Eli is being benched in New York (well, New Jersey) and the world is seemingly 100% on his side. I understand it from some respects. You have a complete boob of a coach benching the “best” QB in the history of the franchise in a most-unceremonious fashion, then saying “Oh, by the way, if you want to take one snap a game to keep your consecutive games streak, that’s cool”…they did him dirty.
I give Eli credit for handling this one the way he did. Assuming this is the end for Eli in New Jersey, he is going out in classy fashion.
Classy, however, is not the word I’d use for the way he arrived. Manning and his daddy, longtime punk and perennial loser Archie Manning, forced the San Diego Chargers to trade Eli to New Jersey, insisting the 23 year old would refuse to sign with the Chargers. An All-Time bitch move.
Unfortunately, on its face, this seemed to work out for the Mannings. Eli is a “winner”. He has two rings and two Superbowl MVP’s, while Rivers is known as a “stats only” QB, who couldn’t really win anything.
Setting aside Ben Roethlisberger for a moment, also drafted in 2004 and clearly better than Eli, let’s compare the two who were involved in this draft-day trade.
When you really look at it, Rivers has been the FAR better NFL quarterback.
Rivers Reg Season
Manning Reg Season
Statistically, their careers aren’t even close. There isn’t really a number that Eli has over Rivers, even WINNING %. Rivers has had 4 losing seasons in his 12 as starter, while Eli has had 7 losing seasons in his 14.
Even in the overall playoff picture, the pair each have spotty records. Eli has made the playoffs in 6 seasons (4 one and done’s), Rivers has had 5 playoff seasons (2 one and done’s). Their playoff passer ratings are very similar (87.4 to 85.4, respecitvely). The obvious difference is that Eli led his team to two 4-0 runs in ’07 and ’11, played well in both of those post-seasons, and secured two Lombardi’s…while Rivers had only made 1 AFC championship game.
But I really think Eli just benefitted from playing most of his career for Tom Coughlin, who will be looked back on as one of the greatest NFL coaches ever. The only decent coach Rivers has ever played for is Marty Schottenheimer, and he’s well known for being a playoff disaster himself. When I look at their playoff success, I think they are both products or their systems.
I’m of the opinion that if the New Jersey Giants ended up with Rivers, they would have had at least the two Lombardi trophies, and likely more. Rivers is clearly a better QB, and Manning doesn’t belong Canton, with the true greats.