I Love Me Some Eli

In the thread I posted about top five quarterbacks, a good number of people question Eli Manning as a top five quarterback. I hate to keep bludgeoning you guys with numbers, but here are some to show that he might be more elite than we all think.


Yards: 4,933 (4th)

Yards per attempt: 8.4 (4th)

Completions of 20+ yards: 67 (4th)

Completions of 40+ yards: 18 (1st)

Eli had more 20+ yard completions than: Everybody not named Drew Brees, Philip Rivers, or Tom Brady

Eli's leading receivers in 2011 (20+ yard receptions):

Victor Cruz: 25 (3rd)

Hakeem Nicks: 17 (17th)

40+ yard receptions:

Victor Cruz: 9 (2nd)

Hakeem Nicks: 5 (9th)


Yards: 4,002 (5th)

Yards per atempt: 7.4 (9th)

Completions of 20+ yards: 57 (3rd)

Completions of 40+ yards: 7 (17th)

Eli had more 20+ yard completions than: Everybody not named Matt Schaub or Philip Rivers

Eli's leading receivers in 2010 (20+ yard receptions):

Hakeem Nicks: 20 (5th)

Mario Manningham: 19 (6th)

40+ yard receptions:

Mario Manningham: 4 (11th)

Hakeem Nicks: 1 (61st)


Yards: 4,021 (10th)

Yards per attempt: 7.9 (8th)

Completions of 20+ yards: 60 (5th)

Completions of 40+ yards: 12 (7th, tied with Tom Brady and Philip Rivers)

Eli had more 20+ yard completions than: Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Jay Cutler, Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady

Eli had more 40+ yard completions than: Drew Brees, Peyton Manning

Eli's leading receivers in 2009 (20+ yard receptions):

Mario Manningham: 15 (13th)

Steve Smith: 14 (20th)

40+ yard receptions:

Hakeem Nicks: 5 (9th)

Mario Manningham: 2 (41st)

Now, there's a lot that could be said about these numbers, but I think that it's pretty apparent that Eli's done a lot in recent years despite a lack of big-play weapons. To get a better idea of that, let's look at YAC (amongst receivers):


2) Wes Welker (709)

3) Miles Austin (588)

6) Andre Johnson (532)

7) Antonio Gates (513)

8) Brandon Marshall (500)


22) Hakeem Nicks (411)

Please keep in mind that several teams (San Diego, Houston, Indianpolis, have multiple receivers with more YAC than the Giants' leading receiver in this category. Yet Eli is till 5th in completions of 20+.


7) Santana Moss (499)

12) Miles Austin (437)

14) Greg Jennings (415)

15) Wes Welker (411)

16) Reggie Wayne (410)


36) Mario Manningham (343)

Again, let's not forget that Eli is third in completions of 20+ yards.


1) Wes Welker (732)

4) Rob Gronkowski (656)

6) Victor Cruz (595)

7) Percy Harvin (540)

8) Calvin Johnson (524)

9) Aaron Hernandez (519)

This year, Eli finished just short of Tom Brady in 20+ receptions, yet Brady has three receivers in the top ten for YAC. The Saints have three (Darren Sproles, Pierre Thomas, Jimmy Graham) in the top 20.

What do I make of this? Eli has been consistently top-of-the-league in downfield throws, yet the notion of crediting his receivers as being largely responsible for his production is absurd. The only time he's had a top-ten YAC receiver is in 2011. So, I think it's fair to say that he's had more than one good season, just that he hasn't had the talent around him until recently, as Hakeem Nicks has developed into a legitimate number one, and along comes Victor Cruz.

But really, Eli has been this good. Last season interceptions were a bit high (though roughly 30% of them were off of tipped balls). I hope this adds a little perspective to the argument.

FanPosts are written by community members. This is simply a way for community members to express opinions too long to be contained in a comment.

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