New England Patriots

Sep 8, 2019; Arlington, TX, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) during the game between the Cowboys and the Giants at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

By Matt McCarthy,

Allow me to open by saying this: I am a Patriots fan and I am bitter about Super Bowl XLII and XLVI.

But that doesn’t mean I’m not completely and totally right about Eli Manning being the most overrated quarterback in recent memory.

Go ahead, try to deny it.

The Giants finally benched Manning on Tuesday, two years after anybody with eyes realized they should. That long overdue decision brought the end to an era in which Manning led the Giants to two Super Bowl victories and absolutely nothing but mediocrity in his 14 other seasons at the helm.

He was either the greatest bad quarterback of all-time or the worst good quarterback to ever play, and I’m not sure which one it is.

Over 232 career starts, Manning amassed an astonishingly underwhelming 116-116 record. Despite playing in the friendliest era for quarterbacks in NFL history, Manning still couldn’t even put up a winning record over the course of his career.

All of his contemporaries have managed to do that, why couldn’t he?

The likes of Philip Rivers, Matt Ryan, and Joe Flacco have winning records and aren’t even close to the .500 mark. Alex Smith is 25 games over .500. Even Andy Dalton has won more games than he’s lost.

Andy Bleeping Dalton.

It seems nearly impossible to be a half-decent quarterback and not put up a winning record in the modern day NFL. The only prerequisite is a pulse.

Eli couldn’t even go a game over .500. How is that possible?

It’s not like Manning lacked support or played for a terrible franchise, either. For the vast majority of his career, he was blessed with quality weapons, a defense capable of winning two Super Bowls, and a Hall of Fame caliber coach. Yet somehow, someway, he managed to lead his teams to only seven winning seasons in 16 years.

Put any living, breathing quarterback in that situation and they’d be in the playoffs every year. I guess Eli wasn’t capable of living up to those amazingly low standards.

But that was Eli’s problem, he couldn’t meet those easily attainable standards because he really wasn’t that good. He led the NFL in interceptions three times, including his putrid 2013 season, when he threw 18 touchdowns to 27 interceptions.

Manning never led the NFL in any other category.

Of course, Manning will be remembered for his performances in his two Super Bowl wins against the Patriots. He was spectacular on those two nights. It very well might get him into the Hall of Fame.

He was a Hall of Famer for two nights. For 16 years he was anything but that. He was just kind of there. He was a player who had a few great moments, but he was far from a great player.

116-116. .500. Nothing could more perfectly sum up Eli Manning.

Go ahead, call me bitter, but you can’t call me wrong.

You can hear Matt McCarthy on various 98.5 The Sports Hub programs. Follow him on Twitter @MattMcCarthy985.

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