For much of his career, the discussion around Eli Manning has basically been whether or not he should be included in the elite quarterback category.
Well, it's time to give the signal caller his due.
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Only two NFC quarterbacks threw for more yards this year - Drew Brees with an NFL record 5,476 yards, and Matthew Stafford with 5,038 yards. Eli also tossed 29 touchdown passes, and posted the second-highest QB rating of his career (92.9).
He has continued to shine throughout the postseason as well, with 277 yards passing and 3 touchdowns in a 24-2 wild-card win over the Atlanta Falcons, followed by a 330-yard, 3 TD outing in a 37-20 upset of the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers.
Furthermore, Eli has now beaten both Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers at Lambeau Field in the playoffs, not to mention the fact that he posted a win over Tom Brady in the Super Bowl. Overall, Eli's postseason record stands at 6-3. In comparison, his brother Peyton is 9-10.
Now, I'm not suggesting that Eli belongs in the top-tier of the elite quarterback club. Make no mistake about it, he's still no Tom Brady, Drew Brees or Aaron Rodgers. Probably never will be. However, if guys like Ben Roethlisberger and Philip Rivers are considered elite, and to most, they are, than Eli belongs on the list as well.
Needless to say, he's earned it.