As a Giant fan I think it’s long over do that someone give Eli Manning his due credit. Yesterday Eli Manning went into New England and brought his team from behind to beat the Patriots in their own house. Eli has long been criticized by many a Giant fan. He doesn’t throw a spiral, he looks “doofy”, he’s not a leader, and he looks like he’s going to cry. Those are all arguments I’ve heard over the years about Eli Manning. The bottom line is not only is Eli Manning a good quarterback he’s a great quarterback. When it’s all said and done Eli Manning will go down in history as the greatest quarterback the New York Giants have ever had. Phil Simms was great but Eli will be better. Eli Manning will be the last man to ever wear number ten for big blue. Think I’m crazy? Let’s go over his credentials. Eli Manning is currently 30 years old. He has started 110 games and has thrown for 24,773 yards. Let’s compare him to an all time great shall we? Let’s try hall of fame quarterback Troy Aikman. By age 30 Aikman had started 113 games. Basically the same exact point Eli is at right now. Aikman had thrown for 22,733 yards, almost exactly 2,000 yards less than Eli. Eli Manning has thrown 169 touchdown passes. Aikman? 110 touchdown passes. Troy Aikman’s completion percentage is higher but let’s remember he was throwing to a hall of fame receiver and had a hall of fame running back in the backfield. Time and time again Eli Manning has proved to be clutch. Eli welcomes pressure. Remember he attended Ole Miss, the same university as his father, and faced the pressure of being in his dad’s shadow. Peyton Manning went to Tennessee. He is one of the best in the game at running the two minute offense. After yesterday he has orchestrated 18 fourth quarter comebacks and 22 game winning drives. Of course we can always look at 2007. Eli Manning won four straight playoff games on the road en route to a championship. He defeated Tony Romo, in Dallas, hall of famer Brett Favre, in Green Bay in sub zero temperatures, and then he defeated the greatest team in the history of the NFL in the super bowl. Yes they were the greatest team ever assembled. No team had ever been 18-0. If the Patriots won that game they no doubt go down in history as the greatest team of all time. They lost. They lost to doofy looking Eli Manning and the Giants. Another argument a Giant fan will also make is “Well the defense won that game”. The defense played great but, much like yesterday, they allowed Brady to score with less than two minutes left. Then Eli came onto the field and again, much like yesterday, lead the team down the field for the winning score. Eli lead the team to the winning score not the defense. For a guy who supposedly can’t lead he certainly commands respect in the huddle when the game’s on the line. For a guy who can’t throw a spiral the receivers sure don’t seem to have trouble catching the ball. For a guy who isn’t cool and looks doofy Tom Brady certainly showed him a lot of respect after the game. Last I checked Tom Brady is a pretty cool guy. Eli Manning isn’t flashy and isn’t pretty. He doesn’t have to be. Last I checked though this was football. Since when is football supposed to be “flashy” and “pretty”? I think I missed that memo. Football is all about ugly and gritty. Eli Manning makes the team mates around him better. Where were Victor Cruz and Jake Ballard a month ago? Remember Jeremy Shockey? If you forgot it’s because Eli made Kevin Boss look like an all star. Last I checked Boss wasn’t lighting the world up in Oakland. If you like your football flashy, polished, and pretty that’s fine. I’ll take a “doofy” looking Eli Manning any day.
That’s right bow down and show respect.