Kristian: A bust in Canton for Eli?
What do quarterbacks Dan Marino, Warren Moon, and Dan Fouts have in common? They don't have a Super Bowl ring, and they're all in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. New York Giants Quarterback Eli Manning has two Super Bowl victories in 8 seasons in the NFL. He is also a two-time Super Bowl MVP. Does he belong in Canton?
Before you answer that question let's pretend Manning suddenly walked away from the game.
"It's hard to argue the wins and losses, and the championships. That is how we (quarterbacks) are judged at the end of the day," said Saints quarterback Drew Brees. "If he didn't play anymore football from here on out. I think he should deserve serious consideration for it (Hall of Fame)."
Click here to listen to Brees...
Manning is 31 years old and likely has another 6 to 7 years left in the league. It's conceivable to think he'll get one, perhaps two more shots at a Super Bowl before it's over. However, if it all ended today, I think Manning is a first ballot guy! Look at the numbers. They're staggering.
He's thrown for over 27,000 yards and 185 touchdown passes. Manning came into the league in 2004, and since 2005 he hasn't missed a start. Reliability is a factor when considering the all time best at a position. The younger brother of Peyton, has done it in a large media market. "That market can be tough, and he's fought through his share of adversity," Brees added. I think the biggest problem people have with Eli is that he's never been dominant in the regular season. That really doesn't matter! What does he do in the postseason? WIN! Manning has engineered 7 straight road play off wins for the Giants. He carried them when they were banged up this past season on defense, not to mention he's had different skill position players seemingly year in and year out.
"I think Manning has reached the point in his career that he now makes everyone better, and that's the sign of a great quarterback," NFL network analyst Brian Baldinger explained.
68-44 is the regular season record of Eli since taking over as the full time Giants starter in 2005. That's not necessarily "eye popping," but very respectable. He and the Gaints have never had a losing record in his time as the trigger man in New York. Manning is 8 and 3 in the play offs, and more importantly he is unbeaten in the biggest game of the year... the Super Bowl.
Brees has some staggering passing numbers of his own, and most people believe he's a first ballot Hall of Famer with one Super Bowl title - so far. Eli has two already! He's in! No doubt about it. I should also mention that he's a Manning, and with that comes a certain air of respect and admiration. I don't have a vote, but if I did Manning would not only be a first ballot Hall of Famer right now, he would also go down as the best QB in the Manning family. Eli, keep stacking up the postseason wins, but either way a bust in Canton awaits you. When he does make his trip into football immortality, he'll probably be criticized during his induction speech for not having enough charisma or fire or some other lame reason. He wins championships, and that is how you measure greatness.