The way that many New York Giants fans feel about Eli Manning could probably best be described as “complicated.” Well, that’s even moreso for fans of opposing teams who faced him both at his best and worst. Let’s get a taste of how others feel about Manning’s retirement from some of the writers around SB Nation.
“Eli Manning may never have been the best quarterback in the NFL, but he sure did something few (if any) others could do: he made Patriots fans feel uneasy, no matter the situation. Super Bowls 42 and 46 obviously stand out, but I’m still thinking back to the regular season game in New York in 2015. The Giants were just 5-4 entering the game, but Manning still challenged the Patriots from start to finish. They eventually won on a last-second field goal, but the “Manning mystique” if you will was on full display that day once again. He just somehow elevated his game against New England, and you have to tip your hat to that because a lot of great quarterbacks through the years were not able to do that.”
“My reaction to Eli Manning retiring is that I’m going to miss him. Including the playoffs, he went just 10-23 in 33 starts against Philly. That record includes a 4-20 mark in the last 24 Eagles versus Giants game. Donovan McNabb, who last played for the Eagles in 2009, also has four wins in that same 24 game stretch.
“Outside of his shortcomings against the Eagles, he obviously has the two Super Bowl rings and no one can take that away. I’ve always felt that second championship was the most fortuitous title run I’ve ever witnessed, but, hey, it counts all the same.
“Still, I feel validated in my belief that Manning wasn’t as good as some made him out to be. He finished his career with a .500 record, which accurately reflects the quality of quarterback Manning was when one accounts for his entire NFL journey: average. I fully expect him to be in the Hall of Fame but I don’t think he should be.”
“There have been and will continue to be a lot of people that try to qualify Eli Manning’s career. I’m not sure whether he will end up in the Hall of Fame, do announcing work of any kind, or make an annual commercial with his big brother.
“Here’s what I am sure of: I’m sure that Eli Manning made playing the New York Giants an extremely stressful thing for Dallas Cowboys fans. I’m sure that even though we all thought the strength of the Giants team was on the other side of the ball, Eli always found a way to make the Dallas Cowboys pay in big games. I’m sure that one of the most impressive Dallas Cowboys seasons of my life as a formative adult was in 2007, a year that set a lot of franchise records, and that it all ended at the hands of an Eli Manning that went on to wipe out the not-so-perfect New England Patriots.
“Cowboys fans all over the world hold on tight to the memories of Tony Romo, and we all should do that. You remember the franchise quarterbacks in your life. You remember their big moments, their epic wins, and the way that they made you feel. I hope that Giants fans remember an Eli Manning that always played with grace, had some unbelievable games, and defied a lot of odds, twice in a way that is still hard to believe all of these years later.
“That’s the Eli Manning that a lot of Dallas Cowboys fans will remember, and I’d say that’s a pretty way for a New York Giants quarterback to be regarded. Cheers to Eli Manning. May you remember him even more greatly.”
“As a Redskins fan, few things could summarize the way I feel about Eli Manning better than Eli’s average facial expression...a cross between intense physical pain and excruciating apathy. He was 18-9 against my Redskins, which is the most wins he had against any team. It’s the way he dominated us though that really dropkicked our fanbase in the loins—29 touchdown passes and 25 interceptions. Add to that his three rushing touchdowns against Washington (half of his career total), and I am left feeling like Eli must have felt after David Tyree caught that pass in the Super Bowl: disoriented bewilderment manifesting itself in a unique expression of perplexed discombobulation.
“He’ll get my vote for the Hall. Godspeed, Eli. I look forward to not having to play against you ever again.”