Before I get cranking on this, let me make this clear.
New York Giants fans should be certifiably over the moon that Eli Manning considers himself in the class of Tom Brady. I wouldn’t want a quarterback that didn’t think he was a quality guy.
Low self-esteem is not acceptable for quarterbacks.
Yet, Manning’s comments are totally off base if you’re truly going to analyze them.
He is not even the best quarterback in his division, in my opinion. For the moment, that honor falls to Michael Vick.
Depending on your opinion of Cowboys quarterback and highly-skilled hide and go seek player Tony Romo, Manning may be third.
Anyhow, the mere thought of Manning being on a similar plane as Brady would suggest the following:
- He plays at an MVP level.
- He is a winner of multiple Super Bowls.
Neither applies to Manning.
Yes, I am keenly aware that Manning earned his lone Super Bowl win over Brady’s Patriots.
Yes, I am keenly aware that Manning was named Super Bowl XLII MVP.
Much like Brady, who has lost his last three playoff tilts, Peyton’s little brother hasn’t enjoyed recent playoff success. Since their Super Bowl XLII victory, the Giants haven’t won a playoff game and lost in their only postseason appearance during the ’08 playoffs to the Eagles.
To me, being an elite quarterback includes two concepts:
- Winning – Other than 2007, the Giants have been one and done in the playoffs under Manning.
- Protecting the ball – Brady threw four interceptions last season and has thrown 25 picks total since 2007 (albeit, numbers that are a bit skewed because of Brady missing the entire ’08 season due to a knee injury). Conversely, Manning threw 25 interceptions in 2010 and has been picked 69 times since ’07.
Manning’s comments appear to be in line with The Little Engine That Could mentality that athletes need to have sometimes.
In other words, believe it and you will become it.
At this moment in the NFL, you’d have to consider Peyton Manning, Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Phil Rivers, and Ben Roethlisberger as elite quarterbacks.
Eli is not in that group.