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Inside the Numbers: Eli Manning’s Interception-Filled 2013 Season Worse than Joey Harrington

December 21st, 2013 at 7:58 PM
By Max DeMara

Eli Manning is an outstanding quarterback with a knack for winning games in the regular season and playoffs. He's even got two Super Bowls to his credit, and could eventually be elected to the Hall of Fame one day in the future.

'D.J. Ware (28), David Baas (64), Eli Manning (10)' photo (c) 2012, Mike Morbeck - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

For just one season, however, he's also got the dubious distinction of being statically worse than one of the most dubious failed Detroit Lions' quarterbacks. To put in perspective how bad Manning has been this season, Joey Harrington never had a season in which he tossed 25 picks like Manning has throughout the first 15 weeks in 2013.

Though Harrington would finish with more interceptions than touchdowns four out of his six years in the league, his high water mark for interceptions was reached in 2003, when he tossed 22 away as a member of the Lions, which is less than Manning will finish 2013 with. Harrington also only went over 3,000 yards just once (2004) when compared with Manning, who has accomplished that feat nine times.

Manning hasn't had a problem crossing the yardage barrier in his time in the league, but he has had his issues with picks. During the 2007 season, he fired away 20 to the opposition. In 2010 he finished the season with 25, but threw 31 touchdowns along the way, helping to forgive the sin. This season, barring a surge over the final two games, that's not happening. Manning is in danger of becoming the first quarterback to throw 30 or more interceptions in a season since Vinny Testaverde threw 35 in 1988 for Tampa Bay.

Once in a while, football has the strange ability to come full circle. Super Bowl winners can temporarily play like journeymen, and journeymen can temporarily find the spark which helps them imitate Super Bowl winners. How bad has Manning been in 2013? Worse than the much-maligned Harrington with regards to interceptions.

Statistically and otherwise, it's usually impossible to link the two in the same stratosphere at all.

Max DeMara is the managing editor of Lions 101. You can find him on this site's Twitter @detroitlions101

Tags: Detroit, Detroit Lions, Eli Manning, Football, Joey Harrington, NFL

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