Complexity of an Interception Machine

At the end of a 26-3 win over the 49ers, one thing became clear today: Eli Manning might be amongst the league's top game managers, and by that, I am referring to Kurt Warner's pre-game ballwashing of Alex Smith, the greatest game manager/big play generator in the league. My gut tells me that Warner would place his replacement (Eli Manning) amongst the league's top equipment managers. I digress.

In examining the numbers between this year and last, we see some of the numbers pointing toward a decline:

Warner's Replacement (through six games):


Record: 4-2 (2-1 both home/away, respectively)

Comp/Att.:125 for 196 (64%)

Yards: 1,778

YPA: 9.1

TD/INT: 11 touchdowns, 5 interceptions

Record: 4-2 (2-1 both home/away, respectively)

Comp/Att.: 143 for 225 (64%)

Yards: 1,772

YPA: 7.8

TD/INT: 10 touchdowns, 5 interceptions

Please note the areas of concern (yardage, yards per attempt, and touchdowns), where we find that the two-time Super Bowl MVP is experiencing decreases (-6 yards, -1.3 yards per attempt, and -1 touchdown). What does this mean? Don't let things like a SNL appearance and multiple championships confuse you. This is the same old Eli Manning, as consistently inconsistent as ever.

In all seriousness, the discussion of elite quarterbacks isn't quite what it was last year, given that the league's coveted group of top tier quarterbacks is failing to deliver. And by that, I point to a key stat (the YPA):

(Yards per attempt)

Drew Brees (7.3)

Aaron Rodgers (7.3)

Tom Brady (7.6)

Inflated statistics aside, it seems as though other quarterbacks are playing at or above this level:

Russell Wilson (7.2)

Bob Griffin (8.3)

Andy Dalton (8.0)

They're even winning more games.


Russell Wilson (4-2)

Andy Dalton (3-2)

Bob Griffin (3-3)

Tom Brady (3-3)

Aaron Rodgers (3-3)

Drew Brees (1-4)

So, the reason that elite quarterbacks cannot be discussed is because any way you cut it, Elite Manning is in the mix with any of those guys, despite playing without his top receiving threat for three of those games. No analyst wants to really get down to which of these guys is "elite" because they will have to mention Kurt Warner's former backup, and nobody wants to talk about a guy who isn't into breaking records but instead, winning championships.

Go Giants.

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