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Thursday, October 30, 2014

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.

Helmet smack to Around the League
Photo credit: Jim O’Connor-US PRESSWIRE



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