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Eli Manning to Retire Friday

Eli Manning will announce his retirement on Friday after a 16-year NFL career. Manning is a likely Hall of Famer thanks to his long tenure in New York, highlighted by two Super Bowl titles and two Super Bowl MVP awards. Around here, though, we have to acknowledge that his regular-season performance never matched his postseason accolades. Manning never finished in the top five of passing DYAR; his best season, where he finished eighth, was 2011. Manning had only five seasons in the top ten for passing DYAR. In addition, while he won those two Super Bowls, the Giants' other four postseason appearances with Manning at quarterback were one-and-dones. But there's something to be said for consistency and the fact that the guy never missed a game due to injury.

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114 comments, Last at 30 Jan 2020, 10:39am

1 Honestly, while I probably…

Honestly, while I probably wouldn't vote for Eli, him making the HOF doesn't bother me nearly as much as a guy like Gore. If you're going to put good-but-not-great players in the HOF, they should at least be guys who played valuable positions. The 10th-to-15th best QB in the NFL (as Manning often was) is still a very valuable commodity, and having a player like that is a significant boost to a team's chances of winning. On the other hand, the 10th-to-15th best RB in the NFL (as Gore usually was) is not a very valuable commodity, and could probably be replaced by a street free agent, with very little loss of quality.

7 So you don't believe that a…

So you don't believe that a league average starting QB is far more valuable than a league average starting RB?  I certainly do, and the guys who cut the checks sure seem to agree with me.

It's also ironic that you use Belichick and Shanahan as your examples, since both those guys are notorious for changing RBs almost as often as they change their underwear.

8 Um, Belichik has the 15th,…

Um, Belichik has the 15th, 17th, and 24th highest paid rbs on his roster, consuming nearly 10 million in cap space. Shanahan has the 14th and 20th highest paid rbs on his roster, and one low paid guy, the three consuming about 8 million in cap space. According to you, they each could go with 3 street free agents, say costing 1.5-2 million in total cap space per team on the position, and have 6 to 8.5 million to spend elsewhere, and not really miss the production from the higher paid guys.

No offense, but I think it likely that those two coaches have significantly greater insight as to the value of the position, compared to you.

13 In BB's 20 years with the…

In BB's 20 years with the Patriots, they have had 11 different leading rushers.  In that time, no one has ever led the team in rushing for more than 3 years, and since 2007, no one has done it more than twice.  Does that sound like a coach who highly values RBs?  Take the case of Dion Lewis.  In 2017, he led the league in DYAR, so he was clearly well above average in production.  Yet Belichick realized he was nothing special, and let him leave for Tennessee, where he has been below replacement level.  Also, Belichick can afford to devote more of the salary cap (and more draft capital) to marginally important positions, because he has been blessed with a HOF QB who has played for 20 years at well below his true market value.

As for Shanahan, I originally thought you were referring to the elder Shanny, who was famous for turning nobodies like Olandis Gary and Mike Anderson into 1,000-yard backs.  As for the younger Shanny, yes, he has spent a lot of money on RBs, but maybe he shouldn't have, considering that his cheap back (Mostert) has been far more effective than his expensive ones (26.4% DVOA for Mostert, compared to -2.8% for Breida and -15.9% for Coleman). And of course, he also spent a ton of money at QB.

16 Look, you made an assertion,…

Look, you made an assertion, that the 15th best running back in the league could be replaced by a street free agent, and the difference in quality would not be missed. Belichik's roster demonstrates that he does not believe this. Shanahan's roster demonstrates that he does not believe this. Mostert consumes the 20th most cap space of all rbs; he is not being paid like a street free agent.

The assertion you made has very, very, little to support it.

52 I'll be interested to see…

I'll be interested to see what kind of money Derrick Henry gets. It's also instructive to see Leveon Bell w the Jets vs the Steelers.


I confess im in the camp that running backs are like running shoes. It's nice to have a good pair, but the discount variety still let's you run fast.

56 Well, it's one thing to say…

Well, it's one thing to say that the top 5-7 running backs by cap space tend to be overvalued, and an entirely different thing to say that the 15th best or best paid running back could be replaced by street free agent, and the team would likely not notice the drop off in quality. The first statement contains nuance worthy of further exploration, the latter is pretty plainly divorced from reality.

The only running backs worthy of the cap space that the top 5 get are those who can produce an explosive play like a very deep pass with every touch, and thus force defenses to devote resources consistent with that threat. Hardly anybody is like that. The other problem is that even when a rb comes along who is like that, by the time he becomes eligible for a 2nd contract, there's a good chance that a majority of his prime ability has passed already. Four and five year rookie contracts for running backs, before they can auction their talents to the highest bidder, is just abominable. Really annoys the hell out of me.

61 I hope the union realizes…

I hope the union realizes how badly rbs are being screwed over and demands a change in the next cba. Will require a change to the rookie contracts, but it's become so valuable to the owners that it will be a point of absolute contention. I'm honestly surprised the union caved on this issue in the first place. 


In cold brutal terms, I would franchise an elite rb twice and then let him walk. Never commit long term to an rb on his second contract. 

78 Actually, I think you have…

Actually, I think you have it backwards.  I think the quality curve for RBs is very steep at the very top, then flattens out very quickly once you get past those few elite guys.  In other words, I think there's a much bigger difference between the 5th best RB and the 15th best RB than there is between the 15th best RB and the 50th best RB.

Specifically, I would say there are a handful of guys who have something that makes them "special" and those guys are worth big money (whether those are the guys actually getting the big money is a different question).  The guys who are overpaid are the "middle class" guys, whose value lies strictly in their ability to average slightly over 4 yards per carry (Gore's career average is 4.3, which also happens to have been the league average last year).  Those guys are a dime a dozen.

The idea that 15 years of performing at a league average level, at a position where league average performers are so easy to find, somehow makes a player worthy of enshrinement alongside the all-time greats, is simply, as you're fond of saying, a bad joke.

77 Actually, I think Mostert…

Actually, I think Mostert himself is a perfect example.  In 2015 and 2016, he was released by no fewer than six different teams!  If that's not the epitome of a "dime a dozen" player (i.e. a player with very little market value), then I'm not sure what example would ever satisfy you.

Want another example?  How about C.J. Anderson?  The Rams signed him as a street free agent, to replace Gurley, who at the time was the highest paid RB in the NFL, and Anderson actually outperformed Gurley (41.2% DVOA for Anderson, 23.6% for Gurley).

My original point was that it is much easier to replace a league average RB than to replace a league average QB (it's hard for me to believe that anyone who has watched the NFL for the last 20 years could sincerely disagree).  So where are the examples of QBs being cut by multiple teams (as both Mostert and Anderson have been) and then being signed off the street and outperforming established, highly-paid starters?

2 I know Eli is pretty much Mr. Anti-Analytics

I know Eli is pretty much Mr. Anti-Analytics but if you believe in the baseball adage of "can you tell the story of the sport without this player" then in my mind Eli is a lock for the HOF. Won't get in first-ballot of course, but will eventually get there.

Top 10 in Passing Yards all-time

Top 10 in Touchdowns all-time

2 Super Bowl Wins

2 Super Bowl MVPs

Tack on the consecutive games streak (screw you Ben Mcadoo!), preventing 19-0 with the Tyree-helmet-catch, Manningham on the sidelines and a little bit of east coast / NY bias and I think you have a pretty sure lock for the HOF.

63 I agree with the "can you…

I agree with the "can you tell the story..." perspective. It's the Hall of Fame, not the Hall of Statistics. In the future, we'll recall that the Pats were the dominant team of the 00's and 10's...and that Eli Manning's Giants upset those dominant Pats teams in the Superbowl, not once but twice.

That being said, I think the Hall of Fame needs to be entirely rethought. I don't know what a better solution is, but I'd start by increasing eligibility from 5 to 10 years so that recency bias is removed. Then you'd find out how well players' careers hold up over time.

65 I agree with your latter…

I agree with your latter point.


As far as the hall of fame story angle...the big issue there is it seems limited to only quarterbacks. Its bad enough the mvp almost always gets earmarked to a skill player, but no one is going to tell any "stories" for Justin Tuck or Osi who were instrumental on both title teams. I don't even know if Coughlin is going to make the hall of fame. 

79 The problem with the "tell…

The problem with the "tell the story" standard is it quickly becomes a slippery slope, and you end up with some ridiculous results.  For example, you can't tell the story of the NFL without telling the story of the '85 Bears, who are considered by many to be the greatest team in NFL history.  And you can't tell the story of the '85 Bears without Jim McMahon, or even William Perry.  Does that mean McMahon and Perry belong in the HOF?

86 McMahon is a good example.  …

McMahon is a good example. 



They've been showing video highlights of Eli's career quite a bit over the last week or so - and from what I've seen, there's been more video of Michael Strahan and the rest of the Giants defense than there has been of Eli. 


Which says a lot about Eli's 'story'

99 I do not subscribe to the…

I do not subscribe to the idea that “you cannot tell the story of the NFL” without him as a valid HoF argument The main reason is that the concept is subject to serious abuse and has been used to justify the election of players for whom the claim is tenuous to non-existent such as Harold Carmichael, Bob Hayes, and Fred Dean.

Besides, if that were a valid argument that should get a candidate enshrined, why isn’t Ralph Hay in the PFHoF? He was instrumental in founding the league in the first place.

3 At least the rings loving…

At least the rings loving community and the broader media are being consistent with regards to Eli. If you are going to value postseason success, then Eli is a hall of famer.

People who have read me will know what I think of Eli, so I dont want to poison this thread with discussions on his HOF worthiness.

Of all the qbs to enter the league, I think Eli had probably the hardest road. His famous name, media market, and draft day shenanigans created a pressure cooker situation. And he succeeded. His two playoff runs were very memorable. The 2007 giants run was probably the hardest schedule of opponents than I ever remember. Yes the Dline held the vaunted Pats down in terms of scoring, but Eli still had to make some ridiculous plays in that game. I don't think any Giants fan who saw that sb will ever forget it.

100 Problem is, if two titles…

Problem is, if two titles automatically qualified you for enshrinement, we’d have to put in Tommy Thompson, Tobin Rote, Jack Kemp, and Jim Plunkett, none of whom should be admitted to the HoF without a ticket.

6 After his 2011 season and…

After his 2011 season and playoff run, which included a simply fabulous performance in the NFCCG under constant pressure, I really expected several years of sustained excellence. He was 30 years old. 2012 and 2015 were above average, but that was about it. Yeah, the team around him usually wasn't any good, but he wasn't good, either.

He'll probably get in eventually, but the HOF is basically a bad joke at this point, so big deal.

101 Agreed. The PFHoF has become…

Agreed. The PFHoF has become a ridiculous joke. My long standing interest in it has plummeted since the announcement of the “special” 15-member centennial class debacle and its aftermath. And at this point, I wouldn’t go there if it were across the street from me and charged free admission.

9 Winning a Super Bowl is a…

Winning a Super Bowl is a big accomplishment. Eli played well during the Giants' playoff run and helped lead them to a championship. Then a few years later he did it again. That's worth celebrating.

94 It depends what you want the…

It depends what you want the Hall of Fame to be.

The Super Bowl trophy goes to the team that actually wins the games, not to the team that we evaluate to be the best based on the totality of the evidence. If they don't seem like that great a team, or if some lucky bounces, screwups by their opponent, mistakes by the refs, or other circumstantial factors help them along the way, they still get the championship. Things came together for them on the field at the right moments and they get to celebrate their victory.

You could think of the Hall of Fame as a time when we get to sit back and evaluate the totality of each player's career and dispassionately judge how good a player they were. And if we're doing that, and trying to put the best 30 or whatever quarterbacks into the Hall, then Eli wouldn't make the cut. He wasn't as good a quarterback as guys like Rivers, Ryan, Romo, and McNabb.

Or you could incorporate some amount of "what did this player accomplish?" into the decision of who to induct, and treat it as being somewhere in between a dispassionate analysis of how good the player actually was and a question of "how did things happen to turn out on the field?" Which seems like enough to convert Stafford from an obvious "No" to a debatable case for the Hall.

109 Yeah. These lists have him…

Yeah. These lists have him 24th & 35th all-time among QBs.


McNabb's career passing efficiency numbers are similar to Eli's but he had a higher peak, worse receiving talent, and added value with his legs.

In Eli's favor you could point to durability, longevity, Super Bowls, and McNabb's coaching advantage with Reid.

10 The 125th anniversary HOF…

The 125th anniversary HOF class will be used to put him in.

If you add his post-season performances to the likes of Rivers, Romo, Ryan, we are talking about first ballot HOF. Maybe even Alex Smith.

He also was three-times interceptions leader in the league.

What a weird career.

14 The funny thing is if you…

The funny thing is if you look at the stats, Ryan has actually performed better than Eli in the postseason.  He's literally better in every category.  He just doesn't have any of those "signature moments" that the HOF voters love so much.

19 Well, he does have a…

Well, he does have a signature moment. It's just a profoundly negative one. He puked all over himself in blowing the biggest lead in SB history. Simply holding onto the ball on that 3rd down sack is probably enough to win the game.

80 How on earth does trash like…

How on earth does trash like this get posted on an analytics site? Ryan was 17/23 for 284 yards in that game. They would never have had that lead in the first place without him.

84 And had the season ended 15…

And had the season ended 15 minutes earlier than he did, he would have had a wonderful season.

Part of blowing a big lead is having it in the first place. It's sort of the Andy Reid Paradox. Clock management in big games is only a concern if your team is in position to make it relevant.

41 In regulation, Ryan's team's…

In regulation, Ryan's team's defense allowed 28 points and scored 7 in 11 possessions, while his offense scored 21 in 10 possessions.  One of the Patriots' TD drives was 25 yards, due to a Ryan fumble.

The Giants in 2011 allowed 17 points and scored 2 in 8 or 9 possessions (depending on how you count the last possession which started with under a minute) and Eli's offense scored 19 in 8 possessions. 

27 John Hadl and Jim Plunkett…

John Hadl and Jim Plunkett were all that stood between leading the league in INTs being a family tradition.

Some amusing entries:

Namath (4x)
Blanda (4x)

Favre (3x, with 2 2nds)
Moon (2x)
Jurgenson (2x)
Layne (2x)
Unitas (2x, and 2nd in 1960)
Rivers (2x)
Roethlisberger (2x)
P. Manning
Brees (and 2nd (to Eli) in 2010)
Tarkenton (and 2nd in 1962)
Bradshaw (and 2nd in 1979)

Elway was 2nd in 1985.
Stabler had 2 2nds (one to Namath)

If you trade one INT between Eli and Brees, each is a two-time INT leader.

95 To lead in that category,…

To lead in that category, you first have to be good enough to play.  It id  not shock InT leaderboard littered with good players. Maybe you like a more conservative player like Neil O'Donnell

11 Here's my main issue with…

Here's my main issue with Eli and the Hall... objectively, compare him with his draft classmates at QB. I think there's absolutely no doubt that Phillip Rivers is and has been a better QB than Eli his entire career. So if Eli gets in, you have to put Rivers in... and yet, somehow, nothing about Rivers career screams "HOF" to me...

I'm also a little jaded (as a Patriots fan) by how little Eli did in those SB's...especially the first one. Eli got the MVP just because his team won and there was no way to split an individual award among all the Giants pass rushers (the real MVPs of that game). And consider what almost happened. Two plays before the "Helmet Catch" Eli throws a lame duck up for grabs into strong coverage, and Asante Samuel can't quite come down in bounds with it. If Samuel holds on, then the narrative isn't "Eli the Miracle maker" but "Eli blew yet another game with a bad throw". Then the helmet catch itself is more on Tyree (and God) than it is on Eli. If Randy Moss manages to catch that final pass that glanced off his fingertips, Eli's "heroics" are forgotten. If any of those mere "game of inches" plays goes slightly differently, the Giants don't win that SB and I don't think Eli has a case for the Hall based on just one SB win.

22 Here's my main issue with…

Here's my main issue with Eli and the Hall... objectively, compare him with his draft classmates at QB.

This is a cherry-picked data point. The 2004 draft was loaded at QB. Based on AV, I forget whether this was the second or third best in NFL history at this position.

Your criticism is basically that because of John Elway, we have to let Jim Kelly in. To which I say, so what's the problem? Your actual argument is that Rivers should not be Schottenheimered.

If Randy Moss manages to catch that final pass that glanced off his fingertips, Eli's "heroics" are forgotten.

This is why Kurt Warner never made the hall, because of the Roethlisberger to Holmes TD after the late Warner TD...

46 This is a cherry-picked data…

This is a cherry-picked data point. The 2004 draft was loaded at QB. Based on AV, I forget whether this was the second or third best in NFL history at this position.

Sorry, I wasn't clear in my argument here.  I'm not saying that you have to be better than the rest of your draft class to get in.  I was saying that I think Rivers had a better career than Eli, and I don't think Rivers has done enough to get in.  The fact that they're from the same draft class makes them a convenient comparison because it means they played in the same era under the same rules. 


48 Rivers has a hard case with…

Rivers has a hard case with the voters for the same reasons Schottenheimer and Coryell aren't in, and Reid may have a tough time unless he wins next week -- post-season failure. Like Marty and Don, Rivers has a legacy of superlative regular seasons and total playoff failure. Combined, they have zero SB appearances.

By any counting argument, both are stone-cold locks. Rivers is an outlier in terms of numerical performance versus voter likelihood.

The counter argument is that Manning is Roethlisberger, but with crappier teams. Both years he got a defense of Roethlisberger's usual caliber, he won SBs.

32 the second SB

Eli played very well in the second matchup and deserved the MVP.  His final scoring drive took the Giants the entire length of the field in a short amount of time.  And there wasn't anything dubious like "helmet catch on play pass rusher is 'blocked' by guy behind him grabbing neck".

Eli will get in because he won two Super Bowls in NY.  I point to Jeter's recent near-unanimous Hall of Fame vote as evidence of how playing in NY can help an athlete's stature among the media.  

I agree that Eli is at best the 3rd best QB from his draft class, behind Rivers and Roethlisberger.  I think he underachieved, given his talent level.  He wasn't as driven to win as his older brother.  

33 Jeter was getting in…

In reply to by RickD

Jeter was getting in regardless of where he played. He was the Ripken (undeservedly popular SS) of his generation.

I would agree Eli was the 3rd best in his draft class. However, it was a historically loaded draft class. Eli is 14th all-time in QB AV. 1983 was the only other year that put two guys in the top-10.

In terms of best three guys, 2004 > 1983. It was a ridiculously loaded year.

42 I hadn't realized he was so…

I hadn't realized he was so high in AV, part of this is due to long career (stat padding). But looking at weighted AV (which de-emphasizes worst years) he is 41 overall, with only Ken Anderson above him and not in HOF.

71 1983 has 3 Hall of Fame guys…

1983 has 3 Hall of Fame guys; Elway, Kelly and Marino.  If AV is saying Eli, Big Ben and Phil are better than that, AV is demented.  Also, that means all three 2004 quarterbacks should go into the Hall, which I sort of agree with... except that I don't like Eli's case.

110 "three best guys"

I'll take Elway, Marino, and Kelly over Eli, Ben, and Rivers every day.  I don't care what the stats say - keep in mind the different eras involved.  

Two of the former three are usually included in any "Best QB ever" discussion.  And I'd take Kelly over any of the other three.  

Philip Rivers and John Elway have nearly exactly the same career AV (204 to 203).  Anybody who uses this stat to put Rivers ahead of Elway is balmy.  

12 HOF debates are silly,…

HOF debates are silly, because...

1. The threshold is arbitrary; you could set it at "All 99+ percentile players should get in", or 98 percentile, or 99.9, or Top 100 players of past 100 years, or "above average over a long period of time with 1+ championships". No matter what cutoff you choose, there will be borderline cases. To try to set a line is arbitrary enough; to delineate who makes the cut, and who doesn't, adds another layer of randomness, regardless of where said line is set.

2. Greatness isn't a binary variable. The difference between an "average" HOFer and a "very good but not great" player is smaller than the difference between an average HOFer and a Top 10 all-time player. e.g. Warren Moon and Peyton Manning are both HOFers, but in different leagues of quality. It's inevitable that players will try to lobby/politick their way in, which inevitably leads to a lowering of the bar, which means more "borderline" players get in, the overall quality & prestige of the Hall degrade, etc.

3. The variables which HOF voters use to determine worthiness are so dependent upon luck and circumstance. This has been discussed over and over again on this site, particularly by Will Allen (e.g. Archie Manning vs Terry Bradshaw switching birthdays). The notion that mere drafting order could place two identical theoretical 1st round draftees A and B, in two situations, one of which which leads to a long productive HOF career for A, and another which leads to physical and mental burnout and suboptimal production for B, weakens the assertion that we know who's truly great.

4. No idea if this is true, but it seems like membership is skewed towards certain positions (offensive skill players) with more easily quantifiable performance (yards, TDs). A 95 percentile QB might be more valuable than a 99.5 percentile offensive lineman, but the latter is more "outstanding" than the former, even if the QB has a much higher shot of getting in, by virtue of being a QB, rather than a lineman with no fun, digestible stats.

And so on, etcetera, ad infinitum, yadda yadda yadda...

23 Moon is not a good example…

Moon is not a good example. Much of his prime was spent in the USFL and the CFL because of a bias against black QBs. He was good enough that much of that part of his legacy has been overwhelmed by his pure NFL statistics, which is a very backhanded credit to him.

53 Moon entered the league at…

Moon entered the league at age 28. We have 12 seasons of advanced metrics on him. He was top 9 in DYAR eight times, top 5 four times, and one of those he only started 12 games due to injury. He was top 10 in DVOA 5 times.  Make of that what you will, but in my opinion he's a worthy HOFer, somewhat easily so.


58 Not bad, thank you for the…

Not bad, thank you for the numbers. I agree he's a HoF, no question, but I think the OPs description of Moon as an average HoFer is a good one. If he'd joined the league sooner maybe the perception is different, but it is what it is.

75 Keep in mind that calling…

Keep in mind that calling someone an "average HoFer" is the opposite of damning with faint praise! My point was that even within the Hall, the range of quality is quite wide. But that applies to all sports... think Bill Mazeroski and Babe Ruth!

102 The biggest reason I’ve…

The biggest reason I’ve soured on the HoF is that the standards are rarely based on any kind of objective criteria. And they do exist: number of 1st team all pro selections (with all-decade team memberships and pro bowl appearances being useful ancillary information), statistics well considered (including advanced metric usage that’s thoughtfully developed), and film study properly applied to footage seen.

Instead, much stronger consideration seems to be based on

-testimonials regardless of whether there may be a teammate based bias or not. If you’re going to use them, they should come from opponents and further be carefully scrutinized.

-weird flavor-of-the-month “new” stats that may or may not tell you much.

-made-up “he changed the game” assertions that often strain credulity.

-Frankie Frisch and Jerry Reinsdorf style arm twisting and thuggery for pet projects, regardless of their HoF fitness.


20 Setting aside how good Eli was...

It's kind of crazy how many things went "right" for Eli this year, in terms of his legacy:

* Jones played pretty well but still went 3-9 because the roster 2-45 is terrible, as it has been for eight years now;

* Beckham left to much fanfare to play with a "real QB" and completely tanked;

* Mayfield himself was a total disaster;

* Ben missed the season and the Steelers went 8-7 with complete nobodies at QB;

* Rivers will never win a Super Bowl;

* Ryan is unlikely to ever win a Super Bowl;

* Stafford and Cam missed a good chunk of the year;

* Luck retired.

The upshot of the Mayfield, Stafford, Newton and Luck points above - coupled with Goff taking a big step back - is that of the 17 quarterbacks drafted #1 overall since 1990 (setting aside Murray; way too early to say anything about him); it just might be that two who end up with the best careers are Peyton and Eli. Maybe you put Cam over Eli if you value peak over longevity.

Anyway, the Jack Morris comparison is a good one; Eli also reminds me of Joe Carter - a good-not-great player who had a great career.

24 What's the difference…

What's the difference between Eli Manning and Joe Namath, other than Manning's 2:1 advantage across the board in cumulative stats?

28 Namath had decent stats for…

Namath had decent stats for playing in the dead-ball era.

But he and Eli will be in for the same reasons -- titanic upset SB wins against juggernauts by NYC QBs, who compiled good era-adjusted stats.

72 Namath was the first…

Namath was the first quarterback to throw for 4000 yards in a season, in his 14 game 1967 season.  Dan Fouts achieved that 12 years later, in a 16 game season.  Namath did throw 28 interceptions against 26 touchdowns that year.  But the main thing Namath did was not take sacks.  I couldn't find sack stats for the 67 season, but Namath was sacked 13 times in 1969, while attempting 361 passes.  He also has one more All-Pro than Eli.

73 Also I got infuriated when a…

Also I got infuriated when a co-worker showed me a joke tweet about how Eli retired as the Chargers best quarterback and went on a rant about how Manning isn't close to being in Fouts' league.

35 Namath vs Manning

Namath mcuh more decorated than Manning. Fukll or mostly fuill Namath seasons were 1965, 66, 67, 68, 69, 72, 74, 75, 76. In only 1975 and 1976 did Namath nto get some sort of award (Rokie of yr, mvp, comebck player of year- those sorts iof things). Namath missed most of otgher seasons he appeared in whcih were 1970, 1971, 1973, 1977 ('77 was a bencing scenario due to ineffectiveness). Seven of his nine basically full seasons he was htiought of at the time as a top quarterback by media, players and coaches of the day (some of the award s  he won had coach and/or player voting element tot hem). 

If inclined to discredit Namath for missiing most of 70, 71, 73 due to injury, that is maybe fair. Then can say seven of his 12 seasons with Jets had him in mix for awards and all=-league honors and stuff. 7 of 12 still nice.

Manning very light on seasonal awards exceopt for Man of the Year which is not on-field performance award,. Of course, Manning has teh two SUper bowkl MVP awards whcih are specific to single gams.

     Namath gets rippped byt hose who do not understand 1960s and 1970s football and looook at his stats through prism of current NFL landscape. Also, have come to notice Namath suffers from anti-New York bias. Starting to see this on Twitter. have seen repeatedly from ouitside NYC region rip Namath and cite him have been a NY player as major reaosn he got in HOF. Was discussing this with nice Packers fan last night. I made soem comaprisons to Layne, Bradshaw and Stabler- three others who either retired same decade Namath started or played same time as Namath and/or slightly after and all had queastionable TD:INT stats (since that stat is a key go-to place for the anti-Namath peioople). The gemntleman did not even know who Layne was other than he heard his name once or soemthing. 


Manning very pedestrian regulasr season statistics for most of carerr. Then played extremely well in playoffs of 2007 and 2011. Becuase he helped his team win Super Bowls of those season,s, he is going to get into HOF. Sort of Plunkettesque btu at least Manning played almost all the time. maybe was hindrance to team in last couple years but was good enough to be starting most of hsi career. Plunkett was bad with Pates, so-so with 49ers amnd in and out of lineuip with Raiders. Plunkett tremendous guy, Raider legend, btu not deserving of HOF spot. Daryle Lamonica  a much better quarterback for his career than Plunkett. Lamonica jsut didn't have two Super Bowl wins.  

38 Namath was twice the AFL…

Namath was twice the AFL Player of the Year, was clearly the best QB in the AFL for the latter half of the 1960s, and was probably the best QB in all of football over that stretch.

39 Yeah and Namath gets in…

In reply to by Raiderjoe

Yeah and Namath gets in because he was the big name at the time. His AFL contract was a watershed.  You visited the HoF to find out about people you'd hardly seen playing because there was so little TV coverage. Plus QBs called their own plays which meant they were more responsible for whether a team won or lost.

40 Unless you've watched it, it…

Unless you've watched it, it is very hard to appreciate how different NFL football was when receivers could be hit anywhere on the field until the ball was in the air, offensive linemen were much more restricted in how they could extend their arms and use their hands when pass blocking, and defensive linemen were allowed to hit offensive linemen in the head. And this.....


....could be done to QBs, without drawing a flag.


49 Namath got awards in '68, …

In reply to by Raiderjoe

Namath got awards in '68, '69, and '74. (Comeback player of the year is a bit back-handed)

Now he was 1st-team all decade in the 60s for the AFL. Although it's fun to consider where Blanda would have fallen if they hadn't been able to sneak him in as a kicker.

64 yes, CPOY is nto huge like…

yes, CPOY is nto huge like league MVP vbut it is something. notable becuause it is not an award given to soembody who has a bad season. By merely receiving that award, Namath was deemed good enough that year. one would not even have to take deeep dive itno stats

67 Namath had a stretch of…

Namath had a stretch of several years where he was one of the top 3 quarterbacks in football. Manning never came close to that.

In 1968 Namath was first-team All Pro. Manning never did that.

In 1972 Namath led the NFL in both passing yards (a volume stat) and ANY/A (an efficiency stat).

Namath was ridiculously good at avoiding sacks & fumbles, which doesn't show up in standard stats, and the 1960s-70s were a very different era for passing stats. If you adjust for those things then his stats look a lot better.


69 I don't knock Namath, but it…

I don't knock Namath, but it always puzzles me how quickly people forget the other 42 players on the field. You know what else Archie Manning never did? Play on a non-dreadful roster, with a non-dreadful coach, until he was old and broken down. You stick Namath on the Saints teams Manning began his career with, at the beginning of Namath's career, Namath might have been out of the league by the age of 29. As it was, Namath had injury issues, playing on ok to good rosters, managed by a Hall of Fame coach (Weeb Eubank), with a terrific coaching staff (Chuck Knox, Walt  Michaels). Namath would have been a human sacrifice playing for the Saints.

74 That's true, although being…

That's true, although being named the best in the AFL counts for something.

Also, it's only true of Associated Press 1st-team NFL All-Pros. Namath was the 1st-team NFL All-Pro QB in 1972 according to Pro Football Weekly, the Newspaper Enterprise Association, and the Pro Football Writers. He took home more awards than any other QB that year, although the Associated Press had him second team behind Earl Morrall.

103 Joe Namath also has a very…

Joe Namath also has a very strong narrative case for the HoF: arguably the biggest AFL singing coup, achieving what was the most historically significant SB win (the one establishing that the AFL was indeed on par with the NFL), being the only athlete to make Richard Nixon’s Enemies List, the flashy and newsworthy lifestyle that was outsized for an athlete for the time. How much that should actually count in a HoF argument is rightly a good question, but it was likely a factor here.

30 I'm a Giants fan and I love…

I'm a Giants fan and I love Eli in a way that is hard to describe, but I don't think he belongs in the HoF. I feel dirty for writing this, but I think Tiki Barber has a much better case for the HoF than Eli. Yes, Tiki was a tool, but he was a damned good player for many years, and the best at his position for three of them. The fact that Eli's in the conversation but not Tiki says all you need to know about the voters.

Even in his prime, Eli's never been in the conversation as the best, but he's always been better than his stats indicate. I think he threw the best deep ball in the game, but was frustratingly inconsistent on what should have been easy checkdowns. I lost track of how many times he threw it straight into a linebacker drifting right in front of him. He was too good to be a game manager, but not good enough to carry a team on his own.

I think Eli is overrated by the broader media and underrated by the analytics crowd, for pretty much the same reason. He gambled and lost far too often to be considered great, but that was preferable to never gambling at all so that you could lose by 4 points instead of 14. Eli was going to go for the killshot even when it wasn't wise. Sometimes that meant he looked like Favre; other times, Jameis Winston.

37 Remember you can't spell…

Remember you can't spell elite without Eli !

In terms of his play there's no way he should get in.

In terms of mythos around him (surname, playing in NY, two rings, the draft day stuff) I think he could. Plus by the time he's eligible what other Giants players are going to get inducted. It took a long time for that all to count for Kurt Warner and he was a much better QB.

I'm going to hedge towards him not getting in because of the limited number of slots each year. There will of equally or better qualified players of other positions alongside him on the ballot.

But if he makes it, it won't surprise me given who's gone in the last few years.

51 The Eli Manning debate to me…

The Eli Manning debate to me comes down to if you believe clutch exists.

I've heard people say Eli deserve the Hall of Fame because the ultimate goal in the NFL is to win a championship and he did it twice, of which he was not a passenger the way Dilfer was.

81 As a poster above pointed…

As a poster above pointed out, Eli threw a terrible pass that should've been easily intercepted and ended the game by Asante Samuel. That came in the game which is essentially the central argument for Eli being a HOFer. Not very clutch there. Very, very lucky, though. The arguments in favor of clutchness are usually not only built on extremely small sample sizes but also ignore plays like that.

82 I have never believed in the…

I have never believed in the clutch argument, but even among analytics savvy fans, theres a surprisingly large contingent who believe the clutch concept does exist(even though clutch itself has no clear testable definitions). I don't know if its still in qbr, but the sad fact that it once was is telling. 

As an example, there are a few fans of Tom Brady who still argue vociferously on this site that Brady is the clear goat because he is clutch while his contemporaries were less so. Someone just two weeks ago inexplicably suggested that Brady on the Saints would not have choked against the Vikings. Well, if you are going to buy such arguments, then you have to accept Eli as an obvious hall of famer. 

87 I also remember Joe Montana…

I also remember Joe Montana throwing an even easier interception against the Bengals which was subsequently dropped. Jerry Rice had that non-fumble against Green Bay. Those are just the first two examples that come to mind (because I kind of hated those Niners teams).

90 If Eli had defeated, the…

If Eli had defeated the 2007 Chargers and the 2011 Ravens to win those two titles, would this change the conversation? The most common headline around the country after 42 was "18-1" (usually accompanied by a photo of the Tyree catch) - the story was not the Giants winning, but the Patriots losing. Granted, doing it twice is pretty sweet, but I can't help but think that the Eli love is not so much about winning those titles, but about preventing Brady & Belichick from having 8 & 10 rings respectively. Because, let's be honest, that would be insufferable.

At the same time, as long as we're playing the "What if" game, the 2008 Giants were actually the best team of the Coughlin era. If Plaxico hadn't shot himself in the leg, and Eli could continue to chuck jump balls against the Eagles diminutive corners in the playoffs, there's a decent chance he'd have three rings instead of two. 

Edited because I really need to remember to proofread before submitting.

91 I think he'd still get in…

I think he'd still get in because Eli's last name, NY, and the fact that his two rings he slayed an impressive schedule of opponents, the sb participants not withstanding. Beating NE definitely pumps him up to a point where I think people are wrong - he will get in first ballot IMO. If not for NE, I think he slips to third or fourth ballot. 

92 the Eli love is not so about…

the Eli love is not so about what winning those titles, but about preventing Brady & Belichick from having 8 & 10 rings respectively. Because, let's be honest, that would be insufferable.

This is also revisionist, because there was no reason to think that the Pats would be insufferable back in 2007. That team was fresh and innovative, and so was the 2011 team in different ways. The Pates didn't become hated until years later.

93 I disagree, but then I am a…

I disagree, but then I am a colts fan. The patriot fans and media were fawning over Brady's clutchness because prior to 2007, that was the primary angle you went with if you wanted to proclaim Brady > Manning. The whole irrational thread was based off of how much do "intangibles, will to win, cool and calm" trump on the field production and statistics. But then 2007 happened. The team that was already a dynasty now was stopping the league. It was surreal. 




113 So I'm told! We don't get…

So I'm told! We don't get many of them in the Rockies though.

I was in Aspen, Colorado, for the 2007 super bowl, and IIRC most people at the party I was at were rooting for the Giants, but because the Giants were the underdogs, not because of anything to do with the pats. They weren't necessarily NFL fans though.

104 If Eli Manning had won four…

If Eli Manning had won four Super Bowls, he’d have automatically punched his ticket to Canton. Certainly worked for Terry Bradshaw, whose only HoF argument this is (his regular season stats are ghastly).

96 What exactly is the Hall of Fame?

It's the NFL Hall of Fame, not the NFL Hall of All-Time Best Players. In that respect, career narratives are almost as important as whether the player was one of the best. Eli is not an all-time best player. He is an all-time pretty good player who was the MVP QB in two Super Bowls. I doubt he makes it if the Giants lose in either the 2007 or 2011 playoffs, and he definitely doesn't if they lost in both. But they didn't. All-time great QB? No. HoF-worthy? Like it or not, yes.

98 If you're going to interpret…

If you're going to interpret "fame" in such a literal sense, then shouldn't Bo Jackson be in?  He's more famous than at least 80-90% of the guys that are in.  Also, that interpretation would basically exclude all offensive linemen, as almost none of them ever achieve as much fame as even a fairly obscure starting QB does.

111 1. Eli spent the first 75%…

1. Eli spent the first 75% of his career as the 8th-15th best QB in the NFL. He spent the last 25% of his career as the 28th-40th best QB in the NFL. This is a guy we need to put in?

2. If this same person happened to be Eli Brister, Bubby's little brother, he and his stats would be laughed at when his name came up for enshrinement discussion. Whomever suggested him might get his credentials taken away.

3. Despite its name, the HoF is for the all-time greats, not the all-time famous. That's a ridiculous argument. Many Hall-of-Famers, especially those who played before 1960, were not famous at all. Many famous players were not very good. I would argue that with fantasy football, 8 ESPN channels, the internet, etc. Every starting offensive skill player in the NFL is famous to NFL fans.

Deion Sanders is absolutely right.