Eli Manning Vs. Phil Simms: Who Would You Have Lead Your Team?

Fred HewittContributor IJuly 1, 2010

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Phil Simms is recognized as one of the best, if not the best quarterback that the New York Giants have had.  He led them to a Super Bowl in 1986.  He was part of the 1990 Super Bowl.  He had the toughness of New York and the attitude of New York.  Critics loved Simms after the 86' season and rarely questioned how good he was.

Eli Manning is questioned each year by every critic out there.  They say he is not tough enough, they say he is not a leader, they say he is to laid back to lead a team in New York.

Was Phil Simms that much better than Eli Manning?  Was Simms even better than Eli?

Phil Simms led a high profile run oriented offense in the 80's and 90's with the New York Giants.  Only once did Simms throw for more than 4,000 yards in his 14 year career with the Giants.  Simms was only able to break the 60% completion mark twice, and one of them he only played 4 games.  Simms threw for 8,039 yards in his first six seasons, while having a total of 33,462 during his career.  The most touchdowns that Simms through for in a season was 22, while the most interceptions was 22. 

I will say that Simms was tough as he became more experienced, but he did miss a lot of games.  He was a great leader, and vocal player on the field.  Players respected him, coaches respected him, and so did the critics.

Eli Manning seems to be held to a higher standard than Simms.  Critics are skeptical of his passing, but forget to mention that he has passed for 18,644 yards in his first six seasons.  Those numbers are comparable to the highly regarded Ben Roethlisberger (19,302 yards).  That is 10,605 yards more than Simms.  They question his turnovers, but they fail to mention that the most INT's he has thrown in a season is 20 and his accuracy has become exceptionally better since that season.  In comparison, Roethlisberger's high is 23, while Simms is 22.  Why is the INT's a problem for Manning, but not the others?  In 6 seasons, Eli has passed for higher than 60% twice, equaling Simms 14 year total.  Manning career high passing touchdown total is 27, with 21 being his lowest in a complete season.  Simms high is 22, and he threw more than 20 four times.  Eli has passed for more touchdowns than that four out of his six seasons (passing for 20 or more TD's five times), and Roethlisberger has only passed for more touchdowns than Manning twice in six years, and has passed for more than 20 TD's twice (Roethlisberger started most of his first year, while Eli was inserted mid-season).

Eli Manning is also New York tough.  As of now, Manning has played every game since he has become the starter.  Manning has been roughed up many times, but always came out and played the next week.  Is he layed back?  Yes.  Is he any less of a leader than Phil Simms?  No.  He just does it differently.

Phil Simms was great for New York and should be appreciated for what he brought to the city.  He was tough, he was a leader, and he won.  He was a Super Bowl winner as a starter and a Super Bowl MVP.

New York should also be proud to have Eli Manning as their quarterback.  He is a Super Bowl champion.  A Super Bowl MVP.  Most of his numbers rank right their with quarterbacks that are considered, by critics, elite and superior.

When choosing between Simms and Manning, do not go for the critics favor.  Pick the better quarterback, and that would be Eli Manning. 


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