Let’s pretend that in a galaxy far, far away, there’s planet called Marklar. Marklar is inhabited by beings that resemble humans in many ways, with similar athletic abilities. As luck would have it, they too play football, and amazingly, all their rules are exactly the same. However, they have superior military capabilities, and they’re kinda a bunch of jerks. They have informed Earth that they are annexing it, and plan to use all of Earth’s resources for their own home planet… that is, unless, Earth can beat them in a game of football. So I’ll pose this question: Are you taking Eli Manning with you to battle the Marklars?
From dictionary.com… “Elite”:
the choice or best of anything considered collectively, as of a group or class of persons.
Eli Manning has had an excellent season. He played an almost perfect game against a very underrated Dolphins defense a week ago. He lit up the Eagles to the tune of 4 TDs and a 145.7 passer rating. Last year he led the league in picks, and this year he’s been able to limit the mistakes – he only has 6 picks through 8 games. He always says and does the “right things,” and he seems to have earned the respect of his locker room. He’s smart. He understands what defenses are trying to do to him, and he takes what they give him. He has underrated arm strength, is mostly accurate, and can make any throw. He’s obviously clutch, and doesn’t get rattled by “the big moment.” He’s a totally legitimate “franchise QB” that you can win with, and clearly among the Top 10 in the NFL at his position.
Obviously, the “buuuuut” is coming.
He’s not Aaron Rodgers. He’s not Drew Brees. Even though Brady played horribly yesterday, he’s not Tom Brady. He’s not even Ben Roethlisberger and a few others. He’s not “the best of the best,” which is what I and apparently dictionary.com consider “elite.”
On the front page of ESPN this morning, we’re treated to this. Look, I get it. Tom Brady drove down and scored, then Eli did it too, and the Giants got the win. Makes for an awesome story. But that ignores the following:
– He was 20 for 39 yesterday (51%).
– With a couple minutes left in the 3rd quarter, the Giants were poised to take a 2-score lead when he threw a ridiculous INT in the end zone that gave the Pats life.
– He threw a few other lollypop passes off his back foot that were completely up for grabs that fortunately found their way to the turf instead of a defender’s hands.
– His passer rating was 77.9.
– He threw for 250 yards. Here are what the other QBs that have faced the Patriots’ atrocious defense have done this season:
Not exactly a who’s who of NFL QB royalty there.
I hate to be the guy to piss in the Corn Flakes, because I really have admired what Manning has done so far this season, particularly with a completely revamped OL, a bunch of players that left via free agency, and a cavalcade of injuries around him. It has been thoroughly impressive. I mean that.
But please, can we let the man play before we go defining him on one drive in Week 9 of an NFL season? The timing of this new “ELIte” status is ludicrous.