Why NFL Fans Need to Face Facts, Embrace Eli Manning as Clutch QB

Pete Schauer@@Pete_SchauerCorrespondent IDecember 17, 2011

4,105 yards, 25 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, 316 yards a game and a 95.5 rating makes Eli Manning the most underrated QB in the NFL.

While he ranks in the top seven in terms of total yardage, touchdowns, yards per game, and QB rating, Manning is still disrespected and under appreciated around the league.

His six fourth-quarter comebacks this season rank higher than the captivating Tim Tebow, yet analysts and fans alike aren't set to dub him an elite quarterback.

Manning trails only Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and Drew Brees in total yards, meaning he's bested quarterbacks who are usually described as great, such as Ben Roethlisberger, Philip Rivers, Matt Ryan, and Tony Romo.

Clutch quarterbacks are often thought of as guys who lead their team from deficit to victory in crucial situations, which is something Manning has done all season.

Manning's 14 fourth-quarter touchdowns are tied for the most in NFL history in a single season, a record he will surely break by the season's end.

His 1,458 yards and 117.0 passer rating in the fourth quarter are also the highest among all four quarters.

In fact, Manning has thrown more touchdowns and sports a higher passer rating in the fourth quarter than Brees, Brady and Rodgers.  If that's not clutch, I don't know what is. 

Also, on third down this season, Manning boasts a 104.1 passer rating, with 11 touchdowns.

But he has performed at the highest level when his team has needed it the most.  When trailing this season, Manning has a 65.4 completion percentage, 20 TDs, six INTs and a 107.0 passer rating.

With that being said, it's time for fans to realize that Manning is, in fact, an elite quarterback in the NFL. 

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