Eli Manning: Canton or Can’t Get in?

Despite being a two-time Super Bowl champion and two-time Super Bowl MVP, there seems to be a lot of controversy whether or not Eli Manning deserves to be in the Hall Of Fame. The main arguments against Manning’s induction are his 117-117 record, his lack of true dominance in any season and or stretch of seasons and the amount of interceptions he threw. While these arguments are all well and good, there are plenty of statistics that prove that Manning is more than deserving of a spot in Canton. 

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Manning after defeating the New England Patriots 21-17 and winning his second title in 4 years at Super Bowl XLVI

Defensive struggles

As you go year by year of Manning’s career, you start to notice a pattern that explains his .500 record. Manning simply didn’t get much help on the defensive side of the ball. Throughout his 16-year career, the defense was ranked between 32 and 20 eight times according to pro-football-reference (PFR). If that wasn’t bad enough, the Giants only have had their defense ranked between sixteen and one only four times. For 12 of his 16 seasons, his defense was below average and that is certainly no way to win. As the saying goes, defense wins championships. 

Personal accomplishments

While Manning had no control over how well his defense performed, he has put up some personal stats that prove he’s more than worthy. According to PFR, Manning ranks seventh in passing touchdowns, passes completed and passing yards for his career. He trails the same six other players for all three categories. Those six players being, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Brett Favre, Dan Marino and Philip Rivers. With the exception of Rivers, they are all either already in the hall of fame or guaranteed to be in the hall of fame one day. It looks great for Manning to be so high on the list with such elite company.

Some other notable stats for Manning would be his rank of 45 for passer rating just behind Jim Kelly. Manning ranks at 19th in passing yards per game just ahead of legendary Packers and Vikings quarterback, Brett Favre. Lastly, Manning ranks 13th overall in fourth quarter comebacks ahead of the legendary Joe Montana and Warren Moon. The numbers don’t lie and these numbers show that while Manning may never have hit the elite level of some of these other guys, he still has made his mark in football history. 

Manning compared to other Hall of Fame Quarterbacks

Look at Ken Stabler who was inducted into the hall of fame in 2016. During Stabler’s career he threw for just under 28,000 yards, 194 touchdowns and 222 interceptions and led the Raiders to one Super Bowl title. Stabler ultimately threw more interceptions than touchdowns. Regardless, Stabler has been considered one of the best quarterbacks ever and is enshrined in Canton forever. Just for comparison, Manning has more yards, more touchdowns and one more titles than Stabler. Manning is overall a statistically better quarterback than Stabler. However, it’s constantly debated whether or not Manning deserves to be in the hall of fame. 

When compared to Stabler, it appear’s that Manning is worthy of the hall. Additionally it’s obvious when you observe what is considered the average hall of fame quarterback statistics according to PFR.  The average hall of fame quarterback has two championships, two all pro selections, seven Pro Bowl selections, have about 38,00 yards, 255 touchdowns and 197 interceptions.

Manning has two championships, zero all pro selections, 4 Pro Bowl selections, just above 57,000 yards, 366 touchdowns and 244 interceptions. While Manning’s all pro and Pro Bowl selections are below the average, all his other statistics are average or better. While yes, his interceptions are higher than average, is touchdown to interception ratio is higher than the average. The average quarterback throws about 1.3 touchdowns for every one interception. Manning threw about 1.5 touchdowns for every one interception. Based on this average, Manning’s individual performance stats, which are most important, indicate that he should be in the hall of fame. 

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Manning leaving MetLife stadium for the last time

Verdict

Manning may not have had a traditionally dominant career in which he continually crushed his opponents. Nevertheless Manning was still an accomplished quarterback. He has certainly put up better number than some of the quarterbacks that are already in the hall of fame. He was not on the same level of constant dominance as them, but his numbers speak for themselves. They tell the story of a quarterback who managed to beat arguably the greatest quarterback ever not once but twice; and a quarterback who managed to put up some pretty eye-popping numbers despite not often having the best supporting cast. Most importantly however these numbers tell us one extremely important thing; the man who put up these numbers, Eli Manning, is a hall of famer without a doubt. 


Follow me on Twitter @Jake_Malik for more New York Giants’ news and notes and follow @OT_Heroics for any and all things sports!

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