Phil Simms: Eli Manning not an elite quarterback

Just when you thought Eli Manning had ended the “elite quarterback” discussion by winning a second Super Bowl, analyst Phil Simms had to stir it back up again.

Simms, who played quarterback for the New York Giants from 1979-1993, said on CBS Sports Network’s “NFL Monday QB” that Manning is not elite.

“No, he is not one of the elites,” Simms said, via the New York Daily News. “Because when I hear the word elite, I’m thinking about guys that can make unbelievable plays on the field by themselves. There are very few quarterbacks in that category.

“I always bring up Aaron Rodgers. He is one of them,” said Simms. “So yes, Eli has been a tremendous team player. He has been MVP of the Super Bowl twice. I know that. But the way I look at it, the answer is no.”

The debate about Eli’s ranking among today’s quarterbacks raged last year when Manning said on a radio show that he considered himself one of the elites. We laughed at him at the time, but then he proved us and his other critics wrong with a spectacular season.

Hall of Fame quarterback and current CBS analyst Dan Fouts disagreed with Simms.

“You can’t spell elite without Eli,” Fouts said. “The pressure situations that Eli has thrived in over his short career, in my mind, make him an elite quarterback, because that is when you’re judged. How well do you do when the pressure is on, when you’ve got to win the game?

“And all you have to do is look back at his two Super Bowl wins and the way he beat the Patriots. I have to give him a nod and say Eli is elite.”

What’s strange is that Simms praised Manning in August. He told USA Today that the current Giants quarterback is “a real clutch quarterback” who will one day be in the Hall of Fame.

Maybe Simms is just getting too carried away with Manning’s poor play lately. Over the past three games, Eli has thrown four interceptions and failed to throw a touchdown. The Giants have gone 1-2 in that span.

The Giants are still 6-4 and leading the NFC East, so they will probably make it to the playoffs once again where Eli is often at his best. It probably won’t be long before he reminds Simms that, while he is not as consistently amazing as Aaron Rodgers, he is still an elite quarterback.

Also note that this is not the first time Simms seems to be in the crosshairs of one of the Mannings.

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Photo credit: Jim O’Connor-US PRESSWIRE

Around The Web

  • http://twitter.com/tillzen tillzen

    I’m a Giant fan and Phil is right. Eli is missing his brother’s touch, Big Ben’s ability to feel and avoid sacks, Aaron Rodgers run threat or Drew Brees red zone gifts. This said, Eli is very good but he also is lucky and to quote the great Lefty Gomez “I’d rather be lucky than good”.

  • Kevin_Indianapolis

    The topic..”Top 5 NFL Quarterbacks” is a staple of every sports talk radio program.  When “Should Tebow Start” gets boring, it’s a good fall back. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/MGZPN6F6PPDEKRYNF5WB3N2KY4 Glenn D

    Eli has had two extraordinary runs of about 6-8 games in 2 seasons ending with a SB win. Flat out played very well during those games.  He managed and limited his mistakes and made some big plays, all keys to winning.  His teams defenses also hit those stretches playing their best football and delivered the victory’s.  Outside of those two stretches, Eli’s been very ordinary in the balance of his games.  Last year he got credit for a record number of comebacks, but none of the blame for games when his INT’s directly led to losses.  He had 2 games with 3 picks against the Skins & Seahawks at home and had another pick against the 49’ers that led to their winning score.  Pick 6 against the Packers in a 7 pt loss. You get some leeway when you can bring in a SB win, but he’s always been pretty ordinary in my book.  A QB who’s thrown more than 1 INT per game played and a very mediocre QBR of 82.  His season stats are right on with his career numbers.  He’s good, but he’s also got games where he looks like Sanchez, a deer in the headlights.  Good, but not elite!

  • http://twitter.com/ChadMarg Chad Margulius

    Phil Simms is NOT an elite color analyst. 

  • http://larrybrownsports.com Larry Brown

    Well played Chad haha

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/HVMSEFLSSHSPRDDYCXQHBIWGQE Brad

    Who annointed Phil Sims an expert? His lousy play and injury prone career was laughable at best until they won one super bowl in spite of him. Mannings legacy will far surpass anything whiny Phil will ever be, but he probably is the best thing that ever came out of Moorehead Stete.

  • Smarti01

    Phil Simms is a boob!! I am a lifelong Giants fan and never liked him as a QB and find him even more annoying in the TV booth. If Phil didn’t have LT and the rest of the amazing Giants defence when he played he wouldn’t have lasted five seasons so he should not be mouthing off about any other player QB or not.  Eli may not be “elite” but he is twice the QB Simms ever was.

  • bigscott64

    by your analysis, a guy by the name of Favre would not be an elite QB either !
    This whole “Elite” debate is subjective. Whoever wants to make the case one way or the other, only uses the facts that help their point of view.
    The only thing that I know is that I would take Eli on my team anytime !