No. He. Didn't.
Seriously. I can't make something like this up. If you want to listen to the whole thing, go here. But I have to warn you, this is not a work-appropriate link. You will laugh hard enough to draw unnecessary attention to yourself.
The fun started when the host said, "Are you in the Tom Brady class?"
Eli responded with this:
"I consider myself in that class, and Tom Brady is a great quarterback. He's a great player, and what you've seen with him is he's gotten better every year, and he started off winning championships, and I think he's a better quarterback now than what he was, in all honesty, when he was winning those championships.
It's funny, you say well he won championships, but the team, but I think now he's grown up and gotten better every year and that's what I'm trying to do. I kind of hope these next seven years of my quarterback days are my best."
I can't argue the fact that Tom Brady has improved each year. He's hovered between 12 and 14 picks per year and and has typically thrown about 25 touchdowns each season. Brady mixed in a 50-spot in 2007 to go along with eight picks. And last year he tossed 36 touchdowns against four interceptions.
Manning on the other hand?
Not so much.
He started off with 17 picks in his first year as a starter. The number ballooned to 18 and then peaked at 20, which was the worst in the league, before he finally got things under control in 2008 and 2009.
And then, bang.
2010 rolled around, and Manning threw the ball to the other team 25 times and once again led the NFL in interceptions. His 25 picks are 11 more picks than Brady ever threw in a season.
To give you some perspective, the most picks Brady ever threw over a two-year period is 28.
I'm starting to think Manning wanted to say he was in the same class as Trent Dilfer even though Dilfer never threw 20 or more picks in a season. OK, I'm being a bit unfair with that stat because Dilfer never threw the ball as often as Manning.
But here's what the two have in common. They each won a Super Bowl by finding themselves in the right place at the right time, and they never validated their success.
In 2007, Manning led the NFL in interceptions with 20, which was highlighted by a four-pick showing against the Vikings at home. He then backed that up with two more picks on the road, and yet his team still found a way to win.
When Dilfer won his Super Bowl in 2000 he managed to throw 11 picks in only eight games, yet his team managed to go 7-1 with him under center despite him throwing two interceptions in three of the team's last five games.
Both cut back on their picks in the playoffs, hid behind their defense, won on the road and eventually held the Vince Lombardi trophy.
And I am well aware that Manning went up against Brady in his Super Bowl win, but we all know Asante Samuel and David Tyree deserve a lot of the credit.
I know, I know. Manning eluded the pressure and avoided a sack, which would have ended the game for all intents and purposes. Great, he was Fran Tarkenton and Randall Cunningham all wrapped in one for one stinkin' play.
And I know we can never take that win away from Manning.
But here's what else "never" can be associated with.
Dilfer never won a playoff game after his Super Bowl win. And guess what? Manning never won a playoff game outside of that fluke in 2007.
Come on Eli, don't put yourself in Brady's class when the guy has 14 playoff wins and opened up his career with 10 straight postseason victories.
Don't lie to yourself and think you are like a quarterback who led the league in touchdowns three years, yards twice, completion percentage once and quarterback rating twice while you led the league in nothing other than picks thrown.
Manning can't possibly put himself in the same class as Brady. But if he wanted to classify himself with Dilfer, we could have a interesting conversation.
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