Back in 2004, the San Diego Chargers had the first overall pick in the NFL Draft with their finger on the trigger to select Ole Miss standout Eli Manning. This Chargers organization desperately needed a quarterback to lead them to the promised land, and Manning surely seemed to be the answer for all of their questions on offense.
Shortly thereafter, the Chargers selected Manning, but their fortunes with the future two-time Super Bowl MVP ran out as the Maxwell Award winner refused to play in San Diego and immediately demanded a trade. The New York Giants, with a pick just few away from the Chargers, traded for Manning. To acquire Manning, the Giants sent North Carolina State star quarterback Philip Rivers (picked earlier in first round just after Manning) and two picks later in the draft, which eventually went towards the selections of the future stars in Shawne Merriman and Nate Kaeding.
Now almost ten years after the blockbuster trade of star quarterbacks, we try to decide who got the better of the swap. Well, first it is important to look at the stats of the two. Rivers has compiled 31,524 yards, 212 touchdowns, 102 interceptions, and a 95.6 quarterback rating while Manning has a total of 34,522 yards, 226 touchdowns, 162 interceptions, and an 82.0 quarterback rating.
While the two quarterbacks have very similar stats over the past ten seasons, it is important to recognize the success of each quarterback when it matters the most — in the postseason.
We all know Manning has won two spectacular Super Bowl trophies with his Giants, which also garnered him two Super Bowl MVP awards. But what has Rivers done for his Chargers? Well, he has a handful of postseason wins but has never reached a February game for a Lombardi Trophy.
It all boils down to this; Giants fans are happy with Manning, and Chargers fans are happy with Rivers. But if we really look into who has had the better career as a signal caller, Big Blue’s quarterback has the edge in the comparison, strictly for his efforts in winning two Super Bowls twice in the past six years. Congratulations, Giants fans.