In an interview for the team’s website, New York Giants’ S Antrel Rolle said the NFC East division is stacked with “elite” level quarterbacks. Of course, in addition to Giants’ QB Eli Manning, the division also has QB Robert Griffin III of the Washington Redskins, QB Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys and QB Michael Vick of the Philadelphia Eagles.
All four of these quarterbacks present many challenges for opposing defenses, so it’s easy to see where Rolle is coming from. Manning has flourished since 2009 and many have him as a top-10 quarterback and some have him as a top-five quarterback in the league. Griffin III has shown the ability to be a playmaker and efficient passer, which helped the Redskins win the division for the first time since 1999.
Romo is usually the most scrutinized of the bunch, but there’s no denying the great numbers he puts up in the regular season. Romo has thrown for over 4,000 yards in every full season he’s played in, and he completes 65% of his passes regularly. Vick has fallen on hard times since his resurgence in the 2010 season. However, many believe he’s the right fit for new head coach Chip Kelly’s fast-paced offense.
With all of this being said, none of these quarterbacks are “elite.” Only one quarterback in this list belongs in the conversation, and that is Manning. I used to state that Manning was elite as well, but when you think of the word and what it’s trying to describe, Manning isn’t elite either.
There are three truly elite quarterbacks in this league, and they happen to be QB Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos, QB Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers and QB Tom Brady of the New England Patriots. Those three quarterbacks do spectacular every week, whether it’s throwing for over 300 yards in a game or throwing for three touchdowns while completing near 70% of their passes. That is elite play.
Many would include QB Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints in that category as well. There’s no denying the great numbers. He’s regularly passing for over 5,000 yards while completing an astonishing 70% of his passes year in and year out. Still, he turns the ball over quite a bit, whereas Manning, Brady and Rodgers hardly turn it over at all.
Manning is in the great class of quarterbacks with QB Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons and QB Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers. However, they are not elite and the word “elite” should stop being abused by players and analysts. It has become very tiresome to hear the word used for every quarterback.