This week there was a special one-off SB Nation FanPulse question about Eli Manning. The former New York Giants quarterback announced his retirement on Friday after 16 seasons with the team, memorably winning two Super Bowls (and two Super Bowl MVPs) against the New England Patriots.
While Eli’s brother Peyton’s status as one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time is not in question, Eli’s legacy as someone who should be in the Hall of Fame is a bit more complicated. FanPulse respondents weighed in, and while NFL fans as a whole are split on Eli’s case for the HOF, Giants fans are a tad biased towards a “yes” vote.
New England Patriots fans got their own graphic, and unsurprisingly they’re not exactly on board with the idea of Eli to Canton.
Lastly, the NFC East rivals had their say, and... well they’re saying that’s a “no,” especially Philadelphia Eagles fans.
The entire argument for Eli being in the Hall of Fame is centered around his two postseason runs, which culminated in comeback Super Bowl wins against the New England dynasty, denying them a 19-0 season in ‘07. That the Giants defense held the Patriots to 31 combined points in those two games seems to get lost in the shuffle. Manning was genuinely very good in the 2007 and 2011 playoffs, with only one of those games coming at home. However, his other four trips to the postseason ended in an immediate loss, including a shutout home loss in 2005 and a measly 11 points (no touchdowns) in 2008 against the Eagles.
Eli has never gotten an All-Pro vote, only made the Pro Bowl four times, and I struggle to think of many seasons in which he was clearly one of the top-five quarterbacks in the league. I’m willing to bet that any advanced analytics would back that statement up. He had a really good career despite all of our Manningface jokes, but if he does get into Canton, it’s on the back of those incredible Super Bowls against the greatest winning machine in NFL history.