The average sports analyst would be foolish not to admit two things:
2. Philadelphia is a great team.
These are simple matters of logic. Tony Romo has a higher passer rating. Michael Vick has more rushing yards. Eli Manning is what he always seems to be: the third best quarterback in his own division. Top five? Don't think so.
To address the second point, I think it's about time that Philadelphia gets the same kind of respect that Dallas has all these years. Every time Dallas comes enters the season as the inherent "dream team" and disappoints, we still respect that it is a matter of coaching, or simple lack of effort/unwillingness to win on part of the players. Dallas could go 16-0 any given year, and it's about time that we give this Philly team that same credit.
So, how is our bumbling idiot of a quarterback doing?
Eli Manning is on pace for:
368/589 (62.4%) for 4,940 yards, 31 touchdowns and 15 interceptions (that's it?)
His current yards-per-attempt is 8.4. Several of these stats point to career highs and indicate a very successful year. I'm going to, instead, home in on the fact that his completion percentage is down from last season (62.9%). Half a percent is everything in this league. Do the math. 62.9% completion percentage this season would be an additional two completions and 17 yards.
Top five quarterbacks aren't ranked:
Completion Percentage: 9th (62.4%)
Quarterback Rating: 6th (96.0)
Passing Yards: 4th (3,705)
Yards-per-attempt: 3rd (8.39) *
Rushing Yards: Unranked (4)
Rushing Touchdowns: Unranked (1)
*minimum of 300 attempts
It's easy to see that there aren't many top five numbers in that picture, and the ones that are there give the illusion of a top five quarterback. And if you don't believe it, just look at how much Eli has contributed in games the Giants have lost this year. When in doubt, check the QB ratings (they are infallible).
At Washington (70.8)
At San Francisco (84.5)
At New Orleans (101.9)
Green Bay (100.7)
For those of you that can't put that in perspective, Eli Manning has thrown for a quarterback rating of 91.8 or less in four out of the Giants' six losses this season. Those are the cold, hard facts. Never mind that Eli is on pace to throw for more yards than Peyton Manning ever has (4,700 in 2010) at a YPA that Peyton has exceeded just once (9.2 in 2004).
What matters is all of the other stuff that I've pointed out, and that's what I, or any other expert analyst out there, will stick to.
Eli has a poor history playing against the Cowboys in Dallas:
2010: 4/3 (TD/INT) 306 yards, 100.4 rating (W)
2009: 2/0 (TD/INT) 330 yards, 110.6 rating (W)
2008: 0/2 (TD/INT) 191 yards, 43.9 rating (L)
2007: 4/1 (TD/INT) 312 yards 113.1 rating (L)
2006: 2/1 (TD/INT) 189 yards, 80.4 rating (W)
2005: 1/1 (TD/INT) 215 yards, 70.3 rating (L)
Don't let the numbers fool you. We never know which guy is going to show up in Dallas. Let's just hope our defense can shoulder the load. If you're looking for an explanation of why Eli's numbers are so high this season, look no further than the all-pros we have on that offensive line.