Eli Manning is only 31 years old, but he has already won two Super Bowls and established himself as one of the most clutch players in the game. Last season, he threw for 29 touchdowns and nearly 5,000 yards. He has eclipsed the 4,000-yard passing mark in each of his last three seasons, yet for some reason Manning is not considered by many to be an elite NFL quarterback.
On the NFL Network’s Top 100 Players of 2012 list, Eli ranks 31st. That places him behind quarterbacks Ben Roethlisberger, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady. Depending on how the NFL determines their rankings, that seems a bit low. Justin Tuck thinks it’s laughable.
“That’s a joke,” Tuck said when asked about Manning’s ranking according to NFL.com. “No question he is top five. Hands down. Top five. You win the Super Bowl, you have the season he had, you are automatically top 10. But it’s how he did it, as far as the fourth-quarter comebacks, leading a team that really didn’t have a super, super star wide receiver at the beginning of the year. He made two guys in Hakeem (Nicks) and Victor (Cruz), he made those guys what they are now. I really feel as though he should have been a lot higher than he was.”
Hakeem Nicks may take offense to those comments, but that’s a discussion for another day. Personally I tend to agree with Tuck, who also pointed out that Peyton Manning is only 19 spots behind Eli despite not touching the field last season. What more does Eli have to do? The stats have been there and the hardware is certainly there.
Tuck is not the first person to call this year’s Top 100 list a joke, and he probably won’t be the last. There’s no pleasing everyone when something like that is assembled, but Eli has a pretty legitimate gripe.
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