When Eli Manning was selected with the first overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft, there came with him a lot of hope. After the New York Giants made the trade with the San Diego Chargers, the Giants and their fans hoped they had finally found the answer to their quarterback question. Of course, a lot of those expectations were also the result of Eli being Peyton Manning’s brother.
For the first couple of seasons, Eli Manning was being compared to fellow 2004 draft picks Ben Roethlisberger and Philip Rivers and Eli was coming up short. He didn’t have the Super Bowl ring like Roethlisberger. He wasn’t lighting up defenses like Rivers, either. Giants fans began to get impatient but the best was yet to come.
It didn’t take long for the Giants and Giants fans to figure out that Eli was not Peyton, much to the chagrin of many Giants fans. However, it also didn’t take long for Giants fans to realize that Eli Manning didn’t have to be his brother for success to be accomplished.
Since taking over for Kurt Warner mid-way through the 2004 season, Eli Manning has quietly become one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, albeit not without some controversy as to whether or not he truly he is elite. Two Super Bowl MVPs, however, don’t lie.
There is more than that. Eli Manning became the fourth fastest quarterback to reach the 200 touchdown plateau. It took Eli 132 games to reach it and to surpass Phil Simms as the all-time leader in Giants history. Of course, his brother, Peyton, is the fastest to reach that accomplishment in the NFL, reaching it in 106 games. However, Eli’s success cannot be understated.
There is no doubt that Eli Manning is going to make the Hall of Fame when it is all over. Voters will look back at Eli’s accomplishments and will probably be shocked at the final numbers.
By next season, Eli Manning should become the Giants’ all-time leader in passing yardage, not bad for a quarterback in only his tenth season. He is currently only 46 completions away from becoming the Giants’ all-time leader in that category.
When it is all said and done, Eli will own every major Giants passing record in the book and it is very possible he could win more Super Bowls and could rank within the top ten of every major statistical category for quarterbacks.
I would think it is safe to say that by the time Eli Manning is done playing there won’t be any doubt where he belongs.