Eli Manning New York Giants
(Poto by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

NFL defensive players are not impressed by New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning despite his two Super Bowl MVP awards.

Billy McInerney

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning has had a long and successful career. The 38-year-old has won two Super Bowl MVP awards, ranks in the top 10 in yards thrown, and belongs in the Hall of Fame when he retires.

However, opposing defenders don’t fear Manning anymore. In a poll of defensive players conducted by The Athletic (subscription required), Manning was voted the second most overrated quarterback in the league, although it should be noted that only 10 percent of responders picked him.

Kirk Cousins was picked as the most overrated thrower, which should allow ESNY’s Robby Sabo to take a victory lap. Cousins famously got a fully guaranteed deal from the Minnesota Vikings, who he failed to make the playoffs with a year after the team went to the NFC Conference Championship game.

The Giants offense did struggle this season despite having Odell Beckham Jr. and Saquon Barkley. While a lot of the blame for that bad season was placed onto Manning’s shoulders, he didn’t have a lot of help from his offensive line (again).


However, quarterback is a position that is graded by team success above all else. As the players note, when a quarterback wins they get credit even if they don’t deserve it.

New York Giants

The flip side to that is that when the team loses, the quarterback gets blamed even if it’s not primarily on them. That’s the situation that Manning finds himself in, as he was unable to win games this season despite dealing with bad offensive line play.

New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold also made an appearance in the poll, as he was named the second most impressive rookie quarterback. However, his 21 percent of the vote put him in a distant second to Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, who got 60 percent of the vote.

It’s unknown whether Manning will play another game for the Giants. However, if he does, he’ll be hoping to change some opinions of opposing defenders.

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