Where Does Eli Rank Among Game's Best QBs?

Like all good sports debates, this one picked up steam over beers at a post-game meeting of TGI's minds at TGI Friday's.

While Idec and Gleason shared vastly differing opinions on Manning's current worth, they each excluded him from the top 10. As for your trusty editor, perhaps he's spent too much time watching Penn State game film, but he ranked Manning ninth! As for the fourth member of our usual post-game gathering, The Star-Ledger's Mike Garafolo, well, he was missing that night. But considering he picked the Giants over Dallas as his best bet, I'd imagine that no one would really care a whole lot about what MG had to say anyway. Just to add a little extra to our evaluation, we enlisted the thoughts of a true football expert, Jim Sabo, who gives a scouting report on Manning at the bottom of this page.

Here goes with TGI's Top 11…

Kevin Gleason

1) Tom Brady – He only seems to be completing 90 percent of his passes this season; actually it's more than 70 percent

2) Peyton Manning – The first time in a long while he's not everybody's No. 1

3) Tony Romo – Money well-spent by the Cowboys

4) Brett Favre – Can he let the rest of us know where he discovered the fountain of youth?

5) Carson Palmer – He's going to play in a lot of Pro Bowls before he's done

6) Ben Roethlisberger – Not the best passer, not the most mobile but good in everything, and great as a leader and as a winner

7) Drew Brees – Needs to cut down on INTs to become a Top 5 QB

8) Donovan McNabb – He can still take over games

9) Matt Hasselbeck – He's had a solid career without the benefit of star receivers

10) Jon Kitna – Completing almost 70 percent of his passes with well over 2,000 yards

11) Eli Manning – Still taking baby steps while we expect him to take Giant steps

Keith Idec

1) Tom Brady – His numbers are utterly ridiculous, and he has all that jewelry you can't buy

2) Peyton Manning – His numbers aren't as gaudy as usual, but there is still only one better

3) Tony Romo – His two-month transformation from bench-warmer to Pro Bowler wasn't a fluke

4) Ben Roethlisberger – Now that he is healthy, he is playing like a Super Bowl quarterback again

5) Brett Favre – He looks so comfortable again, you'd think he was playing in a pair of Wranglers

6) Carson Palmer – Defense is the Bengals' problem, and he could throw for 4,000 yards and 28 TDs again

7) Drew Brees – He and the Saints have overcome a sloooooooow start

8) Donovan McNabb – No amount of criticism can negate the fact that he remains one of the league's better QBs

9) Matt Hasselbeck – He isn't flashy, but he has kept Seattle respectable while Shaun Alexander struggles

10) Marc Bulger – Is injured and has been sacked a lot this season, but 2006 was not an aberration

11) Eli Manning – He hasn't even come close to paying back the steep price New York paid for him

Ken Palmer

1) Tom Brady – I won't even insult you or him with an explanation

2) Peyton Manning – He's fallen from the throne – and the gap appears to still be widening

3) Brett Favre – What he's done with what little the Pack have to offer has been unbelievable

4) Tony Romo – He showed just how for-real he was under the bright lights of New York

5) Carson Palmer – It's more than just the last name that makes this guy great; his rocket arm doesn't hurt much either

6) Drew Brees – You knew it was only going to be a matter of time until he got going again

7) Ben Roethlisberger – His QB skills are much less impressive than his toughness and leadership ability, which are extraordinary

8) Matt Hasselbeck – If only he didn't play in Seattle, he'd be a legitimate star

9) Eli Manning – Trust me, the Giants and their fans could do a lot worse

10) Jon Kitna – You'd be a fool not to take this guy seriously

11) Marc Bulger – Don't let the Rams' lousy record fool you; he's no flash in the pan

Eli Manning scouting report by Jim Sabo

Eli continues to be inconsistent. The Dallas game was a microcosm of his career; one good half, one bad half. Even his full seasons have been one good half of the season, one bad half of the season. His mechanics continue to come into question. When his mechanics are poor, he is usually playing poorly.

Something has been bothering us lately as we continue to watch Eli Manning and his progress, or lack thereof. The great QBs can feel the pass rush. They are said to have a clock in their head that lets them know precisely when to deliver the ball or dump it off to a check-down or to get rid of it completely. They seem to have a sixth sense. Peyton has it. Brady has it. The truly great ones of the past all had it. We think it's a major factor in what separates the great ones from the average ones.

Eli does not feel the rush properly. We've seen him be too quick to drop his vision. When he gets hit a few times or when he is rushed hard he seems to be too aware of the rush. At those times when he drops his vision he sees the rush and he appears to have happy feet. We aren't insinuating he is afraid because we truly do not believe that is the case. The problem with having this deficiency is that it isn't a coachable defect. Only Eli himself can correct this flaw. He has to force himself to keep his vision up to see downfield if he is ever going to be a successful QB.


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