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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Eric Allen, Seth Joyner, Donovan McNabb among 2019 Hall of Fame nominees

Eric Allen, Seth Joyner, Donovan McNabb among 2019 Hall of Fame nominees

Eric Allen, Seth Joyner, Donovan McNabb and numerous other players and coaches who spent time with the Eagles are among 102 modern-era nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2019, announced Thursday.

The initial list of 102 former players and coaches will be whittled down to 25 semifinalists in November and then 15 finalists in January before final voting at the Super Bowl in Atlanta in February.

Eric Allen, CB

Had 34 of his 54 career interceptions during his seven years with the Eagles. Added four more INTs in the postseason, three with the Eagles. Returned nine INTs for touchdowns, seventh most in NFL history.

Seth Joyner, LB

Only player in NFL history with at least 50 interceptions and 20 sacks. Joyner, now an analyst with NBC Sports Philadelphia, finished with 52 sacks and 24 INTs during his 13-year career, the first eight in Philly.

Randall Cunningham, QB

Including playoffs, threw for 32,405 yards and 219 touchdowns and rushed for 5,201 yards with a 6.3 average in 17-year career. Only player in NFL history with 30,000 passing yards and 5,000 rushing yards.

Donovan McNabb, QB

Led Eagles to the playoffs seven times from 2000 through 2009 and made six Pro Bowls. Ranks 12th in NFL history with nine playoff wins. Had 92-49-1 record in 11 years with Eagles. From 2000-04, had most wins of any NFL quarterback (53).

Ricky Watters, RB

Spent only 1995-97 with Eagles but piled up 3,794 rushing yards and 161 catches in those three seasons. Five-time Pro Bowler, twice with Eagles. One of only 14 players with 10,000 rushing yards and 400 catches. His 12 postseason TDs are sixth-most ever.

Troy Vincent, CB

Trenton, New Jersey, native spent eight years with the Eagles, going to five Pro Bowls and picking off 28 passes. Finished 15-year career with 47 interceptions and added four more in the postseason.

Herschel Walker, RB

After starting his pro career in the USFL, rushed for 8,225 yards and 61 TDs with 512 catches for 4,859 yards in 12 NFL seasons. Ran for 2,344 yards with 163 catches in three years with the Eagles in early 1990s.

Sean Landeta, P 

Landeta had two stints with the Eagles during his 21-year career. Punted 1,401 times in 284 games for 60,707 yards and a 43.3 average.

Jeff Feagles, P

Played in 352 games, third most in NFL history, during 22-year career that brought him to the Eagles from 1990 through 1993. Had 73,633 career punt yards — about 42 miles of punts.

Brian Mitchell, PR-KR-RB

Had nine punt returns and four kick returns in 14-year career, two of each during his stint with the Eagles from 2000 through 2002.

Jeff Garcia, QB

Went 5-1 and won a playoff game for Eagles in 2006 after McNabb’s season-ending injury. Spent 11 years in NFL and made three Pro Bowls after five seasons in CFL.

Chris Warren, RB

Played only three games in an Eagles uniform at the end of his 11-year career, but in 2000 playoff win over Bucs he was 22 for 85 rushing, still the ninth-most rushing yards ever by an Eagle in a playoff game.

Mark Bavaro, TE

Spent most of his career with the Giants but finished with Eagles in 1993 and 1994, catching 60 passes for 696 yards and nine touchdowns. Was 351-4,733-39 in his career.

Takeo Spikes, LB

Played only one of his 15 seasons with the Eagles, starting 14 games in 2007. Started 215 games and made two Pro Bowls with the Bills.

Dick Vermeil, HC

Won a Super Bowl with the Rams in 1999, 19 years after taking the Eagles to their first Super Bowl in 1980. Had 120-109 career coaching record with Eagles, Rams and Chiefs.

Bill Cowher, AC

Cowher, who led the Steelers to the Super Bowl title after the 2005 season, began his career as an undrafted special teams player and reserve linebacker with the Eagles in 1979 and returned here in 1983 and 1984 before going into coaching.

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Brian Dawkins to receive Hall of Fame ring during Eagles-Panthers game

Brian Dawkins to receive Hall of Fame ring during Eagles-Panthers game

Eagles fans will have yet another chance to celebrate Brian Dawkins’ Hall of Fame nod during the upcoming season. 

Dawkins will receive his Hall of Fame ring — the “ring of excellence" — during a halftime ceremony when the Eagles host the Panthers on Sunday, Oct. 21 at the Linc. The game is a 1 p.m. kickoff. 

During halftime of that game, all three symbols of Dawk’s Hall of Fame induction will be present: 

• His gold jacket

• The bronzed bust

• And the ring 

The Ring of Excellence is made by Kay Jewelers. Every kiss begins with Kay, but in Dawkins’ case, I guess every knockout hit does too. 

The rings are specially designed for each Hall of Famer and are supposed to represent their unique careers. 

According to the press release: “A likeness of the Enshrinee’s bust, along with his position and years in the NFL appear on one side while his name, the Pro Football Hall of Fame logo and his enshrinement class is included on the other.”

Pretty cool. 

But what’s cooler is that Eagles fans will get a chance to celebrate Dawk’s enshrinement with him in Philly. That’ll be special. 

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