NFL legend Jerry Rice incorrectly stated that New York Giants QB Eli Manning does not belong in the Pro Football Hall of Fame when he retires.
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning is sufferring through a dreadful season in 2018. He has been unable to push the ball downfield, has struggled with accuracy, and has failed to be on the same page as star Odell Beckham Jr. at key times.
While not all of the issues have been his fault, the fact remains that at 37, he is on the downside of his career.
The conversation around Manning has thus turned to whether or not Manning is a Hall of Fame caliber player. When asked to weight in on Manning’s hall of fame prospects, legendary receiver Jerry Rice did not endorse Manning for the Hall.
When interviewed on 95.7 The Game by Joe Fortenbaugh, Lorenzo Neal, and Dan Dibley, Rice said he did not think Manning belongs in the Hall of Fame because he was not consistent enough. Rice is not the first former star receiver to bash Manning either.
Rice compared Manning to Drew Brees when speaking on why he doesn’t feel Manning deserves to join him in Canton.
“What I see with Eli Manning, there’s not consistency. Yes, he has two Super Bowls, but then you look at Drew Brees and what he has accomplished and all of that. I think in yardage now he’s the leader. He’s doing great things for that team, and that team is getting better as they go. You can tell he’s a great leader and he makes everybody around him better. So, I would think that Drew Brees is going to be a shoo-in. Eli? There’s a chance of him getting in, but I’m not going to say he’s a true Hall of Famer.”
Rice is, quite simply, dead wrong.
He’s right that Brees is an amazing quarterback. That’s a fact that nobody can or would argue. He’s got the record for passing yards and has the third highest quarterback rating in NFL history. Nobody thinks that Manning is on the same level as Brees, but then, arguably, nobody except Tom Brady ever has been.
However, Manning absolutely deserves a Hall of Fame bust. He sits at sixth in passing yards all-time and tied for seventh in touchdowns with 54,247 and 350, respectively. Those are numbers that, while helped by a long career, show that he has been very effective while under center.
His career passer rating is 83.9 isn’t outstanding, but it isn’t insanely low for a Hall of Famer. Hall of Famers Troy Aikman, Bart Starr, and even John Elway had lower passer ratings than Manning has for his career, and all three are in Canton. In fact, his passer rating is 13 points higher than Terry Bradshaw’s 70.9.
While Manning doesn’t have the greatest passer rating in NFL history, there are numerous Hall of Famers that have lower ratings than he does. His regular season stats are strong enough to make him a borderline Hall of Fame level quarterback.
What pushes him over the line is what he’s done in the playoffs. In 12 career playoff games, he has 2,815 yards with an impressive 18:9 TD:INT ratio. He has won two Super Bowl MVP Awards and famously beat an undefeated Patriots team led by Brady.
While getting it done in the playoffs is not, and should not be the only measure of whether a quarterback deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, Manning’s playoff resume combined with his regular season stats mean that he absolutely belongs in the Hall of Fame when he retires.
Jerry Rice is the best receiver of all time, but he is dead wrong about Eli Manning.