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MJD

Has Eli Manning actually gotten overrated?

MJD
Shutdown Corner

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It's an interesting question, originally posed by SI's Andrew Perloff, who points to Ben Roethlisberger, Brad Johnson, Trent Dilfer, and Kurt Warner as quarterbacks who won a Super Bowl with a stout defense, and then almost immediately reverted back to mediocrity.

Some quick facts that might support the "Eli is now overrated" hypothesis:

• In the regular season, he ranked 25th in passer rating, sandwiched between Vince Young and Kyle Boller
• Again in the regular season, he threw 20 interceptions, tied for the league lead with Jon Kitna and Carson Palmer
• He also completed just 56.1% of his passes, which ranks him right between Trent Edwards and Cleo Lemon

But there are also things I'd point out that weaken the "Eli is overrated" argument:

• Obviously, that bad-ass leather jacket.
• You can throw out the Roethlisberger comparison, or better yet, use it to Eli's advantage. Yes, Large Benjamin had a down year after winning the Super Bowl, but he also nearly died in a motorcycle accident, which was probably a factor. He's also rebounded quite nicely, and I don't think anyone doubts his ability to be a very good NFL quarterback in the long-term.
• Johnson, Dilfer, and Warner were all much older than Eli at the time of their Super Bowl wins. Eli's still learning, and certainly hasn't peaked. I don't think the same could be said of any of the other guys mentioned.
• It wasn't just a good Super Bowl that Eli produced. His last five games this year, including the postseason, he had ten touchdowns against two interceptions and averaged a QB rating of over 100. He played well over an extended period of time.

Is Eli going to perform as well throughout the entire 2008/2009 season as he did in this year's playoffs? Probably not. Eli's not done growing as a quarterback, and he's not done having bad games. But I also don't see any reason to think that his last five games this year were a fluke, either.

Overrated? I guess it depends on where you're rating him. If you're sticking him in the elite group with Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, then yes, you're overrating him, and you should stop freebasing immediately. But I think there's definitely room to squeeze him into the sub- grouping that includes Tony Romo, Ben Roethlisberger, Carson Palmer, Drew Brees, etc.

• Don't overrate Eli / SI.com

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