ELIte? Manning not an Elite Quarterback?

Eli Manning an elite quarterback? I’m not buying it.Eli-Manning-Manning-Face-Hall-Of-Fame-Game Throughout his career Manning has always flirted with the elite status bouncing from Super Bowl hero to an interception machine. Entering his eleventh season in the NFL it is safe to say that Eli Manning is not an elite quarterback.

For the Giants fans who are most certainly screaming at the top of their lungs that this is blasphemy there are many reasons that Eli is not an elite quarterback. However, he is still a very good quarterback and probably a top ten quarterback in this league. This is why he is not an elite quarterback.

Most critics would argue that the two Super Bowl rings that Manning has accumulated is proof that he is an elite quarterback. Well, not exactly. True it is one more ring then his brother Peyton, who is clearly the more talented of the two, but this is misleading.

In 2011 there is no question that Eli carried that Giants team to the Super Bowl and played a superb game against the Patriots. Even in 2007 he did have a good postseason. The problem? The Giants defense carried them throughout those playoffs and in the Super Bowl. Let’s not forget that the Giants’ defense allowed only 14 points to a Patriots offense which, before this years Broncos, had scored the most points in a season. If the Giants didn’t beat the Patriots when the defense held Brady and company to 14 points you don’t think Eli would have been run out-of-town?

Another reason why Eli is not elite is he is one of the streakiest quarterbacks I have ever seen. He’s either on or off, nowhere in between. Just look at his postseason career. In his two Super Bowl runs Manning threw 15 touchdowns to 2 interceptions. His other postseason starts have been disasters. Not only are the Giants one and down in those playoffs but Manning has only 2 touchdowns to 5 interceptions.

When we think of elite quarterbacks they are consistent. We all know what to expect out of elite signal callers like Peyton Manning, Rodgers, Brees, and Brady ever season. Eli is either great or terrible. Last season was the third time in his career where he led the NFL in interceptions. Put it this way, Geno Smith threw less interceptions as a rookie with less talent around him then Eli Manning with a better team and who has played in the NFL over ten years. I’m sorry, but elite players don’t lead the league in mistakes three times.

Manning still is a capable quarterback. He still is a great quarterback in the fourth quarter and two-minute drill. Also, when he is on he is one of the best in the game. Unfortunately for Manning, the Giants offense is rebuilding and he does;t have the pieces to be a contender. Unless Eli can finish his career strong and with some consistency, he will never be considered an elite NFL quarterback.

Haunted: Manning’s legacy in limbo after another Super Bowl loss

This could be the game that hurts Manning's legacy

This could be the game that hurts Manning’s legacy

What defines a legacy? For most athletes it’s the numbers on the back of their player cards that usually justifies their greatness. But for the truly great, the cream of the crop, stats aren’t enough. Peyton Manning is one of those athletes. If you were to judge him on statistics alone, without question he is the greatest quarterback in NFL history. However, after being named the NFL’s most valuable player for the fifth time in his career, Manning would enter Metlife Stadium with the chance for NFL immortality. A few hours later, the almighty quarterback looked like something we haven’t seen in 2013, a mere mortal.

Losing is one thing, but what the Broncos did was an even bigger disgrace, they didn’t show up. Can someone check did they even get off the plane or bus? Despite two weeks to prepare, the Broncos didn’t even put up a fight. Sure, the botched snap resulting in a safety swung momentum early, but despite two early trips to the red zones the Broncos still were only down 8-0. The stage was set for Manning, a chance to come back and prove his greatness to the world. But that didn’t happen. Manning’s turnovers at key moments of the game would finish off the illusion of a comeback as the Broncos were embarrassed by a 43-8 whopping by the Seahawks.

Once again, Manning, the best quarterback in the game fell short. This time he didn’t fall short, he tripped right out of the gate and seemingly damaged his reputation in one game.  It doesn’t matter how many yards, touchdowns, or wins Manning has in his career. The only way to exorcise the critics or questions about his legacy is to hoist another Lombardi trophy. But now at the age of 38, with already declining health, Father Time is catching up to Peyton Manning. If he wants to be considered the greatest quarterback ever the only way to do this is to win another Super Bowl. When you are the best in the sport you are expected to win. Is it fair? Not necessarily but it is expected.

With such a miserable performance on his resume, and millions of NFL fans who are upset about the lack of a game on the field, Manning needs a win so that people forget this. If not, it will be the defining moment in a career of futility and what could have been. He might be a great quarterback, but Manning’s post season demons are keeping him from being one of the greatest players in NFL history.

Last Hoorah: Should this be it for Peyton Manning?

If Peyton Manning wins should he retire?

If Peyton Manning wins should he retire?

It was a season to remember. With fifty-five touchdowns and over five thousand passing yards, Peyton Manning crafted the most masterful season in NFL history. Many experts may say this is the best that Manning has ever been, the pinnacle of Mount Everest for the quarterback position. Now only one win away from a Super Bowl and football immortality, the question is if Peyton Manning hoists the Lombardi Trophy, should this be it?

At the age of 38, Peyton Manning isn’t exactly a spring chicken. True he probably could continue to play a few more seasons given the lack of punishment he has endured being hit as a quarterback. Still, there is one important aspect that tends to get overlooked. Peyton Manning’s neck is a cause for concern. Two years after major neck surgery, Manning has already said that he will visit doctor’s this offseason to see how much his neck has deteriorated. If Manning wins this Super Bowl, and the doctor’s tell him that his neck has deteriorated significantly, then I think he will strongly consider retirement. He will have finally won multiple Super Bowls, and a Super Bowl for two different franchises. This is a feat that has never been done before. Plus, would another Super Bowl really mean that much? He’s in an elite club with only a few quarterbacks that have won multiple Super Bowls. Add in his regular season success, Manning would have to be considered one of if not the greatest quarterback in NFL history.

What would be a more fitting end to Manning’s career then a Super Bowl victory? If he loses this sunday I have no doubts that he will be back under center, even with the health concerns. He needs one more Super Bowl victory. Let’s say they win this Super Bowl and he comes back. What if he gets hurt next season and can’t play again? What if he can’t win another Super Bowl? Wouldn’t it be better if Manning if Manning left in the prime of his career rather than limp out pathetically at the end? While many football fans want to see Manning continue his career, me included, there is a time where even the greats have to make the difficult decision to retire. Don’t be surprised if the Broncos win the Super Bowl, that Peyton Manning may not be under center for them in 2014.

Why Peyton Manning will never be as great as Tom Brady

Two of the greats, but there can only be one!

Two of the greats, but there can only be one!

  • In 2013, Peyton Manning has been the story in the NFL. With an offense rolling over opponents by scoring  more points than a Madden video game, Manning has played some of if not his greatest football ever. While he will undoubtedly go down as one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history, unfortunately, he will not be the best quarterback in the NFL when he played. That distinction goes to only one man, Tom Brady. While he may have a slight edge in passing stats, when you look at these two legends as the complete package, Brady is clearly the best. Don’t believe me? Here are the reasons why Brady is greatest quarterback of this generation.
  • How they started– When you look at how these quarterbacks started, it is clear that Brady has not only the better story, but the harder journey to stardom. In 1998, Manning was the first pick in the NFL Draft. No surprise there, he had been a star at Tennessee and looked ready to be an immediate NFL starter. In his first season though, Manning went 3-13 with 28 interceptions. Meanwhile, Tom Brady was selected in the sixth round at 199th overall in the 2000 Draft. He had to prove to everyone that he could play, while Manning was just given the keys to a franchise. How did Brady do in his first season as a starter? He just won the Super Bowl and was the MVP of the game. Not a bad way to finish your first season.
  • Supporting Casts– Many people will look at the statistics of these quarterbacks and just declare Manning the winner based on overall numbers. True, Manning has over 60,000 passing yards and over 450 touchdowns in his career compared to Brady’s 46,000 and 350. To be fair, Manning’s also had three more seasons than Brady while also having superior casts of talented players. In Indianapolis, Manning had weapons in the forms of Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark, Brandon Stokley, Edgerrin James, and Pierre Garcon, just to name a few. He had some of the best weapons in football which allowed him to set the single season touchdown record with 49 touchdowns. Now in Denver Manning has a vast array of weaponry. In his arsenal are Wes Welker, Demaryius Thomas, Knowshon Moreno, Eric Decker, and Julius Thomas. Meanwhile in New England, Brady has had to deal with an ever revolving roster of castaways and misfits. This year he lost Gronkowski to injury for the majority of the season and now postseason, Wes Welker to free agency,  and Aaron Hernandez to prison. Not to mention all the injuries to his receiving core and still had the second best record in the AFC. The season he did have similar weaponry to Manning? He broke Manning’s record with 50 touchdowns in 2007 and was one game away from the perfect season.
  • Playoff record– In the regular season Manning may have more total regular season wins, but this is not important when measuring truly great quarterbacks. Sure regular season wins are important, but it’s winning in the playoffs that make great quarterbacks into legendary quarterbacks. Manning is brutal in the playoffs. Despite being the greatest regular season quarterback in NFL history, Manning has come up short in the playoffs time and time again. His record? 10-11. Brutal. Meanwhile Tom Brady has established himself as one of the greatest postseason quarterbacks ever. Despite struggles in recent years, Brady has an amazing 18-7 record in the postseason. That’s even better than Joe Montana, widely considered the greatest quarterback ever. His postseason record 16-7.
  • Postseason touchdowns- Tom Brady has more post season touchdowns then Peyton Manning. Brady has 42 compared to Manning’s 34.
  • No sibling rivalry- So Brady may not be a member of The Brady Bunch, but Peyton is a Manning. What’s the problem with that? Nothing, unless you have a younger brother with more rings then you. Ouch. While it’s a long-shot that Eli Manning will break his brother’s records, it’s really Peyton who needs to catch up. With an 8-3 playoff record and two Lombardi trophies compared to Peyton’s one, it’s hard to call Peyton the greatest when his little brother has more hardware. Talk about competing for shelf space at Archie’s house. Not only does Eli have a longer career to win more Super Bowls then his older brother, but he’s also beaten Brady twice for those Super Bowls. That means that the wrong Manning is beating Brady. Sorry Peyton, younger siblings are a pain in the you know what am I right?
  • Head to head– Ric Flair once said “To be the man you have to beat the man”! Apparently Manning didn’t get that message. Brady is 8-3 in regular season meetings while also 2-1 in AFC title games. Hey if I had to put my money on it, I’m putting it on Brady to win. That is, until Manning can beat the man.
  • Lombardi Trophies– Pretty obvious huh? In the NFL the so-called “Lord of the Rings” resides in Foxboro. Brady’s three Super Bowl victories, in what was the last football dynasty, and five Super Bowl appearances is incredible. Manning only has one Super Bowl win in his two Super Bowl appearances. Unfortunately for Manning, his greatness will be measured by how many rings he will have at the end of his career. Heck, even Eli has more rings then Peyton right now. It’s unfortunate for Manning, but when you are as good as he is, your expected to win  Super Bowls. Right now the clock is ticking for Manning to win another ring. For Brady, he already has three rings. He could retire today and his legacy would be one of the greatest based on those three Super Bowls. If he can win more, then he will probably be accepted as the greatest quarterback to ever play in the NFL. Sorry Peyton, you may have the stats, but until you get the rings the best quarterback of this generation will always be Tom Brady.