I have long been a supporter of Eli Manning and continue to be one. He's had a terrible season and a bad second half of last year. This is not a post about how to fix Eli Manning, as I am not a professional QB coach, OC, or HC. I will say that his mechanics were off this year and I could speculate all day about the causes (terrible o-line, subpar running game, no trust in WRs, poor coaching, etc). In looking at stats, I found an interesting parallel between Eli and another great QB. I think I alluded to this within the past weeks, but wanted to delve into it a bit further. So, let's take a look at 2013 Eli vs. the worst year for the other QB, Brett Favre.
Eli Manning (2013): 16 GS, 7-9 record, 317 of 551, 57.5%, 3818 yds, 12.0 yds/comp, 18 TDs, 27 INTs, 4.9% INT rate
Brett Favre (2005): 16 GS, 4-12 record, 372 of 607, 61.3%, 3881yds, 10.4 yds/comp, 20 TDs, 29 INTs, 4.8% INT rate
In my opinion, those numbers are very similar. Favre had a horrible '05 and, if memory serves me correctly, he too had a bunch of injuries to contend with. Even more interesting to me, Favre had a bit of a bounce back season the next year, which was Mike McCarthy's first season as HC.
Favre (2006): 16 GS, 8-8 record, 343 of 613, 56.0%, 3885 yds, 11.3 yds/comp, 18 TDs, 18 INTs, 2.9% INT rate
Not a huge bounce back year, but improvement in some of the measureables. His INT rate plummeted and his yds/completion rose. There was a significant drop in comp %, though. The next year:
Favre (2007): 16 GS, 13-3 record, 356 of 535, 66.5%, 4155 yds, 11.7 yds/comp, 28 TDs, 15 INTs, 2.8% INT rate
That's a lot better than '05 and '06. There were a lot of changes going on at the time for Favre, but it is nice to see that at the age of 38, a QB can bounce back like that. Next year Eli's will be 33 and I believe he can turn it around like Favre.
More comparisons can be made of Eli and Favre. Looking at the stat pages I provide, for a career Favre has a 3.3% INT rate, compared to Eli's 3.4%. This stat shows they are both "gunslinger" type QBs, over-trusting their arm and accuracy at times. For comparison, Peyton Manning's carrer INT rate is 2.6% and Brady's is 2.0%, Both Eli and Favre are also tough players, rarely leaving games and playing hurt. I would also trust both of them the most in the 4th quarter with the game on the line. Except for '07 Favre in the NFC Championship (had to throw that one in there).
Eli's worst year came at the age of 32, Favre's at the age of 37. It is not out of the realm of possibility that Eli could bounce back next year, as long as he fixes what is wrong and has the tutliledge. Favre seems to have gone better with a coaching change and with new teammates. My hope is that Eli can get the same from the Giants. What do you think?