From the Press Box: Eli Manning, another NFL good-guy is leaving the field and heading to Canton, Ohio


Wednesday afternoon the news came out that New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning will be hanging it up.

Manning is one of those odd quarterbacks who has the entire media and fans divided on whether or not he actually belongs in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

Personally, it’s hard for me to not give him the nod. Not necessarily first-ballot, but any one who has taken down arguably the best coach-quarterback duo in NFL history deserves a hard look.

Manning will finish his career with 366 touchdowns, 57,023 yards and 244 interceptions. His win-loss record, which I have a love-hate relationship with as a stat, is 117-117. 

He also started 210 consecutive games, not counting playoffs, which is good for third in the NFL behind Brett Favre (297) and Philip Rivers (224). 

In his playoff career, he went 8-4, but that number is skewed because both of his Super Bowl runs, were four-game postseasons. In those two Super Bowl runs he only had two interceptions and posted a quarterback rating of 95.7 (2007) and 103.3 (2011). 

I understand the complaint he only had seven winning seasons in 14 full seasons as a starter. I also understand the Giants haven’t had a winning season in three years.

But toward the end of his career, how much of that was on Manning? 

Since that first year under coach Ben McAdoo when the Giants went 11-5 in 2016, the Giants had two coaches in three years with McAdoo and Pat Shurmur. 

Shurmur, as a head coach, is 19-46. The Giants weren’t optimistic about this season anyway, seeing as they drafted quarterback Daniel Jones in the first round of the draft.

If you are going to forget about the two Super Bowls, which puts him with 11 other quarterbacks in NFL history, there are other Hall-of-Famers whose stats and win-loss records are impressive.

Brett Favre holds every record that hasn’t been broken by Drew Brees or Tom Brady, but his career postseason record is 13-11, 10-11 if you remove his Super Bowl run in 1996. One ring, by the way.

Joe Namath, also one ring, was 62-63-4 as a starter and finished with 173-220 touchdown-interception ratio.

Kurt Warner, one ring, played on three different teams, only had five winning seasons in 12 seasons, and is in the Hall of Fame.

By sharing these three quarterbacks, the evidence is you don’t make the Hall of Fame based on stats alone. 

The impact one makes on the NFL, the fans and his team paints the bigger picture. 

Manning is a former Walter Payton Man of the Year recipient. He also gave fans two of the most memorable plays in Super Bowl history with the David Tyree helmet grab and the Mario Manningham sideline grab to dethrone the undefeated Patriots to also dethrone the Patriots.

Not to mention the funny commercials with his brother, Peyton.

Manning was one of the perennial good guys in the league who shouldered the tough New York media and never complained about coaching changes, wide receiver criticisms or speculation about his future.

He was one of the faces of the NFL during his career and that speaks to something.

Thank you, Eli.

John Lee is the editor of The Pampa News and can be reached at or find him on Twitter: @jcl1987.

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