After Eli Manning led the Giants past the San Francisco 49ers, the Eli admiration was at an all-time high. During his five ‘must-win’ games, Eli went 5-0, throwing 12 TD passes to only one interception. Manning was so good in the fourth quarter this season, leading six game winning drives. Eli’s fourth quarter passer rating was also the highest in the league. If Eli is able to defeat Tom Brady, he’ll collect his second Super Bowl, tied for the second most among active quarterbacks. In a league where great QB play is imperative to a team’s success, where does Eli rank in terms of his counterpats?

AP PHOTO

After this season, there’s no question that Eli is elite. Eli threw for near 5,000 yards, helped stop the tailspin in the middle of the season, and was an absolute baller in the fourth quarter. Eli led his team to road wins in consecutive weeks over the NFC’s Top 2 seeds. Regardless of his opponent, Eli stood in the pocket, took a ton of hits, and delivered the ball with poise and confidence. Intangibles often go overlooked in sports, but Eli’s pocket awareness alone is invaluable. With his impressive run and gaudy passing yardage, where does Eli stack up behind the game’s best?:

  1. Tom Brady
  2. Aaron Rodgers
  3. Eli Manning
  4. Ben Rothlesberger
  5. Drew Brees

Stat me to death with Drew Brees numbers, but taking him out of the dome clearly affects his production. The Saints have never won an outdoor playoff game, which is pretty sad and that directly reflect on the head coach and quarterback. There’s no doubt that Brees is an elite regular season player, but his numbers plummet to 0-6 in the playoffs on the road.

An obvious name missing from this list is Peyton Manning. Currently, Manning says he is taking things very slowly with his neck, but we are all skeptical. We could see him walk away from the game if he can’t perform a ‘Peyton-level’–and I just don’t think the opportunity is there. If healthy, I’d slide Peyton ahead of Eli for third in the league. Forget about Peyton’s silly playoff record (9-10) and realize that the dude has four MVP Awards. That’s good enough for me. 

The players ranked above Manning, (Brady & Rodgers), are better quarterbacks, in my opinion. Clearly, Brady and his three Super Bowl rings are going for their fourth Brady-Belichick Super Bowl title! For Rodgers, he has the age, ability, and winning mantra who will be in an elite player for the next 10-15 years. 

While it’s easy to pick out two of the best quarterbacks, Giant fans have a player that 27 other teams would want.