Eagles

The Eli Manning Hall of Fame debate has one obvious answer

The Eli Manning Hall of Fame debate has one obvious answer

Eli Manning is one of only 12 quarterbacks in NFL history to win more than one Super Bowl.

Is that enough to get him into the Hall of Fame?

Manning was benched by Giants coach Pat Shurmur Tuesday in favor of rookie Daniel Jones. 

Manning is 38 and in his 16th season. He's faced the Eagles more than any quarterback in NFL history.

Maybe he’ll get another chance to start somewhere, but most likely the body of work that he’s put out in 246 games so far is essentially what he’ll be judged on when the Pro Football Hall of Fame voters start considering his candidacy five years after he retires.

Let’s take a look!

The case for Eli Manning 

Manning is one of only 12 quarterbacks in NFL history to win more than one Super Bowl, and of the eight QBs who are already eligible for the Hall, seven have been enshrined. 

The exception is Jim Plunkett, who beat the Eagles in 1980 and the Redskins 1983.

But it’s tough to make any sort of case for Plunkett, who played 16 seasons, was a full-time starter eight years, had a winning record twice, never made a Pro Bowl, threw 34 more interceptions than touchdowns and has the 8th-lowest passer rating since 1970 among QBs who played at least 100 games.

You can definitely make a case for Manning.

• He didn’t only win two Super Bowls, he was MVP of both and he toppled the greatest dynasty in NFL history, the Bill Belichick Patriots, in both. He's one of only six multiple Super Bowl MVPs in history.

• Manning never missed a game because of an injury, starting 210 straight games — second-longest QB streak ever — before sitting for one week in 2017. 

• Manning ranks seventh in NFL history with 56,537 passing yards and eight with 362 touchdown passes. Every eligible QB who’s reached either 50,000 passing yards or 300 TD passes is in the Hall of Fame.

• From 2005 through 2012 — his first eight seasons as a full-time starting quarterback — the Giants never had a losing season. Manning made his first three Pro Bowls during that eight-year stretch, and only three QBs won more games during that span — Tom Brady, older brother Peyton Manning and Drew Brees. 

The case against Eli Manning 

• I start with this: When I’m judging a player for Hall of Fame consideration, I ask whether he was ever the best in the NFL at his position for any five-year span. Manning never even came close close. His best five-year span was probably 2011 through 2015, and during that span he ranked 19th in the NFL in passer rating, 20th in completion percentage and 15th in wins. He was seventh in TD passes but first in interceptions.

• He was never great over a full season. Manning played 14 full seasons and finished in the top 10 in passer rating once — he was seventh in 2011. He also ranked 20th or worse six times. He never had a passer rating over 93.6. Sure-fire Hall of Famers like Drew Brees, Brady, Peyton, Philip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger have each had a passer rating over 93.6 at least eight times.

• He never led the NFL in completion percentage, touchdowns, passing yards, yards per game, passer rating or any other major category except interceptions. He led the NFL in interceptions three times.

• Manning’s 3.09 interception percentage ranks closer to the bottom since he entered the NFL than the top. It’s 49th-best out of 73 QBs who’ve thrown at least 1,000 passes since 2004.  

• How many of those 246 games was Eli Manning truly great? He has five career games with 300 passing yards, 3 TD passes and 0 interceptions. That’s the same number as Jared Goff, who’s played 206 fewer games.

The verdict 

On Feb. 3, 2008, and Feb. 5, 2012, Eli Manning was the best quarterback in the world. For nearly all of the other 244 football Sundays since his career began he not only wasn’t the best QB in the world he was remarkably average.

He has a .500 career record, and in 12 of the 14 seasons he was a full-time starter the Giants failed to win a playoff game.

Even Manning’s Super Bowl performances weren’t off the charts. 

In the first one — after the 2007 season — he had a modest passer rating of 82.5, which is 13th-worst of any winning quarterback in Super Bowl history, and he put up just 17 points. In the other, he was very good but still only threw one TD pass.

A lot of people will tell you when talking about Manning that he doesn’t belong in the Hall of Fame, he should be in the Hall of Very Good. 

Honestly, I’m not so sure he belongs in that one either.

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Terrell Owens launches 'COVID-19 Driveway Challenge' complete with situp video

Terrell Owens launches 'COVID-19 Driveway Challenge' complete with situp video

Never one to be left out, Terrell Owens has chimed in with his own social distancing home workout challenge, and it will take Eagles fans back.

Owens, aiming for people spending extra time at home during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, launched the "COVID-19 Driveway Challenge" on Monday evening, piggybacking off recent home exercise social media trends like the "See 10, Do 10" pushup videos.

Owens attempted to start his own movement with a video, filmed in a driveway, eerily similar to the classic 2005 situps he did while holding out as a member of the Eagles:

"All y'all stayin' at home, stayin' safe, let's get this workout in," Owens says in the video. "I need 19 situps, just like I did back in '04, '05, when I did my situps in the driveway." 

Say what you will about Owens: he's nothing if not on brand, even during a global health crisis.

Owens didn't detail whether he's looking to raise money for COVID-19 research, or simply awareness about responsible social distancing.

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Why ESPN picking Carson Wentz over Aaron Rodgers isn't an insane take

Why ESPN picking Carson Wentz over Aaron Rodgers isn't an insane take

ESPN's First Take is a build-your-own hot take generator, but former NFL quarterback and current ESPN personality Dan Orlovsky usually tries to stay away from saying stuff just for reaction.

Which is why Orlovsky's assessment Monday of the five best quarterbacks in the NFC generated so much... discussion? Fury? It was kind of both.

Orlovsky said, in no uncertain terms, that he ranks Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz as the fourth-best QB in the NFC, behind Russell Wilson (yep), Tom Brady (likely), and Drew Brees (yep). 

This, of course, puts Wentz ahead of Aaron Rodgers:

Unsurprisingly, Orlovsky had to deal with angry football fans all day, sifting through tons of tweets calling him out of whack and (kind of hilariously) demanding he be drug tested. You can go look at his timeline for the horror show.

I'm here to defend Orlovsky. Yes, Rodgers is one of the greats. And yes, in a vacuum there is zero comparison between the Packers legend and Wentz.

But heading into the 2020 season, knowing what we know about each QB, I'm also taking Wentz.

Rodgers has seen his completion percentage fall in each of the last four seasons, he posted the second-lowest yards-per-attempt mark of his career in 2019, and he turns 37 in December. Last year, he tossed too many errant passes on would-be easy completions. It felt like he'd turned the corner, and his prime was over.

Wentz, on the other hand, made do with embarassingly bad skill position players and led the Eagles to the playoffs with numerous clutch throws in December.

One of Rodgers' greatest remaining skills is his ability to avoid interceptions, throwing just six over his last 32 regular season games. You know who else has low INT numbers? Wentz, who posted a higher completion percentage than Rodgers in 2019 while working with you and me at wide receiver.

And Wentz, a decade younger than Rodgers and still growing as a passer, also has the added benefit of being an athletic, mobile quarterback.

The greats age, and eventually are no longer great. It happens, and it's happening here.

It took guts for Orlovsky to put Wentz ahead of Rodgers in 2020, but I'm glad he did - because now everyone else can do the same.

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