinBlue don't know about that. 49ers had a pretty awesome D. And what sucks about the Ravens loss is that even if Brady loses the super bowl he has now appeared in 5 super bowls!
The National Media is full of idiots. Peyton is gone for one year and these loons are already debating which one is/was better.
Talk about short memories, of course it doesnt help Eli plays in the National Center of the World, NY...(by ALL media standards)
And did I see that they are now saying that the big Lee Evans drop is now considered a wrong call by officials? That is rough. Ravens would have been much more bearable than Pats.
@mattshedd I was wondering that also. A lot of times they say control of the ball + 2 feet = catch. He had control and 2 feet. I am not saying it was a bad call - maybe it could have went either way - but they should have reviewed it at least. Plus there was one play that I could have sworn should have been intentional grounding and they didn't call it. I could be wrong since they changed the rules but I thought now if it didn't pass the line of scrimmage that it was a flag.
Flacco is an average to average/bad QB, I'd be pissed if I were a Ravens fan about that game. Getting a decent game out of your QB, then let a kicker shank a gimme FG. ROUGH! It will be interesting to see what New York/Boston media think of our fine city.
Eli keys in on 1 receiver way too often, luckily they get good separation, because if not he would be sacked every play.
Flacco really needs to improve his footwork, until he does that he will continue to throw inaccurate passes on occasions.
Sucks when teams lose games due to their own special teams play.
The real culprit in the 49ers lose was Ted Ginn Jr who did not play due to injuries, big blow. (don't take this to serious but with him back their this game has a completely different outcome I think)
Ravens should be heartbroken, the way they lost was ridiculous, dropped pass that should have been held on to, Flacco not just running to get the first and keeping the drive alive, and then wide left.
This should be a good rematch in the Superbowl, I am thinking this will be a high scoring game, Giants and Patriots facing a weaker defense, 2 weeks of rest, indoor game, I am really looking forward to it.
I think the two big keys to the game will be how much pressure the Giants d-line can put on Brady, and will the Giants run game show up, Jacobs 5 carries for 13 yds really needs to improve.
This might be a bad thing, but I'm feeling really confident that the Giants will beat New England.
Right now, I think the Giants are a better team than Baltimore. The Giants offense can really expose that defense. The Giants d-line can get pressure on Brady. The Giants held down teh Pats pretty good the first time. They also scored 24 on the Pats without Nicks or Bradshaw.
I'm getting nervous because I'm not nervous about the game.
The only problem is that I'm not sure we can count on Brady to have as bad a game as he did yesterday. I don't know the numbers off the top of my head, but I assume the Giants' D isn't as good as the Ravens' D was, especially in the secondary. I don't see Aaron Ross pulling down an INT.
@LovinBlue That's true, but I think they will get more pressure. They had a pretty good game against Brady the first time.
Also, they might not need Brady to have that bad of a game, since I think they should be able to score 30+ against the Pats defense.
@dmstorm22 Yesterday was literally the first time all year the Pats have beaten a team that finished above .500. They haven't even played a top-10 passing team since the Giants beat them in Week 9. Eli may be the lesser Manning but he's still going to light up the Pats like Chinese New Year.
Vegas opened the Pats as 3-point favorites. If I were a betting man, I'd go win me a new car.
@squirrel Sanchez, Palko, Vince, Orlovsky, Grossman, Tebow, Moore, Fitzpatrick, Tebow, Flacco.
Flacco is the best QB they faced in their 10 game win streak. That says a lot. They really played four good QBs this year (Rivers, Romo, Roethlisberger, Manning) and all but one lit them up (Romo). The Chargers lost how they always lose (idiotic, inoppurtune turnovers), and the other two teams beat them.
"if I give you that he's clearly better than Phil Rivers..."
Why would you do that?
Eli was SLIGHTLY better than Rivers this year, and Rivers had by far his worst year as a starter. Rivers' worst ANYA is two tenths worse than Eli's career average ANYA.
Love the line about showing up for work. But it should be noted that Rivers always does too, including all year in 2011 while he was likely injured.
The only area where Eli beats Rivers is behavior. Eli is kind of a doofus, but that's worlds better than being a jerk.
@WillyDuer Boy, the 49ers were absolutely putting the beat down on Eli yesterday. At one point, he got up and had a clump of turf in his helmet ... which was all cockeyed on his head ... his chinstrap was off kilter .... he had a blank look on his face and I swear some stars and/or bluebirds were circling his head.
I don't know if you call that doofus, but he looked like a beat up little boy. Props to him for winning the game singlehandedly in spite of that.
@matt_has Oh, absolutely. I thought he played well yesterday. Almost certainly the best by DVOA of the four yesterday (and I mostly disregard the D in that stat... but the difference between the D and pressure and conditions Flacco faced and the ones Eli faced are probably as extreme as the D adjustments will be). I've picked on Eli for being inaccurate and overrated but you're not going to hear me citing his YPA or completion % from yesterday as reasons he wasn't good. He played well.
@WillyDuer "Why would you do that?"
-Just for the sake of argument, pretending that the Chargers' problems are all Rivers' fault somehow.
You made my point though. Even THAT comparison is debatable.
I don't even think it's debatable. You're being far too kind.
But it does help make the point. Even if you for some reason concede that, let alone all the other medium-decent QBs... he's still only 8th.
Memory may be fleeting, but this is the best playoffs I've ever seen (since 1984). All but one were fairly competitive games with plenty of skill and the return of actual defense. Even the dud game, I only needed to watch for ten minutes or so. The miscues are memorable, but mostly not from the zebras. The glaring omission is Indy, and that hurts bad, but I don't have the stomach-wrenching feeling of having been beaten either. My 2nd complaint is that the stacked NFC had to gut each other while the AFC got a free ticket for a weaker team, but that's unavoidable. From a wider fan perspective, great stuff.
@filiusdextris The WC round was mostly awful except for the one great game. The divisional round also had one mega-blowout, and one boring close game.
I'll take 2006. Had three all-time memorable games (Pats-Colts, Pats-Chargers, Romo Fumble), two other three point divisional games (Eagles-Saints, Seahawks-Bears), and a three point last second FG WC game (Giants-Eagles). The Super Bowl was a let down.
I will say that this was easily hte best Championship Saturday in a long, long time. 2008 was probably the last one that came close, as both games were in the balance with 5 seconds left.
@filiusdextris Meant to say 5 minutes left.
@dmstorm22 Saints-49ers was the best game of this post season and Giants-Packers was better for its implications than the actual game. Ravens-Texans was a great game (but unfortunately, flawed teams). Only Denver-NE was unwatchable.
@dmstorm22 Oh man, I mostly disagree - Giants-Falcons was an amazing game despite the score. I've not seen one team completely dominate another decent team in such spectacular fashion in all phases of the game in a long time. Loved that defense. Saint-Lions was wacky, prolific, and spectacular. Texans-Bengals was only a 7-point lead with 16 minutes left with both teams playing hard (Texans showing amazing talent despite their losses). Denver-Pitt needs no explanation.
@filiusdextris Saw a tweet or quote or something yesterday about the Patriots defense having the daunting task of facing the following QBs in the playoffs this year: Tim Tebow and Joe Flacco. What a sad statement on the AFC this year, that these two QBs were representing the conference in the playoffs. And what amazing timing for one of the worst Pats defenses...
This matchup should be good for the city of Indy. Too bad it's going to be painful to watch knowing that either outcome will lead to hyperbolic media assertions. On a positive note, QB wins should be a step closer to dying as an oft-mentioned stat after Brady's performance.
Just curious if al these teams in this year's playoffs having such a hard time converting third and shorts (and even fourth and shorts) make Colts fans feel any better about previous Colts failures in short yardage situations.
(Yeah, me neither.)
DZ, you know I love you buddy... but please. After yesterday, can we please dispell this nonesense that today's NFL playoff's are a crapshoot... and, also, finally admit that the only real measure of a QB is their team's playoff record.
A Ravens receiver drops the winning TD pass and then one of the best kickers in the league badly pulls the tying field goal... well, all I can say is that luck follows the most prepared. And that my friend, is all about Tom Brady.
And in the Giants game, some may say that the 49ers rookie punt returner gifted the Giants 10 points on indefensable gaffes. I say that kid knew that if you give Eli Manning four or five times in OT, he is going to get you a field goal.
(Please note the above was written in sarcasm font.)
I felt the same way about the 49ers defense. They definitely deserved to win. I was more than slightly jealous watching that unit destroy the Giants offensive line on every play.
Just wondering, if the Giants win the Super Bowl, will Eli greater than Brady. After all, he will have beaten him in the Super Bowl twice, Brady's 3 wins came before Eli's career started. I am certain that we will not see the media having a discussion about this.
• I give Brady a lot of credit for coming out after the game and starting off his comments with "I sucked pretty bad today". And for getting a haircut.
• Ray Lewis missed a golden opportunity to absolutely break Brady in half on Brady's TD rush. He had a slow angle or something, but it could have been epic.
• Phil Simms is an absolute joke. I sometimes wonder if he ever really played football before. Just prior to the Lee Evans sure GWTD drop, he said something like "now the Ravens are just going to hand it to Ray Rice here... no reason to risk bla bla bla...". What? No reason to risk? Are you serious?
• If anyone doubts how important QB play is, they surely are not fans of the 49ers or the Ravens. If either of those teams had an avg to above avg QB, we'd be seeing a sibling SB. Flacco still plays like a rookie, and Alex Smith should take the time to meet some of his pass catchers NOT named Vernon Davis.
I don't care where he is at in his rehab, or if he will ever play another down of NFL football. But I am convinced that if today's Peyton Manning was the QB of either the Ravens or the 49ers, they each win yesterday's games by double digits.
(Homer much, Doug... oh no, not me. I REALLY believe it.)
Did anyone else get the feeling during that game that you could say the same thing about Andrew Luck? Nevermind Manning. Luck is already better than either of those guys too. Inject him with some truth serum and I bet Harbaugh would go on the record and say the same thing.
@WillyDuer I know Luck is the highest rated QB to come out in a while... and maybe, shoot probably the scouts are all right. But I know how good Peyton is... no one knows for sure how good Luck will be. Does what Harbaugh just pulled off for the 49ers and how he helped make Alex Smith look descent give anyone pause about Luck? I mean he wasn't exactly facing Alabama/LSU defenses out there in the Pac-10.
I don't disagree that Flacco is only average but he put up better numbers than Brady. Obviously he was facing a much weaker defense, but the dude was one end-zone drop away from winning that game outright and one missed FG from at least having a chance in overtime. The Ravens won every stat category that anyone cares about and somehow still lost the game. Belichick sold his soul straight to Satan for that win yesterday.
@squirrel Brady had a bad day for Brady, but he was still better than Flacco. Flacco's pocket presence is laughable. His throws were all fine, but he missed so many open guys because he held on to the ball.
And it should also be noted that against that same defense on that same field, Dan Orlovsky had significantly better numbers.
And while we're noting things, it's also worth pointing out that the only reason that Pats-Giants game earlier this year was even close enough for Eli to lead a comeback is that he caused a ten to fourteen point swing with an AWFUL - inexcusable - back-footed blind chuck into the corner of the end zone interception earlier in the game.
People always forget those things about Eli. The last time Peyton made a throw as bad as the 1-2 per game that Eli routinely makes was about 2002.
@kasey_junk Actually I don't think Chung or Spikes were in the game against Orlovsky, and they were back out there yesterday.
@WillyDuer@kasey_junk@squirrel "Put it this way: Brady, Manning, Manning, Brees, Luck, Rodgers all complete 4-5 passes yesterday - without leaving the pocket - that Flacco never even got around to throwing. Would you disagree with that assessment? And wouldn't those throws likely change the outcome of the game?" That's the statement that caught my eye. The kid hasnt done diddly squat professional and until he does, he's not fit to be compared to even Curtis Painter talkless of Flacco. Could Luck be great, damn sure he could........ but he isnt. His NFL stats read zeroes all through, cool off on the hype is all I'm saying. You're setting yourself(and the rest of us) up for what could be an immense letdown.
@WillyDuer@squirrel I generally agree with your assessment about Flacco's decision making. He isn't good, and I don't think he ever will be. That said, saying their line played fine is a huge overstatement. The interior of their line was routinely destroyed. At one point a blitzing linebacker pushed their center into Flacco as he was receiving the snap.
The line was also obviously having communication/scheme issues. There were at least 3 instances where a guard or center was getting rolled by Vince Wilfork, and the lineman to the side of them, was blocking no one.
I've only watched a couple of Baltimore games this year, but I was shocked at how bad they looked.
I thought their line was fine. There were plenty of times that he had open receivers and time to throw but he just held on to the ball until the pocket collapsed. He has cement feet. And he takes some of the most unforgivable sacks on third down the way you'd expect a rookie (or Painter/Orlovsky) to.
Put it this way: Brady, Manning, Manning, Brees, Luck, Rodgers all complete 4-5 passes yesterday - without leaving the pocket - that Flacco never even got around to throwing. Would you disagree with that assessment? And wouldn't those throws likely change the outcome of the game?
With the exception of the egregious late underthrow on the blown coverage that should've been a touchdown, Flacco's actual throws were great (including the dropped touchdown). But he still leaves a ton of points on the field.
@squirrel Yeah -- I think Cruz and Nicks will expose that Pats secondary for what they are. At least, I'm hoping that's the case.