New York Giants: Eli Manning Most Clutch QB in the NFL?

Geoffrey MortonCorrespondent IIDecember 15, 2011

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 04:  Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants throws a pass against the Green Bay Packers at MetLife Stadium on December 4, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

That's right, I said it. Eli Manning could be the most clutch QB in the NFL. Now before you prepare to cut my head off, hear me out: few quarterbacks in the NFL today mean more to their teams than Eli, and he is having the best season of his career.

However, before Eli can be crowned the most clutch quarterback in the NFL, we need to examine a list of top candidates for this title, including Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, and Drew Brees:

Drew Brees

Brees could be Manning's biggest competition. His ability to perform in the clutch is unbelievable and definitely underrated. This season he already has four 4th quarter comebacks/game winning drives and has thrown nine touchdowns in the 4th quarter. He also nearly came back against the Packers in the season opener, but Mark Ingram was stuffed on the goal line and couldn't score the potential game tying score.

Brees has pinpoint accuracy and can march the Saints down the field, but he has been flawed in the past. He threw a crippling pick six against the Rams earlier this year that prevented the Saints from coming back, and threw three interceptions against the Bucs, including one late in the game that contributed to the Saints loss.

Brees has shown incredible poise and effectiveness in the clutch on certain occasions, but he is inconsistent and many times hasn't been able to get it done when the game is on the line.

Tom Brady

Tom Brady has a weak case for being the most clutch QB in the NFL. He has one 4th quarter comeback this year but also hasn't won a playoff game since 2007 nor a Super Bowl since 2005, which leads me to be puzzled as to why people still bring those instances up.

LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 11: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots passes against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field on December 11, 2011 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

He has still had several comeback wins since 2007, but this year he has also cost his team the game on several occasions such as during a loss to the Steelers when he was stripped of the ball for a safety in the final minutes of the game. He also threw four crippling picks against the Bills in week 3 and his ineffectiveness in the 4th quarter nearly cost the Pats the game against the Colts of all teams.

Brady is still a solid player in the clutch and he has to make up for a bad defense, but he is not nearly the kind of player people make him out to be. He is not the most clutch QB in the league.

Aaron Rodgers

Rodgers only has one game winning drive this year, but that is mainly because the Packers are rarely down in games. However, this is a measure of a quarterback's ability in the clutch, and there is little to see from Aaron Rodgers. Of course, with a minute left to go against the Giants two weeks ago Rodgers dissected New York's defense and led the Packers to a win on a last second field goal.

There has been little to see of Aaron Rodgers in the clutch throughout his career, but what has been seen is impressive. But is a few instances of precision enough for the title of most clutch?

Eli Manning

And finally, we reach Eli Manning. Eli has silenced critics with his incredible performances week after week this year, and he has played better than ever without the luxury of a strong (or even reasonable) rushing attack or potent defense. Seven of the Giants' eight wins this year have been due to Eli Manning's 4th quarter dominance.

Though he cost New York the game against the Eagles in week 11 with a late fumble, besides that Eli has been stunning in the clutch. The Dolphins, Cardinals, Cowboys, Patriots, Bills, and Eagles have all been victims of Eli's wrath late in the game. He is the reason the Giants are still in playoff contention and has done things this year that no one ever would've expected after his inconsistent 2010 performance.


So does Eli Manning deserve to be called the most clutch QB in the NFL? He has done incredible things late in the game without solid players in the backfield and with an aging offensive line and spotty defense.

Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and Aaron Rodgers, however, all have performed well the in the clutch throughout their careers. So who deserves it the most? Cast your vote on the poll and decide for yourselves.

As for me, I vote for Eli Manning. No one has been able to make up for a lack of talent around them like Eli has, and week after week he has been able to put on a show in the 4th quarter and when the game is close, the Giants almost always come out on top.