Truly “elite” quarterbacks find a way to get to the postseason, even if they have to drag their teams kicking and screaming. Aaron Rodgers lost his top receivers and running back. He’s in. Tom Brady is in without having the services of his great TE duo for most of the season. Peyton Manning took a brand team to the top of the conference.
Drew Brees did all he could with the Saints. No one expected that he would overcome the loss of his GM, head coach and other coaches and players. Still threw for 5177 yards and 43 touchdowns, most in the league. He’ll be back in the playoffs next season. Book it. Ben Roethlisberger missed three games due to injury, and played hurt much of the season. He did not have a consistent backfield to lean on as in years past. He still had a 97.0 QB rating.
Another glaring omission from the postseason party is Eli Manning. He’s elite, we’ve been told. And we have defended him throughout the years during good times and bad.
Yesterday, he showed us what we’ve been missing by playing one of his best games of the season. However, his 5 TD performance did not erase all the subpar games he logged in this year. He was not hurt. He did not lose any coaches (unless you want to cite the departure of Mike Sullivan). In all fairness, he did not have a healthy Hakeem Nicks but as we told you, those QBs mentioned had injury issues to overcome as well.
Eli only had only three 300-yard games this year and none after Week 7. He had eleven games of two passing TD or less. The Giants only won four of those. They were 5-0 when Eli tossed 3 or more TDs. In his ninth season, his prime, he needed to play better this season. He didn’t.
Ian O’Connor of ESPN NewYork says it was Eli’s job to push this team forward and he simply didn’t get it done. READ