And so it begins again. Just when it appeared New York Giants QB Eli Manning had answered the ever lingering 'Is Eli Manning elite?' question by winning his second Super Bowl in five years, Giants legend Phil Simms raises the topic again. On CBS Sports Network's "NFL Morning QB," Simms stated he doesn't believe Manning is elite after playing poorly in the last three games.
"No, he is not one of the elites," Simms said. "Because when I hear the word elite, I’m thinking about guys that can make unbelievable plays on the field by themselves. There are very few quarterbacks in that category."
Phil must not have paid much attention to the league over the last five years, because if he had, he would have witnessed a list of "unbelievable" plays made by Manning, including one of the most impressive throws in Super Bowl history when he hooked up with Mario Manningham along the sidelines to help beat the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI.
"I always bring up Aaron Rodgers," Simms continued. "He is one of them. So yes, Eli has been a tremendous team player. He has been MVP of the Super Bowl twice. I know that. But the way I look at it, the answer is no."
Simms' co-host Dan Fouts proved more rational by insisting Manning is in fact one of the league's top quarterbacks.
"You can’t spell elite without Eli," Fouts said. "The pressure situations that Eli has thrived in over his short career, in my mind, make him an elite quarterback. Because that is when you’re judged. How well do you do when the pressure is on, when you’ve got to win the game? And all you have to do is look back at his two Super Bowl wins and the way he beat the Patriots. I have to give him a nod and say Eli is elite."
At the young age of 31, Manning already has two Super Bowls and two Super Bowl MVP's under his belt, with a lot of football left in his career. Manning has showed many times that he can take over a game, especially in the fourth quarter. It is inevitable that every quarterback is going to hit a slump, it's only a matter of time when Eli returns to his usual self. Hopefully the bye week will allow Manning time to rest his arm, and his mind before finishing the last six games of the season.
It appears no matter how many Super Bowls Manning wins or how many times he can hoist the MVP trophy after each Super Bowl, the moment his productivity drops his elite status will be questioned. We here at Giants 101 believe you as fans should feel more than satisfied with Manning leading your team.
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