Let’s take a look back at how consistently clutch Eli has been. What about the seven games the Giants lost this year? Obviously, they are not all Eli Manning’s fault. Three of the losses were by seven points or less. Two of the losses came at the hands of the Washington Redskins in which the Giants offensive scored a combined 24 points. Everyone has bad games but I would think clutch quarterbacks beat teams they are supposed to beat. Maybe I am nitpicking. Ok let’s just look at one game. Let’s look at the Giants 17-10 loss on November 20th to the Philadelphia Eagles. The Giants were facing a team who had their second string quarterback in the game. At one point in the second quarter, Eagles backup QB Vince Young had a passer rating of a putrid 22. By comparison, Eli Manning had a passer rating of 0. But he is clutch in the end, right? Vince Young, no one knows how, drove the Eagles down field for a touchdown late in the fourth to put them up 17-10 but left over two minutes on the clock. Eli Manning found Victor Cruz to bring the Giants into Eagles territory. What happens next? Manning touchdown to force OT? Nope. Eagles’ defensive ends Trent Cole and Jason Babin flush Manning from the pocket and Babin forces a Manning fumble in which the Eagles recover. It doesn’t sound very clutch. Obviously, Peyton has not been clutch every time. I’m sure Eli remembers not being able to score again (two separate times) and put the Eagles away on 12/19/10 but we won’t harp on that.
What about the playoffs? Eli has played pretty well in the playoffs, when he has gotten his team there. Eli Manning has led the Giants to the playoffs five times (62.5% of his career, which is less often than Donovan McNabb with the Eagles [63.6% of his time with the Eagles]). Before 2011, he had not been to the playoffs since 2008 when he lost 23-11 to the Philadelphia Eagles. Of Eli’s five trips to the playoffs, he has been eliminated in the first game he has played 3 times. He won a Super Bowl and a Super Bowl MVP award in 2007. He is one win away from reaching his second Super Bowl and two wins away from winning his second Super Bowl. Unfortunately for him, he has some stiff competition before he gets there. Peyton has led the Colts to the playoffs 11 times (85% of his career). He is 2-1 all-time in the conference championship games. Peyton has won a Super Bowl; he won a Super Bowl MVP, and got his team to another Super Bowl.
Finally, we come down to personal accomplishments. They both have won a Super Bowl and they both have won Super Bowl MVP awards. Eli Manning has been selected to two Pro Bowls (25% of his NFL seasons), has never won an AP NFL MVP award, and has never been selected First Team All-Pro. Peyton Manning has been selected to 11 Pro Bowls (85% of his seasons), he has been selected First Team All-Pro five times, and has been named AP NFL MVP four times. Pretty impressive stuff from Peyton Manning.
The numbers and accolades speak for themselves. Eli Manning has had a spectacular 2011 and Peyton Manning has been injured. I guess the phrase “Out of sight, out of mind” applies here. How quickly people forget that Peyton Manning is one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game. People who prefer Eli Manning over Peyton Manning either: A) forgot how good Peyton Manning is, B) don’t watch football, or C) are too biased towards Eli to pick anyone else. This is not to bash Eli Manning as a quarterback; its purpose is to remind those who think Eli is better than Peyton that it simply isn’t the case. Peyton still is better and, although unfair to Eli, comparing Eli and Peyton will never make sense. Comparing anyone to Peyton almost seems unfair but that is how the media wants to do it.
Peyton > Eli
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