SETTLED: Eli vs. Rivers debate KOed

Here is the link to a (not-so-recent) video that analyzed the Eli Manning, Philip Rivers 2004 Draft day trade and the team that subsequently won/lost in the deal.

This post contains points that I've been making to people for 3 years, so I'm glad I now have this video catalyst to publish the argument on Big Blue View.

3 "Facts" are referenced in this video, and I'm going to tell you why they are all wrong, and stupid:

1.  The Chargers outwitted the Giants in refusing to trade down in the draft thereby letting New York select Eli Manning.  San Diego's GM knew Manning didn't want to play for the Chargers, and so if he drafted Manning anyway, New York would trade for him giving up a slew of draft picks.

2.  Rivers has a better record and more impressive stats, so the Chargers received extra compensation while trading away a worse QB.

3.  The Chargers draft picks acquired from the Giants enabled San Diego to select a host of Pro-Bowl players on defense and special teams while giving up nothing to New York in return.


Okay, POINT #1.  While this video is outdated, it's outdated.  No that's not a typo.  On the surface, pulling a Walker-to Viking-for-millions-and-picks deal almost always seems to benefit a team (see the 1990s Cowboys), this was not the case with San Diego.  No one was outwitted--Manning had long expressed outright refusal to play for the Chargers, so in fact it would have been stupid for the Chargers to swap draft positions with NYG before the 04 draft.  Any team would have wanted, and received, some compensation if they were notified, in advance, that a player was going to 1983 John Elway their draft day selection.


POINT #2.  Rivers may have a better record, and more impressive stats, but look where it has gotten the Chargers.  No Super Bowl victory.  No Super Bowl appearance.  No AFC Championship.  No impressive playoff record.  And go tell THIS on the mountain:  at the end of the day, the only real record that matters when real history is written is a Super Bowl Championship!  Eli 1, Rivers 0.  Eli has proved his mettle and is a consistently more reliable QB than Rivers.  Spare me the stats.  Rivers can have all the AFC West crowns and passing yards he wants, he faces no real competition the entire year (the Raiders? C'mon!).  It has won San Diego nothing.  NOTHING.


POINT #3.  The Chargers' fabled slew of draft picks acquired from the Giants?  Nate Kaeding and Shawne Merriman?  Well one at a time.  Wasn't it not the Nate Kaeding that missed field goal after field goal in the 2009 AFC Divisional playoff game against the Jets?  Wasn't it not the Nate Kaeding that, to no small degree, cost San Diego the game against NYJ?  In 2009, the supposed year San Diego was finally going to get over the hump and make it to Super Bowl XLIV?  Right.  He's no more clutch than Larry "The Lead-Foot" Tynes.

And Merriman.  How appropriate that today of all days I post this, San Diego waives Mr. Lights Out?  In his 6 seasons in SD, he's registered 43.5 sacks, but only 4 in the last 3 years to go with 8 forced fumbles and 0 TDs.  Injuries.  LET'S not Forget!  Who was the player that SD desperately tried to tie into any trade with Manning?  OSI UMENYIORA.  And Ernie Accorsi, the Giants' GM that was so outwitted by the Chargers?  Flatly refused, knowing he had the upper hand with landing Eli anyway.  Look at Osi's stats:  in 6 seasons (03 started 1 game, 08 was IR), he has 56.5 sacks, 25 forced fumbles, and 3 TDs.

Schematically put: Sacks, FF, Touchdowns

Umenyiora:   56.5  25  3

Merrian:        43.5   8    0

You tell me who's been a better investment?

And the icing on the cake:  San Diego actually had 2 former Quarterbacks that went on to win the Super Bowl with other teams:  Eli Manning in 2007 and Drew Brees in 2009 (played in SD 02-05).  So apparently both Peyton and Eli were right in not wanting to play for the San Diego Chargers, since they have such a stellar track record with grooming championship QBs (see Ryan Leaf).  Perhaps people should reevaluate these statistics before they say Chargers got the better 2004 deal, or that Rivers & Chargers > Manning & Giants.





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