You’ve probably been bombarded with this question ever since the Giants announced that Daniel Jones was going to be the team’s Week 3 starter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The decision brings a rather unceremonious end to Eli Manning’s tenure as the starting quarterback of the New York Giants — a title he held for the last 16 years and 232 starts.
It should have been 233 consecutive starts, but we don’t need to bring up the foolishness that was Ben McAdoo’s decision to start Geno Smith two years ago against the Oakland Raiders.
While there seem to be mixed takes on whether or not Manning deserves to be in Canton, this writer has no issue saying yes to Hall-of-Fame enshrinement for the 38-year-old.
During Manning’s 5,418-day reign as the main man under center, he became the greatest quarterback in Giants history.
And it isn’t even that close.
Manning holds the franchise record for games played, completions, passing yards, passing touchdowns, and wins by a healthy margin over the likes of Phil Simms, Charlie Connerly, Fran Tarkenton, and Y.A. Tittle.
If you broaden the scope of Manning’s numbers to all NFL quarterbacks throughout the league’s 100-year history, his resume stands up:
4,860 completions: 6th all-time
56,537 passing yards: 7th all-time
362 touchdowns: 8th all-time
Then comes his postseason accolades.
Manning is a two-time Super Bowl champion and a two-time Super Bowl MVP while defeating the NFL’s greatest dynasty twice.
Only 11 other quarterbacks in the Super Bowl era have won multiple championships while four others have won multiple Super Bowl MVP awards.
The only non-active player to win multiple Super Bowls and not be in the Hall of Fame is Jim Plunkett, who’s career numbers (1,943 completions, 25,882 yards, 164 TD in 15 years) are far worse than Manning’s.
In terms of multiple Super Bowl MVP winners, Terry Bradshaw, Bart Starr, and Joe Montana are Hall of Famers with Tom Brady set to join them, as well.
Now, there are numbers within Manning’s career statline that suggests he shouldn’t be a Hall-of-Famer.
He ranks 14th all-time with 241 interceptions thrown, his 60.3-percent completion rating ranks a mediocre 42nd, and his 116-116 record as a starter shows there were plenty of down seasons at the Meadowlands.
I get that. And maybe Manning shouldn’t be a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer because of that.
However, to say he isn’t worthy of enshrinement is a bit of a stretch.
The quarterbacking fraternity at Canton is a small one. In the modern era, only 26 passers have been inducted into the Hall of Fame but Manning’s numbers more than belong:
Eli Manning’s ranks among HOF QB’s:
234 Games: 5th
116 wins: 7th
4,860 completions: 3rd
60.3 completion %: 6th
56,537 yards: 3rd
362 touchdowns: 3rd
241 interceptions: 9th-most
It’s time to admit that Eli Manning is one of the game’s greatest quarterbacks, even if there were several lean years and losing seasons throughout the process.