Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 6/17/12
Eli Manning was ranked as the No. 31 player in the NFL by his peers.

Manning was fifth among quarterbacks (only behind Brady, Rodgers, Brees and Roethlisberger), which isn't far from the truth (should be ahead of Roethlisberger). He passed for nearly 5,000 yards and had the fourth-highest yards-per-attempt average in football during an impressive, yet somewhat inconsistent regular season.

In the playoffs, Eli had a nine-to-one touchdown-to-interception ratio, completing 65 percent of his passes and posting a passer rating of 103.3 leading the Giants to their second Super Bowl victory during his career.  Based on these results, the voting by the players most likely didn’t include postseason results; which is absolutely ridiculous in my opinion.

By ranking Manning as high as 31st, it seems to me the voters have indicated that they fail to acknowledge the importance of quarterbacks in the modern NFL. A closer look at Eli Manning’s performance in the playoffs suggests and supports his credentials as a top 15 player in the NFL. Eli outplayed league MVP Aaron Rodgers (on the road), handing the Packers and Rodgers just their second defeat of the season. Also on the road, Manning weathered a barrage of pressure from a very talented team in the 49ers and defeated them in overtime to advance to the Super Bowl. Finally, matched up again with arguably the best QB in the NFL and a future Hall of Famer in Tom Brady. The Giants led by Eli Manning defeated the Patriots for the second time in four years to capture the Vince Lombardi trophy.

So let's look at the statistics. In 2011, Eli Manning led the team on seven fourth quarter comebacks and eight game-tying drives, making him the NFL all-time leader for both in a single season (tied with Peyton Manning and Jake Delhomme). Manning also set the record for most passing touchdowns in the fourth quarter in a single season with 15, passing his brother Peyton and Johnny Unitas.

Overall, throughout his career in the regular season, Eli has led 25 game-winning drives in his career, placing him 24thof all-time. The playoffs is where we separate the men from the boys and thus far, Eli has performed well above anyone has expected by leading five game-winning drives in the playoffs, which ties him with Joe Montana for third place of all-time (Brady tops the list with seven and Elway has six). Eli also has four fourth-quarter comebacks in the playoffs, good for second all-time, tied with Brady, Elway and Bradshaw and only one behind Joe Montana with five.

So for those NFL players who voted Eli Manning as the 31st best NFL player, shame on you!

How much more does Eli need to do to gain the respect and admiration of his peers?  With two Super Bowl victories already on his resume and at least five to seven high caliber productive years still ahead of him, Manning could conceivably win two more Super Bowl titles and become only the third QB (Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana are the other two) in NFL history to accomplish such a feat; which would no doubt place Eli Manning in the Hall of Fame.


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