Eli Manning has fallen to the No. 8 spot on ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski’s quarterback countdown.
Last year, Manning was the fifth-rated quarterbacks on Jaws’ annual ranking, but a disappointing 2012 season in which the New York Giants’ quarterback struggled to play on an "elite level" consistently caused him to drop in Jaworski's eyes.
"After a 2012 season in which he was not quite as consistent in some areas and other quarterbacks improved, I have dropped Manning to No. 8," Jaws said on "SportsCenter" Monday. "But there’s no question he remains one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL, capable of big-time throws in critical situations. "
Last season, Manning threw for almost 4,000 yards and 26 touchdowns compared to 15 interceptions. He completed 60 percent of his passes, too.
It was a classic case of "Good Eli" and "Bad Eli" before and after the team’s bye week in mid-November. Manning threw for 12 touchdowns and 11 picks through the Giants’ first 10 contests and 14 touchdowns and four picks in the final six.
"There’s no question as he enters his 10th NFL season, he’s a high-level quarterback with all the skills I look for," Jaws said. "Manning plays the position the way it needs to be played to be successful.
"In this era of defensive innovation and evolving and challenging schemes, the ability to control the game at the line of scrimmage is a critical attribute. Manning is outstanding at that."
According to Jaws, Manning made significant strides while also setting new career highs in passing yardage and yards per pass attempt.
Despite the decline in production last season, on the whole Jaws no longer believes there should be a debate about whether Manning is a top-tier signal-caller in the NFL.
"Manning has reached the point in his career where we no longer need to discuss his play on an annual basis," Jaws said. "He’s a steady, consistent, top-level NFL quarterback. He’s smart, he’s aware, and he can handle a high volume of offense. There are not many better quarterbacks than Eli Manning."
Nos. 1-7 will be released over the following week. A list of Nos. 8-32 can be found here.
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