Eli Manning is a two time Super Bowl champion, two-time Super Bowl MVP, and the starting quarterback for the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants. So why is he not a top 10 player in the NFL?
Justin Tuck commented to NFL.com a few days ago about Manning's ranking on NFL.com among the Top 100 players of 2012, saying "he's top five, hands down." Eli Manning was ranked #31 among the top 100 players of 2012, providing more reasons to say many critics still do not respect him or have him valued to be in the same league as a Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers. Last year, Eli Manning was asked if he was in the same class as Tom Brady. He gave a smart and confident positive yes to the question and he backed it up during the season.
Eli Manning defeated both Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers. He led the New York Giants to a Super Bowl championship after finishing the regular season 9-7, barely making the playoffs. Eli Manning played more games in the playoffs because he did not have the luxury of a first-round bye and along their path to a Super Bowl, defeated the 15-1 Green Bay Packers, the 13-3 San Francisco 49ers, and 13-3 New England Patriots.
But Eli Manning is ranked 31 out of the top 100 players? Defeating three championship worthy teams in the playoffs en route to your second Super Bowl title is not good enough to propel you to be considered a top ten player it seems.
Since the start of his career, he has always been compared to his older brother Peyton Manning and whether he was as good as Peyton. Guess what, Eli has 2 Super Bowl championships. Peyton has one and many argue that Peyton is an elite quarterback. So why not his little brother Eli? Tom Brady has 2 Super Bowl MVPs too and he is arguably the elite quarterback in the NFL and one of the top 5 players in the NFL. Eli Manning has 2 Super Bowl MVPs as well.
So why is he not on the same platform as Tom Brady?
Eli Manning does not need the spotlight to prove he is an elite quarterback. However, it is the inability to take the spotlight that allows people to discredit all he has accomplished in his young career. It allows people to then say how he is overrated when he becomes the talk of New York after winning a second Super Bowl title. But Tom Brady is still elite even though Eli Manning defeated him not once, but twice in the Super Bowl. Really?
Critics may argue he doesn't break records. Well let us see. He has the NFL record for most 4th quarter touchdowns in a single season. He is tied for the NFL record for longest pass completion and touchdown. He has the NFL record for most road playoff wins by a quarterback. He is tied for the NFL record for most game-winning drives in a season. Lastly, he has the most passing yards in single postseason. Need I say more?
Eli Manning is by far the definition of underrated. He has proved that he can play as an elite quarterback, has the credentials to support the claim, and even has Super Bowl championships to add to his accolades.
Two Super Bowl championships solidify greatness. Does Eli need a third to then prove he is elite? He shouldn't have to because he already has, but continue criticizing him because it will make his ascent that much sweeter.
So before you say Eli is not a top 10 player in the NFL, think about his credentials, be careful because Eli will make you eat those words. You might as well just praise him now because underrating him has only fueled Eli Manning to become the elite quarterback he is today.