Eli Manning retired from the New York Giants this past offseason. He had been a Giant his whole career, and won two Super Bowls with them. Obviously, the past few seasons haven’t been his best, but when you look at the resumé, other things may prove you otherwise. Throughout his career, Eli threw for 56,537 yards, along with 362 touchdowns and a 60.3% completion percentage. In this article, we will look at what he did as a Giant, and give comparisons to his respective draft class to see if he shall be a hall of famer.
2008 was the year that the Giants just ruined things. The Patriots went all the way to the Super Bowl with a perfect record going 16-0 record. No other team till this date has ever achieved that feat and it will be sketched into the record books for years to come. The Pats would end up cruising through the playoffs as well knocking off the Jags 31-20 in the divisional round and then the Chargers in the Conference Championship 21-12. The Jaguars 8-8 and Chargers were 11-5.
The Giants went 10-6 in the regular season and were the 5th seed in the playoffs. They went into the playoffs and had to play the 9-7 Bucs. The Giants already had a better record than Bucs and Eli 185 yards and 2 touchdowns to win the game, 24-14. Next, they went to Dallas and beat the number one seeded Cowboys 21-17. They would finish off the run with a win against the Packers in overtime 23-20. Eli had 251 yards and lead his team and kept his team in the game. They would then intercept Farve and win the game in OT on a field goal. The Giants were the first team to go to the Super Bowl winning all their games on the road
The Super Bowl was approaching and all the talk was about one of the best teams in history vs one of the best miracles in NFL playoff history. Eli Manning had 255 yards and 2 touchdowns, both the TDs came in the 4th quarter. The Giant’s defense had the Patriots from the beginning and they had a big part to winning. Although Eli coming alive in the 4th had a big part of it, he clutched up when it was time and it led to the win for the Giants. The game would ultimately come to the last 1:15 when the Giants were at their own 35 and it was 3rd down. Eli would drop back and the pocket just collapsed, that’s when greatness happened. The Pats had Eli, but the QB broke away from the d linemen that just grabbed his jersey. After he escaped he looked down the field and threw the ball. It would end up going to David Tyree who caught the ball on his helmet. It would go down as one of the greatest catches of all time and would help the Giants win the game.
The Second time this matchup would appear in Eli’s other Super Bowl. The giants would fight through another rough year and make the playoffs at 9-7. On the other side the Pats were 13-3. A nightmare situation for the patriots seeing Eli and the G-men heading over to play in the championship. But it happened and there was nothing they could do about it.
The game started off with a Brady safety for intentional grounding and then 78 yard drive that would lead to a TD from Eli to Victor Cruz. They held that lead heading into the second quarter. The Pats would roar back in the second quarter getting a field goal and a touchdown to take the lead 10-9 going into the break. Eli and the offense would start to get going in the third but could never finish the drive. They settled for two field goals while the Pats scored a TD. The score heading into the fourth quarter was 17-15. The game would come down to the last 3 minutes and 45 seconds after both teams punted throughout the 4th. Eli would have to step up to win this game, and step up he did. The Giants QB threw his first pass to Manningham down the sideline for 38 yards to around midfield. He then completed three more throws of 10 plus yards to put the Giants inside the redzone. The Pats then would start to use their timeouts in order to try to give their offense another chance. It would be second down from the Pats 6 with 1:03 left to play. Bellicheck called a play that would let the runningback, Bradshaw to score. When they play was ran Bradshaw went straight into the end zone. The Giants took the lead 21-17. The Patriots wouldn’t be able to move the ball far and enough and ultimately a Hail Mary failed. Eli got his second Super Bowl and was the kryptonite to the Pats.
Draft Class Comparison
The other quarterbacks drafted in 2004 (who still play today) were Phillip Rivers and Ben Rothlisberger. Rothlisberger has also won two Super Bowls in his career, and Rivers has won none. Manning won two Super Bowl MVPs, and showed outstanding leadership in bringing championships to NY. Philip Rivers could not lead the Chargers to a Super Bowl, but he did make the playoffs 11 years. Rivers has 59,271 passing yards, and he is still playing. When you look at the numbers for both Rothlisberger and Rivers, they beat Manning. But, when you look at the winning come postseason time, Manning wins.
Ben Rothlisberger should be a hall of famer, and yes, he is a better player than Eli. Rothlisberger has consistently put up better numbers than Manning, and has equaled him in Championships. We think that out of the three, it ranks: Big Ben, Eli, Phillip Rivers. It seems like Rothlisberger had better talent on his teams throughout the years the two were in the league, but Hall Of Famers should be able to win with a decent team.
Overall, it seems that Manning can be in the hall of fame if people look at the postseason part of his resumé. As mentioned earlier, he was able to knock down the high-flying Patriots in the Super Bowl, and put on a performance fans will not forget. The two Super Bowl MVPs show how he led his team under pressure. Manning had talent in and out of seasons, and was surrounded by weapons such as Victor Cruz, OBJ, and others throughout the career. We will wait and see if Eli belongs in Canton, when he becomes eligible.