Stat Pack: Eli Manning Isn't Elite - And Never Was

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Dec 28, 2012

Stat Pack Podcast

With another blowout loss for the New York Giants, it seems like America officially stopped drinking the Big Blue Kool-Aid. While another 9-7 season seems to be in the works for the G-Men, it likely won't involve a playoff berth for New York. It looks like another underdog championship won't be headed to the Meadowlands.

Perhaps that now at least open the discussion for a reality check: Eli Manning is NOT an elite quarterback. While his 24 fourth-quarter comebacks through 134 starts will go down in football lore and his two Super Bowl victories guarantee him a spot in Canton, the Mainstream Media went beyond reason to emphatically state that Manning puts the "E-L-I" in "elite" as if there was no room for debate. Heck, after analyst Amani Toomer went against his former teammate and stated he thought Tony Romo was the better quarterback, Giants fans and Romo haters alike went irate.

They say Manning was underappreciated. I say he was overrated. And that stats prove it.

While Manning became the 11th starting quarterback to win multiple Super Bowls, his career passing numbers look quite meager when compared to the rest. Below lists the 11 quarterbacks with their Relative Passer Rating, Relative Passing Yards per Attempt and Relative Completion Percentage.

  • Troy Aikman: +6.41 passer rating, +0.66 YPA, +4.23 comp%
  • Terry Bradshaw: +5.54 passer rating, +1.06 YPA, -1.55 comp%
  • Tom Brady: +16.74 passer rating, +1.06 YPA, +3.79 comp%
  • John Elway: +5.89 passer rating, +0.74 YPA, +0.35 comp%
  • Bob Griese: +13.34 passer rating, +1.28 YPA, +3.41 comp%
  • Eli Manning: +1.20 passer rating, +0.52 YPA, -1.85 comp%
  • Joe Montana: +20.45 passer rating, +1.16 YPA, +7.45 comp%
  • Jim Plunkett: +0.08 passer rating, +0.80 YPA, -1.63 comp%
  • Ben Roethlisberger: +11.41 passer rating, +1.41 YPA, +2.65 comp%
  • Bart Starr: +16.02 passer rating, +1.47 YPA, +6.13 comp%
  • Roger Staubach: +20.67 passer rating, +1.70 YPA, +4.72 comp%

(Note: These numbers take the career numbers of each quarterback and compare them to the league's combined numbers for the years each quarterback played football. For example, Aikman's career numbers were compared to the NFL total passing numbers from 1989 to 2000. If a quarterback did not take a snap in a season, like Joe Montana in 1991, that season was not included in the individual study.)

Now obviously it's important that only two other ACTIVE quarterbacks won multiple Super Bowls, but even the current elite quarterbacks with playoff shortcomings play significantly better in the regular season (when the sample size is much larger, after all). Aaron Rodgers, brother Peyton Manning, and Drew Brees all own a career passer rating AT LEAST 11 POINTS BETTER than the youngest Manning. That gap is similar or better than the gap between Big Ben and the league-average quarterback, which should say a lot about Eli's lacking resume.

Shouldn't an elite quarterback dominate inferior competition?

This investigation leads this week's edition of the Stat Pack, where host Adam Dobrowolski also sends the Texans home packing without a hope in the playoffs and once again speculates which young running back seems to be building an early Hall of Fame resume.

And, of course, there's a look ahead to huge showdowns for Week 17 and the 2012 regular season comes to an end on Sunday.

Don't miss this week's "Stat Pack" episode!

For those who are interested in checking out bits and pieces of this week's podcasts, every edition will include a "playlist" of sorts breaking down every segment from the podcast.

0:00 to 32:35 -- Six Pack of Statements

  • 0:55 -- Why Eli Manning is NOT an elite quarterback (and never was)
  • 7:35 -- Why the 2012 Seahawks team is the best in franchise history
  • 12:25 -- Why the Texans are GUARANTEED to lose in the playoffs
  • 21:10 -- How C.J. Spiller is building an early case for the Hall of Fame
  • 26:20 -- Why the AFC has no playoff parity over the past decade
  • 30:05 -- Which three playoff teams face a must-win game in Week 17

32:35 to 35:50 -- Six Pack of the NFL's Best Teams (New England Patriots, Denver Broncos, Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Atlanta Falcons)

35:50 to 43:00 -- Six Pack of Intriguing Match-ups in Week 17 (Texans at Colts, Panthers at Saints, Rams at Seahawks, Packers at Vikings, Ravens at Bengals, Cowboys at Redskins)

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