Eli Manning has a great family history of quarterbacks. Archie Manning was a legend in his day and of course Peyton Manning might just be one of the best quarterbacks of all-time. So where does that leave Eli?
In 10 seasons Eli has managed to do what most quarterbacks only dream of. Eli has won two Super Bowls whereas his brother Peyton has only managed to win one. In addition, Eli has been a Super Bowl MVP twice and has appeared in three Pro Bowls. Yes, without looking at the statistics, many would say Eli is a good quarterback.
He has appeared in 143 games, in those games he has completed 2,735 passes and attempted 4,686 passes. He has 33,248 passing yards and 220 touchdowns. Looking at those numbers, many would say Eli is among the top quarterbacks in the league, but let’s dig a little deeper.
Eli has managed to complete just 58.4 percent of his passes. He has an average quarterback rating of 81.8 percent, and has 159 interceptions. Wait, did I just say 159 interceptions, yes that’s right 159 interceptions in just 143 games.
Now let’s look at a quarterback who doesn’t have a Super Bowl and has never been MVP, but has been in the league exactly 10 seasons as well. This quarterback has completed 2,408 passes and attempted 3,754 passes. He has 29,501 passing yards and 202 touchdowns. He is completing 64.1 percent of his passes, has a quarterback rating of 95.3 percent and has 98 interceptions. Any guesses on who this quarterback is? It’s Philip Rivers.
Now Rivers doesn’t have a Super Bowl ring and many people without looking at the statistics would say Manning is easily better than Rivers. And I would agree if they bring in the fact he won two Super Bowls, but as an actual passer, the numbers tell a different story.
Now, when I look at Eli’s numbers, he doesn’t stand out as a pocket passer, nor a read-option quarterback. In my mind it seems like Eli is more of a gunslinger. A gunslinger is a guy who throws the ball whether or not the wide receiver is open and hopes he can make a play. With the statistics that Eli has, he is just another gunslinger and folks, that not a bad thing at all. There has been great gunslingers in the past, the most recent one I can truly think of is, Brett Favre. The man was a great quarterback but he was your typical gunslinger.
Gunslinger or not, Eli is certainly having his worst season yet. His team is 0-6 and he already has 15 interceptions on the season. But before people keep dwelling on the fact that Eli is really bad this year, look back at statistics; he hasn’t ever been that great of a quarterback. He hasn’t put up numbers like Tom Brady, Drew Brees, or even his brother Peyton. Eli wasn’t blessed with the talent his brother has, and people need to start realizing Eli is a gunslinger and that’s not going to change. Don’t expect Eli to have a season where he is has 40 touchdowns and a mere ten interceptions.
Fans, fantasy players, and analyss need to realize that Eli is never going to be great on paper. He is going to have games where he has multiple interceptions. He is a quarterback that relies on his teammates to make a plays and bail him out. This season definitely is bad for Eli, but let’s face it – the New York Giants aren’t playing well at all. However, in no way am I making a stance to bench Eli, or draft another quarterback. Yes, he is having a horrible season, maybe the worst I have ever seen but I am simply supplying the facts.