After pulling off yet another come from behind victory in the Super Bowl, Eli Manning has proven he is without a doubt an elite quarterback.
Any lingering questions about his status have been answered. He has proven that he deserves to be mentioned in the same class as Tom Brady, Aaron Rogers and Drew Brees. He has arrived.
Now there is a new question, “Is Eli Manning a Hall of Fame quarterback?”
Of course, Giant fans are saying that, without a doubt, he is. Not so fast. While Eli is certainly making a case for induction to the Hall, I don’t think he is there right now.
I know New York fans are very sensitive to any perceived criticism of their teams or players. Last year, after the Denver Nuggets traded Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks, I innocently wrote that Melo was not going to bring the Knicks a title. At that point all hell broke loose.
So please, gentle reader, before you fly off the handle, please read the whole post. There is a case to be made for Eli going to the Hall of Fame. It’s just going to take some time.
There is a pretty simple test to determine if a player is worthy of the Hall of Fame.
The test, for me, has always been if you have to ask if a player is a Hall of Famer, he probably is not. There are players that you just know are Hall of Famers. No one is asking if Tom Brady is a Hall of Famer. There is no question about Peyton Manning, either.
Just because Eli is not a Hall of Famer right now doesn’t mean he will never get there.
There is a way he can get there and put to rest any questions about his Hall of Fame credentials just like he did with the elite quarterback questions.
The easiest way to get into the Hall is to add more hardware to his trophy collection.
Another Super Bowl ring would probably do it. Especially if he topped it off with a Super Bowl MVP award as well.
And if he can add a regular season MVP, too, I think you have to close the book and say he’s in.
Even if he doesn’t raise the Lombardi Trophy again, he still has a path to the Hall. If he continues to perform like he has the last few years he should make it.
If he can continually lead the Giants to the playoffs for the rest of his career he will make it difficult for voters to keep him out of the Hall.
Right now, he’s 8-3 in the playoffs for his career with 14 touchdowns and only two interceptions in those eight wins. And he has won on the road, which is difficult. He should pass the 40,000 passing yard mark in the next couple of years as well.
There are only 13 quarterbacks who have thrown for more than 40,000 yards and only three of them are not in the Hall of Fame.
If Eli can stay healthy and remain consistent, there should be no reason to keep him out of the Hall.
Eli Manning has the hardware already, now all he needs is the stats. It will take some time but I think he will once again silence his detractors and prove that he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, right alongside his big brother.