If Eli can keep it up, he truly is elite

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Nov 01, 2011



By Scott Kacsmar
Cold, Hard Football Facts Awesomeness Compiler


Remember the ruckus caused by Eli Manning in the preseason when he claimed he was in the same class as Tom Brady? So far his play in this regular season can warrant that type of respect, but as the calendar turns to November, it remains to be seen if Mr. October will keep this level of play going.
 
Improving his career record to 23-5 in the month of October, Eli has the best winning percentage (.821) in that month out of any quarterback in the Super Bowl era (minimum 20 starts).
 
While it’s his second best statistical month behind September, the overriding trend is that Eli has often had great starts in his seven full seasons as the Giants’ starting quarterback, but that success has rarely sustained itself the rest of the season. That is what keeps him from being mentioned with the likes of his brother and the other elite quarterbacks in the league.
 
The following table shows Eli’s first 7 games of a season compared to the last 9 games (in red). Why use a 7/9 split instead of a perfect 8/8 split? The 7th game concluded October in all but one of these seasons.
 
Eli Manning - First 7 Games vs. Last 9 Games
Year Record Comp. Attempts Pct. Yards YPA TD INT Rating
2005 5-2 115 225 51.11 1560 6.93 13 5 83.6
2005 6-3 179 332 53.92 2202 6.63 11 12 70.6
2006 5-2 143 233 61.37 1672 7.18 14 8 88.9
2006 3-6 158 289 54.67 1572 5.44 10 10 67.4
2007 5-2 137 227 60.35 1525 6.72 13 9 82.9
2007 5-4 160 302 52.98 1811 6.00 10 11 67.1
2008 6-1 137 223 61.43 1588 7.12 9 4 88.9
2008 6-3 152 256 59.38 1650 6.45 12 6 84.3
2009 5-2 120 203 59.11 1633 8.04 12 6 92.3
2009 3-6 197 306 64.38 2388 7.80 15 8 93.7
2010 5-2 157 239 65.69 1785 7.47 14 11 88.3
2010 5-4 182 300 60.67 2217 7.39 17 14 82.9
2011 5-2 156 241 64.73 2127 8.83 13 5 102.1
 
That’s right. The Giants have started at least 5-2 in every full season under Manning and coach Tom Coughlin. Their record has been worse after October in every season.
 
Outside of 2009 when the defense collapsed, Eli has not improved or maintained his early level of play in the second half of the season. He’s off to his best start yet, but with a brutal schedule on the way (@NE, @SF, PHI, @NO, GB, @DAL), the Giants will need Eli more than ever to keep doing what he’s doing.
 
That type of success against this kind of schedule could bring him the accolades he’s never been able to earn in his career.

Read more: Eli Manning, Week 8
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