The first three letters of elite spell your New York Giants quarterback

e·lite

   [ih-leet, ey-leet] 

adjective

1.      representing the most choice or select; best: an elite group of authors.

 

The word elite has been thrown around a lot lately, particularly when it comes to Eli Manning.  To be perfectly honest, I’ve grown tired of it.

Let me first clarify that I am by no means a Giants fan.  That would mean displaying an entirely new level of obnoxiousness.  I am truly impartial to the youngest Manning brother, even though he did lead Ole Miss to a victory over Florida in 2002, something his older brother, Peyton, was never able to do at Tennessee.

This off-season, Manning was asked on the “The Michael Kay Show” whether he considered himself to be an “elite quarterback.”  It was your typical, run-of-the-mill and otherwise meaningless question that has since spurned national debate among those of us who pay attention to things that don’t really matter.

Manning replied simply and confidently “I consider myself in that class.”

Sound the alarms and stop the presses.  Since then, the discussion of whether he is, or isn’t, “elite” has become a matter of national security.  Beating the Tom Brady-led Patriots in Foxboro last Sunday, where they hadn’t lost in twenty tries, kicked the “elite” conversation back into full gear.

What’s the kid supposed to say?  That he sucks?  Poor Eli has already had to live in his brothers’ (not brother’s) shadows his entire life.  Apparently not even a Super Bowl, in New York of all places, is enough to exorcise those demons… or at least put an end to the inane discussions.

Professional athletes, particularly quarterbacks who are confident and competent enough to play at the highest level, don’t admit weakness, nor should they.  Find me a quarterback who says he’s not among the best in his class and I’ll show you a man standing in the unemployment line.

Only the meek get pinched.  The bold survive.

First of all, let’s presume that the entire basis of this argument is bogus… which it is.

What does “elite” even mean and of 32 starting quarterbacks in the league, how many of them are we allowed to even classify as elite?  Two?  Three?  Four?  How many is too many?

There are currently six active, starting quarterbacks in the NFL who have led their team to a Super Bowl victory.  Eli is one of them.  The others are Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger, Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers and of course, Tom Brady.

Not Phillip Rivers, not Donovan McNabb, not Michael Vick, not anyone else.

If you ask me, that in and of itself makes Eli elite. I’m pretty sure most Giants fans would agree.  Under the biggest microscope, Eli just keeps on winning.  With Manning under center, the Giants are at worst, relevant, and at best, champions.

As long as he keeps piling up victories, Eli, nor his fans, should care less whether critics label him as elite.  What matters most is that he has the confidence of his teammates and coaches.

On second thought, maybe I will start rooting for the Giants, just so that Eli can get his second ring and put an end to this conversation once and for all.

33 thoughts on “The first three letters of elite spell your New York Giants quarterback

  1. If memory serves, Eli beat us twice, in ’03 as well, at home. Much as I never liked Peyton, I’m kinda neutral on Eli. If he ever gets his picks under control consistently, the elite tag could fit, since he already has the ring. Almost feel sorry for the guy, havin’ to play for TC.

  2. Yazoo..

    Wasn’t one of those the 3rd and 57 game?

    I remember watching that game and wanting to throw things violently.

    Let me ask you this. If I gave you the teams those six quarterbacks are on to win this year’s Super Bowl, or the field, you’d have to take the six, right?

  3. If Eli Manning is being thought of as an ” elite quarterback ” (NFC) then what does that say about the performances of Aaron Rodgers this season ? God damn ! I’m assuming in the Big Apple everyone there thinks of themselves as being larger than life ? Rogers has gone eight consecutive games with a QB rating over 100 (NFL) . I doubt Eli has done that back to back . !

    Think Guiliani and Eliot Spitzer ? Thought highly of themselves only to fall back to earth with a tremendous thud !

    Rick Perry making a believer out of he me ! After his numerous faux pas’ in his most recent debate . Can he count above the number 3 ? He ought to take up watching The Count from Sesame Street that’s for sure .

    He’s now making Palin seem like a damn genius don’t you think ?

    What the hell are Rah’ and Dominik thinking by acquiring Albert Haynesworth off waivers ? Surely there was someone on the Bucs’ roster that could stand in for Gerald McCoy ?

    tophatal …………..

    tophatal

  4. I never really pay much attention to Eli, but didn’t he throw like 25 picks last year!?! He’ll come back to earth in the Giants normal second half collapse…

  5. Chap…

    Here are your NFC East standings

    Giants 6-2
    Dallas 4-4
    Philly 3-5
    ‘Skins 3-5

    The Giants are going to win that division by default, as the rest of the teams are mediocre at best.

    All I’m saying is that a) I’m tired of the whole “Is Eli elite” talk and b) doesn’t a ring put him in that category?

    Is there a ring-less quarterback in the league right now that you’d take over Eli?

  6. Al…

    Most of us recognize Rodgers is playing like a man possessed. We also know that if, hypothetically, the Giants beat his Packers in the NFC Championship Game (and I’m not just saying that to please my Giants readers… okay, so I am), that still doesn’t mean Eli’s any better than Rodgers… but his team was, on that particular day.

    And for the record, Eli leads NFL quarterbacks in fourth quarter QB rating.

    Re: Rah, I’m wondering if the organization FINALLY wilted under the pressure of everyone saying they needed a veteran on that roster.

    Hey, I mean even if Haynesworth is fat as hell, maybe he has a little something left in that over-sized gas tank. They got him for pennies on the dollar and worse comes to worse, at least the Crazy Buffet across the street from Ray Jay will stay in business a little longer.

  7. Trent Dilfer has a ring. Does that make him an elite quarteback? Many people have said that the ring is the thing, but I disagree. Eli is good, but he’s not in Peyton or Brady’s class.

  8. C’mon, Aer…

    That’s a poor comparison.

    Dilfer got that ring at the end of his career on a Baltimore team that could have had Ryan Leaf back there throwing. All he had to do was be serviceable, which he was.

    Eli still has plenty of career left and we’re not so sure that Peyton does.

    We judge our QBs by rings. Montana has four, Bradshaw has four, Brady has three. They’re all champions.

    Ben’s got two. Is he elite?

    And let me ask you this. If Eli wins just ONE more, and Peyton doesn’t, or let’s say Eli wins TWO more, essentially giving him a better career than Peyton, will Peyton still be remembered as the quarterback?

    Or will we just chalk it up to him playing on better teams?

  9. I understand your point, but if by elite you’re talking about quarterback skill and not team success then no Eli is not among the elite signal callers. The question is, where do you draw line. I would put Jim Kelly ahead of Eli and he never got a ring. Just sayin’.
    Have a good weekend brother. Cheers!

  10. I’ll buy the Kelly argument, Aer, but where do you rank Bradshaw? Or Marino?

    And let us not forget the basis of the argument which is what does “elite” even mean?

    Among active quarterbacks, which ringless quarterbacks would you rank ahead of Eli? Would you really take a Ryan, Rivers, Schaub, Vick or Stafford? Think wisely before you do so.

    For the record, Eli’s currently fifth in the league in QB rating and sixth in yards per game.

    I guess that’s the interesting thing about quarterbacks.

    Their success isn’t necessarily measured in numbers… other than W’s.

  11. Marino >>>>> Bradshaw! Check the stats.

    Bradshaw was a serviceable QB surrounded by HOFers and All Pros on both sides of the ball. Marino was a legend surrounded by offensive players that he made better… and anemic Dolphin defenses… for decades.

  12. Silly questioin Chris. I’d take Palmer over ELI!!

    Seriously though, I’d probably take Cam Newton over everyone except Aaron Rodgers at the moment… Am I a victim of the moment? Probably…

  13. Oh and as far as the standings go, I can’t see anyone but the Giants winning that division at the moment, but in three or four weeks you never really know what it will look like. It’s funny the debate in SF right now is; Is Alex Smith a QB that can win you a SB!?!

  14. Elite?

    No.
    Not in my book.
    Not yet anyway.

    I’m no fantasy football guy but how often do you think Eli has been one of the first 3 or 4 QB’s picked?

    He is good, not great.
    Well above average but not elite.

    Oh, and he drools.

  15. Chap…

    You’d take Palmer over Eli? Really?

    Really??

    Wait a minute… REALLY???

    In that case, I’m assuming you’d also take Jake Plummer over Eli.

    Okay, you’re officially in time out.

  16. Chap…

    That’s why they play the games.

    The Geeeeeee-Men still have San Fran, Philly, Green Bay, New Orleans and Dallas twice on their schedule, so the division is far from won.

    If you gave me the field, and maybe some odds, I’d consider taking the field.

    And for the record, that doesn’t necessarily contradict my opinion in the post.

  17. Bleed….

    You had me until you brought up fantasy football.

    In NO WAY WHATSOEVER should fantasy football statistics determine whether or not an NFL quarterback is elite.

  18. I prefaced my comment that I’m no fantasy player. Never have, never will.
    BUT – By the same token, if indeed the NFL reshuffled the deck and had a draft from scratch, do you really think Eli would be one the first 5 QB’s drafted?

  19. Again, Bleed, it all falls on how we define “elite.”

    Does “elite” in this conversation mean we can only select a certain number (1,2,3?) of quarterbacks of the 32 who start? Remember, there are more than just 32 QBs in the league. There are plenty who ride the pine. So, if you include them in the mix, Eli would most definitely be “elite.”

    Going back to your question of whether Eli would be selected in the Top 5? Probably not, but he wouldn’t be that far behind. Like I said, the ring has to count for something.

    Do you consider Roethlisberger elite? And if so, why?

  20. True, he wouldn’t fall as far as the tenth pick. And out of 32 I suppose numbers-wise the argument could be made that makes him elite among current QB’s. But I wouldn’t take him over Ben and I don’t consider him elite either…And he has 2 rings.

    I think the word elite automatically brings the all time greats into the equasion by default because they are ultimately the measuring stick of comparison.

    Brad Johnson, Doug Williams and Jeff Hostetler all have a ring too. That puts them in an elite group, but by no means makes them elite QB’s.

    I’d take Eli over all of them. But he’s still not in my elite class.

    Time will tell if he can change my vote.

  21. Chris

    I’d rather have Rodgers over Manning any day of of the week !

    Manning completes 62 % of this passes while with Rodgers it’s over 72 % . Rodgers is also better is also better than Manning in yds per attempt . In INT’s it’s Manning who’s stumbling not Rodgers .

    Those ratings with regard to 4th downs are incisive but for me it’s what they’re doing in the red zone and in particular when the game is on the line . And that’s where Rodgers is killing opponents .

    As for “Fat Albert” whatever Rah and Dominik have been watching I just don’t see as it concerns the play of Haynesworth this season !

    Caught the Pacquiao / Maquez bout and let’s just say that trilogy is now over for good ! There won’t be a fourth fight to keep the drama ongoing . Next up Money Mayweather and each fighter will be looking for $30 million plus payday. Holla !

    And in the UFC heavyweight title bout the champion Cain Velazquez had his a_s handed to him on a silver platter . Junior dos Santos bitch slapped Velazquez like a hooker caught cheating her pimp .

    tophatal ……….

  22. Bleed…

    I’m not saying Eli’s got a ring so that makes him elite. I’m saying he’s got a ring among active quarterbacks and still a lot of career left to play.

    I guess we agree that his much of his legacy is still to be determined, but as we both know, that one ring in the Big Apple gets him a lifetime pass.

    Next thing we know, he’ll be kissing Suzie Kolber.

  23. Al…

    Nobody’s comparing Rodgers to Manning. Favre’s successor is playing like a man possessed this season.

    So are we saying there’s only three elite quarterbacks playing in the league today? Brady, Rodgers, and Brees? No Manning because he’s hurt? What if, even though this seems impossible with the way he’s playing, Rodgers doesn’t win a Super Bowl this year and then has a bad next few years?

    Will we drop him out of the elite group? Just like anything else in sports, isn’t this a case of what have you done for me lately?

    I didn’t go to the Bucs game today, Al, opting to relax on the couch, but as we speak, the Bucs are down 16-0. Can we start waving the playoffs good-bye or have we already done that?

    Zero points. Last time I checked, Haynesworth doesn’t play on the offensive end of the ball.

    And re: Pacquiao, as good as he is, it’s only a matter of time, after scheduling these bullshit fights, that someone lands a lucky punch, puts him on the canvas, and all the hype surrounding a Mayweather fight will lose its luster.

    Which is more asinine? The fact that there’s an NBA lockout still or the fact that they can’t get this fight off the ground.

    What ever happened to fan interest?

  24. LAS VEGAS — If Freddie Roach had his druthers, the last opponent he’d want Manny Pacquiao to face again is Mexico’s Juan Manuel Marquez. But their three fights have been so competitive and so controversial, the clamor for a fourth fight will likely make Roach’s fears come true.

    “It’s a fight I wouldn’t rather want to do again,” Roach said late Saturday night. “But I guess we have to.”

    Pacquiao-Marquez IV might come as early as next May, especially if Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather continue to avoid each other. Even a Mayweather fight might have to take a back seat until either Pacquiao or Marquez can emerge as a definitive winner in their rivalry. That didn’t happen Saturday night at the MGM Grand, where Pacquiao was awarded a majority decision in a fight many felt Marquez had won……..11/14 nypost

    People I talked to viewing(live) this scam decision were shocked. Surprised no riot ensued. “Money” is enjoying this softening.

  25. Manning is trying to place himself amongst the elite ? Look let me know when he starts to hits the marks of his elder sibling then perhaps we can revisit the subject !

    Chris there are some good qb’s in the league but as to elite perhaps but three at best and we all know who they are !

    I believe Rah and Dominik will be heading back to the drawing board concerning the Bucs ! As for Fat Albert , well let’s just say his movement could be improved on if he were to take a class being conducted by Richard Simmons or he takes up “Zumba classes ” or goes through the P90X routine !

    This might pique your interest re my earlier piece and follow up and then you can review why I have stated the issues I brought up .

    tophatal ……………..

    I see that Matt Kemp has been resigned by the Dodgers to an 8yr $160 million contract ? It never ceases to amaze !

    tophatal ………….

  26. Al…

    Are we officially declaring Brees “elite?” I just want to be clear.

    Expect another Tampa loss this weekend as they travel to Green Bay to find out what “elite” really is.

    And I may be hitting Matt Kemp up for a loan soon.

  27. Pingback: Sports Chump » NFL Futures and College Pick Em Recap

  28. Eli is only one of three active QB with two super bowls wins. Ben him and Brady. He has 2MVP Ben has 1 and played bad in his first SB. he beat the 2nd Most Elite QB in Tom Brady 2X. Breeze Rogers 1each. Should have more with those teams. Peyton only 1 win TWO losses.
    Should have more with the team in Indy. That is why he is not there. If Burris did not do what he did Giants could have had 3 SB Wins w/Eli

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