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Enough Whining About Eli

Usually, when things happen in sports, people line up on both sides of the argument to make their points.  Somehow, the Eli Manning benching has not fallen into this category. Everyone from teammates, media members, ex-players, and current NFL stiffs, has rallied around Eli and blasted the Giants for the benching the veteran QB.

I disagree with every one of them. The team sucks and it’s time to move on from this guy, so they’re going with the backup QB. Who cares if Eli played in two Super Bowls and helped his team? The defense won those games.  He should be grateful they let him take the snaps. He is and always was an ordinary QB. As for the consecutive games streak that is now going to be snapped, it should have been snapped a year ago when he was handing out interceptions and dropped snaps to needy cornerbacks and nose tackles all over the league.

Manning’s 8-4 playoff record is good, but again, the defense led the team and he got once-in-a-lifetime catches from guys you never heard from again. He was 8-0 in the playoffs when he won those two Super Bowls. Other than those two years, he never won a playoff game. Read that again and ask yourself why you can’t bench this guy.

Manning has won the same number of games in his non-Super Bowl years as fellow QBs Geno Smith, Brian Hoyer, Brett Hundley, Curtis Painter and Jim Sorgi.  He played fourteen years in a league where the best team was in the AFC in 9 of the 14 years, and he won zero playoffs games in 12 of those years. Manning had a great coach, solid defenses, stud receivers, and a running game. He led a Giants offense in those playoffs to an average of 19.3 points over those 12 games. By comparison, the 2-win Colin “I’m taking a knee and wearing pig socks” Kaepernick-led 49ers averaged 19.3 points a game in the 2017 season. Colin took a knee before the game for social injustice; Eli took a knee at the end of games because others carried his ass.

Continuing the pile-on, I will note that in 8 of his 12 playoff games, Manning was held under a passer rating of 90, and six times, he was held to one or fewer passing touchdowns. Seven times, he completed less than 60% of his tosses. These are league-average benchmarks he couldn’t rise above. Luck is certainly a factor in sports, and Eli has had plenty of it. Along with the two circus catches that aided Manning in his title wins is the fact that he faced statistically the worst defense to ever make a Super Bowl, the 2011 Patriots. And with 1:03 left on the clock, the consistently moribund Manning had led his offensive charges to a whopping 15 points.

Bring on Geno.

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