Give Me Eli or Give Me Death

By Will Anari

Its that time of the year again folks. Football season. For me, this means copious amounts of beers, wings, and spending every Sunday in front of a TV from 1 to 10. I actually hate the fact that there is football on Thursday and Monday because most of the time I cant watch due to work, but in a dog eat dog world I understand the NFL is just trying to “make that paper.” Easily the best time of the year. Weather changing, seasonal beers, there is NOTHING better.

I am what some consider a ‘die hard’ Giants fan, and in recent years I cannot complain. I also compete in fantasy football and was victorious in two leagues last year. Whenever football is involved in my life, my teams just come out victorious. (foot)BALL IS LIFE.

Now this is where all of you are going to immediately begin to hate me. I would rather have Eli Manning on my team than Peyton Manning. Call me biased, call me whatever you want but honestly, the only other people I would rather have on my team are Tom Brady. Maybe Big Ben and Andrew Luck because he is a special talent and will win on the big stage soon enough. You can have Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Matt Ryan, Philip Rivers (hey San Diego thanks for that, btw), Stafford, the list goes on.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Peyton and just about everyone listed above, but the fact of the matter is, Eli is a winner. A CLUTCH quarterback who makes big throws in big situations.

Now let me begin to address some of the “common fan’s” arguments and statements I have heard in the past:

“Eli Manning sucks, he threw 27 interceptions last year.”

Okay – first let me say that MOST of these interceptions aren’t Eli’s fault. Now, I’m not saying that 27 interceptions isn’t abysmal (because it is) but when you have 0 run game and receivers running half-assed routes and no offensive line, its hard to be successful. If the defense knows you’re going to throw the ball 55 times a game, bad things are bound to happen. End of story. Next statement.

“Peyton Manning is one of the greatest QB’s of all time.”

Not disagreeing with this at all. Peyton is an absolute machine. Easily the greatest REGULAR season QB of all time. When push comes to shove, Peyton can’t win the big one. I would rather have 2 rings and above average regular season stats than one ring and the greatest regular season stats of all time. Peyton is 1-2 vs. Brady in the playoffs, Eli is 2-0, just saying.

Sub-argument:

Denver’s defense blew the game in AFC Championship in 2012 and the Denver defense in 2013 wasn’t as good as the Giants’ in 2007 or 2011. Not Peyton’s fault and Eli got lucky.

  • The Patriots were 18-0 entering the Super Bowl in 2007. Seattle was 15-3. NOBODY even came close to touching Brady that year and their defense was 4th in the league.
  • Look at Eli’s drive in 2011 Super Bowl to take the lead and tell me that was “luck.” Not saying that the Broncos D didn’t blow it in 2012, but the 2013 Super Bowl was a joke.

“I would rather have Drew Brees or Aaron Rodgers anyday.”

Both have 1 ring. Next.

“49ers have been to 3 straight conference championships and the Eagles made it to 5 straight.”

How many rings do McNabb and Kaep have? Did McNabb beat Brady? Didn’t think so. Next.

“There are so many better athletes in the league than Eli Manning at QB.”

Very true – Cam Newton is one of the best athletes in the game. Hasn’t done shit in the playoffs.

“Matthew Stafford is better than Eli Manning.”

How many playoff wins or appearances does he have? His strong arm can’t carry them into the playoffs let alone win down the stretch. Name one time Eli had a Megatron or Reggie Bush? Thought so.

“Give me Rodgers over Eli any day.”

2011 NFC Championship.

Greatness in sports is measured by championships. It always has, and always will be. Dan Marino is one of the greatest QB’s of all time. How many rings does he have? Would you rather have him shatter records in the regular season or would you rather have Trent Dilfer “manage” the Ravens offense in 2001 to a Super Bowl Victory? Give me one year of total glory over 15 consecutive years of disappointment.

Honestly though, how much must it suck to be an Eagles fan?

End of day, Eli Manning deserves way more credit than he gives. People saying that he “sucks” or is a “terrible quarterback” is an illegitimate argument.

Here’s a stat for all of you who constantly put people under a microscope:

Career 4th Quarter Comebacks / Game Winning Drives:

via http://www.pro-football-reference.com

Peyton: 40 / 51
Eli: 25 / 30

Rodgers: 6 / 10

Brees: 23 / 34

Brady: 31 / 42

Ryan: 18 / 25

Stafford: 10/12

Roethlisberger: 23/33

Rivers: 17 / 20

Romo: 20 / 23

Career playoff game winning drives:

Peyton: 1

Eli: 4

Rodgers: 0

Brees: 3

Brady: 7

Ryan: 1

Stafford: 0

Roethlisberger: 3

Rivers: 1

Romo: 0

Both times the Giants won the Super Bowl, they entered as the underdog played EVERY GAME ON THE ROAD. First in 2007 as the #5 seed, and in 2011 as the #6 seed. Big Ben did it once during his two Super Bowl runs, but once it was done as the three seed. I don’t care what anyone says, having home field advantage in the playoffs is HUGE. 4 playoff road wins is remarkable in itself, and to do it twice is even more impressive.

“So what he is clutch in the playoffs? Still has a bad QB rating?

Mark Sanchez has a better passer rating than everyone on that list except Brees and Rodgers. Do you want him at the helm with 2 minutes to go down 3? Didn’t think so.

Give me Eli and give me the rings.

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