"I consider myself in that class," Manning told Kay. "I think (Brady has) grown up and gotten better every year, and that's what I'm trying to do."
Not surprisingly, Manning's comparison drew some heat from critics, who point out that potential Hall of Famer Brady has three Super Bowl victories to Manning's one, and that Brady has never recorded a 25-interception season as Manning did last year.
Regardless, Manning insists that his 25 interceptions were an exception rather than the rule, and that he was confident that he would be able to put that behind him and post good numbers this year.
"I'm not a 25-interception quarterback," Manning told Kay. "That's going to be fixed and it should be a good year."
See Manning's Interview on NFL.com: Manning: I gave an honest answer
Patriots Insider's Take:
Manning's ability to pilot the Giants to their Super Bowl victory in the 2007 season was his greatest accomplishment as a professional signal-caller. Though much of the credit belongs to former assistant coach Steve Spagnuolo and the Giants defense. Many pundits have noted, the Giants offense was widely criticized that entire season. Manning finished 12th among all 32 starting quarterbacks recording 3,336 passing yards in 529 attempts with a woeful 56.1 completions percentage. In fact, Manning's poor play placed him barely above Cleo Lemon, Rex Grossman and Kellen Clemens for worst performances by a QB in 2007.
Looking through the reports, there was talk that the team was winning in spite of Manning's subpar play that year. The New York offense turned in an average performance that year (16th overall), but was bolstered by the 4th best running team in the league averaging 134.2 yards per game (4.6 avg) . Brandon Jacobs ran for over 1,000 yards with Derrick Ward contributing for another 602.
New York's defense was the 7th best in the league in 2007, holding opponents to just 305 yards per game. The Giants' D was equally impressive on third down, holding opponents to just 35% success rate on third down conversion attempts (5th best overall).
If Manning want's to compate himself to players like Brady, then he's going to have to show he can lead the team to multiple playoff appearances and division titles. Though Manning has an 80.2 career passer rating, he's eclipsed the mark for just three seasons in his 7 year career. (high of 93.1 in 2009). Brady on the other hand has eclipsed the 80 mark in every season except his rookie season when he threw just one pass for 3 yards. Brady's career rating of 95.2 shows how far ahead of Manning he (and other top QBs) are. Philip Rivers has a 97.2 career rating, Eli's brother Peyton Manning has a 94.9 career rating. Even Drew Brees (who also has just 1 Super Bowl title) has a rating over 90 (91.7).
Looking at the stats, one should be able to divine that Eli Manning was talking more from emotion and confidence in his ability than actual performance benchmarks. When you look at the numbers, the younger Manning just isn't part of the top tier of QBs in the league -- at least not yet.
Material from the Sports Xchange was used in this report. Insider Analysis by Patriots Insider Jon Scott. Follow him here: @JScottNFL on Twitter.
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