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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Eli Manning and the Hall of Fame debate

By Matthew Coller

There are a few sports conversations that will get people riled up no matter when or where you bring them up. Should Pete Rose be in the Hall of Fame? Should college players get paid? Does clutch exist?

The question of whether New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning will eventually be a Hall of Famer goes in the same category.

The case for younger Manning to end up in Canton with his older brother Peyton – the lock of all locks for the Hall – starts with his two Super Bowl victories. Of all the quarterbacks who won more than one title, only Peyton, Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger and Jim Plunkett are not in the Hall of Fame and clearly Brady and Big Ben are going in someday.

Eli isn’t just a Super Bowl winner whose defense carried him to victory like Peyton in 2015. He had memorable moments in The Big Game (David Tyree, anyone?) and won the MVP in both wins. There are only four other players in history who have won multiple Super Bowl MVPs.

His regular season performances haven’t exactly been Trent Dilfer-ish either. Manning has made four Pro Bowls and owns nearly every Giants passing record.

Manning has also been incredibly durable, starting every game for New York since 2005.

It’s a compelling case.

But the other side would say he belongs in the Hall of Very Good and not among the greatest of the greatest. His numbers do not put him in the same category as Brady, Manning or Roethlisberger.

With respect for the fact that the league implemented changes that resulted in better passing stats during Eli’s career, his career 83.8 Quarterback Rating and three seasons of 20 interceptions or more do not scream “best of the best.” Neither does a 59.5% career completion percentage.

Manning is 36th all-time in rating with a comparable score for the era to Matt Hasselbeck and Jay Cutler. Heck, Matt Schaub posted an 89.1 rating.

There is the possibility that Rating didn’t always tell the right story about how good Manning was. It’s heavily weighted on completion percentage and TD/INT ratio. In 2008 he had an 86.4 rating but a good QBR (the ESPN 1-100 stat that weighs game situations) of 60.4.

Still, by almost any measure, he would be the worst regular season performer of the era to reach immortality.


At 35, we look at his career as almost over, but Peyton and Tom Brady (and Favre if you go back a few years) have shown us that it’s possible to play at a high level at quarterback into your late 30s and early 40s. Eli’s last two seasons have been two of the best in his career with ratings of 92.1 and 93.6 and this year he’s off to a fantastic start with over 300 yards per game and a 98.1 rating.

Another few seasons of high end performances and another deep playoff run would not only make him a lock for the Hall, but it would justify it to those who have criticized his regular season play.

This is where the Vikings come in. Minnesota has arguably the best defense in the NFL and has beaten Eli over and over. A great performance on Monday night may point to bigger things for Eli and the Giants this season and a chance for him to bolster his Hall of Fame case.

The post Eli Manning and the Hall of Fame debate appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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