Joe Namath, a legendary Hall of Fame New York Jets quarterback humbly said that he believes Eli Manning was far greater than him on the football field in terms of accomplishments. He told the New York Post, “He was remarkable. I wouldn’t compare myself to Eli. He’s done far more than I ever did on the field.” Namath is a legend to New York and to Jets fans, and he is no stranger to the greatness of Eli Manning’s illustrious professional football career.
Then we have the doubters. They will say Eli was never an elite quarterback like his brother, or Brady, Rodgers, and Brees. He finished his career with a not so great 117–117 record. He threw too many interceptions. He was not the most mobile. He gets sacked too often. He was too slow. He couldn’t produce more wins. This all may be true, but one thing for sure is that he produced Super Bowl championships. If rings hold any value, which they do, Eli has more championships than many notable names who are already Hall of Famers.
Let’s cross-examine. Former NBA player Robert Horry has more rings than Kawhi Leonard, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, and the late great Kobe Bryant. He’s a 7-Time NBA Champion. Would you pick up Horry before any of the aforementioned? Highly unlikely. Championships are why they play the game, but it does not solely define their career. It solidifies it. We know Eli has the championships, but does he have any other accolades that show he deserves to be in Canton?
Let’s take a look at Eli’s passing yards. He’s 7th All-time with 57,023. Almost doubling what Namath produced in yards for his entire career. He’s 7th in TDs thrown at 366, more than notable names such as John Elway and Joe Montana. He’s 7th All-time in pass completions. These numbers match him up with some of the NFL’s greats. However, as for the NY Giants, he holds almost all their records at the QB position. Most career attempts at 8,119. Most completions with 4,895. Most passing yards, both in a single season and career. Longest completed pass in a game (99 yards). The list goes on.
On that list we have the bad and the ugly as well. Most intercepted and most sacked. We know Eli Manning was .500 QB, but when it mattered the most, he got the job done. If you don’t think so, ask all those who bet against him when he was destroying teams in the playoffs from the Wild Card slot. Not to mention how quickly we forget that he significantly won two Super Bowl MVPs. Not just the Super Bowl. There is a big difference between winning championships and winning championships while being the most valuable player of the game. The biggest stage of them all is where it counts the most because it solidifies the career, and Eli Manning was a cheat-code at that stage, just ask Tom Brady.
As for the doubters, he did far more than any New York QB. Even if he does not make the Hall of Fame, to New Yorkers he will be the guy that beat an undefeated Brady and Belichick on the biggest stage of the world. He already has the blessings of those that wear the prestigious jackets. He was no short of a franchise quarterback, and it’s only right that the Giants retire his number and vouch for him a spot in the Pro-football Hall of Fame.
Mohammad Jr. is an Editor/Writer for the Unwrapped Sports Network website. Follow him @MohammadJr28 on Twitter.