Back in August, New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning considered himself to be in the same class of quarterbacks as New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, when asked this question on "The Michael Kay Show."
At the time, I scoffed along with most NFL fans at Manning's claims. Yes, Manning did lead the Giants to victory over Brady’s Patriots in Super Bowl XLII, but he was coming off a season in which he threw an NFL-worst 25 interceptions, while Brady was the 2010 NFL MVP after a tremendous season in which he only threw four interceptions.
Brady is a first-ballot Hall of Famer, while Manning came into the season still stuck in the shadow of his older brother and another first-ballot Hall of Fame quarterback, Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts.
Eli may have answered that question boldly, but he backed up his words. In a season where his older brother missed the entire year due to a neck injury, Eli emerged from his brother’s shadow with the best season of his career, which he finished off by winning Super Bowl XLVI—once again over the Patriots—to win his second championship ring, one more than his brother has won.
As Manning has truly proved himself this year, the debate over whether he is a top-five NFL quarterback has raged on throughout the season. And with Manning’s second Super Bowl victory to conclude a breakout season, there should be no doubt he ranks among the top five, but how high?
I'll break down the five best quarterbacks in the National Football League.