This season, New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning has had a tough time, completing 58.3 percent of his passes for 3,666 yards, 17 touchdowns and a shocking 26 interceptions. Almost five percent of the time he’s thrown the ball, it’s been picked off. Ever since he was selected with the first overall pick by the San Diego Chargers in the 2004 NFL Draft, before he was famously traded of course, Manning has been held to the standards of his older brother.
In some eyes, Eli has surpassed Peyton if you judge greatness by Super Bowl wins. However, the numbers prove that there is simply no comparison between the two. I argue that if Eli’s last name wasn’t the famous “Manning” and everything that comes along with it, he wouldn’t even be a relevant player in the league.
The media shapes Manning as being a solid, reliable quarterback who comes through in the clutch and who can be counted on. However, if it wasn’t for a few miraculous catches, most notably by David Tyree on fourth-and-long, Eli might not have any rings.
Over the course of his career, Manning has led the Giants to an overall 84-66 record. His career completion percentage is 58.6 percent. He has thrown 228 touchdowns, but also 170 interceptions. He also holds a career quarterback rating of 81.3, which is very average.
Peyton Manning holds a career 166-73 record, has a career completion percentage of 65.4, has thrown 487 touchdowns to 219 interceptions and has a career quarterback rating of 97. Shame on you if you think Eli even comes close, or ever will to his older brother.
For all of you rational folks out there who didn’t ever intend to make that comparison, let’s look at some other quarterbacks in the league and see how they compare to Eli. Unlike Eli, these next two guys below receive a lot of criticism despite putting up much better numbers.
Tony Romo has a career 63-45 record, a completion percentage of 64.6 percent, has thrown 208 touchdowns to just 101 interceptions and has an overall quarterback rating of 95.8. All eight years of Romo’s career has seen a 90-plus quarterback rating, including six years over 94.9.
Philip Rivers, who was traded for Eli in the 2004 Draft, also has better numbers than Manning. He has gone 78-49 with a completion percentage of 64.4, throwing 218 touchdowns to just 103 interceptions with a quarterback rating of 95.9. Since becoming a full-time starter in 2006, Rivers has had a quarterback rating of over 101.8 four times, including this season.
Romo and Rivers don’t garner even close to the amount of attention that Manning generates because both of them don’t have playoff success or any Super Bowl rings. However, Manning was not the reason for those Super Bowl wins — he was a contributing factor of the team effort. Hopefully people will finally begin to see with this horrendous season that Eli is not an elite quarterback, and that he doesn’t deserve all of the credit he has been receiving since he entered the league.