Lately there’s been no more polarizing debate in the Big Apple than that of the future of New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning.
As the arguments play out over the veteran New York Giants quarterback, it’s sometimes difficult to separate fact from fiction. For example, according to Pro Football Reference, in 2018, Eli Manning had the highest completion percentage (66 percent) of his career.
For good measure, we also know that Manning threw for more than 4,000 yards (4,299 yards) for the seventh time in his career. Sure, he threw the second lowest number of interceptions in his career (11), but he also had only 21 touchdown passes to his credit.
To put his touchdown pass total in perspective, Manning ranked 17th in the NFL, and he had the same number of touchdown passes as Carson Wentz. Due to injury, Wentz played in just 11 games, while Manning played in all 16 contests.
Recently, the website, The Athletic (subscription required), released an anonymous poll of 85 defensive players around the league. The purpose of the informal survey was to gauge their thoughts about quarterback play.
Per The Athletic:
“It is important to note that these results are not scientific. Some players chose to answer every question, some skipped a few or specifically answered ‘no comment.’ The votes for ‘no comment’ were not included in the percentage calculation. So, for example, for the ‘most overrated QB’ question, there were 77 total responses, but 14 ‘no comments’; we subtracted the ‘no comments’ from the total of responses before calculating the percentage.”
Now that we’ve gotten the housekeeping out-of-the-way, what do NFL defenders think of Eli Manning?
When asked, “who is the most overrated quarterback?”, ten percent of poll respondents believed that Manning fit that description. The veteran New York Giants signal-caller trailed only the Minnesota Vikings Kirk Cousins (14 percent) in this category.
That Manning gets mentioned six or seven times in a poll of this nature shouldn’t be surprising. The reason Cousins led the pack is that he’s been a topic of conversation since signing a three-year, $84 million contract with the Minnesota Vikings last offseason.
In other words, Cousins is prominently stationed in the cerebral cortex of many NFL folks. But would it surprise you to know that Cousins completed 70 percent of his passes last season? Or that he threw 30 touchdowns versus only 10 interceptions?
He also threw for 4,298 passing yards in 2018, and apparently that was not only not good enough, it was terrible!
So take the results with a big grain of salt because many of the respondents likely didn’t have as good a season as Cousins did.
In terms of Manning, he showed up with multiple votes in another area. Respondents were asked, “if you could replace one NFL quarterback with Colin Kaepernick, whom would you pick?” At least Eli was not first on the list like Blake Bortles (20 percent) was. Players also mentioned back-up Nathan Peterman (18 percent), although Peterman’s inclusion may as well have been Alex Tanney, Joshua Dobbs, Mark Sanchez, or any other clip board holder.
A poll of this nature means little, it’s not like NFL players are neutral or unbiased, or can even effectively evaluate talent. All one has to do is recall the conversations surrounding Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey this summer.
Overall, the best thing you can say about the survey is that it’s interesting. But it does indicate that the Eli Manning saga is being viewed across the league.