The Giants are 6-3, ranking 12th in the league in points scored (24.2 points per game).
The Giants rank 21st in points allowed (23.4 points per game).
This is mind boggling, that a team with a .667 winning percentage could be outscoring opponents by less than one point per game. We all know how we've reached this point on the strength of Eli Manning's ability to move the ball in the game's final minutes. Few quarterbacks seem to hit throws as if the game hanging in the balance is the green light to play to their abilities and to do it for an entire game would be unfair.
The truth is, Eli has been doing this for a while. Amongst active quarterbacks, he ranks 10th in the league with 19 game-winning drive. Now, if we think of ten quarterbacks in the league that might be on such a list, it probably wouldn't look exactly like this:
1. Peyton Manning (45)
2. Kerry Collins (30)
3. Tom Brady (27)
4. Drew Brees (26)
5. Jake Delhomme (24)
6. Donovan McNabb (24)
7. Ben Roethlisberger (23)
8. Mark Brunell (22)
9. Jon Kitna (22)
10. Eli Manning (19)
Of these quarterbacks, Eli Manning moves up to a tie for 8th (sharing the spot with Donovan McNabb and Mark Brunell) on the list with 16 fourth quarter comebacks. Most of the quarterbacks mentioned are at the end of their careers, irrelevant at this point. He's in his 8th season. Let's add a little perspective:
Through eight complete seasons:
Peyton Manning: 19-25 (Fourth quarter comebacks versus total game-winning drives)
Tom Brady: 21-29
Ben Roethlisberger: 20-26
Drew Brees: 12-20
Dan Marino: 17-25
John Elway: 19-21
Eli Manning: 16-19
Brett Favre: 13-20
With seven games left to play in his eighth season, Eli's clutch play stacks up with a list of Hall of Fame and future Hall of Fame quarterbacks. In the playoffs, we see his stats are even more impressive:
Joe Montana: 5-5 (23 total games)
John Elway: 4-6 (21 total games)
Tom Brady: 3-6 (19 total games)
Dan Marino: 3-4 (18 total games)
Eli Manning: 2-3 (7 total games)
Ben Roethlisberger: 2-3 (13 total games)
Brett Favre: 2-2 (24 total games)
Drew Brees: 1-2 (7 total games)
Peyton Manning: 1-1 (19 total games)
That list tells us a lot about Eli Manning. Plenty of analysts out there attempt to minimize his '07 accomplishments by writing it off as being "hot" for a stretch of games. But that just means that Eli's run was just that good, to the point where he ranks ahead of Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Brett Favre, and is not far off the top names on the list, having played just a fraction of the games. Postseason is what counts, after all.
Our fearless leader will never be the most marketable name in sports. However, he has a legitimate shot as going down as one of the game's most clutch quarterbacks. Ever. Regular season and postseason included.