Why Phil Simms Is Dead Wrong, Eli Manning Is Absolutely an Elite QB

Jesse ReedCorrespondent INovember 13, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 4: Quarterback Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants calls a play against the Pittsburgh Steelers during an NFL game at MetLife Stadium on November 4, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Steelers defeated the Giants 24-20. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Phil Simms doesn't think Eli Manning is an elite quarterback. 

Via CBS New York, Simms said:

No, he is not one of the elites...When I hear the word elite, I’m thinking about guys that can make unbelievable plays on the field by themselves. There are very few quarterbacks in that category. So yes, Eli has been a tremendous team player. He has been MVP of the Super Bowl twice. I know that. But the way I look at it, the answer is no.

My response?

Bartender, I'll have what he's having.

Sure, Manning has had four awful games in a row, throwing one touchdown and six interceptions since Week 7, but Simms is absolutely off his rocker. Not only is his initial statement wacko, saying that Manning isn't elite, but then his definition is one that defies logic, too. 

By Simms' definition, the only quarterbacks in the NFL that can be called elite are guys like Robert Griffin III, Cam Newton and Michael Vick. After all, those are the only guys who can, "make unbelievable plays on the field by themselves" on a regular basis. 

I'm betting that Simms really meant that elite quarterbacks make unbelievable plays when all hell breaks loose at the end of games, kind of like that guy wearing No. 10 for Big Blue.

When you need a big play, Manning steps up and makes a perfect throw that most quarterbacks can't make nine times out of 10. 

Granted, Manning does have a bit of a gun slinger's mentality, which leads to some big interception totals, but so did Dan Marino, John Elway and Brett Favre—guys who were undoubtedly elite in their day. 

If I need to win one game for all the marbles, Manning is one of a handful of quarterbacks I trust. Since 2004, Manning has led 28 fourth-quarter or game-winning drives—more than Tom Brady (25).

He's brought his team back from certain doom more times than I can count on my 20 digits, and he's won two Super Bowls in the process. If that's not the definition of an elite quarterback, then I need to find a new profession.


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